Eleven Year Old Exposed To Gay Porn At Barnes and Noble and They Knew This Sort of Thing Was Happening
By Brannon Howse
On June 5th, my eleven year old son joined me in a visit to our local Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Collierville, TN. I was horrified at what my son saw. Open on a table was a very large, full-color, picture book displaying a man in full frontal nudity. The cover was two men kissing with the title GAY SEX. Here is a link to the book. Warning.
This book was filled with full-color pictures of gay men doing what they do...Yes, it was that graphic.
The assistant manager told me that this was the second time that night this book had been laid open in the store. She also informed me that such books were regularly found in the men's room. I believe some homosexual or child predator was trolling and using the book to find a date or victim. The assistant manager told me a young boy had been sexually assaulted in the bathroom at this store and the man was never caught. She also said they had found a gun on the counter in the bathroom on another occasion.
My police department does not have a record of either incident which was very disturbing to a police investigator I talked with. I guess a gun in the bathroom and a sexual assault of a child would not be good publicity so not reporting it would be better? A friend of mine read my original article and called to thank me for taking this public because his elementary son has entered into this bathroom by himself a few times.
After sharing these disturbing stories with me, the assistant manger walked me to where the book was normally kept. Was it behind a counter? No, it was on the top shelf of a bookcase that any 13 year old could reach. Welcome to the 21st Century where being gay is mainstream and celebrated as normal in a family bookstore. Click the link at the bottom of this article and listen to my national radio program to find out what I am going to do.
I returned to the Barnes and Noble the next day to document the placement of their pornographic books. I have three places where books that included pictures of either homosexual porn or heterosexual porn were placed throughout their bookshelves. One section of books was low enough that my five year old could have pulled them from the shelf.
Collierville, TN does not have an ordinance that requires this type of material to be behind a counter out of reach of children or moved into a restricted area that requires a person to be 18 or older to enter.
This is one more example of where elected officials have the opportunity to implement public policy that protects the innocence of our children as well as accounts for their physical safety. You can bet I will be working for such a city ordinance as well as working to make sure state law 39-17-911 is enforced and there is a penalty for robbing my son's innocence.
I am working with the American Family Association to have an e-mail go to 3 million people calling for a boycott of Barnes and Nobel until they put this garbage behind a counter or in a restricted area where children can not see it or have access to it.
This story has now gone nation wide through my national radio program, my 30 minute appearance on the Michael Reagan program (son of President Ronald Reagan) as well as being a guest on the local program of Mike Fleming.
I am booked on numerous national radio programs this week. It is really too bad for Barnes and Noble that this happen to my son because I will use what most fathers don't have at their disposal....a national audience and friends who have big radio programs, TV programs and huge e-mail alert systems. My friend, Mike Reagan sent my national press release to the personal e-mail address of Sean Hannity and I sent it to the producer for Bill O'Reilly and he replied back to me. So, be watching because this mad dad is going as far as he can with this. I am fighting this not only for my son but for every parent and grandparent that joins me in being angry about Barnes and Noble's irresponsible and I believe illegal business practice.
It is really too bad the elected officials in my town are so clueless. A code enforcer where I live in Collierville, TN woke up my friend recently to tell him his for sale sign was 11 feet, not 12 feet, from the curb. He had just returned from driving all night long from Houston from a doctor's appointment. He is recovering from cancer. The code enforcers have made companies move a shrub a few feet to match their original landscape plan. Yet, no town code for a store to keep porn from a child. Thus, I have to run to an official in the county for help instead of in my own town where I live.
I think the elected officials in my town are straining at gnats and swallowing camels. I bet during an election year they will all be Mr. Pro-family now and they will be looking for that press coverage as the town hero by offering up an ordinance. Real sincere....thanks guys for being asleep at the switch. This is the same story repeated a thousands times throughout America.
I am so tired of watching elected officials use their positions to help their buddies, developer friends, and themselves instead of focusing on how they can fulfill the purpose of a limited government. I read recently of a mayor that is a realtor that appointed herself to her town's planning commission, a councilman that bid on a city project for his company and another councilman involved in a questionable land development plan. When will the American people wake up and see the danger our children face when we don't elect people to office who are pro-active, vigilant and focused like a laser on how they can protect and serve instead of how they can be self-served?
