The Devil Made Me Do It

“The devil made me do it,” used to be a facetious mantra some years ago. Most people knew it was facetious, and few ever took it seriously, always aware of their own personal responsibility in the “do it” part.

I have enormous sympathy for Holly Jones’ family. What happened to their daughter was terrible. Despicable. I have four children myself, and when I think about what happened to Holly, and look at my own children, I shudder. The thought crosses my mind that I should be keeping especially my youngest, not quite 2, under my own lock and key at all times to protect that innocent, adorable and awesome human being from predators that would harm him.

I cannot fathom what I would do, and how I would react to someone brutalizing any of my children. I have seen a lot of violence in my life, and I know I would be capable of reacting violently toward the person that would have no respect for my children’s lives.

In the end though, I probably would not react with violence toward the monster. Unless I caught him or her in the act; then my actions would be of defense of my children, using whatever force was required to stop and prevent the actions, while also endeavoring to apprehend the evildoer.

Many loving parents imagine the same scenario occurring to their children, and say they would have no qualms about killing such a monster if they could get their hands on him. Personally, I don’t believe this to be true. Most parents, although they say they would kill another, would only do so in defense. After the fact, while killing the perpetrator may cross their mind at times, would likely never be carried out.

Why is that? Why doesn’t the devil make the parents of such victims stalk the perpetrators of the crime to kill them? While most of us in Canada and North America (the entire world, probably) might empathize with someone who actually did spend their energies stalking and killing such a monster, we wouldn’t condone it, would we?

The problem is, the devil doesn’t cause anyone to do anything. In the end, it is your personal responsibility for any actions you take or even don’t take. All choices are yours. All decisions are yours. You may be motivated in some ways by circumstance, but even that motivation is not cause for your action.

Which brings me to my concern about the massive public demand for, and politicians presently electioneering at the moment stating their goal to, ban access to child pornography.

I do not condone child pornography. I do not have any of it, I do not want any of it, and I hope that none of those I would associate with, have possession of it – at least how I would define child pornography.

As a human being who has made many many choices in life due to whatever motivating circumstances were present, regardless of whether it was buying a car, having sex, or writing a blog, all actions are my responsibility. The only pictures that made me do anything were the pictures in my mind combined with my own intent. I don’t even accept the defense of being intoxicated causing an inability to form intent. I don’t buy it whatsoever. I’ve experienced intoxication, and yet was still able to form my own intent with regard to what I was going to do or even not do.

Banning child pornography is not going to solve the problem of predators who would go and force another human being to do things, or force themselves upon a child, and then kill that child.

Michael Briere had issues far more than peering at pictures. And he knew he had done something despicable, and needed to provide some sort of “justification” or excuse. Child pornography was his excuse, which simply helped to ease his mind about what he had personally chosen, with his own intent, to do.

Banning child pornography and then trying to define what exactly child pornography is, will not stop future Michael Breieres of this world. It will however, prevent parents from taking nude pictures of their toddlers in the bathtub. Make sure their 3 year old daughters have tops on at the beach. Give neighbours who don’t like each other, or like their values, an excuse to make false accusations of possible sexual molestation just because their kids bathe in the swimming pool in the buff.

I don’t believe that the pictures my parents took of me naked in the bathtub when I was a toddler, are child pornography. Neither my parents nor myself can control the thoughts or intent of some individual who sees such images.

I don’t know what the answer is to the Michael Brieres of this world. But if you think banning child pornography, and creating a new bureaucracy which will help you define what sort of pictures you can take of your children will stop the monsters, you’re hopes will be dashed the next time this happens in spite of the strictest controls that would ever be implemented.

Child pornography, no matter what we think of it, is not the devil. The devil is inside our own heads. And he’s called, “blame.”

Maybe the existence of child pornography in this world simply gives us some ‘comfort’ when we try to fathom the mind of a Briere. We can take out our rage on something other than that which deserves the rage we have – the monster who actually, with intent, committed the horrible act.

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