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I agree with most of what you say in theory, but I think maybe there's another aspect to this whole issue. We were all teenagers once, and yeah, we're all guilty of youthful indiscretions. While I never did the Polaroid thing, I understand the point you're trying to make about it. The thing is...I do think far more people today have cell phones than people once did Polaroid cameras. Cell phone usage and text messaging have become far more widespread than Polaroids ever did. Therefore, I think it's logical to conclude that what is sent in text messages has a much greater capacity to be spread around. Also, I agree that tagging a teenager as a sex offender is pretty harsh, but I think this issue goes MUCH deeper than just kids making poor choices based on feeling horny. It is a sad and disgusting fact that child pornography exists. I personally think that there should be zero tolerance for it, and if that is the case, it shouldn't matter WHO engages in it or what their age is. It's a slippery slope...if you allow some to get away with it, how long til others use that as an excuse to get out of child porn charges? I think people everywhere - teens included - need to understand that we will NOT tolerate child porn, PERIOD. Perhaps punishment could be a little more lenient for teens who make poor choices, such as being charged with it and having sex offender on their record, but having that automatically purged on their 18th birthday. Perhaps that would make them think twice about doing the same thing again. However, repeat offenders and those over the age of 18 should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I truly don't think the intent here is to punish teens. I think the root issue of this situation is child porn, and I hope you'll agree with me that child porn is something we just can't allow, no matter how old the offender or what their intentions were.
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