Will Fools Fulminate the Fourth Amendment?

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard about all the incidents involving people dressed as clowns. It started as people just showing up on various security systems dressed up as clowns. It was creepy at first if you view it that way. I thought it was funny myself. However, after a couple of people wearing clown costumes allegedly attempted to lure some children, the country has lost its mind about clowns.

There have been several reports of clowns allegedly trying to lure kids to them in other states, and now there are concerns of creepy activity online in West Michigan.

Police in South Haven say there are no actual sightings, but there have been threats made to students on Facebook.

Notice that they are reports, but no actual sightings. However, there have been alleged threats on social media and copycat incidents around the country by people posing as clowns. I can’t help but think that these are people who are simply making fun of a society that is freaking out about makeup and wigs. In fact, I’m seriously considering dressing up like a clown and going on an open carry walk after reading this just to prove a point.

A Bell County, Kentucky, man was arrested early Friday morning on charges that he caused “public alarm” by dressing up as a clown and crouching down in the woods beside an apartment complex in Middlesboro.

While weird and creepy, there is nothing illegal about this. Even though the story goes on to say that there is a law in Kentucky making it a “crime” to be in public while “wearing any hood, mask or device whereby a substantial portion of the face is hidden or covered so as to conceal the identity of the wearer.” So much for wearing a ski mask in the winter.

The main concern I have is that if law enforcement is detaining people for dressing like clowns, what else can they detain us for wearing? I view this issue along the same lines as the open carry of handguns. People call the cops all the time (though not as much anymore) when they see people legally and openly carrying a gun. YouTube is full of videos of law enforcement officers illegally detaining them and performing searches and seizures in violation of 4th amendment protections. In United States v Nathaniel Black, the 4th Circuit found that “where a state permits individuals to openly carry firearms, the exercise of this right, without more, cannot justify an investigatory detention.” Just because someone is openly carrying a firearm and felons can’t carry firearms, “being a felon in possession of a firearm is not the default status.”

I guess one could argue that if a state, like Kentucky, has a law against wearing a clown costume that there would be probable cause for an arrest or reasonable suspicion for an detention. However, in other states where clowns are being detained, searched, and in some cases thrown in jail, it is not a crime to wear a mask in public. And, while wearing a clown costume and crouching in a woodline is indeed weird, last I checked it wasn’t against the law to be weird. In fact, it’s mandatory in California, New Jersey, DC and other liberal utopias.

What we should be upset about is that, all of the sudden, dressing like a clown is causing “public alarm.” Perhaps if we didn’t nanny state the public to death and would stop catering to the weak-minded in society there wouldn’t be people getting “alarmed.” Afraid of clowns? Arm yourself for self defense if they decide to attack you. It’s gotten so bad that just walking around dressed as clowns will result in some social justice warrior calling the cops to whine about it.

Cross County Sheriff J.R. Smith said Tuesday night that his office had received one unverified report involving four people traveling around as clowns on West Merriman Avenue in Wynne.

In a statement, Smith said he has zero tolerance for the reports, referring to dressing up as a clown as an act of “foolishness.”

The sheriff has even threatened to arrest these people for doing something that is done every single day in this country – scare people.

“If someone wishes to dress up and conceal their identity with the intent to scare or harass our citizens, they will be arrested and transported to the sheriff’s office,” he said.

CANCEL HALLOWEEN!! It’s now against the law to scare people while dressing up! Ban practical jokes! It’s gotten so bad, even Ronald McDonald is afraid to show his face.

Our government is looking for every reason to crush our civil liberties. They will use any issue to justify giving themselves more power and control over us. We should oppose these efforts while also being vigilante to actual threats. It is imperative that we don’t overreact every time there is some media or government driven hysteria. When we do so, the only thing that suffers is liberty and that should always be our prevailing focus anytime it is endangered.

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