Or so they'd have you believe. The Washington State legislature home
that HB 1407 was reintroduced by resolution to the 1998 legislative
session on January 12 of this year. Representatives Joyce Mulliken
and Larry Sheahan are the sponsors.
And just what guise of "protecting the children" does this bill
concern? Asbestos? Tobacco Companies? Drunk Drivers? No, 'course not.
This bill, aimed at "matter" that is "harmful" to minors, "prohibits
the sale or display" of any matter (including live performances) that
the average adult, applying contemporary community standards, would
find appeals to the prurient interest of minors and that explicitly
depicts or describes, by prevailing standards in the adult community
patently offensive representations of a myriad of sexual acts.
So, once again, a handful of people are deciding what the "average
adult" (who is that?) finds offensive and "harmful" to your kids.
This continuous dumbing down of community standards under the thumb
of Representatives Joyce Mulliken and Larry Sheahan (both Republican)
and those like them only encourages parents to become docile and let
government do the parenting for them. Bills like this will only
cause works of art and music to go un-viewed and un-enjoyed because
concert promoters, venue owners, art galleries, record companies and
others will be scared into line in fear of prosecution for
distributing "harmful matter".
This bill, by the way, exempts libraries, museums and "transmissions
by franchised cable operators under certain circumstances". What
circumstances would those be? The amount of "circumstantial" money
the cable operators donate to the Republican Party as campaign
contributions perhaps? The harmful matter here folks, is the gray
matter in Sheahan and Mulliken's heads. Don't let these Washington
State bureaucrats tell your how to raise you kids!
If you want to decide for yourself what artwork or music you want to
see or decide for your own family what concert your kids attend
instead of letting government do it for you, contact the following
people and tell them so!