Demands for new “domestic terrorism” laws

Since an attacker motivated by anti-immigration sentiments killed 22 at an El Paso, Texas Walmart, there has been a cry for new laws against “domestic terrorism.” Most who join in the outcry, however, haven’t begun to think through the implications, especially since these sorts of laws “rarely stay limited to their nominal purpose,” notes Fordham’s John Pfaff in a thread. “Criminal laws will inevitably be written broadly, and that breadth will inevitably mean they will expand their reach.”

3 Comments

  • Just ask Carter Page . . . . .

  • “Since an attacker motivated by anti-immigration sentiments killed 22 at an El Paso, Texas Walmart”

    Actually, it wasn’t just anti-immigration sentiments. From what I’ve read, his screed, like the shooter from New Zealand, was a bastard mix of anti-immigration, environmentalism and anti-capitalism. And with the El Paso shooter, much of the anti-immigration sentiment seems to have been driven by the idea that immigrants from south of the US southern border are some sort of environmental threat.

  • RICO is another prominent example of a law that has not exactly been applied as sold.

    In general, I think there is no law or regulation that, given time, some government bureaucrat of law enforcement officer won’t find a way to use against the public in a way that differs from the original stated purpose of the law.

    That seems like a good reason for the public to be very wary of consenting to any legislation that gives the government more powers. I don’t suggest opposing everything – only that we look with great skepticism at lawmakers’ motives and be equally skeptical about possible uses of the law besides the expressed intent.

    Yeah, I know. “Dream on, Fembup.”

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