Noting that a planned shooting attack at a Tallahassee yoga studio was not classified as a hate crime by the state of Florida, a Democratic state representative is asking legislative leaders to consider updating the state’s hate crime statute to conform with federal law.
Orlando Rep. Anna Eskamani also wants lawmakers to add misogyny to the upcoming examination of mass shootings when the Legislature returns to Tallahassee.
“The motivations of men who commit mass shootings are often complex or unknown, but one common thread that ties so many together — in addition to their access of firearms — is a history of hating women. Misogyny (defined as a dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women) cannot be excluded from this conversation and should be a central part of it,” Eskamani writes in a letter to Republican Florida Senate President Bill Galvano and Security Committee Chairman Sen. Tom Lee.
Eskamani says the man who shot and killed two women at that yoga studio last November was described by police as “a disturbed individual who harbored hatred towards women.”
Despite that, Eskamani says, the planned attack was not recognized in Florida as a hate crime. That’s in contrast to federal law, which permits federal prosecution of hate crimes against people based on the victim’s gender.
In the aftermath of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, Galvano has assigned Senator Lee, a Republican who represents the Tampa Bay area, to study the factors behind gun violence, including white nationalism.
Eskamani will be pushing to make sure misogyny is also among the factors considered, since several of the young white men who have committed mass shootings in recent years have left manifestos or social media posts describing their hatred of women