WRITER Jason Hellinger
WRITER Maryhelen Guadiana
The right to tattoo is being fought in Hermosa Beach, California by John Anderson, owner of the Yer Cheat'n Heart tattoo shop. Anderson has been denied the request to relocate his shop from Gardenia to Hermosa Beach, based on the zoning laws that do not allow tattooing anywhere in the city. Officials claim its a danger to public health and welfare, Anderson already lost his case in front of a federal judge who ruled tattooing is, "not sufficiently imbued with elements of communication" therefore not protected under the first amendment. Its safe to say that tattoos are a part of mainstream culture at this point. So the fight shouldn't be about whether or not people have the right to tattoo; the fight should be about regulating the industry and making it safe for the public such as regulating ink. Furthermore its slightly discriminatory to deny a cultural expression rooted in deep tradition that goes back hundreds of years. He's taking his fight to the court of appeals this month and we wish him the best of luck.