The newest scourge: child-abusing clowns

Linda Beaudoin is a woman on a mission.  After Randy Miller, a 40-year-old professional party clown in the small town of Napanee, Ontario, pleaded guilty to child-pornography charges, Ms Beaudoin felt she had to take action.  According to the Toronto Star:

Beaudoin is spearheading a campaign for legislation that will make it mandatory for anyone working as a children’s entertainer — Santa, clown or Easter bunny — to be given a criminal-background check and be required to have a licence to make sure he or she is safe to work with children.

The Star piece is headlined, “Take child abuse seriously and license clowns, activist urges.”

I’m sorry, are we not taking child abuse seriously?  Are the police ignoring the problem?  Are offenders given a slap on the wrist?

No, I didn’t think so.  Nor is the specific issue, pedophile clowns, a real problem.  Miller wasn’t accused of harming any child, let alone one he was hired to entertain, nor was Daniel Gyselinck, another kiddie-porn devotee that Beaudoin likes to bring up.  The Star’s own contribution to discussion, John Wayne Gacy, famous children’s clown and serial killer, didn’t kill at the parties: he picked up drifters, runaway, hitchhikers, people who couldn’t be traced to him.

And it isn’t as if a child’s birthday party is ideal cruising ground for your lonely pedo.  Sure there are lots of children there, but there are also lots of parents and lots of video-cameras, and not much one-on-one time; the clown arrives, makes a few unrecognizable balloon animals, leads a sing-along, and bang, he’s outathere.

Finally, if there were a real problem, licensure wouldn’t solve it.  Miller, like Gyselinck and Gacy,  lacked a criminal record.  They all could have passed any background check; there was nothing in their backgrounds (Gacy had served time for a sex offense, but it had been expunged).  If anything, a license would give parents a false sense of security.  “Oh, we can leave little Johnny alone with Molest-o the Clown, he’s licensed. What could go wrong?”

I don’t want to be too hard on Ms Beaudoin.  She is obviously well intentioned; she was molested herself (by a family member, not a clown) and she wants to help save other children from her torment.  Still, what she’s doing can only be described as stupid.  It’s a futile and expensive attempt to solve a non-problem.

She does make one good point: “Exotic dancers need a permit; so do massage therapists. So why not children’s entertainers?”  Yes, lame and unconvincing though the case for licensing children’s clowns, mall Santas, Easter Bunnies, and so on is, the case for licensing the semi-skilled providers of similar services to adults is weaker still.

For one thing, if a dancer or masseuse decides to have sex with one of the customers, well, nobody gets so upset.

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3 thoughts on “The newest scourge: child-abusing clowns

  1. I would really like to meet you face to face after calling me stupid I can only say YOU HAVE TO BE A CLOWN
    Why would anyone NOT want A MANDATORY criminal background check on clowns and other children entertainers as they have for other professions & businesses You must be a clown
    I speak from experience
    I entertained children as a clowns for 5 years
    I also had to get a license With Criminal background check when I was an exotic dancer
    As far as you mentioning my abuse YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO EVEN BRING THAT UP This is about keeping kids safe
    Because I know the devastation of child abuse I want to make sure other kids never endure such pain & trauma
    I love to know who you are hiding behind a computer
    I have FACTS Tons of cases You are WRONG
    You are very rude and don’t care about children safety because anyone with common sense would want a criminal background check for those who work around their kids STOP Randy Miller & Daniel Gyselinck once out of jail (which is only 2 years ) will be on a sex offenders registry and are convicted pedophiles We do not want them to work around kids as clown OR other children entertainers working around children. There are many cases of convicted sex offenders caught working as clowns
    KEEP KIDS SAFE
    LICENSE & SCREEN WITH CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS

  2. You are incorrect about the details of John Gacy victims How would you know ?
    Where you there ?
    I have spoken to victims and parents of victim so I am much more informed than you are for sure
    I have been researching this particular case for over a decade
    Let me make you aware that had there of been regulations requiring an applicant to have a license with a criminal background check Gacy would of been denied
    DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF SUCH REGULATION ?
    We cannot allow convicted criminals to work around children,elderly and vulnerable and in allow them access into homes in the community without a criminal background check
    Are we nuts ?
    This is very scary and an urgent important matter
    Those who oppose such law must be looking at the financial aspect rather than the protection of children,elderly and vulnerable
    It is a shame that we as a society does not put more importance on those who rely on us to protect them
    SHAME ON HUMANITY –

    SHAME ON THOSE WHO IGNORE CRIMES THAT COULD BE PREVENTED

    REGULATE

    LEGISLATE

    DEMAND LICENSES WITH CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK
    TAKE ACTION -GET INVOLVED

    Google Stephen Lynn aka Mr Magic
    Convicted 3 times
    High risk sex offender
    Sexually abused his 11 year old assistant

    • “Let me make you aware that had there of been regulations requiring an applicant to have a license with a criminal background check Gacy would of been denied”

      Terrific, then instead the headline reading “Clown murders 33”, it would read “Would-be clown murders 33”. It’s a change, but not an improvement.

      I realize that the leap from “We must do something” to “This is something; we must do it” is a short one, but a mistaken one.

      Licensure is not going to save one single solitary child from harm, it’s just going to ruin a bunch of birthday parties.

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