Amazon and The 1st Amendment

…with liberty and justice for all. But the question is—justice for whom?

The self-published book The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-lover’s Code of Conduct is available on Amazon. Despite the cyber-wide calls for a boycott of the online megastore, Amazon has decided to keep the book available for purchase, citing the author’s 1st Amendment rights.

Now, I’ll start by mentioning that I’m a doting mother and have a law-enforcement background, so those two factors play a strong role in my disgust with the situation. Child molestation is a crime—legally and morally. The young victims are scarred mentally, emotionally, and often physically, for the rest of their lives. As far as I’m concerned, the rights of innocent and helpless children should ALWAYS come before the rights of anyone who seeks to exploit them for money or for prurient interests.

I don’t believe an “author” should have the right to promote, instruct, or encourage pedophilic acts. And I’m pretty sure the founding fathers of this country would drop their fountain pens and load their muskets to protect their children from pedophiles, no matter what the 1st Amendment says. And I would be right beside them with my Beretta.

Now, that being said, I’m also in the publishing industry and this situation raises serious concerns about censorship. September 25 – October 2 was banned books week when millions of readers (myself included) embraced the 1st Amendment and celebrated the freedom to read what they choose. And, as writers, we celebrated the freedom to write without fear of being censored.

So, I guess the question is—where is the line between social justice and personal liberty? On which side do you stand?

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