Bestselling author and lawyer, John Grisham, found it necessary to apologize to the terminally neurotic American public this week for speaking logically and rationally about child porn.
“We have prisons now filled with guys my age, 60-year-old white men, in prison, who've never harmed anybody (and) would never touch a child," said Grisham. "But they got online one night and started surfing around, probably had too much to drink or whatever, and pushed the wrong buttons and went too far and got into child porn. ... They deserve some type of punishment, but 10 years in prison?” "There's so many of them now, sex offenders ... that they put them in the same prison, like they're a bunch of perverts or something."
"I have no sympathy for a real pedophile, he continued; “but so many of these guys don't deserve harsh prison sentences. A friend of mine, this was 10 years ago, was drinking, and his drinking was out of control. And he went to a website, and it was labeled, 16-year-old wannabe hookers or something, some stupid website. And it said 16-year-old girls. So he went there and downloaded some stuff… It was 16-year-old girls that look 30. ... He shouldn't have done it. It was stupid. But it wasn't 10-year-old boys, and he didn't touch anything."
That “stupid” website offering pictures of naked 16-year-old girls online was a sting operation concocted by the authorities solely to capture “sex offenders.” Grisham’s friend was arrested, convicted of a “sex crime” and sent to prison for three years.
As you might imagine, the reaction to his comments by the irrational segment of the public was tumultuous to say the least. Some people said they won’t read his books anymore; others burned his books; still others declared they were disgusted and called him an imbecile. Facing this huge onslaught of potential damage to his writing career, Grisham caved in completely and apologized profusely to the frenzied mob.
Of course, that wasn’t nearly enough for those in the crowd still indignantly foaming at the mouth. "You clearly said in the interview that people (like your drunk friend) who look at child porn don't deserve severe punishment," cried one. "Not sure how you can backtrack that statement."
To me that statement says it all. There are actually people in the United States of America – pornophobics -- who think that a person who merely looks at online images of child porn should be punished severely.
Mind you, this isn’t about pedophiles, child molesters and rapists, the ones who actually abuse kids and clearly deserve severe punishment; no argument about that. This is about innocent human beings, normal people who have never in their whole lives ever harmed or thought about harming a child. Grisham was absolutely right about that and no apology was necessary.
The legal authorities who created that website were actually guilty themselves of manufacturing and distributing child pornography. They were doing far more than just looking at child porn. They were making it and offering it online. They literally had to commit the “crime” themselves in order to ensnare others for committing the “crime.”
The pornophobics are out to get normal innocent people for committing imaginary “crimes.” A seminary student, a prison guard and a law enforcement official, for example were among 55 people arrested during another sting by police in Brazil for the “crime” of merely looking at child porn online.
Police located suspects from all walks of life in Portugal, Italy, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela. “There is no profile of the criminal,” admitted a Federal Police Inspector. “As it is a very hidden crime, anybody can be the perpetrator.” Other suspects included a computer technician, a martial arts instructor, health care workers and a math teacher.
Anybody can be a perpetrator! What does that tell you? We’re talking about normal people here. We’re not talking about sex criminals. A 14-year-old girl who takes an erotic selfie and sends it to her 15-year-old boyfriend will be charged with the “crime” of manufacturing and distributing child pornography, a felony. Her boyfriend will be charged with the “crime” of possessing child pornography, a felony.
The Islamic State savages can make a video depicting the beheading of a child and distribute it online for the enjoyment of all takers, including the mainstream news media. No one will be deemed guilty of a crime for downloading the horrific and disgusting video to their hard drive and possessing it. Personally, I don’t have the stomach to look at that kind of thing, but those who do want to look at it have a First Amendment constitutional right to do so.
Yes, in the U.S.A. we have a First Amendment right to look at and possess disgusting books, movies and videos of all types and kinds, including porn magazines and videos. People can look at and possess pictures and videos of babies having their heads chopped off, children being tortured, whipped, spanked or otherwise severely abused, and no one can claim that the “crime” of looking at or possessing the material was committed.
So, all of this neurotic irrational rage and overreaction to instances of normal people looking at child porn images on the Internet is not at all about child abuse. It’s not about committing any real crime or harming kids in any way. No, it’s really about SEX. It’s about mobs of irrational people who suffer with neurotic hang-ups about other people thinking about sex.
They get all worked up and angry, wanting to severely punish normal people for the thought “crime” of looking at images of nude children, but don’t mind at all if the same normal people are looking at images of kids getting whipped, tortured, beheaded or otherwise abused.
To put it bluntly, laws meting out severe punishment for merely looking at images of child porn are unconstitutional. If the mob doesn’t like my saying so, they need not buy my book. I’m not a coward like John Grisham. I don’t care what they think. I’m not the one suffering from Pornophobia.