Creepy Clown Trend is Not a Laughing Matter🤡

Though the very term “Creepy Clowns” may make you want to chuckle and seems harmless enough, however, in recent months it has become an international threat.

The trend of mysterious people dressed as clowns (usually more horror clowns than the lovable Ronald McDonald type) began in the summer months along the east coast and has since spread throughout the nation (now even being reported in parts of Germany).

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The motive of this activity remains unclear, but many people seem to be copycatting the behavior.

While most clown activity has been proven harmless, in some cases these clowns are attempting to abduct children, incite violence and rob businesses.

“The spreading of unusual behaviors is more common at times when there is a lot of tension, conflict and anxiety,” said Craig D. Parks, social psychologist and assistant vice provost at WSU. Another could be what Parks called “social contagion”. Although traditionally social contagion is more likely to spread among people who have frequent physical contact with others, the internet has altered that aspect of the phenomenon. “Social contagion is when somebody does something unusual and it affects other people,” said Parks. “People see it and say, ‘Wow! I’m going to do that too.’”

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The trend has now found its way to parts of Arizona and California, the latest US states (to date) to experience the creepy phenomena.

On October 23rd, three people dressed as creepy clowns were spotted by security guards outside a shopping mall in San Francisco. One of the three culprits was brandishing a gun. The men, who were huddled in one of the mall’s emergency stairwells prepping their costumes, fled the scene when they realized security was observing them. After a security guard contacted the police, the police acknowledged they suspected the men were planning a robbery attempt that was fortunately averted by mall security.

While the craze has been rife with false alarms, hoaxes and pranksters there have been a few legitimate incidents. If you encounter a creepy clown, do not attempt to take action against the clown yourself! Please take note, this is especially sensitive territory during the Halloween season and also some innocent bystanders dress in clown costumes as part of their entertainment careers. One major identifier is that creepy clowns are just that…creepy! Their costumes are intentionally dirty and damaged and their appearance likens horror instead of humor. However, some sightings have been more basic. When you see a clown in a busy area, try to locate a security guard or police officer nearby. If you are in a more secluded area, call 9-1-1 immediately and move quickly in the opposite direction of the clown. Be especially careful to teach children that they are not to engage with clowns or any strangers for their safety.

Gun Safety Starts at Home

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Civilian gun ownership has become a hot button topic in recent times.  Owning a gun requires extreme responsibility regardless of if you have a gun for your job, to protect your home, for hunting or sport.

If you have a gun or are considering purchasing a gun, it is important that you know how to use it properly.  The correct handling of a gun is not something to take lightly and requires professional training.  Without attending specialized gun training and practice at a proficient shooting range you put not only yourself at risk but also those around you.

Statistics are showing a continued rise in death and injury due to gun shots in the USA at an shocking rate of nearly 100 deaths per day and over 200 injuries per day.  Of these numbers, an alarming 15% is accidental due to lack of knowledge and improper storage.

Aside from proper training, proper storage is also incredibly important.  An estimated 2 million US households have loaded guns inside and many of these households also have children.  Storing guns out of the reach of children is imperative. Some simple and safe ways to store your firearms are:

  • keep unloaded firearms in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault, or storage case
  • use a gun locking device
  • store ammunition separate from firearms; and double-check firearms to confirm they are unloaded when storing/removing them from storage.geob.jpg

Additionally, parents should educate their children about gun safety.  Gun violence in movies, on television and in video games has caught their attention.  They need to understand not to go looking around for guns, to STOP and tell an adult if a gun is found, and even if a gun looks like a toy, not to touch it.

Another disturbing statistic is that over 20% of the daily gunshot deaths/injuries in America are the result of suicide (or attempted suicide).  Multiple research studies show that firearm ownership correlates with suicide rates. This is likely because firearms are more lethal than nearly every other means of suicide attempt.  If you are depressed or are taking new medication to treat depression and you own a gun, please cautiously remove the gun from your property to be safely stored elsewhere or disposed of.  If you believe someone you love is suicidal and you know they own a gun, please speak with them about removal or contact your local police department for advice. If you would like to learn more about safely storing your gun while you are battling the clinical illness of depression please contact your local police department to learn the proper procedures for storing a gun that you own outside of your property.  Studies have shown that depression is a common factor among most assailants in mass shootings. Many times the shooter is far removed from their true selves and in the throws of clinical depression (which is often triggered by sudden life changes or medications and completely out of the ordinary for the assailant’s normal behavior).  (Learn 10 ways to identify depression here)

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If you or someone in your presence is ever shot, call 9-1-1 immediately.  Even if a bullet only scratches the surface of flesh it can still do harm! When a bullet strikes a person all of the bullet’s kinetic energy must be transferred to the target and when that happens the energy of the bullet is not only visible by torn flesh of the bullet hole but energy is also dissipated creating a cavity that expands, deforms tissues, and contracts all within a fraction of a second. Thus the damage a bullet imparts is much greater than the visible evidence on the outside of the body. It takes the care of physicians – specifically emergency physicians – to determine whether or not a person who is shot is going to need emergency surgery.  To reiterate, call 9-1-1 as quickly as possible when tending to a bullet wound and If the wound is bleeding you should attempt to apply a trauma bandage and control the bleeding through pressure. Keep the wound clean and protected and have the victim lie down and keep them calm until help arrives. If you’re a gun owner concerned about the possibility of a gunshot wound you should put together a first aid kit that includes trauma gear.