But conservatives see somebody committing what we worry may be a "hate" crime, and we put our armor up. Oh crap. Another nut who thinks I've got his back. Another nut that is going to be used as a caricature in movies to define me.
Who decides what it is proper to think? The people who hate us? Who hurl "fuck you" as a debating technique?
That being said, I may depart from the commonly held conservative belief that prosecuting something as a hate crime is entirely Orwellian.
In most violent acts there is intent to harm an individual. There is a perpetrator and a victim.
Hopefully there is an investigation and a trial. Someone is sentenced, and that's it.
With what our lawyers would call a hate crime, the crime is not only is what the person was thinking when he or she committed the act, but the crime is an attempt to instigate a riot. Not only was a person victimized, a social wound was salted. People on both sides start rifling through their mental gun closets looking for the right weapons and ammo, because there's a bogeyman out there, and both sides are trying to fight it. We scramble around in the dark with no flashlight and shoot each other.
I agree we should let the facts come out. But if this ends up being a hate crime against gays, perpetrated by a nut in red white and blue who thinks I've got his back, then I think we should do what my grizzly mountain man paw-in-law likes to say he would do. Cut a little slit in his stomach, pull out his intestine, hammer the end to a tree and force him to walk around it. When he collapses, cut off his eyelids and piss in his eyes. Then we should do what Preston says.
That's my 2 cents.