With serial murderer Ted Bundy's admission last week that his crimes stemmed from using pornography, national decency groups launched a drive Tuesday to rid the nation of all hard-core pornography during President Bush's first term.
The 44 groups - including Utah Citizens for Decency and Families Alert in Utah - said Bundy's admission is proof that pornography is harmful to society and not just a "victimless crime." They also said they have forged a unified front to push a "Victory Agenda" of numerous steps to eliminate obscenity.They were supported by several congressmen - including Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
"Serial killer Ted Bundy admitted that pornography influenced him while he committed murder in several states, including Utah," Hatch said at the press conference announcing the drive.
"Arthur Gary Bishop, who killed five young boys in my state, made the same type of confession, " he said. "He even killed a 4-year-old boy with a hammer. When he didn't die immediately, he drowned him.
"Anyone who is a parent today has to be concerned about the onslaught of smut," Hatch said.
William D. Swindell, president of Citizens for Decency Through Law, said studies have shown that 81 percent of serial sex killers have said they have been users of hard-core pornography. "No longer can we ignore that because a few pornographers say they have an alleged right to First Amendment protection."
Hatch and the decency groups said many of the tools needed to eliminate obscenity already exist; now stricter enforcement is needed.
Hatch said, "We passed the Child Pornography and Obscenity Enforcement Act last fall, and it put some real teeth into our obscenity and pornography laws. But it was only one step. Now we must actively enforce those laws."
For example, the decency groups want U.S. attorneys appointed who will vigorously enforce anti-pornography laws.
Hatch expects his choice as the new U.S. attorney for Utah, Dee Benson, will be among the leaders in cracking down on pornography.
The groups said they met Tuesday morning with Attorney General Richard Thornburgh who supported their drive against obscenity.
AGENDA FOR PORN FIGHT
The "Victory Agenda" suggested by the decency groups includes:
-Ensure U.S. attorneys agree to full enforcement of obscenity law.
-Maintain the National Obscenity Enforcement Unity of the Justice Department.
-Have members of the Federal Communications Commission enforce laws against obscene television, telephone and radio.
-Have legislatures enact strict criminal penalities for obscenity distribution, adopt public health laws against peep shows, regulate display of nudity magazines and prohibit possession of child pornography.
-Better enforce exisiting obscenity laws.
-Use planning and zoning to limit where pornography may be sold and prohibit reckless distribution or display of pornography harmful to minors.
-Vigorously enforce anti-obscenity laws.