Does Ice Cream Man = Pervert?

Hi Readers! There’s the boogey man and then there’s the ice cream man. But thanks to a country suffused with predator panic, the two are fused together like the twin sticks of a  Popsicle.

It’s the same if you are guy and you want to work in day care, or as a birthday party clown, or even as a Cub Scout leader: everyone gives you the extra once over. God forbid an adult male likes being around kids! In our society, we’ve been conditioned into distrusting that. Hence, this latest proposal:

Earning the right to sell ice cream or any products door-to-door in Attleboro [MA] could soon require an extensive background check. City Councilor Mark Cooper will introduce an item at Tuesday’s council meeting calling for state and federal fingerprint-based criminal history checks for people applying for certain licenses….

“I don’t think it’s an invasion of privacy to make sure the ice cream man isn’t a person who would harm our children,” Cooper said.

His proposal — or at least the ice cream part of it —  is based on two entirely false premises:

1 – The idea that ice cream guys are creepy pedophiles until “proven” otherwise.

And

2 – That background checks make anyone safer. Considering that the majority of the guys on sex offender lists do NOT pose a threat to kids AND that the majority of the people who DO pose a threat to kids are NOT on the list  — what is the POINT?

Only to reinforce our fear of men around kids, period.

“This ordinance is based on paranoia, not on safety, and certainly not on common sense,” says Ben Miller, policy analyst at the think tank I’m working with, Common Good. “The real menace isn’t the ice cream man—it’s the bureaucratic license requirement making it harder for entrepreneurs to create jobs in a struggling community.”

Bureaucracy and fear go hand in hand.

Wait a sec! Isn’t that kind of…pervy? – L

How terrifying!

How terrifying!

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73 Responses to Does Ice Cream Man = Pervert?

  1. Lola April 4, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    It would be a waste of time anyway, as there is a poor chance children are going to be allowed to buy ice creams on their own…
    I’ve said before that maybe it would be a better idea to just chuck all kids in a pretty jail, where they would be constantly supervised and kept safe from the scary outside world, but it seems more and more that parents and schools are already doing a good job of that.
    Sigh…

  2. Captain America April 4, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    Heck, I’m sure it’s not an invasion of privacy for the public to ask City Councilors to take background checks, etc.

  3. Tony Shreck April 4, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to find the local Dairy Queen franchise owner supporting this push, much like the way roadblocks (rimshot) have been put up against food trucks in various places.

    [ Full disclosure: I love Dairy Queen, just picked it as an example of bricks and mortar ice cream ]

  4. Emily April 4, 2013 at 9:53 am #

    This is pretty stupid. The ice cream vendors don’t even have that much contact with kids–they aren’t caring for them on a day-to-day basis, like in a day care or a school, they aren’t interacting with them on a weekly basis like they would as a Boy Scout/Girl Guide leader or peewee sports coach, and their contact with children consists entirely of scooping them an ice cream cone (or pouring them a slushy, or handing them a Popsicle), and taking their money in return. I can see how the large vans might be a little scary, to some, but it’s not as if the ice cream trucks come after dark, right? Surely someone would see an ice cream vendor luring a child into the back of the van, if it was in a public place, with lots of people around. That’s where the ice cream vendors usually go here; to the park on summer evenings when there’s a baseball game. So, any “foul play” would be witnessed by all the baseball players, their coaches, and any parents who might be around. However, the chances of that happening are slim to nil, because most ice cream vendors don’t drive trucks around here, they ride the Dickie Dee pedal carts, like this one: http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3319/3424565763_8f8bcf540c.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.flickriver.com/photos/30410674@N08/popular-interesting/&h=375&w=500&sz=200&tbnid=-NzxJjZerLiSHM:&tbnh=104&tbnw=138&zoom=1&usg=__SDvzrjvqLwyHqyjvfwNc7xbG4cQ=&docid=wIQYoIv0pnL0oM&sa=X&ei=PYZdUbfRGYSu2QW_ooCwBg&ved=0CGUQ9QEwBg&dur=117

  5. Emily April 4, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    P.S., I noticed after the fact that that’s a Blue Bunny ice cream cart, but the Dickie Dee ones are the same design, except with “Dickie Dee” written on them.

