Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Cindy Sheean-esque use of dead soldier names may be banned in NJ

Although there may be some First Amendment implications with such a law, it doesn't sound like such a bad idea. From NJ101.5:
Assemblyman Sean Kean is sponsoring legislation that would make it illegal for someone to use a dead soldiers name or picture for political or commercial purposes without the consent of a family member. Kean says these people have paid the ultimate sacrifice and now someone is using them to make a buck. The Eleventh District Republican's proposal would fine violators up to $10,000 for a first offense and up to $20,000 for any subsequent offense.

Bradley Beach resident Sue Sullivan supports the measure. Her son, Lance Corporal Vincent Sullivan died while fighting in Iraq. She later found out that anti-war t-shirts were being sold on the internet with her son's name on them. She was appalled and angry when she asked the person selling the t-shirts to take her son's name off and he refused. Sullivan then contacted Assemblyman Kean to see if he could help.

The legislation was introduced last month. Kean says two other states have passed similar laws. He says Federal legislation is pending.

But will this ever makes it to a vote in the Assembly?

Wow, what a great idea! But why stop there? Let's pass a law prohibiting even DISCUSSION of the fact that 3,133 members of the U.S. military have died in Iraq since the war began (as of 2/15/07, that is -- check in for regular updates at

The decision to enter into and continue to fight a war is the greatest single responsibility of a democratic citizenry. One of the most relevant factors in that decision is the loss of life by members of our armed forces. How dare the government of the state of New Jersey attempt to regulate that discussion? Is this what our children are fighting and dying to protect?

By the way, if this visionary statute is enacted, will it also "protect the memories" of the approximately 60,000 Iraqi civilians killed by military intervention in Iraq? See No, sorry -- silly question.
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