Slightly more than three months after David Hogg was forced to hide in a closet to avoid being shot to death in a school massacre, some monster today prank-called a SWAT team to the teen's house. Thankfully, the Miami Herald reports Hogg wasn't home at the time — but that doesn't make the prank any less heinous and cruel.
Per the Herald, someone called the Broward Sheriff's Office at 8:39 a.m. today to report someone with a weapon was inside the Hogg household. No one was in the house when police arrived, and BSO is investigating the incident as a prank "swatting" phone call.
A certain paranoid, insane sect of the online right has become obsessed with Hogg since he became an anti-gun activist after the Parkland massacre. InfoWars-tied bloggers have created entire anti-Hogg blogs, politicians have hurled insults at him, and weird columnists have written posts threatening to "spank" him. The threats have all been heinous, but today was the first time Hogg really seemed to be in danger:
In addition to being terrifying, swatting pranks are absurdly dangerous: SWAT teams arrive geared up, on edge, heavily armed, and ready to shoot someone dead at a moment's notice. Innocent hand gestures can be mistaken for signs of attack; items such as cell phones can be mistaken for weapons. Officers in Wichita, Kansas, accidentally killed a 28-year-old man last year in a swatting incident gone wrong: A California man called in a SWAT prank to the victim's home after the pair got into an argument while playing Call of Duty.
Swatting has become more prevalent in recent years as caller-ID-spoofing technology has become more accessible. Prank callers can now more easily hide their identities and locations from police. Celebrities, including Tom Cruise, Justin Bieber, and Chris Brown, have been swatted. In 2015, someone called in a SWAT prank to Lil Wayne's Miami Beach home.
Swatting is also a mainstay of online trolling culture, and users on the trolling-centric message board 4chan today are cheering that someone called a militarized police unit to Hogg's home.
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"David Hogg just got swatted," one user on /pol/, the 4chan politics message board and alt-right cesspool, wrote today. "Press 'L' to laugh."
"But did swat shoot him?" someone responded.
"Why did no one shoot this fag yet?" another asked.
Yesterday Hogg and other March for Our Lives campaigners announced a national voter-registration initiative. He and fellow students plan to visit all 27 voting districts in Florida in the next few months and will also make stops in Iowa, South Carolina, Texas, and California.