The Abilene Police Department on Thursday announced an Instagram threat of a clown shooting at an Abilene school was a hoax. According to KTXS, a “creepy clown” posted on Instagram, “Cobb Park last night which school should I kill at today?” Police Chief Stan Standridge said the threat was taken seriously but was most likely a hoax.
The Abilene Reporter-News also reported Wednesday a man was threatened at gunpoint by someone dressed as a clown.
Clowns seem to be popping up all over the nation, robbing, threatening shootings or just plain scaring people. Some students are afraid a clown will scare them at their houses or even on campus. While we do need to be cautious and protect ourselves, there’s no need to be afraid of what might happen.
If you’re thinking about dressing up and scaring people just for your own entertainment, don’t do it. While the idea may sound funny, it’s wrong to prey on people’s fears just for your own enjoyment.
I don’t mean to pop your bubble of innocence, but the world has always been full of bad people who want to scare or hurt others. Even if you don’t know it, you are often in danger of being mugged, robbed, or threatened by a bomb or shooting. Sadly, terrorism is becoming more common in our country, and going to a Christian school does not make you immune to that.
I believe you should lock your doors, be aware of your surroundings and keep ACUPD on speed dial. This is common sense, a simple way of protecting yourself just in case. However, this does not mean we have to live in irrational fear. We have an excellent police department on campus. As Christians, we have a God who protects us (John 10:29, Joshua 1:9).
Clowns seem scarier than regular hoodlums because of what we’ve seen in horror movies and our culture. Most of what we know about the nationwide clown scare comes from “creepy” pictures on social media. We are afraid of clowns simply because our culture tells us to be afraid. I doubt someone from Asia or Africa would be quite as terrified of a rainbow wig and spherical nose as we are. Unfortunately, our culture has turned a birthday party character in a symbol of terror.
The good news is clowns are meant to be visible and loud, which means if a clown is going to attack you, you’ll see it coming. You probably have more time to call the police or run away from a clown than a regular hoodlum wearing civilian clothes or black clothes. Because you can’t see their face and don’t know their intentions, you should stay away from clowns. But you do not have to be terrified.
You don’t live in a horror movie. You live in real life where real people can be twisted enough to do real damage. These twisted clowns are not vague, terrifying enemies, but real criminals who can be arrested, tried in court and convicted. It’s time to stop spreading a mix of humorous fear on social media and start treating this situation as the criminal activity it is.