I was saddened and shocked to hear about this story as I drove to and from Atlanta yesterday for work. I wanted to post on this so we all had a way to reflect on this tragedy.
Police investigate shooting as a hate crime – Advocate.com
A teenager armed with a hatchet and handgun opened fire inside a New Bedford, Mass., gay bar early Thursday, wounding at least three people in what police are investigating as a hate crime.
A bartender at Puzzles Lounge told the Associated Press that the young man, dressed all in black, ordered a drink and asked if Puzzles was a gay bar. He finished his drink shortly after midnight, ordered another, then started attacking people, the bartender said. Three were hospitalized Thursday.
18-year-old suspect Jacob D. Robida
So a couple of observations here. I’m certainly not condoning what happened, nor looking to blame the victims. But I”m having a hard time understanding why an 18-year old wasn’t carded by the bartender and either shown out or denied a drink. Now perhaps this “drink” was an iced tea….but using the term “drink” in a bar usually means alcohol. I just think this is an interesting detail that I’d like to learn more about.
**UPDATE: According to the Washington Blade story, the 18-year old neo-Nazi suspect “walked in around midnight and drank a rum on the rocks.”**
More importantly, this incident comes about a week after PatriotPartner and I were reflecting on our time already in Charlotte and how welcoming people around here have been to a gay couple that doesn’t go out of their way to hide it. No, we don’t wear skirts to Home Depot, but c’mon… people KNOW. PatriotPartner and I both agreed that when you hear of gay bashing stories, a majority (though not all) actually seem to come out of Liberal Blue State America. Granted, the urban centers automatically assume an increase in crime due to population density.
But Massachusetts?!?! I thought we were all supposed to go around like nymphs in the fairie meadows in Massachusetts celebrating our gayness. Frankly, I feel more comfortable in Charlotte being who I am then I ever did in Washington, DC or Northern Virginia.
Finally, what are your thoughts on this being a “hate crime.” Isn’t it simply a violent crime, period? I have mixed feelings about the importance and relevance of separate “hate crime” laws….. and wanted to open that up for discussion as well.
Anyway, I’m sorry to start the weekend off on a downer but felt this tragedy was important to cover today.