Hogg was the target of a dangerous prank
School shooting survivor and gun control activist David Hogg was the attempted victim of a dangerous, illegal “prank” known as swatting. Swatting is essentially the practice of reporting a crime at a residence that would draw out a swat team to storm the residence, with the objective of endangering the people who live there. And in this case, where the victims are a public figure, and his family, this can reasonably be considered nothing less than an assassination attempt.
On Tuesday a team of SWAT agents breached Hogg’s home after an anonymous call claimed that someone had broken into the house and was holding a family hostage there with an AR-15. In addition, a few sheriff units and even a helicopter were reportedly sent to the scene before Coral Springs Fire Rescue declared the area clear of crime.
Luckily, Hogg was not in the house as he and his mother are currently in Washington, D.C. accepting the RFK Human Rights Award, but the fact remains that this was a genuine threat on his life as swatting is no joke. People have been killed and/or seriously injured because of these hoax calls since law enforcement officers are obligated to follow through with procedure. As a result, these schemes carry a felony charge, but because most of these tips are anonymous, it can be hard to track down the culprits.
Hogg, to his credit, has publicly dismissed the incident as a “silly prank” rather than an attempt to endanger his life, showcasing not only his bravery, but also his dedication to fighting for common sense gun reform:
“I think it’s really a distraction from what we’re trying to fix here, which is the massive gun-violence epidemic in this country.”
“It’s not going to take our focus off what we’re super excited about; the March for Our Lives bus tour to get young people to vote and promote gun law reform.”
However, it was more than likely that his association with said grassroots activism made him a target in the first place. Following the murders of 17 individuals in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14, 2018, many students from the institution started up a campaign for national gun control. Called “Never Again MSD,” the activists gained national attention when they successfully organized the “March for Our Lives,” which saw up to 2 million people participate in a protest for gun reform.
Not everyone has been happy with the renewed focus brought about by Never Again MSD. Horrible conspiracy theories have been propagated against the students, while right-wing media figures like Rick Santorum and Laura Ingraham have taken to publicly demeaning the kids.
This will be a hard road, especially with a Republican President in office, but Hogg and his fellow friends are doing good work. Incidents like the aforestated swatting may be the first of many terrible things to come.
Featured image via screenshot from Defeat Donald Trump In 2020’s YouTube channel.