Is America ready to repeal the first Amendment and regulate Hollywood and the video game industry? Free speech absolutists point to their peaceful enjoyment of action-packed Blockbuster movies where protagonists of those films are often portrayed slaying hundreds of people in simulated scenes of violence.
Yet, journalists are broadcasting America’s call for an end to the tragedies through the regulation of this so-called freedom that has already killed too many. “The debate is long overdue. The mass-killing perpetrated by America’s free-speech culture is our hottest story today,” said one network reporter. “Adam or Ryan Whats-His-Name was just another face. The real problem that must be addressed is America’s sick love affair with unsanctioned ideas and unfettered access to violent imagery.”
The founding fathers could not have imagined high-capacity mass-communications networks when they wrote the Constitution. Thomas Paine was a pamphleteer, not a mass merchant of kill porn on iTunes. Indeed, in the age of quills and parchment, Thomas Jefferson could not have imagined tweeting, or using the cable news industry to launch into the superstardum of American’s celebrity culture overnight.
“I’m a free speech moderate,” said one New York Times reporter reflecting upon the recent tragedy, “I’m in the news business because of free-speech. But, I’m also here to make a difference. If, because of this overdue regulation, it becomes more difficult to speculate wildly about the identity of the shooter based on an intern’s cursory scan of social media, so be it.”
Stephen Taylor, “Time to look at repeal”, Stephen Taylor, 2012-12-17
December 18, 2012
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