Here’s a little treasure, HR 1955, The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, which passed the House of Representatives in October “under a suspension of the rules to cut debate short and pass the bill.” (PDF.)
Others see it as sinister; I don’t . . . yet. It would merely create a “National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism” (yawn) and a “Center of Excellence for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States” (snore).
Here’s the highlight, as far as I’m concerned.
The term “homegrown terrorism” means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
So when the State of Texas (a group operating primarily within the United States) threatens to put murderers to death (the threatened use of violence) so that potential murderers (a segment of the civilian population of the United States) will not murder people (in furtherance of the social objective of having fewer murders), it’s committing homegrown terrorism.
Moreover, since every penal law is backed by the threatened use of force or violence and is intended to coerce or intimidate civilians in furtherance of political or social objectives (less crime), everybody on the government’s side in a criminal case becomes a party to homegrown terrorism. I think that’s neat.
Neater: it would also make every athlete in every contact sport a homegrown terrorist. Probably not the result that Congress intended, but as far as I know nobody ever accused Congress of being smart.