  6. BL April 4, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    Who background-checks the background checkers?

  7. C. S. P. Schofield April 4, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    Can you imagine the squawks of outrage if somebody suggested that, in order to hold public office, like City Councilor , you should have to pass a rigorous background check, with special reference to possible child molesting?

  8. Earth.W April 4, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    I move that all males be euthanised at birth. Saves all the hassle.

  9. pentamom April 4, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    Good points, Emily. The ice cream man sells his stuff out of a truck ON THE STREET. He doesn’t drive up back alleys. Generally they are in the truck, on one side of the counter, the kids outside the truck, on the other.

    It’s just another example of the myth of the tireless, infinitely resourceful, omnipotent molester. The time and effort it would take to get a job selling ice cream, and drive the truck around all day, just on the off chance that you might be able to lure a child into the truck in broad daylight on a populated street is ridiculous. And as I’m pretty sure ice cream truck drivers are contractors who have to buy their ice cream and gas up front, it would be horrendously expensive to do that job with your main effort being directed toward anything other than selling ice cream — you’d be paying for the privilege.

  10. lollipoplover April 4, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    Is there any basis to the perverted ice cream man (besides David Lee Roth) that warrants background checks?
    And what about candy stores? Bouncy house indoor playrooms? Starbucks?
    We could background check the entire world and it wouldn’t make us any safer. Perverts are everywhere and trying to limit our exposure to them by limiting their employment opportunities doesn’t solve any problems.

    The only “check” I require of our local ice cream man (Ivan- same route 11 years) is no circling around dinner time. He is also very patient with children and large amounts of small change. That’s good by me.

  11. JMW April 4, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    Will ice cream gals (there must be some, right?) be subject to the same background checks?

  12. Warren April 4, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    Then by extension, the following people need to have background checks.

    1. Any corner store owner or employee. Most corner stores sell candy, pop, chips and other kid friendly items. Then there is the fact that kids will actually enter the store, and at times when they are the only customer in the store.

    2. Clowns, mimes, magicians, and any other performer that could use their persona to “groom” children.

    3. Any one in the fast food industry, or food truck industry, as these places tend to draw the attention of children, and provide numerous ways to lure, groom, abduct, and molest kids.

    4. Each and every woman that has a positive pregnacy test, and the man she agrees is the father. Then each and every male member of both sides of the family. This is a must, because we all know that most acts are commited by family members.

    5. Each and every male within a 5 or 6 block radius…………………………………………….

    Ahhhhhh to hell with it. Just round up all the men, quarantine them in prisons, and the kids will then be safe.

  13. Papilio April 4, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    A well-known expression in Dutch is the following little rhyme:

    Een mens lijdt het meest / van het lijden dat hij vreest
    A person suffers most / from the suffering that he fears

    Then I looked it up and discovered it’s a rough translation of a quote from Michel de Montaigne:
    “Qui craint de souffrir, il souffre desja de ce qu’il craint.”
    He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears.
    (Book III, ch. 13.)

    @Earth W.: What an excellent idea! 😀 I read a hilarious column (“Übermensch”) a few months back by a guy with the same proposal to improve mankind (after a lot of complaints about disappearing hair, males with bad manners etc, and how he’d even passed his bad genes to TWO sons). He also thought we then should use the proper hormones on the female embryos so that the whole population would be lesbian, and ended very dry (with a HUGE understatement, of course!): ‘It’s isn’t exactly what the nazis had in mind, but they weren’t always right either.’

  14. CrazyCatLady April 4, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    Specifically, how many cases of convicted ice cream truck/peddlers molesters are there in MA? Have there actually been enough to justify someone working on the paper work for them rather than just doing some real work? Have there been ANY?

    I agree with others. ALL elected officials should have to have background tests AND lie detector tests. Too many of them have the “Do as I say, not as I do” mentality – saying they are for marriage between a man and a women then go out and cheat on their wife with another woman or another man.

  15. marie April 4, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    Specifically, how many cases of convicted ice cream truck/peddlers molesters are there in MA?

    Many, many, very scary cases!

    Imaginary cases, anyway.

    Next, the local news anchor will gravely intone, “Could it happen here?”

  16. Jim Collins April 4, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    Tony, I’d say it was the companies who do background checks that are pushing this.