As far as Barnes and Noble is concerned, welcome to the 21st Century where homosexuality is now mainstreamed into a family bookstore that has a huge children's department. Sadly the chances are greater in some states that I would get charged with a hate-crime for speaking out about this rather than the store being fined.
I have received lots of e-mails since taking this story national and the stories are rolling in of many similar sad, stories at other Barnes and Noble stores and other such family bookstores.
Here is an e-mail I received Friday morning after this Thursday night incident. It turns out that this lady recognized me because she had attended our Worldview Weekend in Memphis, TN. This lady witnessed the entire incident.
Dear Mr. Howse,
As a parent, I was so very proud of you for the stand you took at Barnes and Noble on Thursday evening….I prayed silently as you spoke to the manager. The fact that your son was exposed to such material grieved me deeply and I have asked the Lord to restore his heart and erase that image from his mind. We are proud parents of 3 home educated sons: 17, 12 and 10 so we understand the importance of guarding our children's purity. After consulting with my husband, he said I should not let this go and contact the Collierville, TN police to investigate. I did so and spoke to a gentleman who was likewise deeply concerned about your son and what he saw…. He said the single most important action I can take is to go directly to Barnes and Noble and speak to the manager concerning my objection of certain materials they display. Again, thank you for being courageous and standing for truth and I am asking the Lord to help Barnes and Noble Clean House so that no children would ever again be exposed to material that harms them. If folks wish to purchase trash, there are places they may go, that children cannot. This bookstore has a responsibility to the public and children and they must be held accountable for what they display and sell……
……We must hold companies such and Barnes and Noble Bookstore to a standard of common decency. Last night, this basic principle was violated and your son paid the price. When the Lord goes before us, one voice can bring about change. It is no mistake that I was there and praying for you as you handled this difficult situation, in speaking out you are protecting the innocent from harm….. It would be a privilege to stand with your family in this. My 17 and 12 yr old sons were with me last night, it could have been them or someone else's' innocent child assaulted with such an image..........
We are joining with the American Family Association and calling for Americans to boycott Barnes and Noble on a national level until they change their policy and stop selling this material, place it behind a counter or in a restricted area where only 18 and older can enter. We will send out an alert soon where you can e-mail Barnes and Noble. The American Family Association will be sending their alert to as many as three million people. Remember, this could happen to your child or grandchild. Stay tuned.
Click here to sign our petition to Barnes and Noble executives:
Click here to listen to listen to my national radio from Friday June 6th that is all about this.
Click here to view the TN Law that proves that what Barnes and Noble is doing is illegal in TN. This same law can be found in every state.
Since posting our original article, we have learned from e-mails that the Collierville Barnes and Noble is now denying that the assistant manager told Brannon that a boy was assaulted in the bathroom and that they also found a gun in the bathroom.
How would the management know what she told Brannon, they were not standing there? Is the assistant manager now afraid of being fired for being so honest with Mr. Howse?
Regardless of their back peddling, these facts were not only heard by Mr. Howse and his son but by a mother of three boys. Here is her official statement.
Thursday Evening June 5th,2008 I was shopping at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore at The Avenue at Carriage Crossing in Collierville,TN. As I walked around the store, I came upon a conversation between The Barnes and Noble Manager, a tall lady with blond hair, and Mr. Brannon Howse whom I instantly recognized from a Worldview Weekend Conference. Mr. Howse was visibly concerned about a book that he was holding. Calm in his address, he proceeded to express to the manager that his son had just been exposed to a disturbing picture in the book. The manager, likewise was deeply concerned as he began turning the pages of this book to find the image his son had just seen. Upon locating the page, the manager expressed concern and proceeded to issue a sincere apology to him on behalf of the store. Her apology was genuine and she proceeded to share the following details with Mr. Howse. She said that this was the second time the same evening that the book had been left out in the store, openly displaying a picture. The manager also referred to an incident concerning a little boy that had been assaulted in the Barnes and Noble bathroom. Also, there was a mention about a loaded gun that was found on a counter in the store. The manager and Mr. Howse walked away to an isle where this book was supposed to be located in their store. She then stated that she was taking the book Mr. Howse had brought to her, off the shelf. These are the facts of the conversation that I saw take place between the manager of Barnes and Noble and Mr. Brannon Howse on Thursday evening, June 5th,2008. I witnessed his son Landon, standing close to him and my 17 year old son also witnessed Mr. Howse speaking to the manager that night. These are the facts of the conversation as I witnessed them.
