Saturday, October 06, 2007

The latest buzz

Say what you will, but Alabama is a state that never backs down from a fight. Even when it starts one by accident.

The normal pattern is for the state to do something indefensible, then spend countless hours and taxpayer dollars fighting a court battle over it, and then be ordered to do what it should have done all along anyway. (Examples abound in recent years: Fix your child welfare system, don't overcrowd your prisons, give adequate funding to traditionally black schools, etc.)

But something funny happened on the way to an inevitable loss this week: Alabama actually won one of those court battles. At long last, after almost a decade, the state is safe from the scourge to end all scourges: the sale of pleasure devices.

Yes, we have banned the sale of sex toys, and even though we may well have done that by mistake, we have defended the honor of that fine piece of legal craftsmanship to the bitter end. As a result, people in our fine state now must limit themselves to owning and using sex toys, but they cannot dare to sell such vile implements. Unless someone could find a "bona fide medical, scientific, educational, legislative, judicial, or law enforcement purpose" for those objects. (Legislative purposes? Really?)

Attorney General Troy King's office has wasted no time notifying the state's police and district attorneys that open season on sex toy sales is coming soon. But for some strange reason, those officials seem to feel that it's more important to stop murders and rapes and robberies than to ensure people can't buy anything to buzz or hum near their naughty parts. Just listen to the Madison County DA: "We've got plenty of work to do. We don't need to be going out drumming up business. We've got real crimes."

Common sense. With no court order required. Imagine that.

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