The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE), the bookseller's voice in the fight against censorship, today defended the right of booksellers to sell controversial titles like The Anarchist Cookbook and Happy, Happy, Happy by Phil Robertson, star of the Duck DynastyTV show. Both books have been the subject of controversy this week–The Anarchist Cookbook for the role it allegedly played in a school shooting and Happy, Happy, Happy because Robertson was recently suspended by the A&E Network for criticizing "homosexual behavior" in a magazine interview.
Reporters have asked Amazon and Barnes & Noble whether they will continue to sell the books. ABFFE President Chris Finan said that the question reveals a lack of understanding about bookselling. "Booksellers sell books, including books that some people find offensive," he said. "While booksellers make individual choices about what to sell, we believe our customers have a right to purchase any book that is protected by the First Amendment."
Anarchist Cookbook, which was published in 1971, was linked to a school shooting in Colorado on Friday because Karl Pierson, the shooter, reportedly read the book.