Now they want to send publishers to prison.
Where will politicians turn next after they have banned books in schools? Tennessee provided us with a possible answer this week: by punishing book publishers.
But it won't stop there.
Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and George Santos introduced legislation to regulate book publishing.
Tennessee State Senators advanced a bill on Monday, April 10th, that will make it a felony for publishers to provide books to school libraries that the state has disapproved. Already we have seen a number of states rip books from the shelves that politicians did not like.
Now, Tennessee is making it apparent they want to criminalize the publication of books these politicians disagree with.
Sign the petition against attacking publishers and the free market
You read that right. Publishing books that Tennessee does not like could soon become a felony. They are not hiding this fact. One of the bill’s supporters, Representative Bud Hulsey, was quoted as saying “The book gets into the library some way or another so we are going after the seller that provides it.”
This is not a shadowy effort with coded language. State politicians in Tennessee are openly targeting publishing companies. This is a censorship effort. The state of Tennessee wants to tell its citizens what they are and are not allowed to read.
It won't stop in Tennessee!
Legislation has already been introduced at the Federal level by Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and George Santos that would shackle publishing companies’ rights to a vaguely worded bill with similar aims. If the House decides that a book is inappropriate, that publisher could face massive fines or even years in prison. And who decides what is appropriate or inappropriate? Not the people who would be reading the books, but a bunch of politicians who want to tell you what kind of books you can and cannot read.
They will claim that this is about obscenity, but they've purposefully left obscenity go undefined and used this excuse to allow them to ban over 2,000 books including those about seahorses, johnny appleseed, and even hurricanes.
It is a blatant attack on the First Amendment. And now they are attacking the free market and private businesses. At a national level.
Your right as a parent to decide what your children can read will be gone if these laws are passed. Basic liberties that the constitution is supposed to protect, and the freedom to be a business with control over your own destiny is under threat right now. These are the things that are at stake.
Being able to choose what you want to read is a fundamental freedom in the United States, but it is being denied in state after state. Book bans continue to advance, and this is their next target: publishing companies.
Fortunately, it is not too late- but action needs to be taken immediately.
Tennessee is trying to decide what publishers are allowed to send to libraries, taking away your freedom to choose for yourself. Speak up. Let them know that you can decide for yourself what to read, and that politicians have no business making that decision for you.
Sign the petition to stop this today.