The first amendment guarantees the right of free expression to all citizens of the United States. Leonard Pitt’s writing “Who decides if it’s art or porn?” brings up a major issue with the first amendment of free expression. Pitts states his thesis towards the end of his article with the two questions, “What is the line where obscenity ends and art begins? And who gets to say?” I’m not entirely sure about the answer to the first question, but I do know that the government and the judges of the court have the power to decide what the difference is.
Pitts begins his article by drawing the reader in with his first statement that says, “YOU CAN’T BLAME Karen Fletcher for deciding not to fight.” This instantly made me as a reader, interested in finding out what Karen didn’t fight for. Pitts goes on to tell about Karen Fletcher, a pornographer, who was prosecuted for writing stories portraying the violent abuse of children. Fletcher received six months of house arrest, five years on probation, and a one thousand dollar fine as her punishment. Pitts brings up the classical argument that Fletcher is being punished for something she wrote that didn’t hurt or involve any children at all, they were simply made up stories. Pitts’ tone begins to become uneasy as he goes back and forth with his arguments about Fletcher’s pornography. He admits that he knows what she did was “repellent with no social value” and “her imagination is a garbage barge ripening under the sun.” The adjectives Pitts uses are heavy and cause our emotions as readers to arise. Pitts goes on to say with a sort of astonished attitude that we have a writer prosecuted in American, and for using only words. He again turns back on that statement and says words have weight, and I agree with him on that. Pitts then asks the question, “If the stories did not hard any children, does the government have a compelling need to restrict them?” He doesn’t know that it does and he says that if offensiveness is the main...
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