HB 953 by state Rep. Lance Harris would add to the list of hate crimes already in statute law enforcement officers (including retirees), firefighters, and emergency medical services personnel, including people not of these professions but whom attackers believe them to be. In state law, the hate crime concept adds extra penalties when victim selection for a number of serious crimes comes from some characteristic imputed towards the individual.
However, the concept itself seriously threatens personal liberty and empowers the state beyond legitimate needs. It introduces the notion that certain thoughts and motives become criminal when acted upon in addition to the inherent immorality of the act itself. That might make philosophical sense if violent acts disregarding motives received no punishment under the criminal code, so only motive counted in assessing the criminality of the act; thus, punishable acts only would emanate from impure motives, while acts from other motivations receive a pass.