Animal cruelty falls short of the First

A law prohibiting video recordings of animals being “intentionally maimed, mutilated, tortured, wounded or killed” has the U.S. Supreme Court justices putting on their hypothetical hats and playing a round of the “what if” game.  The law was originally put on the books in 1999 as a direct response to gruesome “crush” videos where high heel-wearing women crushed small animals with their stilettos.  The law hit center stage recently due to the conviction of a Virginia man for distributing dog fighting videos from Japan — where the practice is legal.  The U.S. Court of Appeals overturned his conviction, citing freedom of speech.Unhappy with that result, the judicial branch decided it was time to bring in the big gunsand called in the Supreme Court.  It was then that the hypothetical situations starting pouring out — each justice seems to have his or her own scenario.Justice Antonin Scalia said, “What if I am an aficionado of bullfights and I think, contrary to the animal cruelty people, that they ennoble both beast and man?”  Justice Samuel Alito, however, seemed to express some of my own concerns in his hypothetical situation — he talked about the possibility of humans being killed and shown for entertainment value.  “Live, pay per view, you know, on the Human Sacrifice Channel,” Alito said. In my opinion the law should remain just as it is written.  I know some may view this law as a slippery slope toward the impinging of First Amendment rights, but I don’t.   As a whole, I trust in everyday American citizens to conduct themselves within the normal realms of decency.  But this law wasn’t written with the everyday American in mind.  It was written in direct response to a disturbing minority who takes pleasure in watching the crushing of small animals.    So I say keep the law as written, and if Scalia wants to see bullfights, he can fly to Spain.