In 2003, Barbra Streisand sued Kenneth Adelman for taking photographs of her home in California. Before the lawsuit, few people were even aware of her home. Yet, by bringing a lawsuit Streisand inadvertently thrust the photos into the realm of the Internet. They were mirrored worldwide. Here’s one now:
This has become known as the Streisand effect. In essence, by attempting to censor information you may draw more attention to it.
Such is the case of one Jerry Bledsoe, who is both the chief of the Kelsoe, Police Department as well as a captain within the Scott County Sheriff’s Department. Jerry Bledsoe, incidentally, also resembles Saddam Hussein. The issue arose when Bledsoe demanded that a gentleman relinquish his firearms because was “disturbing the peace.” You can read the ACLU complaint of the incident. Or, if you prefer, you can watch the video of what happened:
Did I mention that Jerry Bledsoe resembles Saddam Hussein? Well, the gentleman who was asked to surrender his firearms noticed this. And he said as much on the Internet, in addition to further criticism of Bledsoe. Bledsoe, according to the ACLU:
In response, Officer Bledsoe sought and obtained an ex parte order of protection that required Klaffer to remove all video, pictures, and text data referencing Officer Bledsoe from the Internet and to refrain from posting any such data in the future. As indented by Officer Bledsoe, the order acted as a prior restraint on Klaffer and forced him to censor his expression critical of Officer Bledsoe’s actions as police officer.
In short, Bledsoe used his position as a police officer and the power of the courts to censor criticism of the event, including criticism of Bledsoe himself. Among that criticism? The claim that Bledose resembled Saddam Hussein. Here is one of the “banned” images:
Now, Klaffer did the right thing. He refused to surrender his firearms. And he was arrested. As Henry David Thoreau wrote in Civil Disobedience, “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.” And that day a just man spent the night in prison.
Contact information for Jerry Bledstoe is listed as:
P.O. Box 279
Kelso, MO 63758