One Man’s “Domestic Terrorist” Is Another Man’s Social Justice Warrior

Does left-wing violence constitute “domestic terrorism,” too?

Del. Marcia Price, D-Newport News has teamed with the Virginia Attorney General’s Office to add “domestic terrorism” to the state’s list of criminal charges. Her bill, HB 1601, would make it illegal in certain cases for people associated with domestic terrorist groups to hold a meeting, reports the Daily Press.

Price refused to comment for the Daily Press story, but AG spokesman Michael Kelly said the office has been working on the bill since the United the Right rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, where counterprotester Heather Heyer was killed when Nazi sympathizer James Field Jr. drove a vehicle into a crowd. Field has been charged with first-degree murder.

“Obviously that was a real wake-up call and a moment that made it crystal clear that Virginia needs to take seriously the threat posed by extremist organizations and especially white supremacist organizations,” said Kelly. “We want to make sure that local law enforcement and state law enforcement have the tools to keep Virginians safe from that kind of violence.”

But I can’t help but wonder if the AG’s office is more concerned about violence stemming from some sources than others. The “domestic terrorism” charge applies to acts perpetrated because of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability, or that [are] committed for the purpose of restraining an individual from exercising his rights under the Constitution or laws of this Commonwealth or of the United States.”

Those qualifiers explicitly protect minorities against Nazis, Klansmen and other right-wing extremists, which is fine. But does it apply to Antifa or other groups that use violence to shut down the objects of left-wing hatred and loathing such as, say, rallies of Trump supporters or conservative speakers on college campuses? Presumably, Trump supporters enjoy a constitutional right to freedom of assembly, so Antifa violence might warrant a domestic terrorism charge. But does a conservative speaker have a constitutional right to deliver a speech on a college campus? Much trickier question.

I’m not clear why such a law is needed in the first place. The City of Charlottesville has charged Fields with first degree murder. Does the Commonwealth of Virginia require another law to put him away for the rest of his life? I can’t shake the suspicion that Price’s bill, if enacted into law, will be applied selectively against those whose political beliefs the Attorney General or his successors find most odious.

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3 responses to “One Man’s “Domestic Terrorist” Is Another Man’s Social Justice Warrior

  1. This bill is based on ignorance, proving fake news and local propaganda work.

    The Hunton and Williams report makes clear that it was the “White Supremacists” who’s constitutional rights were violated in last Spring and July, not the reverse. This set in motion the August chaos that was yet again organized and ignited to thwart a court sanctioned exercise of free speech.

    The Nazi’s here are not the Unite the Right, those most of us are far too eager to blame. This ignorance might be understandable had not the Hunton and William report been issued. But now, for the face of the Fascists, most of us need only look in the mirror.

  2. so..on the face of it.. it sounds downright UnAmerican.. the basic right to freedom of assembly!

    but then again – do “WE” have a “right” to arm ourselves to the teeth with AR-15s , espouse hate and even violence towards others.. then group up with others that think like us and go to any venue, any time to demonstrate as a group?

    And if we can do that – can another group that is similarly heavily, but also “legally” armed, show up with their gang of like-minded to confront the first gang.. perhaps right in front of Steve Haners or Jim Bacons house and rumble?

    Is that a Constitutional Right? Is it Unconstitutional to restrict it?

    “social justice” is a misnomer.. and besides the hate groups also say they are after “social justice” – they just have a different version of it.

    so we have groups that hate other people not like themselves and we have a second group that hates the groups that hate people. Is that “both sides”?

    Both of them are after their own competing versions of “social justice”, eh?

    and FYI – the White Supremacists also went to Boston where they and all others were prevented from having weapons .. and the result was a big “nothing”.. They came – they shouted – they went home.. no White Supremacists or Antifas or other critters were harmed.

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