Today in irony, I'd like to introduce you to House Bill 2349. Presented by Sally Kern, it will beef up mandatory fines and sentences for any person convicted of "obscenity." Yes, you read that right. Sally Kern, the lady who makes her mark by offending gays, women, minorities and just about everyone else, wants to toughen up obscenity laws.
One Oklahoma lawmaker is pushing to strengthen punishment for anyone convicted of obscenity and in the process has shed some light on the wording of laws involving such crimes.We’re talking about House Bill 2349.Sometimes things we get in the mail can make us blush but what exactly is too hot to handle?One Oklahoma lawmaker wants to strengthen an Oklahoma law that basically says no one can publish anything that is obscene.But what is considered obscene?“It is patently offensive to the average person. It has a theme of interest in lewd sex and then to the average person has no literary, artistic or scientific value or purpose,” Kern said.
If obscenity is something that's "patently offensive to the average person," does that mean Sally Kern could go to jail for her hair cut, or would they arrest the barber from Bethany who gave it to her? Maybe both? Seriously, it's a legitimate question. Who's charged with obscenity in these cases? Is it the person who publishes the A&F catalog or the weirdo without Internet access who masturbates to it once it arrives in the mail?
Fortunately, KFOR went to a legal analyst who knows a thing or two about obscenity laws and/or masturbation:
Attorney David Slane argues cases like this all of the time.One you might remember involved a former Oklahoma City Police officer by the name of Maurice Martinez.One of his many charges included possessions of obscene material.“Say you were to receive a brown paper package in the mail and you can tell this is probably obscene material, my guess is you’d probably throw it away, but lets say you didn’t lets say you opened it and looked at it. Have you committed a crime? No.”But according to the law, whoever posted it online or sent it in the mail could be committing a crime, especially if it carries a generic label like “current resident” as many catalogs do.“I think something like a Victoria’s Secret magazine or something on Facebook posting because you distribute it to others when you send it could become something that a person could be prosecuted,” Slane said.Slane said while Kern’s intentions are good because it draws attention to a law that may be so unconstitutionally vague, it won’t hold up in court.He said it will ultimately waste tax payer dollars to defend it.
Thanks for playing along with the irony game, KFOR. Maybe the next time you get criminal defense attorney David Slane on camera you should sneak in a question about the trip to Peru where he and a couple of buddies rescued a village from snakes and floods and did not visit underage prostitutes. Remember that one?
Anyway, the only positive thing about this proposed law is that it might cut down on pornographic junk mail I never receive. I guess that would save a tree or two. Actually, we should just get the word out that strengthening "obscenity" laws is good for the environment. That will change Sally's mind.
Also, instead of calling this legislation House Bill 2349, can we give it a cool name? Maybe "The Sally Kern Vagina Anti-Obscenity Act." An offensive bill definitely deserves an offensive name, right? We should call it that at least until it passes and is signed-in to law by the Governor. Then we'll go back to calling it HB 2349. It's not worth all of us going to jail over it.