So today, comes word from all over that because a bunch of douchenozzles have been popping up in 50 states, just like crop circles, dressed as evil clowns,
the Jackasses In Charge Of Everything (In Their Own Mind)
have decided that Something Must Be Done.
Consequently school districts (usually monumental repositories of ninnies practicing egregious assclownery in their own right), as well as some of the local law enforcement agencies, with a tenuous grasp of both the Constitution and their own state's penal code, have issued fatwas against people, particularly on any campus, from kindergarten to grad school, and dressed as clowns.
This has occasioned local students on college campuses, armed with numbers, flashlights, pepper spray, and the IQ of a mob, to set out on clown-hunting posses at the drop of so much as a whisper of someone with a large red nose in the same zip code.
This would be funny if it were a Hanna-Barbera cartoon production, and we were all still in grade school
but once we're talking about nominal (i.e. over the age of 18 years) adults, carrying weapons in public with a purpose, and on the prowl looking for people who have violated no criminal statutes, we have graduated past the stage of this being any kind of funny.
So, for the benefit of the legally-challenged, both in general, and in law enforcement, a few pointers:
1) last I looked, there is nothing in either my state's penal code, local municipal ordinances, nor most schools' governing precepts, that prohibits dressing up like a clown in public.
2) You'd have to prove criminal intent, like trespassing or criminal mischief, to even have probable cause to apprehend any such.
3) The technical legal term in my state (CA) for carrying pepper spray and hunting for any such is assault.
Actually spraying a clown with it graduates to the more serious offense of battery.
Apprehending anyone for the offense of dressing like a clown in public is false imprisonment.
Moving them afterwards, so much as a whit, against their will, is kidnapping, and it is punishable as a federal criminal offense.
That's all before we get to such esoterica as vigilantism, and acting under false pretense or imaginary color of authority.
If someone, as a prank, is dressed as an evil clown, complete with plastic machete, you might, in some universe, be able to get as far as proving criminal mischief. If they're trespassing on private property, that would be actionable as well.
But some silly bastard is going to get beaten up, injured, or killed, by some group of self-appointed fucktards, or the local badged and sworn dimwits - to include the
The definition of a prank (and this is a lifetime of class clownery talking here) is that
a) no one gets hurt, and
b) no actual damage is done.
So, yes, anyone dressing thusly at the moment is probably a jackass of the first order.
That being said, it's not a license to apprehend, harm, maim, or kill them for public stupidity.
What the current hysteria demonstrates says a lot more about people's mental deficiencies than it does about criminal conduct, and the last time I checked, the number of actual criminal acts committed by people dressed as clowns, was somewhere between zero, and single digits, throughout recorded history (excepting to the psyches of 4 year-olds at circuses).
If, OTOH, we're going to start pouncing on people acting like clowns, we'd have to haul off the entire government, from President to dog-catcher, 50% of law enforcement itself anytime since about 1980, and more than half of every campus, especially the nominal adult supervision of same, judging strictly by the evening news since Walter Cronkite was on it.
So cool your jets, folks. All you would-be clown hunters have fucked it up for everyone; everybody get out of the pool, now, before someone really gets hurt!