By Amy Rudolph
Elm Staff Writer

As if societal tensions, innocent people dying, poor presidential options and Zika weren’t enough to worry about, now we have killer clowns. The crazy clown phenomenon has been a Halloween staple for decades but the trend really took off after the release of “American Horror Story: Freakshow.” In “Freakshow,” there is a murderous clown that terrorizes a town by luring women and children into the woods and then either killing or torturing them. The character is depicted with a sinister smile, uncontrollable hair, and dead, constantly staring eyes. Being the freaks that we are in America, this quickly became a Halloween costume that you could buy at popular stores such as Walmart and PartyCity.
People have been scared of clowns since long before this, as clowns went from happy, silly entertainers to beings that make us uncomfortable and fearful the minute that they smile. The adoption of kill clowns in media and costumes to look the part have caused unforeseen consequences. When “American Horror Story” creator, Ryan Murphy created Clown, he probably never expected people to mimic that look and go out and terrorize real living people.
There have been countless reports in over 10 states of clowns scaring unsuspecting citizens at night and even robbing or assaulting them in the process. Many women and children have reported instances in which clowns attempted to lure them into the woods at knifepoint. College campuses have been put on lockdown because of these incidents and even some places in South Carolina have even begun instituting curfews to protect their residents, according to Heavy.com. The “trend,” as some news circulations have been referring to it as, has even spread to other countries such as Germany where two teenage girls were assaulted with baseball bats and knives, each on a separate occasion, according to the Morgenpost. One woman in Germany was threatened with a chain saw by a clown jumping out of a bush, also according to Morgenpost. This problem is not just an American one.
Thousands of tweets have surfaced in which people state that if they see a clown lurking in their neighborhood they would not hesitate to assault the clown first. Police departments in Utah have urged residents to not harm the clowns as they did not want “innocent people” getting hurt. Many people saw the irony in this as stories flash across our televisions far too frequently of actually innocent black people being gunned down by police without robbing anyone or threatening anyone at knifepoint.
Since more and more citizens have thought to react violently to clown sightings, a new, ridiculous movement, “Clown Lives Matter” has popped up in some states with some of these bozos actually forming protests to demand equal rights to terrorize others around the country.
Unfortunately, clowns will not be arrested just for lurking around town and being creepy as that is not a crime in the U.S., and as a result, many police forces will not investigate any creepy clown sightings unless a crime is actively being committed. So standing on the side of the road yelling at people, trying to lure unsuspecting victims into a wooded area and in general causing a disturbance are rights that clowns get but not anyone else?
These actions, that we cannot protect ourselves from as many police have given up, can have an extremely negative effect on our quality of life. If you have to start looking around at night to avoid getting mugged by a creepy clown or your children cannot play outside without the threat of being nabbed by a knife wielding lunatic, your rights are being infringed upon. It seems as though clown lives do matter more than anyone else’s. This raises some serious concerns about American priorities. When we have so many other things to be worrying about, clowns should not be one of them.
In trying to better understand how to combat the creepy killer clown craze, psychologists and researchers in both Germany and the U.S. have tried to pinpoint what makes the clowns want to go out and do this in the first place. Some experts have said that it has something to do with wanting to exert power over another person by scaring them and once you do that, you can either assault or rob them. These theories make sense, but ignore the fact that people would not do this if they knew they would get caught. The lack of police enforcement around this issue has only fed into the problem rather than addressing it. It is now a crazy clown free-for-all until someone steps up and puts an end to this madness. With Halloween quickly approaching and children becoming more and more eager to go trick or treating, this issue needs to be resolved as soon as possible. It is time for creepy clowns to stay in our dreams and “Scooby Doo” episodes where they truly belong.

The Elm

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