After mass shootings like last weekend's Fuse nightclub massacre in Orlando or last year's church slayings in Charleston, people are left wondering whether the shooting can be classified as a hate crime, an act of terrorism, or both. Mass shootings that target a certain group of people based on their status or affiliation can be a hate crime. And mass shootings intended to intimidate or make a political statement can be acts of terrorism.
There are obviously instances, like Orlando and Charleston, where these definitions can seem to overlap, but how are the two crimes distinguished? What differentiates hate crimes from terrorism?