Clowning around? Maybe not.

Gacy Clown

Oh my gosh. Clowns freak me out, especially ones like these. But I’m sure it’s nothing compared to the horrors children (and parents) experience when they find out their entertainer is…a pedophile?

Or worse, a serial killer.

Pictured on the right of the above photograph is John Wayne Gacy, a notorious serial killer who dressed up as a clown for birthday parties and such. Plus, there have been many cases of clowns committing child abuse while on duty. Will you dare to employ a clown again?

That’s why people are now calling for laws mandating clowns be licensed (see article.) But is this really necessary? Yes, clowns are creepy and some are nasty, but that doesn’t mean the entire industry has to be licensed. Clowns are employed so often both casually over the Internet and in professional agencies that it’s neigh impossible to monitor all hirings of clowns. And most clowns don’t have the opportunity to be alone with the children for long – the event that precedes most clown child abuse incidents. What’s for certain is parents should not leave their children alone with clowns, or with anyone they don’t trust. (Note: Babysitters SHOULD be required to have licenses.) The ultimate responsibility of taking care of the children belongs to the parents. They decide who takes care of their children. As for clowns possibly doing wrong things to children at parties, as long as parents keep their eyes on the kids, they can’t go wrong. Forcing clowns to get a license for that is like asking people to get a license to walk on the street. There’s always a chance strangers have bad intentions, no?

Update: And even IF you require clowns to have licenses, you can’t guarantee there won’t be child abusers / clowns lurking at your door. Not all of them have criminal records, and there’s always a black market. Parents should attack the heart of the problem – being responsible for looking after their kids, and not hope that enforcing laws will keep their children safe. The people that really benefit from this are the companies that do the licensing. They’ve got a lot to gain.


Author: Jessica Y

Economics student at the University of Cambridge. Aspiring data scientist.

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