  17. Merrick April 4, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    Our ice cream man knows me and my kids. He pulls onto our tiny one-block street and parks in front of my house (admittedly – our house is in the middle) and waits patiently for me to come running to buy goodies. When we don’t come out, he waits a while then leaves. I don’t know his name off the top of my head… but I do know where he lives (he parks his truck in front of his house). He seems to be a nice guy. I have no idea of his background and couldn’t care less. All I care about is whether he has giant ice cream sandwiches and Ninja Turtle ice cream pops. What if he DOES have a criminal record?

    Eventually if every job requires extensive background testing – how will rehabiliting ex-criminals ever develop lives again? Our system of justice is built on the idea that someone can atone for their crimes then put them behind them. Our modern society is more and more dismissing that idea and assuming that anyone who ever did anything wrong is a constant threat. And can never resume a functional place in society.

  18. Really Bad Mum April 4, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    There is no ice cream truck….. It is a music truck and they painted ice cream pictures on for fun…

  19. Susanna April 4, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    What about the bookmobile ladies? They have a much larger truck.

  20. Melissa April 4, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    I live in Mass, although not in Attleboro, and I’m not sure exactly where this stems from, BUT… There was recently a big to-do here in Mass because a pedophile was discovered to be running a licensed daycare here and was abusing kids for years. Then a study was conducted and something like 137 licensed daycare sites were listed with the same addresses as the addresses used by registered sex offenders. That’s a pretty freaking huge number for 1 state, I don’t care how you spin it, or how free-range you are. So I just wonder if this in some way stems from that…? That article says bueaurocracy stops entrepreneurs, but in Mass there’s a lot if things that seem to fall through the cracks. I’m not saying I completely agree with this, I’m just tossing out a possible reason WHY.

  21. Ange April 4, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    I don’t know, I did have a friend that had an ice cream man who came round at about 2AM, but he wasn’t exactly selling ice cream and there weren’t any kids around to chase the van.
    We have a lot of DIY ice cream vans in our town, and I’m a little leery of them, but only b/c I worry for the safety of the food, since they are unregulated.
    Other than that, chasing the ice cream truck is a rite of passage in my opinion.

  22. John April 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    I would be inclined to ask Mr. Cooper to provide me with statistics and data that indicate how many ice cream men OR door-to-door salemen (women) have molested children while on their door-to-door routes. I’m sure the silence would be deafening.

  23. Maggie April 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    The way things are going, men have more reason to be afraid of children than the other way around.

  24. Warren April 4, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    Might as well face it. In the United States it is politically correct to do pretty much anything in the name of keeping our children safe……………with the exception of owning a gun.

    Could I get an attorney to clarify something for me? In the Constitution, which amendment states that when it comes to matters of childhood safety, then all rights and privelages in the Constitution are void?

  25. lollipoplover April 4, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    @Susanna- don’t forget those Art goes to School buses that frequent pre and elementary schools. You can cram a lot of kids in those, too.

  26. marie April 4, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    Melissa is referring to this:

    … an audit that found 119 instances where the address listed for Level 2 or Level 3 sex offenders in the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry matched that of an EEC licensed child care provider….

    In four cases, EEC revoked the providers’ licenses because its operators had knowledge of the registered sex offender status but did not report this information to EEC

    After the audit, four day care licenses were revoked. Four of 119 instances. I don’t know what that means, exactly. It would be useful to have some examples of what offenses were represented among the 119 cases. Instead, all sex offenders are painted with the same broad brush.

    Someone who is 19 when they have sex with a consenting partner who is 16 will forever be marked as someone who had sex with a 16-y-o. Doesn’t sound so bad when he/she is 19 but years later when he/she is 45, it sounds a lot creepier though the registry probably won’t clarify that.

    Or a case in which an older sibling molests her 8-y-o brother will forever have “8-y-o victim” on the registry long after both children are grown. Not all sex offenses have anything to do with children, either.

    Not all sex offenses even have to do with sex. Public urination? Streaking? Mooning? I don’t know about Massachusetts but other states include those “offenses” (which used to garner a ‘tsk-tsk’ at most) on the registry.

    The registry isn’t helpful when you try to figure out who is truly dangerous to you and your family.

    On the MS registry, level 3 means highest risk. Only levels 2 and 3 appear on the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry, if I understand this correctly.

