New Excuse for Banning Books

Because they might contain dangerous levels of lead and be harmful to children, so until they have been tested and proven safe they must be kept out of reach of vulnerable kids.

It all sounds a little whacko, and I doubt that many CongressCritters actually intended this result, but it certainly gives plenty of ammunition to self-appointed protectors of public morality, which I am sure they will make use of until someone stops them.

Here’s the official American Libraries Association statement.

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4 Responses to New Excuse for Banning Books

  1. Pingback: Cheryl’s Mewsings » Blog Archive » Attention Librarians (and their friends)

  2. Jonathan Minier says:

    On the banning of books, for fear of lead:

    Are the people who don’t read books, and want them banned (by that I also mean, “Who don’t read the books that they want banned.”) clever enough to come up with this kind of fiendish plot? Hmmm…unlikely, but frightening.

    It’s too bad that there isn’t more general education about lead out there. There’s a lot of scare about it, some of it deserved, I suppose, but I’ve learned through experience that anything the News is afraid of is only a 10th as scary as they present. Shameless, hysterical cowards, the News.

    Lead really is everywhere. It’s in the soil, everywhere. When I was a little tyke, I used to have fun smashing a bigish block of solid lead with a hammer-having been raised by parents and grandparents who highly valued my safety and quality of life, but who lacked psychoses/neuroses concerning that safety and quality.

    Along with learning to swing a hammer, I played with, and learned the use of, all sorts of tools-powered and otherwise. I sampled beer and coffee, as well as liver, oysters, and limburger cheese. I played outdoors and poked at squamous things with sticks. I got muddy. I ate dirt. I learned the use of things, and to respect things which could harm me, but not to fear them, lest fear dominate me. When I made a mistake, sometimes I was fortunate, other times I did get injured, but I healed, and grew stronger. When I deserved it, I got in trouble, and was gradually guided into seeking out and discovering what is Right and what is Wrong.

    I now hold down quite satisfactorily, a full time job with a major airline. I also have a mortgage, a solid relationship with my wife, and I live in a respectable neighborhood. After a childhood full of lead-smashing, in my youth my IQ tested at 153, and it still averages in at around 147 in recent tests. I have absolutely no criminal record, and a full head of hair.

    Another element I was exposed to, from an even earlier age, was books. Lots and scores and plethoras of books. An unimaginable (unimaginable by a 4 year old, anyway, which is when I began to read) cornucopia of books, on any and all subjects. It was glorious, a wonderful alternative world-and badly needed while I was suffering through the kinds of things supposedly well-meaning agendafied adults inflicted on children back then.

    If it hadn’t been for the books, I would likely have turned out badly. Malformed and slow, with a twisted mind bent towards social destruction and the flaunting of good Christian morals. Now this is 30 odd years gone by, and I’ve been reading for decades, without the benefit of gloves. My lead count must by now be astronomically high! I can only thank my voracious reading habit for protecting me from the scourge that might otherwise have consumed me.

    Were it not for my uninhibited access to all books-great, small, brilliant and terrible, why, lead might have won!

    Catcher in the Rye–great against lead!
    1984–a lead destroyer.
    Madame Bovary–just the very thing when your lead’s acting up.
    As I Lay Dying–kills lead, dead.
    Lolita–lead’s antithesis.
    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas—loathed and feared, by lead!
    A Clockwork Orange–not only is it great against lead, it’s metaphorically full of Vitamin C.
    The Harry Potter series–leadus dissolvo!

    So as you can see, lead can be beaten by education, literacy, and with an open mind.

    …Ofcourse, there are those who will claim, perhaps justafiably, that undisclosed exposure to any potentially harmful substance is a violation. I can, as a responsible and upright citizen do nothing else or less than point the Authorities that be in the right direction by noting that the most, and longest, printed book in the whole wide world is the Bible.

    Millions and millions of children have been exposed to the Bible, more than any other book, and thousands more are exposed every day. What’s in those leathery covers, that gold print? How much lead do those hallowed pages contain? Does that divine ink run red with cinnabar? What cellular damage occurs when I lay my hand on it and tell the Truth? I for one think it’s important to test all those Bibles, each and every one, before testing any other book, because no other book, none whatsoever, is as ubiquitous.

    Then again, it’s a lovely read. Not to mention it does a real miracle against potential lead-poisoning.

  3. Rob Crawford says:

    Goodness. I’m a constant reader AND I collect and paint miniature soldiers — many of them made of lead! I even have a pencil “lead” embedded in one hand from when I was in grade school — though that’s actually made of graphite, of course.

    According to the nannies, I should be dead, or at least severely brain damaged. Yet I not only live, I hold a quite demanding job in software development, using the brain they claim should have rotted away long ago.

  4. Mike Thibault says:

    I’m a librarian and not in favour of banning books for almost any reason. However, I don’t think that it is productive to belittle problems.

    The above posts remind me of my Father who insisted that his Mother smoked well into her 90s and was fine. It is a convenient way to ignore the risks because the danger is so far in the future.

    I thought readers were supposed to have longer attention-spans than that.

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