What a time to be alive! The creepy clowns have arrived in the 518, causing (un)necessary panic among families, schoolchildren, local media and the wider community.
Everyone’s got their clown radar on high alert these days after a series of clown sightings that date back to August 2016 in Greenville, SC. The face paint covered, squeaky red shoed folks have been lurking around playgrounds, school properties and even in the woods and neighborhoods. Only a few incidents so far have been reported as real crimes, and even more sightings have been falsely reported or deemed not dangerous. In the Capital Region, non-credible threats were made affecting two local high schools, Shenendehowa and Shaker High, causing authorities to sweep the premises as a precaution.
Thankfully, everything was clear and activities resumed as normal. But, the sightings have continued and police are still receiving calls about these roaming weirdos in states all over the USA. The question surrounding all of the appearances so far, is whether these clowns are doing anything illegal, besides the ones that obviously are. Freaking people out isn’t a jail-bound offense on its own as far as we know.
It is lawful to dress like a clown and go about your business. To each his own, man. But there’s also no doubt the ones spotted so far have been riding the line of cool vs. uncool and setting themselves up for offenses like this, which they can get in trouble for:
- Felony charges for making a terrorist threat
- Wearing a mask in a public place
- Harassment charges
- Disorderly conduct
- Child endangerment
- Trespassing on school property
All of the above are for sure unacceptable, but they’d be unacceptable no matter who (or what?) is committing the acts. So why all the hate on the clowns?
I get freaked out when someone dressed as a normal human is walking too closely behind me on the street or in a parking garage, and I can’t say my reaction would really heighten to another level if it were a clown instead. Both would be equally creepy to me –but it seems that’s not the case for everyone.
Coulrophobia, the fear of clowns, is a real and legitimate thing. Apparently around 12 percent of adults say they have this. Like any fear, rational or irrational, it can cause people to have panic attacks, become nauseous, sweaty, or even afraid to leave the house or attend a circus-themed event, etc.
But what research also shows, is that while not everyone possesses the phobia, some people just don’t like clowns. Well duh. And of course, that makes right now an excellent time to turn our heads to some social media gold that comes as a result of a massive outbreak of bizarre clown sightings:
It’s even greater that social media users can spin this in a political way. Foreign policy? Illegal immigration? Health care and the rising cost of college tuition? Screw it –but someone PLEASE stop these clowns from invading our personal space! Gotta love it.