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A big surprise
He was really surprised when his son saw his dad's picture in the book.
|Posted On: 08/25/11 11:47:21 AM
||Age 0, CA
I completely agree with you...
...in that books with pornography like that which your son saw should under no circumstances be readily available for anyone to pull off of a shelf at a widely visited bookstore. No child should be exposed to pornography, and the fact that Barnes and Noble has made it so easy is shocking. However, I see no reason for you to target homosexual porn. There is nothing "wrong" with homosexuality because it is just as natural as heterosexuality. You must understand that you cannot "fix" someone who is gay; you must simply learn to love and accept them for who they are. I myself have been questioning both my sexuality and society's general point of view on sexuality, but if any member of my family were to know of this, I would immediately be ostracized or sent away to have my mind corrected. Is that any way to treat people? We need to stop focusing so much on who other people love and focus on our own lives as well as things that truly matter such as the enormous oil spill not too far south of here. I am glad that you are taking such a stand against Barnes and Noble, but think twice before you persecute homosexuals in the process. They are people jut like you and your family and have no reason to be treated as anything less than that.
|Posted On: 05/28/10 09:14:12 AM
||Age 20, TN
Ya know what i dont believe you go to hell if u are gay and im not homophobc so u keep ur opinions to urself
|Posted On: 03/08/10 10:27:37 PM
||Age 11, ND
You really want to play that card?
Under the same logic, what if it had been a nuclear bomb? The point is that parents should be responsible for their children. What parent was letting their kid run around a store as big as B&N anyway. If they are old enough to run around on there own and not have their parents worry that they might walk into the adult section, which is marked, then obviously the parent doesn't really care what they see or do.
|Posted On: 10/18/09 12:54:57 PM
||Age 21, MO
One mad mother!
I am a mother of 6 children ages 12, 8, 4, 3, 1 and 6 mos. I just took my 12 year old to B&N last weekend to use a gift card he had received. I've been in there MANY times and never encountered such a thing. Thank goodness! I would have been mortified and would have done exactly what this father did! My son and I still have balances on our gift cards but will never again support this company until they remove that smut from their shelves. It's bad enough we have to put up with this junk on television (we recently downgraded our cable package to the "family package" to get rid of most of the filthy channels). Seems we'll have to order books from an online only company like Amazon or start going back to the library and checking them out. Very sad.
|Posted On: 02/24/09 04:29:11 PM
||Age 39, MI
I am so glad I found out about this before visiting B&N with my 4 small children, as I had planned to do this weekend!
|Posted On: 01/22/09 07:29:22 AM
||Age 33, GA
I have to agree (not w/ b&n)
First of all I do oppose even having that content in a store. However, the least they could do is move it somewhere out of reach of children and require someone to be at least 18 or older to purchase or view this material.
|Posted On: 01/01/09 03:34:19 PM
||Age 23, TX
Let me ask you something. Have you ever battled with bad thoughts/actions because of what you are looking at? to use the expression GIGO (Garbage in/Garbage out), I would argue that everything we watch/listen/do influences us and shapes who we are. True we can choose to view things like this. But simply because everyone else is doing it, does not make it right. The Bible does say if you even look at a women (or a man) and lusteth, you have already commited adoluatry. Thoughts lead to actions and actions lead to results/consequences...
|Posted On: 01/01/09 03:27:39 PM
||Age 23, TX
Porn on display
We recently got a new Barns and Nobles in our area. My husband and I stopped in to check it out. The first table I saw, not far from the front door, had a display of porn books. I turned around and walked out. I will NOT be returning to their stores untill they remove these books. Any child could have seen or reached these books.
|Posted On: 11/12/08 05:06:19 AM
||Age 36, MS
a church a lot like B & N
Has the man repented? Pray for him, for the church, for protection of the children. Teaching parenting is allowed, teaching children is not. Churches are full of porn addicts, men and women. I personally know of at least 8 in my church. We are working to help them turn from it. Pray against porn. Christianity Today has a section on their site called Your Church Safety Alert Bulletin. It may have some advice on the best way to deal with this. You can get their newsletter in email. But please keep up the prayers, pray porn out of your church. And thanks for reminding me, I need to do the same, not just on Sundays when we drive by the porn places to get to church. Bless you, don't give up, just be sure to do it God's way.
|Posted On: 10/22/08 08:02:49 AM
||Age 58, TX