When the survivors of a horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida burst into the national spotlight, they probably expected to face opposition to their drive for tougher gun laws. But some of their opponents have resorted to tactics that have no place in any civilized society.
For instance, they have been effectively told to shut up by those who have either called them “crisis actors”–fake survivors trucked in to gin up support for gun control–or accused them of being pawns for those who supposedly want to take away their guns. They have also been relentlessly harassed, trolled, and threatened.
But Tuesday morning may have seen the worst attack yet on these brave kids. Somebody got the bright idea to target one of their most outspoken leaders, David Hogg, by placing a bogus 911 call about a serious emergency situation at his house–a tactic known as “swatting.”
Sometime around 8:30 a.m., WPLG in Miami got word that someone had called the Broward County Sheriff’s Office about a hostage situation at Hogg’s home. That sent heavily armed deputies streaming to the house. Watch WPLG’s coverage here.
Supposedly, a man broke into Hogg’s home with an AR-15 looking for money. It didn’t take long for deputies to determine the call was a hoax. Still, neighbors were put on edge, and at least one nearby elementary school was put on lockdown.
As unnerving as this was, it could have been a lot worse. At the time, Hogg and his sister Lauren were being feted in Washington by Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. The Hoggs were there alongside Cameron Kasky, Emma Gonzalez, Jaclyn Corin and other Parkland students who organized the March for Our Lives to share the 2018 RFK Human Rights Award along with Color of Change, United We Dream, and the International Youth Indigenous Council.
Watch Kasky accept the award here, courtesy WFOR-TV in Miami.
Hogg, who just graduated on Sunday, told WPLG that he thought the whole thing just showed “how many people are trying to stop us from what we’re trying to do”–make schools safer.
According to Media Matters, it looks like this horrible crime originated on 4chan and 8chan. Just hours after the Parkland kids announced plans for a get-out-the-vote bus tour, someone posted Hogg’s home address and phone number on /pol/ as a “graduation present.” When that thread was deleted, the bottom-feeders simply moved to 8chan and continued the doxxing there.
It is literally impossible to overstate how dangerous and criminal this was. What if the Hoggs had been home, and in the heat of the moment, someone either got hurt or killed? It’s especially outrageous considering that this comes soon after someone died in a swatting.
Last December, a “Call of Duty” gamer threatened to swat another gamer over a lost bet. The intended target then gave his former address. Unfortunately, an innocent third-party, Andrew Finch, now lived there; he was killed by Wichita police. The two gamers, as well as well as a third man who made the call, are now facing federal charges that could send Barriss to prison for life and send the two gamers to prison for over 60 years.
Whoever tried to do this to Hogg needs to get the same treatment. Regardless of what you think about the Parkland kids or gun control, this cannot be allowed to stand. Everyone involved in this or who knew about it and did nothing–and that means EVERYONE–must be brought to justice, and must GO TO PRISON.
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