“Puff the Magic Dragon” seems just plain wrong here. (Uncredited photo: Atlanta Jewish Times via The Awareness Center archive)
U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “Folk singer Peter Yarrow, of the group Peter, Paul and Mary, will no longer perform at this year’s Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival after organizers removed him from this year’s lineup,” the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin reported Tuesday. “On Monday, a festival representative confirmed that Yarrow will not headline the festival in September, citing reaction on social media about Yarrow’s 1970 jail sentence for ‘indecent liberties’ with a 14-year-old girl.”
What did he do?
“As reported at the time, the 14-year-old girl and her 17-year-old sister went to Yarrow’s hotel room seeking an autograph,” The Awareness Center documents in an archive of news stories about the incident. “Yarrow answered the door naked and made sexual advances that stopped short of intercourse.”
Lest they are dismissed as “right-wing extremists” out to smear a “progressive,” it should be noted this since-discontinued “clearinghouse” website was a project of the international Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault, “dedicated to ending sexual violence in Jewish communities globally.”
Yarrow’s conviction is damning, but it’s fair to ask why this is relevant fare for AmmoLand Shooting Sports News. It’s because, like so many gun-grabbers, he’s a man who could not (or more likely would not) control himself, yet he is all for controlling gun owners who do not share his degenerate self-control issues.
As I wrote in “A Judgment Call” for the March 2005 issue of GUNS Magazine:
“Folksinger Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul & Mary believes we need more gun laws. Performing at the 2004 Million Mom March rally urging Congress to renew the federal ‘assault weapon’ ban, Yarrow’s main emphasis in the gun control movement has been to protect children. It’s too bad he wasn’t thinking about protecting them when he was convicted of a sex offense for molesting a 14-year-old girl–but perhaps it explains why he wouldn’t want to make it easy for parents to own a gun.”
Yarrow was also a “distinguished” attendee at the Million Mom March NRA Blacklist Ball, appearing with the likes of Ted Kennedy, whose driving has killed more people than my shooting. Ironically, trying to access the discontinued Ball page now goes to the message “ASK: Asking Saves Kids.”
Asking Yarrow about the kid he assailed shows he was still trying to make mitigating excuses decades later. Again, from The Awareness Center archive copy of a Boston Jewish Times article:
“You know, you make mistakes…You feel terrible about it, make your amends. In that time, it was common practice, unfortunately–– the whole groupie thing…In Washington, it was considered a felony. In New York, it would have been a class B misdemeanor.”
The judge wasn’t buying that either, as related in a Chicago Tribune article presented further down in the archive, where Yarrow tried to claim “mutual consent” with the 14-year-old who “resisted Yarrow but did not attempt to shout or flee.”
Yarrow doesn’t want to get it. Returning to the Boston Jewish Times story:
“With the mean-spiritedness of our time, it gets hauled out as if it’s relevant. You don’t get a presidential pardon if you’re not doing great work, have paid your debts to society… I realize we all have feet of clay…”
What a narcissist. Yeah, it’s all about him. Anyone bringing it up is “mean-spirited.” The clay covering your feet is just as foul as the muck he mired his in. And Jimmy Carter pardoned him, so there.
“At the time of his pardon, Peter Yarrow was married to the niece of Democratic Senator Eugene J. McCarthy, which is believed how he received the pardon,” The Awareness Center notes. “If Yarrow would have sexually assaulted this young teen today and he did not have his political connections, his name would be appearing on the National Sex Offender’s Registry.”
Those political connections go right to the top, as The New York Times observed in its thinly disguised apologia for “a 49-year-old indiscretion”:
“He sang at the former Senator John Kerry’s wedding and at inaugural events for President Bill Clinton.”
As this is being written, Yarrow is scheduled to appear with former trio-mate “Paul” Stookey Sunday evening at Blossom Music Center in northeast Ohio, the summer home of the Cleveland Orchestra.
“In this intimate evening of song and reflection, Peter and Paul remember their enduring anthems of social change,” the program overview announces. “Under 18s Free.”
It’s not credible for Blossom to claim, like the Colorscape Board president disingenuously tried, that program planners “were not aware of news stories about an incident involving Yarrow in 1970,” and in any case, a reminder was sent. “The show must go on” decision is strictly economic and ignoring that is deliberate as the Cleveland Orchestra’s Facebook page moderator did not allow any comments about why headlining him might be objectionable.
Still, they do allow visitors to rate if a performance is “Kid Friendly,” and the post “Details” indicate “Puff the Magic Dragon” will be on the program. While the group insists the song has nothing to do with marijuana, their explanation in light of Yarrow’s conviction for a sex offense with a minor comes across as nothing short of creepy:
“The band claimed that the song is really about losing the innocence of childhood, and has nothing to do with drugs. At the end of the song, Puff goes back into his cave, which symbolizes this loss of childhood innocence.”
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.