****Even though the information in this post has been recently revoked as an urban legend, I thought I'd leave it up for one reason: we need to be more aware of what government officials are doing to our freedom speech. I shudder; what if this had been as real as I'd first thought? Of course, now my passionate outburst could be directed to those who began the urban legend in the first place, but that's their choice. Who am I to edit what someone else wishes to say? If I expect respect for my words, I should show respect to others as well.
And to think, I was about to write to Congress...
I get emails from the Atlanta Writer's Club. I'm not a member (yet), but they were kind enough to chat with me at a book festival one year and urged me to sign up for their emails. They appear to be a very informative, very helpful group of writers intent on helping authors succeed in the publishing world. They also happen to be on the forefront of news in the industry that I would otherwise never hear.
This morning, as I sipped my tea and checked my email, I clicked on the AWC's newest email. The title caught my attention: Read and Lead or Burn? "Great," I thought, "another book burning in some obscure location." Unfortunately, this was much, much worse.
It seems that there is a group of people out there (*ahem* Congress) who has "passed a Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act which has the effect of requiring the destruction of any children’s book published before 1985, due to trace elements of lead in the printed inks." I did a double take when I read this. Surely they jest! All children's books published before 1985? That's ludicrous! That would destroy millions of volumes of quality literature. They aren't kidding.
The more I read, the angrier I got. Congress is seriously advocating the destruction of all children's books published prior to 1985. Why? Because of a slight trace of lead. Last I checked, books were made to be read, not eaten. And according to the article, "a child would have to totally consume several dozen whole books to be endangered by lead content in the inks. "
I'll spare you the ranting. Instead, I'll give you the link and let you read it for yourself.
Check it out. What do you think? Personally, I'm going to write my Congressman and voice my opinion on this issue. No one has a right to ban books. No one has a right to tell me what I can and cannot read. And no one has the right to demand the destruction of pieces of history, of literature. To sum up my feelings on this issue, I'll end with a direct quote from the article:
"CPSIA was aimed at protecting the health of children—and who can argue with “safety”?—but if a conspiracy were bent on controlling ideas, this would be a nefariously clever approach."
PS: sorry to send a damper through the blog-sphere this morning. But I thought this was an important enough issue that needed exposure.