At least this is a step in the right direction. But would it have helped Amanda? No, not really. Amanda voluntarily put her pictures online, so the Law might not have applied in this case – this Law seems to cover only pictures that were intended to be private between individuals.
What those who are clamouring for new laws don’t seem to understand is that there were already laws in place to prevent all of Amanda’s situation, and what people tend to forget is just how many laws were broken by her and her family, so the introduction of new ones would seem to be pointless.
Firstly: ALL of the sites that Amanda used had warnings about nudity and age limits. It was made obvious what was legal and not legal, but Amanda chose to go ahead – even after being banned. But it should also be noted that Amanda registered on many sites with a false age. Thus, even if her age was questionable by any of her viewers, they could have always argued in Court that they assumed she was 18, 21 or whatever age she had entered. Just as much as viewing her pictures is seen to be a crime, unfortunately it is also a crime to supply these pictures, which Amanda did. Which, yet again, brings in the next big problem – if Amanda was too young to be seen as being guilty of any crime, then so were many of the viewers. So who goes to prison? Amanda aged 14 for displaying the pictures, or Joe Bloggs aged 14 for looking at them? Or both? Or neither?
Secondly: there are many laws concerning the use of drugs. Basically, the use of marijuana is illegal, so Amanda broke the law there. And although I haven’t checked, I’m sure that there is some sort of law that says allowing your child to take drugs is against the law – so her parents would be in trouble. And bearing in mind that Amanda was 14 and 15, I suspect the law is even more strict, considering that even the purchase of tobacco is subject to age limits.
Thirdly: under-age sex is a felony. So, Amanda broke the law again. We will see the same arguments applied: she was too young, so she is innocent, it’s all the boy’s fault. But as usual – if she was too young, then so was the boy. And, in my country at least, it is very likely that, given the circumstances, Amanda’s sexual activity would have come under close scrutiny from social services. And once more, the responsibility of the parents of all children involved would have been looked into.
Fourthly: much as in my second point, the use of alcohol is subject to many laws.
Fifthly: there are already laws in place to deal with bullying – verbally and physically. The fact that the physical bullies seem to have gone unpunished is yet another odd part of this puzzle.
So what can we learn? As you can see, there seems to be no point in instigating any law if people can simply appear to ignore it. Those supporters of Amanda who support Draconian measures and stiff penalties would actually have seen Amanda not perhaps in prison, but severely punished, and those who advocated punishment for the parents of bullies due to some form of negligence would also have seen Mr and Mrs Todd dealt with by the State for allowing their daughter to break all these laws.
So it’s not all about running around like headless chickens looking for new laws or initiatives. It’s all about education, responsibility, basic human common sense, for God’s sake! Just look at all the problems around this story, and you will see one thing writ large – STUPIDITY. STUPIDITY. STUPIDITY.
My hysterical recommendation for today: become Amish
My sensible recommendation for today: grow up and take responsibility.
My real recommendation for today: donate money to the Samaritans or ChildLine, or any other similar charities in your country.
Simply do something!