David Hogg, a gun control advocate and survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, was recently the target of a swatting “prank.” However, as Twitter user Neontaster expressed, describing it as a prank “undersells how criminally insane it is to SWAT someone.”
According to 911.gov, “Swatting is falsely reporting an emergency to public safety by a person for the intent of getting a (“SWAT team”) response to a location where no emergency exists.” Thankfully, David Hogg and his mother were in Washington accepting an award when the incident took place. This prevented a dangerous— and potentially deadly —confrontation from occuring.
In December 2017, an innocent Kansas man was shot and killed by SWAT after he was on the receiving end of a swatting “prank.”
"Pranksters" really undersells how criminally insane it is to SWAT someone. https://t.co/GD2mDYdQWb
— neontaster (@neontaster) June 5, 2018
The reason behind the swatting of David Hogg’s home has not officially been released to the public. However, it most likely relates to Hogg’s staunch position on gun control. After the Parkland shooting, survivors Cameron Kasky, David Hogg, Emma Gonzáelz, Sarah Chadwick, Alex Wind, Alfonso Calderon, and Jaclyn Corin— like the majority of Americans —wanted to make sure a similar tragedy would never happen again. They believed the solution to the United States’ gun violence problem was more laws, which include banning certain types of guns and magazines. They were convinced the only reason these “common sense” laws were not being passed through Congress was because Republican politicians were bought by the National Rifle Association. Their ambition for change and ire against the NRA resulted in the March for Our Lives movement.
Conservatives tend to disagree with the March for Our Lives movement’s position on guns and the Second Amendment. We do not believe that more feel-good laws will change anything. Many of us want to make our schools and our country safer, while continuing to respect the authority of the Constitution. However, while many conservatives have stayed within the boundaries of respectful disagreement, many have fallen into the trap of cheap attacks.
Hate-filled people have mocked the physical appearance of the students. Conspiracy theorists have accused the survivors of being crisis actors. Disgusting words have been hurled at the survivors because of a difference of opinion. This vitriol has spilled into the mainstream, with populist pundits Laura Ingraham and Dinesh D’Souza making less than professional comments about the teenagers.
Respectful dialogue is dying in America. The overly sensitive politically correct culture of the left has resulted in the formation of an anti-PC culture on the right. This culture war has spurred extremists on both side, with extremists on the left advocating for censorship laws and extremists on the right adopting hate and vitriol to purposely offend the other side. Social media has only exacerbated the problem, with anonymity and the lack of immediate consequences leading to less accountability.
Americans have more similarities than we want to admit. We want to make our economy successful. We want all people to have equal rights. Most of all, we want to be safe in our homes, schools, and communities. However, we all have different opinions on how these goals should be accomplished.
Politics has a large influence on our lives, and young people have started to realize that. Young people are getting involved in politics much earlier than expected. However, they will face the same problems the generations that came before them had without engaging in respectful dialogue. The United States will not advance if our young people follow the lead of those that came before them and demonize the other side. Nothing will change if Americans continue to harass each other with cheap attacks and threats of violence.
To all young people, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum, I urge you to do this: instead of attacking the other side, learn about them. Instead of ostracizing them, become friends with them. Restoring respectful political discourse is the monumental task that we face ahead of us, and if we are successful in our endeavors, I believe that the young people will win.
And to those who believe that swatting David Hogg makes any progress in this debate or in America’s safety, you’re absolutely wrong. Thank goodness no one was hurt in this instance, but the consequences could have been exceptionally real and dangerous.