  27. Captain America April 4, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    This is a bit humorous to me, since our local ice cream truck is run by a local, a bit older, couple, who are bored silly by the tinny music on the thing and love to go out on weekends, have a beer and watch local bands. I think they’re a bit jaded with the business.

  28. Donna April 4, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    Oh yes that hotbed of child molestation – ice cream trucks.

  29. JJ April 4, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    Not that it paricularly matters but the proposal doesn’t say anything about ice cream trucks. It specifically says ” the right to sell ice cream or any products door-to-door.” Ice cream is sold door-to-door? The whole thing (ice cream sellers being perverts, a problem with intrusive door to door purveyors of ice cream) sounds like a made up problem.

  30. Warren April 4, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    How about we look at it this way.

    These offenders, were first locked up, and when they completed their time and parole. They were done. That was considered fair and just.

    Then society imposed the registry, for no practical purpose, but to monitor, and further punish these offenders. And society looked the other way, because these are sex offenders, and our emotions say they do not deserve a fair and just outcome.

    Now we have cities building micro parks to force these offenders to move out of areas, due to restrictions of what they can live near. And society looks the other way.

    It starts with ice cream trucks, and now that the door is open, you know they will expand the list of occupations, just like they expand the list of offences, that get you on the registry. And society is going to look the other way again.

    How long before anyone on the registry will never be able to find work.

    One other question, not issuing a license for an ice cream truck unless you pass a background check, can they legally do that, or would that be considered discrimination?

  31. marie April 4, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    Yes, Warren.

    As to your question, it probably isn’t considered discrimination because sex offenders are not a protected class.

    In fact, they are so far from being protected–with their addresses published for anyone to see and with the current atmosphere of vilifying sex offenders–that the registry has enabled the murder of people on the registry.

  32. Puzzled April 4, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    Warren – the tone of your comment, and its melody, read very much like that famous quote about “when the came for the … I did not speak since I was not a …” I think it’s just as true.

  33. Puzzled April 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    By the way, my guess is that a large part of this background check lunacy has to do with lobbying by background check companies. They probably just lobby at the media directly, though.

  34. John April 4, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    I just read the article from the Attleboro newspaper and the few comments below it. Most of the commentors thought that this was the greatest idea since sliced bread. One lady said the ice cream man took down her daughter’s name and address….eeek! and this is why she felt that background checks for ice cream men were important. Wish I could have told this lady that perhaps, her daughter showed some interest in the ice cream so the ice cream man took down her address so he could stop directly in front of her house during his next route in order to make a sale AND to make her daughter happy at the same time. But noooo, of course he wanted to break into her house to molest her!

  35. craftykd April 4, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    My daughter is just about to go on her first overnight excursion with a well known organization for girls. Rule brought up at “orientation” – they are required to “avoid having men sleep in the same space as girls and women” so no male relative may stay to sleep. They can attend the evening program, but must leave at bedtime. Mothers, aunts, adult female cousins, sisters, friends of the family, what have you, are all ok to stay and snooze (1 female “parent/adult companion” per girl), no background check required, but no fathers.

    Um, I’m guessing the girls (4 – 7 years old) that were there with their fathers sure wondered what that was all about…

    “Why can’t you come on the sleepover, Dad?”

    “Because I’m a man, and therefore automatically a risk for various *things*…”

    Honestly… :-(

  36. Donna April 4, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    Warren,

    Society isn’t looking the other way. Society is cheering the laws on. The bulk of society wants these laws. They want sex offenders out of their neighborhoods. They want sex offenders to suffer as much as humanly possible. And they really want sex offenders to violate all these stupid rules that are so technical and change so often that it is impossible for me, a criminal law attorney, to keep up, let alone a person with an 10th grade education and 90IQ, so that they can put them back in prison where they belong (society’s opinion, not mine).

    They’ll feel kinda sorta bad for the young pup who had consensual sex with an underage girl – but only kinda, sorta since he shouldn’t have been having sex anyway – but everyone else is getting exactly what they deserve.

    “One other question, not issuing a license for an ice cream truck unless you pass a background check, can they legally do that, or would that be considered discrimination?”

    It is likely legal. Unless the person is part of a protected class (race, gender, sometimes age), a law needs to just be rationally related to a public interest. Sex offenders are definitely not a protected class and laws are always found to be rationally related to a public interest.

