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'Virtual Reality' Pornography

June 11, 1996

Once again Alan Dershowitz has shown that, while he might be blessed with the most brilliant legal mind in America (he certainly thinks so), he also has the moral sensibility of a tick ("Don't Criminalize 'Virtual Reality,' " Commentary, June 6). This might be the first time that I agree with Sen. Orrin Hatch, but I think depictions of child pornography, even those obtained without using actual minors, can and should be banned by a self-respecting society.

It might be true, as Dershowitz states, that "the vast majority of people who get their jollies from watching kids have sex do not themselves engage in sex with children" (although, as a father, this statement fails to reassure me about the actions of the not-so-vast minority); nevertheless any type of kid porn desensitizes our society and makes it likely that the acts in question will begin to be viewed as within the acceptable range of sexual behavior, rather than as the horrible aberration that they are. People who watch kid porn need urgent therapy, not increased access to the material.

GIULIO M. ONGARO

Tujunga

* I cannot understand Dershowitz's utter lack of common sense concerning the protection of our nation's children! What benefit to society is "kiddie porn" whether it is computer-generated or not? If we don't protect our children from these sick people, who will?

Not even in America do we have total freedom of speech, especially when it is so destructive to children. In my opinion, Dershowitz is a nut case!

CAROL SCHNEIDER

Los Angeles

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