I’ve been trying to rationalize the news that the Florida House declared pornography a public health risk this week, minutes after rejecting consideration of whether to ban assault rifles in the wake of a school shooting in Parkland that left 17 dead.
Most people, I think, would consider the largely unregulated sales of high-capacity, quick-reloading, military-style rifles to people as young as 18 a lot more of a public health risk than say, watching a short, poorly lit movie about a pizza delivery that takes a surprising plot twist.
I don’t know what the pornography death toll is in Florida, but I’m guessing that far more people have lost their lives in the bang-bang of rapid fire semi-automatic weapons fire than the rapid dropping of bodies in “Chitty, Chitty, Gang Bang.”
After all, when’s the last time a high school had to be locked down in response to an “Active Porn Shooter” on campus?
And what’s the protocol for that? Maybe shelter in place, until you hear the wah-wah guitar music stop. Stay away from all windows, doors and hot tubs. If you hear moaning, don’t call 911.
And what does an anti-pornography first responder look like? The uniform’s bound to have several protective layers and a mask.
The pornography resolution appears to be a calling card for State Rep. Ross Spano’s campaign for Florida attorney general. I guess this means that Spano, R-Dover, will run on a campaign of ensuring that movies involving scantily clad women motorists whose vehicles break down in remote locations patrolled by hunky tow-truck drivers just stick to the needed fan belt replacement.
Spano’s pornography resolution says that “efforts to prevent exposure to pornography, to educate individuals and families concerning pornography’s potential harmful effects, and to develop pornography recovery programs should be systematic.”
Not to be too picky, but as a family man, I would consider my children’s exposure to the harmful effects of crowd-killer weapons, unlimited ammunition and zero accountability through private-weapons sales to be a systematic failure of state lawmakers to protect its residents against a far greater health concern than access to “Throbin Hood,” “Add Momma to the Train” and “Free My Willy.”
Nobody bleeds out with pornography.
And even if you’re an anti-pornography crusader, it’s not as if the Florida Legislature has just done something about it, unless you count grandstanding.
The empty-gesture resolution acknowledges “the need for education, prevention, research and policy change to protect the citizens of this state.”
But it doesn’t offer a single dollar, policy or educational initiative to support these campaign-empty words.
In other words, these lawmakers were just shooting blanks.
All while the gallery of their chamber was populated by the children of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, children who had just survived a mass shooting with real bullets on their Broward County campus and had taken a bus to Tallahassee, hoping to see something done about the life-and-death issue they just faced.
These high schoolers didn’t even get to witness a gun discussion. The chamber voted 71-36 not to even talk about regulating AR-15 assault rifles.
Now that’s pornographic.