  37. Donna April 4, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    “Um, I’m guessing the girls (4 – 7 years old) that were there with their fathers sure wondered what that was all about…”

    While this is wrong on so many levels – what about the girls who have only a father? And who don’t want to sleep in a strange place overnight without a parent? 4-7 is young for that. My kid will do it but some of her friends still don’t.

    Why are we making these kids feel even more of a loss for no real reason? And why is everyone (in society, not here) so okay with it?

  38. mollie April 4, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    “… the majority of the people who DO pose a threat to kids are NOT on the list – what is the POINT?”

    EXACTLY.

    What IS the point? Is there a single high-profile “stereotypical child abduction” case where the perp was found on the registered sex offender list? Or had any official “record” with the cops?

    Here’s how predators work: they are con men. They get very close to the PARENTS AND AUTHORITIES as well as the kids, they earn the trust of the whole organism so the kid feels hopeless about reporting the abuse. Just because we were utterly blind to this for most of human history and finally got wise to it a few decades ago, now we have to treat everyone with a penis who applies for volunteer work or a career in the proximity of children as a likely pervert?

    How about this instead: we admit that we cannot suss out potential predators. Period. We just can’t. But we can teach our kids that there is absolutely nothing they can’t tell us and still be loved, that there is absolutely never a time when they should accept touches OF ANY KIND from ANYONE if they don’t want it.

    See, we teach kids to fear and accept authority, we teach them to override their instincts of self-preservation, we teach them that adults are more powerful than they are, and they are to follow the directions of every adult right to the letter. This is the recipe for disaster, not the men selling ice cream.

    Lordy, Lordy, how did we get this so backwards?

  39. Donna April 4, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    “What IS the point? Is there a single high-profile “stereotypical child abduction” case where the perp was found on the registered sex offender list? Or had any official “record” with the cops?”

    There have been several. Polly Klaus is one that comes to mind. The girl in Florida – the new sex offender law we were talking about a few weeks ago is named after her – is another. Jaycee Dugard is another.

    It happens. Putting them on a list does nothing to prevent it.

  40. mollie April 4, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    How about we just do this to every male who reaches sexual maturity, and if they fail the test, they are quarantined to a special concentration camp where they are guaranteed never to harm a child?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penile_plethysmograph

    Stuff like this makes me want to write a dystopian sci-fi novels.

  41. craftykd April 4, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

    Donna, you’re so right. I don’t think any of the girls in this unit are in that situation, but I’m sure many are around the world. The leaders were actually quite apologetic, like they didn’t necessarily want to follow the guideline, but they had to…

    My daughter will likely go on her own, she’s the oldest girl in the unit (7) and she loves stuff like that. But really, even if it’s *not* a single father, maybe the girl would just rather have her father there, or the mother can’t do it that night, or whatever the case may be.

    If they’re “apologizing” for the guideline, that tells me they know it’s not right…

    I really hope daughter doesn’t change her mind and want me there. Due to health concerns, I don’t really do well on truncated sleep, and I’d rather her father went in that case, but that’s not an option. Not that he would want to go, mind you, so that suits him fine… :-)

  42. hineata April 4, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Sooo ridiculous!

    And while children in the States are in so much danger from the ice cream man, on the news the other night Syrian children were playing in bombed out streets and helping treat their adult neighbours in makeshift clinics. One gorgeous young man of eleven was shown cleaning the facial wounds of a fighter – the addendum to the report was that he (the boy) had been killed three days later in crossfire.

    We in the West need to get over ourselves. Seriously…

  43. Lyndsay April 4, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    I am so tired of the blanket fear of men. Until he decided to go to college, my daughter’s assistant preschool teacher was a nineteen year old man. He was kind and gentle. The kids adored him and would do anything he asked. He could calm them when no one else could. As amazing as this young man was, he constantly had to deal with questions of why he was working there. To the school’s credit they never even really acknowledged that a male preschool teacher was unusual. They instead acted like his youth was the cause for concern and their answers to parents focused on his training and the mentorship of the lead teacher and how great he was with the children. Some men just like children. Just like some women can’t stand them.

