Swatting Should Be Viewed as Attempted Murder, No Matter the Intention

I realize Parkland shooting survivor turned gun control activist David Hogg isn’t the most popular person in America, but any sane person would never wish him any harm. However, someone did attempt to do him harm earlier Tuesday after attempting to SWAT him.

For those unfamiliar with the term, swatting someone is an attempt to get local police to come to your home in full force, ready for the worst. They will use militaristic tactics to enter your home with weapons drawn and use aggressive force to bring whatever situation was reported to the police to a stop.

Sometimes, if the law enforcement department has a relationship with the community or individual, this will result in nothing more than a check-up to make sure that everything is okay, and to confirm that the call was a hoax. Too often, however, it results in the SWAT team storming a residence, and the occupant having a really bad day.

In one case, it actually resulted in the death of a father of two after police shot him.

And when it comes to swatting someone, death is the worst case scenario. Up until relatively recently, it was viewed as a prank. A cruel prank, but a prank nonetheless. However, some have committed the prank with the idea that someone might get roughed up.  The idea is that the person being swatted gets put in danger, with the police doing the caller’s dirty work.

But the threat of death is always looming in the background when it comes to police intervention on that level. Officers are on high-alert. Police, being human, believe they are entering into a high-risk situation and may become jumpy. They may think they see something in the person’s hands that could be a weapon of some kind. Their first instinct is to protect themselves and their fellow officers and may pull the trigger in an attempt to do so.

No matter how you slice it, swatting someone is sending people ready to shoot someone to a home. Only the shooters are state-funded and attempting to resolve what they believe is an ultra-volatile situation.

Even if the person doing the swatting is just hoping to highly inconvenience the person being swatted, or perhaps even see that person get manhandled by police, what he or she is really doing is putting that person at the risk of being killed. One misinterpreted move, and police may do what they feel is their sad duty.

Whoever attempted to send SWAT to Hogg’s home put the kid and his family in very real danger. Not only that, it put the officers on the scene in very real danger of doing something in the moment they may regret for the rest of their life.

People who are discovered to have swatted someone should find themselves facing some serious consequences of the attempted murder variety.