First it was the politically correct police. Then it was the “word” police. Now it’s the “cartoon character” police. Today, some politicians and activists cannot resist trying to ban the use of anything that they claim personally offends them or someone else.
Rep. Robin Kelly (D) of Illinois is one of those people. Kelly has proposed a bill that would ban the use of cartoon characters by the NRA, and any other form of advertising used to sell guns or gun paraphernalia.
It is ironic, however, that Kelly, a progressive Democrat, would find the use of cartoon characters to sell guns offensive, especially since they are used extensively in children’s schoolbooks across America to teach school children about gay, and straight, sexual orientation.
Obviously, Rep. Kelly believes it is okay to use cartoon characters in books like, “It’s Perfectly Normal,” and have them appear in full, frontal nudity, but not okay to use them in the NRA’s child gun safety programs fully dressed.
Kelly’s bill is hypocritical, propaganda-based, and being used only to influence one side of the gun control debate issue that has quickly found itself frozen on the House and Senate floor.
It is also a desperate attempt by Democrats to censor and control the marketing practices of specific, conservative-based groups, like the NRA, that believes in one constitutionally protected ideology, which is, of course – the right to bear arms.
It is also a bill aimed at further eroding the First and the Second Amendment.
“The Children’s Firearm Marketing Safety Act,” as responsible as it may sound, is another blatant attempt by the left to take control over what parents can and cannot make available to their children.
By banning the presence of cartoon characters in NRA marketing campaigns, Kelly is also hoping to control a marketing strategy that has been used in advertisements since “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit” was introduced by Walt Disney in 1927.
If Kelly gets her way, what will be next? Will she try to force religious book publishers not to use cartoon characters to teach children about God?
It is no different from liberal activist, Sally Kohn’s, aggressive campaign to ban the word phrase, “illegal immigrant,” by the mainstream, news media.
Both are classic examples of one person or a small minority trying to claim proprietorship over a word, a phrase, and even now, a marketing practice, to soil a political enemy’s message.
I remember for years, as a kid, I would watch cartoons on Saturday morning that depicted zany cartoon characters like, “Bugsy and Mugsy,” who would brandish pistols and shotguns at each other.
Those characters and scenes never left me with the idea that it was okay to take my dad’s shotgun and walk into my elementary school and shoot dead 16 of my fellow classmates. I guess I was one of those rare kids that was normal enough to know that Bugsy and Mugsy were not true to life, and something that I was expected to emulate.
That’s a reasoning skill that Democrats and progressive liberals think our children are not capable of possessing or one that we as parents fail to teach them.
It is sad, even in today’s society, that some people will try to limit and censor a practice that they benefit from themselves. The difference, I guess, is that some people feel that only they have the privilege of using such a practice at their own discretion.
The progressive left seems to be very selective on when it is proper to use cartoon-like characters in promotional material.
Remember the use of Bert and Ernie on last year’s New Yorker magazine? The Democrats did not complain when those two cartoon characters were used to celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision to ban DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act.)
If the Democrats think that the use of a cartoon character to promote a political agenda or sell a product is wrong, than maybe they should present a bill that would limit the use of cartoon characters in their own advertisements, and political cartoons.
But that wouldn’t be fair, right?
Tolerance is a one-eyed monster.
Joseph E. Rathjen is a freelance writer and an Opinion Writer at 1World Online – America’s Fastest Growing Social Research Engine.