Censorship Essay

Censorship of Violence

Why does anyone care if our society is aggressive? Does the kid who decides to fire a gun into his school do so because he watched Natural Born Killers? Is violence in our communities really causing anyone any abnormal amount of heartache? To the victims, and the families and friends of the victims, surely it does. Perhaps there are still some individuals who care just for the sake of caring, not because they are grieving a loss. But what does it all mean, and what is causing it? Some will point fingers at their televisions and movie theatres and assert that they are to blame. Not being one in the habit of pointing fingers and making absurd accusations, I will explain the free will of man and his inalienable rights to free speech. To censor television and motion pictures because of one faction’s set of morals is earily similar to book burning. Censorship of media messages is an explicit violation of our constitutionally protected right to expression, and as such, should not be looked to as a solution for modern-day violence in society. The First Amendment states; “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” (Jefferson, US Constitution). We are an enlightened population well-versed in the understanding of our constitutionally protected natural rights. Freedom of Speech protects us, as citizens, from being persecuted for expressing our thoughts and ideas. This transcends into the idea of freedom of expression. We all have the right and ability to express ourselves, and to analyze the messages we receive. Our republic was founded on what were then radical, controversial ideas. The founding fathers understood the importance of freedom of expression. So why today do we not? Cries for censorship ring loudly across the nation. Kids are killing kids. Schools are slowly becoming places of violence, not educational institutions, and the solution is not to infringe upon our rights. Information is power. New ideas and thoughts propagate improvement. Without free expression, this is not possible. To control the free exchange of thoughts, ideas, and social and moral inquiry, is to severely handicap the intellect of our society. First and foremost, censorship is a blatant violation of free speech. Second, it is a poor approach to controlling the omnipresent problem of violence in society. In the novel…

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…lines of communication so that what is being watched is discussed. Teach the difference between reality and fantasy. It is not the duty of the government to monitor and regulate what Citizens do. This is a personal responsibility we have to ourselves. Open your eyes, pay attention to the messages around you, and make a conscious effort to analyze what you are accepting into your head. Censorship of media messages is an explicit violation of our constitutionally protected right to expression, and as such, should not be looked to as a solution for modern-day violence in society. Infringing upon our freedoms of speech and expression is not a substitute for being a responsible viewer. Paternalistic Moralism by the government limits our thinking. A universal code of acceptability confines our thoughts to that of one narrow faction. We have the right to express ourselves openly in many outlets. Censoring these outlets not only hurts the artist- be he a writer, painter, or musician, it also denies our society the opportunity to elevate its’ thinking. Censorship of violent themes in the media accomplishes little to nothing, and has the exorbitant cost of our personal freedom of expression

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