Clowns have been in the news a lot lately—specifically, creepy ones. While many stories that have been shared in the world of social media claiming that “creepy clowns” have invaded yet another town, most of the stories have no factual basis. In fact, many creepy clown photos and videos currently going viral on social media are being shared as if they are separate events in several different states.
Nonetheless, creepy clowns have actually begun popping up throughout the U.S. Simply searching for ‘clowns’ on Google will reveal countless news stories that have surfaced in the last month as report after report has come in.
While the reports are, indeed, creepy, and the idea of being chased by a stranger in a clown costume is disconserting to say the least, most official statements from police seem to say about the same thing: be wary, report suspicious activity instead of confronting it, and, overall, the threat is small.
The threat may be small, but the fear in many Americans is only increasing with each new report of a clown sighting. Is this epidemic some secret society that has decided to take action now—in the midst of one of the most heated election cycles and worst periods of world relations in recent decades—or does the problem lie in the hearts of immature, thrill-seeking people who just so happen to have a clown costume lying around? Should we be worried as more reports surface, or should we only be annoyed? While most of the creepy clowns haven’t been violent to this point, what are the chances of violence increasing as time passes?
Ultimately, the creepy clowns are putting their own lives at risk. With each passing day and each new clown, they open themselves up more to cross paths with a gun-wielding, self-defense trained person who won’t give a creepy clown the chance to actually commit a crime before taking defensive action.
Clowns may be invading America, but we have bigger problems. Perhaps funny as a practical joke to pull on a friend notoriously scared of clowns, there is a line where the joke ends and danger begins. Whether the danger is for those who encounter these clowns or for those who are just “clowning around,” the answer has yet to become clear.