The truth is this: Supporters of “hate crimes” laws don’t want to criminalize the conduct of those who commit crimes based on race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Wyoming and Texas both had murder statutes on the books that allowed the killers of Shepard and Byrd to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. It’s not like the murderers escaped punishment.
No, supporters of “hate crimes” laws want to criminalize certain thoughts and ideas. That makes them far more dangerous than those who commit nonviolent “hate crimes.”
The yokels who’d burn a cross on a lawn, paint a swastika on a synagogue or yell the dreaded “F” bomb at a gay couple are, at worst, insufferable bigots. At best they’re simply royal pains in our collective neck.