  44. Donald April 4, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    Us vs them. The more people get stressed, the stronger the urge to adapt the us vs them mentality. Don’t take my word for it. Google search “Reptilian brain” or “Triune brain”.

    The more the reptilian brain becomes the boss, the simpler the thinking. Things are black and white, or us vs them. The part of the brain that uses common sense starts shutting down. Common sense tells us that promoting suspicion will erode communities. Creeps and pedophiles are easier to spot in a friendly community because people know each other. Also, injecting children with fear and suspicion will attract creeps to them and will hinder their ability to deal with the problem.

    However the reptilian brain (also known as snake brain) is unable to comprehend this. The neocortex part of the brain gets bypassed. It only sees a threat (real or imaginary) and makes that the number one priority.

  45. Erica April 4, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

    Usually I agree with your posts 100%, but not so much this time. Anyone that can listen to the music coming out of those ice cream trucks for hours on end must be up to no good!

    (I’m joking of course, but seriously what’s up with that music?!)

  46. Kimberly April 4, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

    The comment about the girl’s group reminded me of something. When I was in Girl Scouts and first started to go camping – most of the parents that went were Dads, including my Dad.

    I wouldn’t have been allowed to go if Dad hadn’t been allowed to go. Mom Camping was NOT going to happen. Due to some medical conditions one of my parents had to go.

    1. We still had IDIOTS trying to prove I’m not allergic to peanuts or that I can’t have a contact reaction to peanuts.

    2. I had a couple of mystery life threatening reactions to something. I hadn’t eaten anything so whatever it was was either touch or airborn. (I found out recently that several types of vendors at the outside events where the reactions happen used peanut oil for safety reasons (higher temp to start a fire), so I was probably having a reaction to oil dropplets in the air.)

    There were several families my parents trusted to be able to handle a life threatening situation with me, but they either weren’t part of the GS group or unable to go on the trip.

    So I’m glad that my Dad was able to go and I had a blast camping.

  47. Yan Seiner April 4, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    @Erica: Do you watch Warehouse 13? My favorite is when he shoots the clown on the ice cream truck!

  48. Dmd April 4, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    So sad: I have such fond memories of my childhood ice cream man: Jimmy the Ice Cream Man, which I’m sideways his given name!

  49. Jill April 4, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    “Considering that the majority of the guys on sex offender lists do NOT pose a threat to kids AND that the majority of the people who DO pose a threat to kids are NOT on the list”
    can I see the source for this claim?

  50. Jane April 4, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    On the flip side, we had issues with the neighborhood ice cream man dealing drugs to the adults at 11pm at night. While he was a model citizen with regards to the kids, he did attract a less than savory element to our street. Sometimes it isn’t always about the kids.

  51. Yan Seiner April 4, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    @Jill: in many states you can get on the sex offender list for things like urinating in public or changing your underwear in your car. The problem is that the “sex offender” list is really the “prudes don’t like it” list, and the list of offenses that will get you on that list is being expanded all the time. We have a case right now that will probably expand the law…. Taking pictures covertly of a female (or maybe a child, not really sure yet) without her permission will end up with you being on the sex offender list. No sexual contact, or even direct contact is necessary, just being “creepy” in someone’s opinion.

    Pretty soon most of the population will be eligible for membership. When everyone is a sex offender, no one is.

  52. amy April 4, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    But wait! Are you sure it’s an ice cream cone the man (in the old photo) is holding? And why’s the other guy got his back to the camera? What’s he hiding?

  53. bmj2k April 4, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

    Does anyone ever challenge anyone onthings like this? Can they show statistics about how many ice cream men have assaulted kids? Can they show any rational basis for their paranoia? No one ever challenges anyone on wacky nonsense anymore.

  54. Warren April 5, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    @bmj2k

    Anyone who challenges this is accused of not caring about the safety of our children. In a how dare you tone of voice.

    You are not seen as a realistic person with common sense. You are seen as someone who wants perverts to have an all access pass to the children.

