Gutterball: The Handley Verdict
I said before, and I will say it again: Thanks to an overzealous piece of legislation passed by Bush that treats drawings of children as though they were real people, an Iowa man now faces 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for buying sexually explicit comics. Ordering the wrong Japanese manga — or any other similar fictional material — now makes you the same as someone buying videos of children being raped, at least in the eyes of the law.
If I may turn the mic over to Neil Gaiman, who addressed the issue on his blog:
“Personally, I wish the CBLDF had been running the case, and not Mr Handley’s lawyers. I am sure they feel they did the right thing, keeping him out of prison for owning manga and not allowing it to go to trial, but it’s a bad outcome all around: bad for him, bad for comics and bad for the First Amendment.”
If you want to know more about the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and how they work to keep our first amendment rights from being eroded by thoughtpolice witchhunts like the one above, visit their site.