Kalinara from the blog Pretty, Fizzy Paradise wrote a blog post responding to what I wrote about the Christopher Handley virtual child pornography case. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) decided to help defend. Kalinara seems to infer from my post that I think people who procure collect child pornography do not deserve to be defended in a court of law.
She wrote :
A guilty person is still entitled to a legal defense. A guilty person is still entitled to have the government prove every element of the charge against him. And he also has the right to make damn sure that his and anyone else’s rights weren’t trampled on in the process of proving the case.
This guy bought something that may or may not be considered child pornography. But he still has the right to a legal defense.
Everyone deserves a vigorous defense in court
I totally agree with this sentiment. Everyone deserves to be defended in a court of law. Even people who objectify young children as sexual objects deserve to be defended in our legal system. I don’t think people like me need to contribute to virtual child pornography’s legal defense.
Sure, technically, the material involved in this case is in the medium of a comic, but I read the 18-page indictment the Grand Jury returned against Handley. I read the description of the imagery. I’m convinced Handley’s interests and my interests are not the same. I see no commonality between the comics he reads and the comics I read.
I guess I feel the same way a rom-com movie fan would feel when asked to contribute to the legal defense of someone accused of importing snuff films from the Philippines. Just because the two share an interest in works created through the medium of film doesn’t mean the two are alike.
I support free speech
I believe in free speech and the First Amendment. That said, the artwork of children getting sodomized is not something comic book fans need to defend. The CBLDF obviously disagrees. I don’t have anything against pornography. I draw the line when it comes to pornography that objectifies children as sexual objects. I do not think the First Amendment gives pedophiles the right to procure images of children being anally penetrated by adults. I don’t.
That doesn’t make me a bad person. Really.
Don’t take it seriously. It’s only a comic book!
What I really don’t understand are those that argue that drawn child porn isn’t really child porn because it doesn’t involve real children. It’s only “lines on a paper.” For a long time now, we have been trying to convince people that graphic novels can be just as substantial or as important as works created in other mediums. The “lines on paper” argument all but rejects that.