Why We Can’t Let Clowns Turn Stamford Into a Circus

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Why We Can’t Let Clowns Turn Stamford Into a Circus

Clowns (like the one pictured above) have been causing controversy on social media.

Clowns (like the one pictured above) have been causing controversy on social media.

Clowns (like the one pictured above) have been causing controversy on social media.

Clowns (like the one pictured above) have been causing controversy on social media.

Griffin Olshan, Editor-in-Chief

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Everyone has seen the videos online. They’re all more or less the same.clown-1-good

“We were just driving, and we see this guy in the middle of the road. Oh my god, here he comes! Holy s***! Call 911! Dude, this is crazy, what’s happening?!”

These clown videos appearing on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram suggest that people find it funny to scare unsuspecting individuals. However, there have been no reports thus far of clowns actually killing anyone. There is only one ongoing investigation into the murder of a teen in Pennsylvania which many have been prematurely label as a “clown killing” by the media. However, the facts may have been misconstrued. Supposedly, the murdered teen was wearing a clown mask when he was stabbed, but only after scaring the suspect. There is still little factual evidence, so it cannot be said that there has been a “clown killing.”  There have been a few isolated cases of assaults, but none resulting in life-threatening injuries. It seems as if many of these clowns are just copycats who want attention. If they wanted to really harm people, they would.  

On Tuesday, October 4, I stumbled upon the Instagram account of Mr. Tickles the Clown. The single video, posted by what seemed to be a middle schooler, appeared somewhat harmless to me. He said that he was “coming for Stamford High” in a growl that sounded like it belonged to a young boy. That’s not what worried me: the comments did.

There were about 1,400 comments on the video when I first saw it. I scrolled through around 100 of them; at least ten commenters stated that they would shoot, stab and beat any clown they found. I scrolled through many more comments to find much of the same. In addition, the clown challenged his followers to meet him at Cummings Beach late Wednesday night. While this meeting did not occur, chances are people will be much more vigilant while walking around late at night. Some may even feel the need to walk around with weapons, which is very problematic.

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One comment, however, brought this joke to a whole other level. The comment stated, “Everyone at Stamford gona (sic) be showing up to school [Wednesday] with knives and Guns ready to fight”. The use of weapons in school is never, under any circumstances, acceptable. Students cannot take it upon themselves to try and ward off a clown from SHS. This is exactly why there are security guards.

All gun control opinions aside, this situation is different. We’re not talking about gun owners exercising their constitutional right to carry a gun. We’re talking about paranoid high schoolers carrying around weapons because they feel the need to protect themselves from people dressed as clowns. This poses a much higher threat than the clowns alone and could lead to much bigger issues.

The Instagram page has been deleted, and Stamford police are currently looking into online threats against Stamford schools that may be related.

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As President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” I am not unsettled by clowns. However, I understand that others are, and I am worried about how these people may react. Students talking about carrying guns and knives around scares me more than the thought of seeing a clown late at night while driving. What scares me even more is that there is no evidence to support this fear. Out of all the clown encounters, none have been proven to end in a killing. This shows that the clowns don’t actually intend to hurt people; they just want attention. That’s exactly what we’re giving them by retweeting, sharing, and liking these videos. It would obviously be different if there were significantly more home invasions, assaults, or murders perpetrated by clowns. But in this case, social media has fueled the fire, and we are the only ones who can put it out. We need to sit back and let this awful internet phenomenon die out, as all others crazes have before it.

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