    And that is the problem. When it comes to safety of “the children” there is never a reason to not change anything. Because they always come out with and firmly believe in “Better Safe Than Sorry”

  55. Donald April 5, 2013 at 1:20 am #

    @bmj2k

    This does not have to make sense. When the reptilian brain takes over, it has final say because it ‘outranks’ the neocortex. Also, the reptilian brain is not equipped to comprehend common sense. It’s job are simple things like heartbeat, survival, and the four F’s (Fight, Flight, Fear, and Sex)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reptilian_brain

  56. Ben April 5, 2013 at 5:12 am #

    @Melissa, there is a big difference between background checks for daycares and icecream trucks. I generally wouldn’t put kids in the care of a salesperson…

  57. BL April 5, 2013 at 7:36 am #

    @Donald
    “When the reptilian brain takes over, it has final say because it ‘outranks’ the neocortex.”

    So helicopter parents are reptiles. I’d been thinking of something more in the donkey family but this makes as much sense …

  58. pentamom April 5, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    “One lady said the ice cream man took down her daughter’s name and address….eeek! and this is why she felt that background checks for ice cream men were important.”

    ROFL. She thinks it’s a danger to her child if the man standing RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER HOUSE makes a note of her address.

  59. Captain America April 5, 2013 at 9:20 am #

    My guess is that it’s a business thing. . . trying to map out profitable routes to travel along.

    Gas here is about $4 a gallon.

  60. pentamom April 5, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Captain A. I think you’re probably right.

  61. Warren April 5, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    Common sense says the ice cream man sees she is always coming to meet him, so he finds out what house is hers, so he can stop there. Another nice gesture warped into eek a male.

  62. pentamom April 5, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    I just read the comment in original context. It’s even sillier:

    “I had an incident when my daughter was younger and the ice cream man took her name and address and started showing up in our neighborhood. ”

    WHAT??? An ICE CREAM MAN

  63. Really Bad Mum April 5, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    Background checks are not necessary as since it seems it will soon be illegal to let anyone under 30 out of the house without parental supervision and their hand being held, Mummy will be the one at the truck buying the ice cream for their little darlings…

  64. pentamom April 5, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    Oops, sorry…

    An ICE CREAM MAN started SHOWING UP IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD?

    Horrors! What will happen next? Will we encounter nurses in HOSPITALS, preying on vulnerable patients? Firemen showing up where buildings are BURNING?

    This creepy guy in a white truck (and who knows what goes on in the back of that truck!) comes by my house every day around the same time, Monday through Saturday. He even leaves stuff in my mailbox, sometimes for my CHILDREN, and he stops in front of EVERY HOUSE IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD. I’m sure he’s casing the neighborhood for unattended children. I’m not sure who I should call to get this dealt with. But I did put blackout curtains on my kids’ bedroom windows so no one knows they exist.

  65. Warren April 5, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    @pentamom
    You forgot that the music he plays puts the kids in a hypnotic trance, making them vulnerable to all sorts of perverted things.

    Its that damn music. Listen to that all day, and who knows what it will do to your brain………………………………..

  66. Merrick April 5, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    @pentamom — I actually remember one time when I had made my kids’ birthday invitation on postcards and some internet idiot told me I shouldn’t do that because the postman and other postal workers would KNOW That there’d be all those kids at my house and the addressees would not be home… Paranoia at its finest.

    I have an assumed relationship of trust with my postal workers. I do put a hold on my mail when my family is going to be gone. If they wanted to … they’d know what church I go to, where my kids go to school, who my financial advisor is, which credit cards I hold…etc etc… It’s actually kind of shocking there aren’t more abuses by postmen! LOL

  67. pentamom April 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    Merrick, that is absolutely hilarious. Did that person think that postal workers don’t know that kids go to school every day? And that the absence of a child from a home does not mean that no one is home? And that if you have a whole group of kids at a party that’s really a dumb time to walk in and try to commit a crime? (Leaving alone the fact that postal workers don’t have the time to read the mail looking for opportunities to commit crimes, and the odds that the same postal worker would see more than one of those cards was practically nil anyway.)

    People are so weird with their dumb horror scenarios. The rule seems to be, “If I can come up with a scenario for how someone could use information to commit a crime, it doesn’t matter how unlikely it is to work.”

  68. Jenny Islander April 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    I used to belong to a mothers’ group that couldn’t announce any of its activities to its own members online, because some hacker who happened to be a pervert might be randomly hacking into online groups, see the announcement of (say) a group picnic, get excited, figure out where our town was, buy a plane ticket, and show up with his willy out. I’m a survivor of child sexual abuse and I thought it was ridiculous!

