In my opinion, Government censorship is extremely egregious in every sense, and the fact that my own state’s legislature seems so on board with the idea is very troubling. Ben Baker has introduced a bill to attempt to bar young people from getting access to “age inappropriate” or sexually explicit content, people rightfully became upset. No government in any place in this country, or on this planet should be responsible for what people can watch, read, speak, or hear.
In the bill, it is stated that librarians who go against the proposed bill could face jail time. That is extremely concerning to me. No government should be allowed to decide what a child can read, if there are to be restrictions it should come from a parent, not a state government who could care less for the prosperity of an individual’s knowledge.
The situation seems to be eerily similar to the novel by Ray Bradbury titled Fahrenheit 451 in which all books and written text are banned. If passed, this bill could cause serious problems with society, specifically local government, considering this is a state issue. Relating again to Fahrenheit 451, I strongly feel that this could start with something seemingly docile, and spread rapidly to other formats. If so, it could be adopted nationally and developed into online media. Hypothetically even streaming services could face mandatory age restriction, along with YouTube, bookstores, comic shops, everything.
In the article written by The Guardian, they discuss some of the penalties of the librarians who do not comply with the bill, those being a misdemeanor charge, and possibly a year’s jail time. The article also details the specifics of the bill like parental approval still being active, and while that’s fine, I still find it extremely concerning that a librarian could potentially serve jail time for checking out a copy of a book to a child who wants to further their personal knowledge.
I strongly support the idea that every person, children included (with parental guidance) should be allowed to watch, read, say, or do anything they please. Granted it stays in the confines of constitutional law. National government is the last thing I want bearing down on what I can do, and when I found out it was a state issue, I became more wary. I hope people read into this issue and take censorship seriously. It could stand between you and making your voice heard.