Kiddie porn is a symptom of a sickness so abhorrent that any society which professes to love its children must strive to eradicate it.
Unfortunately, the B.C. courts do not agree. On Wednesday, that province's court of appeal upheld an earlier ruling which stated the possession of child pornography is not a crime in B.C. In fact, said the B.C. court, the law against such possession is unconstitutional.
While this ruling is not binding on courts in other provinces, it most certainly opens the door for defence lawyers to use it as a precedent.
The immediate beneficiary of this ruling is the slimy John Robin Sharpe, a Vancouver man who insists that sex between children and adults is quite all right. And that's the problem, right there.
Abhorrent as the possession of child pornography is, it is the act of sex with children that ought to primarily concern us. Child porn is a symptom of a dreadful illness in society, it is not the disease itself.
For, suppose we take away Sharpe's collection of kiddie porn, mistakenly thinking we have solved the problem, and next week we find out that this monster has molested a child.
In ridding ourselves of child pornography, we run the risk of cleaning up the appearance of the sexual abuse of children, not the abuse itself.
It is obviously important to identify our primary goal, which has to be the eradication of the sexual abuse of children, for then and only then will child pornography disappear.
Pictures are evidence of, in this case, unspeakable acts. Unfortunately, it is not always that the possessors are the perpetrators. Many have simply and easily downloaded these photos from the Internet, a fact which should make even the most avid technophiles stop and think about the seeming impossibility of regulating cyberspace.
More importantly though, how do we get the message across to each and every one of our citizens that we will not tolerate the sexual abuse of children.
The question is what to do with the John Robin Sharpes in our society? After we come up with an answer, perhaps we can simply throw their porn collections on the garbage dump where they belong.
Yes, child pornography is wrong, but the act of sexual contact with children is an evil so horrific that it is not to be tolerated. Ever.
Prime Minister Jean Chretien says he will not recall Parliament to allow legislators to rewrite Canada's law against possession of child pornography.
We want him to recall Parliament, but we want him to do it in order to formulate a workable plan to rid our society of the sexual abuse of children.