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Is it appropriate/legal to ask out girls that are complete strangers

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Is it appropriate/legal to ask out girls that are complete strangers in public, or is that looked-down-upon/illegal? What if they're working at the time?

I'm American if that matters.

>pic slightly related
You can try, but you probably won't get any takers
>You can try, but you probably won't get any takers

Why not? How do people meet their bfs/gfs?

I find this all so very, very confusing.
Depends on how good looking and charming you are. If you're ugly and awkward they'll probably look at you like a piece of shit.

And no it's not illegal. If you have to ask that you aren't at the level required to do shit like you're asking about.
I talk to women in public when I find them attractive and it's opportune. That doesn't strictly mean "totally unoccupied." This is one of those vague social skills to be learned, to decide when and how it's appropriate to spark up dialogue with someone. But it's never gone disastrously wrong for me and in fact tends to end quite well. Even if the girl's personality didn't jive with mine, or she was unavailable, or she just plain wasn't interested, the conversations still tend do go well.

It can be appropriate if done with a modicum of awareness and tact. However that's just the tip of the iceberg. Being shitty and inconsiderate would absolutely be looked down upon.
What do you say to a stranger you want to take out?

something like....

ME: Hey, I'm Anon, what your name?
Her: My name's Anona!
ME: Cool. Would you want to go out and get some coffee with me sometime, Anona?

or do I need to come up with some crazy pickup lines and make small talk before asking her out?
I should clarify: I never ask out a stranger. I'll comfortably ask out a new acquaintance, even one I just met 15 minutes ago, but it's absolutely not "Here's my name, let's go out." That would just be odd. We know nothing about one another. While I understand and in fact often defend the position that this is the purpose of dating anyway, it's way too literal a "nothing." You need some actual reason to even suspect that this person will make good company for a shared activity to which you're inviting them. Otherwise, what the fuck is your motivation? "Gee you'd be awful pretty to stare at while I drink some coffee." I mean that's basically what you're saying at that rate.

Not only do I need more as a foundation but she does too. Why should she go out with me? Granted I would make a pretty sight to enjoy over coffee as well, but that's not a reason to actually want that situation. It's only a hypothetical consideration. At least a little rapport is needed to turn "s/he would be nice" to "s/he will be nice when we go out."

I don't use crazy pickup lines either. I use sincere, pleasant conversation. I can usually make all but the most dour of girls smile and laugh. Everyone enjoys that, and I enjoy making it happen too. Basically it all boils down to some small talk (or not-so-small talk) to establish pic related for both of us
It's legal, in and of itself, but there are some general guidelines:

1) Never continue to pursue someone who has aleeady said they're not onterested. Breaking this rule is just about the only thing that CAN be illegal.
2) It is usually not a good idea to ask someone out while they are at work or running errands. Grocery stores are not a good setting, for example. Streets are usually not good, other than public squares (and then only when it's clear that she isn't trying to go anywhere at the moment). Bookstores and libraries can be surprisingly good, but stay out of the sections devoted to cookbooks or home repair. Purely-social venues, however, are best (but again, don't ask someone who is on the job there).
3) Don't make a scene with either your question or response.
You'll just look creepy. You have to wait for her to show interest in you.
It's biological.
I've had people ask me out cold in a starbucks. My husband was with me so I thanked them for the compliment and said i would if I wasnt already married.

As long as your polite when/if they turn you down you will be fine. I remember when i was younger, some men would be very nasty when i said no thank you. I think times have changed alot, or maybe american men (i am russian)
>what if they're working at the time?
Just no dude. I had guys hitting on me during my shitty shifts and it's annoying as fuck, when you're just trying to do your job and provide customers with good service and at the same time you have to dodge flying dicks of desperate guys, ew. Unless the girl is really depserate which in most cases is not that often, she won't go for that. It's transparent when you hit on us while we're working that you want to cram your dick in us and probably think you have a chance too because we are only females who smile at you and say how are you, can I help you etc
Listen to this guy. Back when I was a recovering hikikomori I was asked out abruptly while I was on a walk. The guy was walking behind me and power walked up to me, said "you're really beautiful" and after I mumbled thanks there was a very awkward silence. Then he asked if I had a boyfriend. Nothing else, no small talk to give me a reason to go out with this guy or asking me out somewhere. Eventually I managed to say yes and while I was mumbling out a sorry he literally ran away. Straight into the middle of the street weaving between oncoming cars, then started running two-three blocks down the road. We were both going the same way so I had to watch him the whole way until he finally turned a corner.

I felt bad for him, the guy obviously was trying to improve himself and I was in the same boat too. But aside from the obvious inferences I could draw from that all I knew about him was that he liked how I looked and made me even more uncomfortable than I usually am in social settings given how uncomfortable and awkward he was.

Basically, try to break the ice first with something. For instance "Hey where's [place]" or if you're in a park something about the animals/nature/getting away from it all. Make small talk a minute or two, try to connect with the girl you're considering asking out. And for the love of god please accept rejection in stride and don't run away from her afterwards.
I have nothing to contribute but I laughed pretty at that story.
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