At the time of the writing of this article the shootings in Aurora, Colorado are still fresh in our minds and only a few days old. Many are still in the hospital and families are still grieving and the whys and hows have still not been answered. Yet, from a totally different perspective, one of a First Amendment advocates we have some observations.
There has been very little, almost bordering on no outcry, from politicians and from the media that this event is a wake up call that we need gun control, or at least better gun control. The politicians have been silent using phrases such as “this tragedy is not the time to make this a political issue”, in order not to raise issues such as bans on assault rifles and thirty round clips. Numerous politicians are in fear that the gun lobby spearheaded by the National Rifle Association (NRA) has become so strong that during this tragedy they have kept their mouths shut for fear of being on the NRA’s hit list.
Others have pointed out that we are so far entrenched with our guns, ammunition, assault rifles and other means of mass killings, that any ban would be a hollow effort as they have already proliferated throughout our society. Some have said that legislation against these type of weapons would only affect those who need to use these weapons for self defense and the criminals and the crazies would still get their hands on these weapons.
However, from a First Amendment prospective, the comments that strike us the most are the ones dealing with the fact that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. In actuality guns in the hands of people who want to kill do in fact kill people. Yet, the rationale is a simple one. A gun in the hand of a law abiding citizen who is not mentally deranged and who has no agenda is not used to kill. There is no need to take away the gun because the gun didn’t do it. It was the person who pulled the trigger.
This rational actually has some logical appeal. The argument could be made that if guns were taken away then those who wanted to do harm would use knifes, bow and arrow, or be able to create explosives that would do the same. Therefore, taking away guns only takes away those from law abiding citizens and violates the Second Amendment.
Yet, on another note, when a child molester or a rapist is arrested and a search of his house turns up pornography from Playboy to whatever, the first thing that is argued is “the pornography made him do it”. In fact, there have been many anti-pornography crusaders who have attempted to get serial killers and other despicable human beings to testify and to blame that it was pornography that made them deranged, in an effort to curtail adult freedoms of First Amendment rights.
Ted Bundy, the Tallahassee mass murderer comes to mind. But if the argument rings true for the Second Amendment and those who profess their love for guns, why does not the argument ring true for the First Amendment and for those who appreciate adult entertainment and pornography. First of all, the argument can be made that there is enough pornography in this world, via the internet and other outlets that have already been produced that any ban on pornography or obscenity is meaningless and hollow as you cannot put the genie back in the bottle. Another argument can be made in the same way that the gun lobby makes it, that banning pornography or making it obscene only will affect the law abiding citizen because those deranged people will find a way to get the material anyway.
More to the point however, is the argument that it is not the pornography or the obscenity that made the molester or the rapist act, but rather it is the rapist and the molester that are committing those acts. The only difference in the argument is that the gun lobby would say that the guns are the instrument of the deranged while the anti-pornography crusaders would say that pornography was the impetus for the assault.
Yet, every study that has ever been conducted has shown that in societies where pornography, obscenity and adult entertainment is allowed freely, there are less incidences of rape and child molestation. Further, there has been no study ever conducted that has drawn a correlation that those that like adult pornography and nude women dancing, have the predilection to molest a child. Rather, the opposite usually is shown. That is, that if one likes a nude adult, children absolutely do nothing for them.
Lastly, the argument that by taking guns away and assault rifles away it is hurting a large segment of the population while only a few crazies ever use these weapons for bad intent also applies, if there were any correlation, between pornography and obscenity and sexual crimes. Studies are off the charts showing that people who go to hotels watch the adult channels that they can purchase. Studies show continually that pornography is rampant on the internet to the point where now there are not only .coms and .nets, but there also now is a .xxx. Obviously, a large segment of the population enjoys pornography and obscenity and yet a large percentage of the population are not committing sexual offenses. In essence, the arguments that are made in support of the Second Amendment apply just as firmly to the First Amendment and adult entertainment.
guns and pornography