“Porn: Social disease or first amendment issue” is written on several posters around campus, which are publicizing an on-campus debate. This forum hosted ideas from opposing sides of the issue, and I assume that some students and professors adamantly supported the First Amendment’s protection of pornography as a form of expression. Even though lately it seems like supporting the industry of porn is no longer a liberal movement.
Now, however, I consider it a sick movement to be involved with.
The event comes at an interesting time, in light of this week’s Supreme Court decision to strike down part of the federal child pornography law that makes it a crime to sell or own computer generated images of children, or virtual children in pornographic positions. The justices stated the 1st Amendment shields films and photographs that show adult actors who “appear to be minors” involved in sex.
Unlike the issue of hardcore pornography, this case brings up the interesting issue of “virtual” porn. This type of porn contains images of children engaging in “morphed” sex scenes. These images are not real children but they look real. The pictures look like younger versions of Britney Spears with bottom-halves resembling that of much older women.
Advancements in recent computer technology have allowed photo enthusiasts, artists and movie makers ( and all of those pedophiles hiding behind the family room curtains) to create images that are nearly indistinguishable from reality.
In other words, this porn was created for the most sick and twisted outcasts of society.
These pieces of artwork, if you will, have become staples in the online community of sexual predators and perverts.
Seems like the citizens of La Verne have something else to worry about.
Not only do they need to be concerned about the ruling this week not to force the newest sex offender out of the city or even limit his current access to children; now they also have online predators to be worry about.
Protecting their children from the predators creeping around the local playgrounds now become a distant concern, while keeping their kids away from Internet chat rooms and Web sites should become their latest worry.
Who knew parenting would be so difficult for parents in this all-American city?
Not to worry, though, because Attorney General John Ashcroft said the Supreme Court ruling on child pornography will need to be revised very soon to include laws in “that area.” So, for the time being, artists can continue to morph images of children into sexually explicit scenes.
This week’s Supreme Court ruling comes as a disappointment to many child-friendly communities and organizations involved in child protection. Lawmakers who hoped they could continue to bring the full weight of federal criminal law to those who use this technology, stated that the images were offensive, that they could be used to “whet the appetites of pedophiles and child sexual abusers.”
I do not understand what else was needed to convince the justices that this bizarre activity is likely to lead to many more cases of child sexual abuse. Not to mention that it also promotes inappropriate behavior by those involved in the Internet business, as consumers and manufacturers.
The advocates of the online phenomenon contend that their style of imaging will slowly sift out the use of real children for pornography, as a vast majority of child porn is, in fact, real.
I suppose these statistics are also not enough to assist in the banning of the Web sites. What else is needed?
Hopefully, in the future someone will worry about the protection of children, not just immediate family, and step forward to spearhead local action. Protesting in front of one man’s home is no longer enough to keep predators out of the city.
Protesting the use of children’s images should become the new cause for residents, so many predators are forced out of the city, not just one.
Ryan MacDonald, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.