As a collector and avid reader of comics and manga, I am more than a bit concerned with a recent case involving comic collector Chris Handley. The man was charged and ended up pleading guilty to "possession of obscene visual representation of the sexual abuse of children" a felony under the PROTECT act. The medium was Japanese comic books. He may very well spend a goodly amount of the next decade in prison.
Its hard to defend such vile comics, but I can't say that lines on paper are worth a felony conviction. Unlike child pornography, obscene visual depictions do not involve an actual child being harmed or exploited in any way. However, many state that it causes or enables such crime.
In one discussion, my opinion that a graphic drawn depiction of a minor being abused was a victimless crime was countered by "horseshit". "it's victimless right up to the point where some unstable person decides he wants to go try this out on an eight year old". one worthy blogger said.
That sort of logic... Under that logic I would have to burn many of my books, too. My comics would fall into the same category. Movies? I don't think my action films are going to survive it. My first person shooter games are absolutely forfit. Angry german music? Gone. Cable television will need to be cancelled.
Think about all the crimes mentioned, depicted or described in these media sources. Guess what? Some unstable person could decide they want to try any one or number of these on someone else. Just let them watch Law & Order: SVU. After a good TNT marathon, you'll have more ideas for deviant crimes than you can shake a stick at. As an added bonus, POLICE BRUTALITY.
I'm ashamed that a pro-gun individual would use this argument. How many times we been told that we are nothing more than criminals that are waiting to commit a crime with our terrible evil guns?
It is not cool to defend some freak's comic about little girls getting fucked by farm animals. I shouldn't have to! Folks should just know not to make shit like that. However, I cannot say that its morally worse than a comic about kids getting slowly fed in woodchipper. Its all gross shit! But it is one of those slippery slope things. What's next? We gotta stand with even the bad stuff sometimes, to make sure the good is protected.
For some further reading here's a post by Neil Gaiman on defending 'icky speech'. There's an excellent Southpark that makes some interesting points about obscenity and weapons. "Good Times with Weapons."