Police cannot dismiss clown attacks

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By now everyone has surely seen the terrifying viral videos of clowns chasing pedestrians or loitering in random places with knives. It is easy to dismiss these videos as hoaxes or pranks designed to scare people, especially as Halloween approaches.

It is not easy, however, to shrug off the actual arrests and eerie reports that have emerged from this series of strange occurrences. While the legitimacy of many of these reports is easily debatable, the fear that these creepy circus performers are instilling in people is dividing the country.

Many concepts and issues divide a country, whether they deal with politics, religion or sports, there always seems to be something pitting people against one another. Division has once again surfaced with the rise of clown sightings—an unlikely candidate to act as a purveyor of separation.

Clowns are not cute, entertaining or funny. They are just horrible. They were horrible when Stephen King’s It was published in 1986 and they are even worse 30 years later in 2016, especially considering the fact that they terrorize human beings in real life as opposed to in a book.

Multiple school districts have already banned clown costumes on Halloween to prevent more people from getting scared. Rumors that told of an armed clown on a campus even put a college in Massachusetts on lockdown. Nowadays, it seems like dressing up as a clown is not only antagonistic, but borderline terroristic.

Of course, there are some people who find humor in watching others worry. The clown hysteria has given these troublemakers the perfect opportunity to cruelly prank those around them, though not without heavy consequences. In Alabama, at least seven people are facing felony charges due to calls reporting homicidal threats related to clown activity.

Multiple teenagers across the nation are in trouble with the law after having reported false clown attacks in disturbing attempts to scare their communities and become local celebrities. Although these particular incidents are meant as jokes, they incite terror and detract from the clowns that actually mean harm.

All over the United States, more and more people continue to feed into this ongoing threat. At first it was easy to dismiss the trend as a joke, but now the issue is finally beginning to gain gravity. While nothing has been confirmed, clowns wielding knives trying to lure children into the woods are not to be taken lightly. People should feel intimidated by clowns now more than ever, as they have become a symbol of fear.

On the other side of the spectrum, people who dress up as clowns are in just as much danger, if not more. In addition to the obvious risk of being reported to the police, the larger peril is the reaction professional clowns will get from the public.

When encountering something scary, people either have a fight or flight response. Some people will run away in fear while others will run right at the horror and try to overpower it.

Nationwide, people have been arrested for brutally assaulting clowns. Pranksters need to realize that they are putting themselves in tremendous danger when they put on the white makeup and big red nose.

What once started as a creepy yet somewhat amusing story has now evolved into a truly troubling craze just in time for Halloween. The best advice to offer this year for safe trick-or-treating is to stay away from clowns.

Odds are that most of them are just moronic agitators looking to get some sort of reaction from those around them, but no one can ever be certain. It is also best to avoid dressing up as a clown, since the police may be called or the safety of the person dressing up may be compromised. While it may sound funny, this is a very serious matter that should be promptly addressed in an appropriate and timely manner.

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