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A democratically controlled, California legislative committee went
sane on April 4, 2000 when the “Safe Public Libraries Legislation,” a
Parental rights measure, cleared the California Judiciary Committee,
5-0.

Following a spirited debate on what constitutes “harmful matter” and
“parents rights,” led by Sen. Steve Peace, D-El Cajon, in his scathing
condemnation of the American Library Association and the ACLU as
“hypocritical” free speech advocates, Sen. Ray Haynes, R-Riverside, won
a unanimous victory for his parental rights library bill.

Haynes’ bill, SB 1412 would forbid rental of “R” or “NC-17″ videos to
minors under 17 years of age and would allow parents to know if they are
paying a fine for books such as “The Anarchist Cookbook” or films like
“Natural Born Killers,” both “available to minors at public libraries,”
said Sen. Haynes.

Despite indignant protests by ALA and ACLU witnesses, Peace sided
with Haynes saying that if “children go to Blockbuster Video to rent an
R-rated movie, they are properly denied this privilege as a matter of
corporate policy. As state legislators, it is our job to ensure that
this community standard is also upheld in taxpayer-funded libraries.”

Haynes cited the Columbine tragedy as raising public awareness of the
need for parental involvement in their children’s lives — even when the
brainwashed bureaucrats who run our libraries disagree. “This bill
begins to address that failing,” said Haynes.

As an expert witness for Haynes, I described some of the weighty data
I have gathered studying mass media effects over the last 30 years.
“Harmful Matter,” ? 313 in the California code, protects minors from
material that “appeals to the prurient interest … depicts or describes
in a patently offensive way sexual conduct … (or) lacks serious
literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.”
If something is “commercially exploited by the defendant for the sake of
its prurient appeal, that evidence is probative … and can justify the
conclusion that the matter lacks serious literary, artistic, political,
or scientific value for minors.”

Empirical evidence that sexual and violent material are “harmful
matter” began with the sophisticated Greeks who crafted the word
“obscene” (“off-stage”) to describe their treatment of graphic violent
and sexual material. And, Deuteronomy 4:15 warns beware, “lest ye
corrupt yourselves — and make you a graven image, the similitude of
any figure, the likeness of male or female
” (photography is a graven
silver process).

Following up on the corruption theme, March 3, 1865, President
Abraham Lincoln signed the “Lincoln Law” outlawing anything “tending to
stir the sex impulses or to lead to sexually impure and lustful
thoughts,” saying, “no obscene book, pamphlet, picture, print, other
publication of a vulgar and indecent character, shall be admitted into
the mails of the United States.” Imagine!

Thousands of research studies showing media “copycat” effects support
Greek, biblical and Lincolnian findings.

Major studies began in the 1950s, were repeated for the surgeon
general in 1972 and 1982, were reconfirmed in 1986 by the attorney
general’s Commission on Pornography, and were confirmed again in 1992 by
the ultra-liberal American Psychological Association. What is
glamorized in the media causes copycat behavior in vulnerable youths and
adults.

Advertising’s annual billions of profit are based on that causal
relationship.

Reiterating the theme of media causing copycat conduct was Former
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop. He said that violent and
pornographic media are a “crushing public health problem … a clear and
present danger … blatantly anti-human. … We must oppose it as we
oppose all violence and prejudice.”

Even liberal television luminary Bill Moyers, in “Bill Moyers’ World
of Ideas,” observed that the “transition from things imagined to things
real is a very easy one … and men, no less than children, will suit
action to fantasy.” Humans imagine doing something before
actually doing it. And, nothing has formed our imaginations more than
the obscene post-1948 Kinseyan mass media.

Writing in Stop Teaching Our Kids To Kill, Lt. Col. Dave
Grossman and Gloria DeGaetano document the mass media’s arrogant lust
and appetite for “harmful matter,” graphic sex and violence. These
authors, like Koop, called for “action against TV, movie and video game
violence.”

It is well past time for the American polity to recapture our mass
media. History, religion, science and liberty require that sexual and
violent “copycat” media be “off-stage.”

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