    No announcements in the local paper or on bulletin boards, for the same reason.

    When the current members who happened to be military spouses rotated out, we couldn’t get any new members. Wonder why.

  69. Donna April 5, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    I’ve said this before but I am always shocked at how both industrious and stupid some people believe criminals are. They are smart and industrious enough to get jobs as ice cream men and hack online groups, buy plane tickets, travel long distances, track down exact locations just to get kids. But also act in crowded public places with many witnesses, have no knowledge of things like tracking devices in cellphone although they are advertised everywhere and don’t think to check for cellphones.

    Kids are not lions. You don’t have to travel to a specific place and head out into the wilds to track them. They are actually pretty routine in every single place on the planet. There is no need to go to extensive lengths just to see one. Not sure why we imagine criminals are making such complex plans. Personally I think it is self-absorption. My child is so wonderful that a criminal will move heaven and earth to get to him/her. My kid is great and all but I willing to admit that she is not the best thing to happen to the world in the history of children so a pedophile is not going to go to great lengths to get her when he likely has a cute blonde 7 year old in his neighborhood.

  70. Stacey April 5, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    There’s a name for the mentality that every little ordinary thing might lead to something horrible and worrying about it will somehow make everything alright. It’s called generalised anxiety disorder. Society has decided this mentality is normal when it coms to child safety, and thus ceased to recognise it as a disorder. Half the world has generalised anxiety disorder when it comes to childcare and nobody is telling them because they don’t want to be accused of not caring about the children.

    How is the ice-cream man going to hurt your child? The only way I can think of is by poisoning the ice-cream and if you’re going to worry about that, you have to stop feeding your child altogether just to be on the safe side.

    99% of the people you see out in public care about children as much as you do. They are’t going around looking for children to abduct. Since most kids who are molested, are molested by someone they know, worry about people you know. The strangers aren’t going after your kid, they probably have easier access to kids that aren’t strangers to them.

  71. madge April 7, 2013 at 3:47 am #

    Hmmm…dissenting opinion.

    Not really opinion, since the last ice cream truck that stopped too close to our school and had the plates run ended up having its’ driver taken away on a bench warrant for theft and related charges.

    An ice cream truck give the owners a chance to canvas a neighborhood, see who is home and who isn’t, etc. It is, objectively, creepy.

    Plus the ice cream is always bad. Freezer burnt. Our kids walk to the ice cream place.

  72. SKL April 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    Where I live, literacy volunteers have to undergo a background check, at the cost of the nonprofit organization. (I used to be on the board of one.) This despite the fact that the volunteers are never left alone with the children. Many of the volunteers are old ladies from the Retired Senior Volunteer program.

    I am unaware of any literacy volunteer that used books to groom an illiterate child. But I guess there’s always that minute chance . . ..

  73. pentamom April 8, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    “Not really opinion, since the last ice cream truck that stopped too close to our school and had the plates run ended up having its’ driver taken away on a bench warrant for theft and related charges. ”

    Unless the truck was violating some kind of parking or traffic ordinance, I really hope that the police did not run a plate just because it was parked “too close to a school.” That would be abuse of authority indeed. And the fact that they picked up the guy on a warrant for theft (which poses no particular danger to children) proves exactly one thing: that sometimes criminals take jobs as ice cream truck drivers. And store clerks. And construction workers. And lots of other things.

    “An ice cream truck give the owners a chance to canvas a neighborhood, see who is home and who isn’t, etc. It is, objectively, creepy.”

    Yeah, just like those creepy postal workers I mentioned above. We should just ban people from going into neighborhoods, period. We can get all our information through e-mail and download all our packages from the Internet. Maybe there’s even a way to get lawncare done by elves, or something, so that actual humans don’t ever come into our neighborhoods and observe that we have homes, with addresses, and that sometimes we’re not home.

    Or we could quit being paranoid and thinking odd things like that it is “objectively creepy” that people come into our neighborhoods to do business.

    “Plus the ice cream is always bad. Freezer burnt. Our kids walk to the ice cream place.”

    That is very nice that such is your opinion about the quality of the ice cream, but has nothing to do with whether people should be singled out for specially suspicious treatment by government because they choose to take a job driving a truck and selling ice cream, without any actual evidence that those people pose more of threat than anyone else.