The ratings for Benson, Arizona’s 97.7 Cave FM must be really, really bad. they have to be, because if anyone is actually listening, how did a public service announcement reminding pedophiles not to keep their dirty kid pictures lying around manage to air for two years before anybody noticed it? Yes they stuck the thing in the middle of the night, but seriously now.
The PSA has been broadcasting on CAVE 97.7 FM for two years in the midnight and early morning hours.
Paul Lotsof owns and manages the Benson-based radio station. The PSA is part of his own agenda.
An excerpt from the PSA states “Never keep paper pictures, tapes or films of naked juveniles where anyone else can find them. A public service message from the CAVE 97.7 FM.”
Lotsof disagrees with Arizona’s laws on child pornography.
In Arizona law, it’s called “Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.” It’s a Class 2 Felony and 10-24 year prison sentence per violation.
Penalties are intensified if the child is under 15 years old.
Stiff, but not entirely unreasonable. Where’s the problem, Paul?
“There’s no picture in the world that’s that dangerous,” Lotsof said.
Lots of noted there’s nothing wrong with possessing such images.
“Pictures of whatever you want to call them. They’re minors, they’re pictures of minors and you go to prison for the rest of your life for possessing them,” he said.
Well, maybe he’s got a point. Sometimes a picture is just a picture, and that’s a long time to go away just for looking at something you probably shouldn’t be looking at.
Lotsof said there’s a difference between distribution and creation of child porn and possession.
“The difference is one case, you’re molesting children and abusing them, causing children to do things that are not natural for children to do and the other case, they’re just possessing pictures. There’s no connection between those two,” he said.
Aaaaaand…he lost me.
Before someone can possess it, someone else first has to create and distribute it. Unless it’s a cartoon image which is a different argument for another day, the creation part means that somebody somewhere had to, what was it, cause “children to do things that are not natural for children to do”? I’ll grant him that the creator is more likely than not a worse person than the possessor and should certainly be way ahead of him on the time in custody chart (you wouldn’t send someone to jail for 10 years just because he got paid for legitimate goods or services with money from a bank robbery, for instance), but to say that there’s no connection between the two in cases like this is laughable. Everybody needs to possess money to function in our society. The same cannot be said for pictures of sexualized children. Beyond research or investigatory purposes, the list of reasons it’s ok to have those is pretty short, so much so that I think I’ve just covered it.
I’d be interested in hearing what sort of sentence he would be ok with and why, in his mind, it’s sensible to treat someone who contributes to a market that requires the abuse of children to operate similarly to someone who downloaded an MP3 or bought black market cigarettes. Morally if not always legally, there is a severity scale. And on that scale, child porn in any form rightly ranks very close to the top. You’ll have a fairly easy time making an argument for case by case discretion that I’ll listen to because mandatory sentencing is often so unfair that the punishment no longer fits the crime, but convincing me that generally speaking there’s no need to bring down the hammer on those engaged in something so hideous is going to take some work.