Why “Swatting” Isn’t Fucking Funny

 

swatter

This is a topic that I’ve been meaning to talk about for a while, but never really got around to it. Well, recently some chucklefuck decided that it would be a fun time to swat US Representative Katherine Clark for daring to support legislation intended to address this issue, so I decided that the time is right.

Why am I discussing this issue on what is largely a pop culture blog, you may ask? Well, you see, there are some members of the gaming community in particular that seem to find this “prank” absolutely fucking hilarious.

For those who not be familiar with the term, swatting is basically calling law enforcement on someone for no reason. It’s derived from the acronym SWAT, since the main branch of law enforcement that the bell-ends are looking to sic on people is SWAT.

Now, this should not be considered funny for some pretty obvious reasons. Other than taking law enforcement resources away from those who might actually need them, US cops in particular have a reputation for being pretty fucking overzealous (as well as the issue of the increased militarization of the police). This, of course, leads to the victims of swatting being hurt or killed.

Take, for instance, the case of Josh Peters, a livestreamer from St Cloud, Minnesota, who was swatted while livestreaming a game on Twitch.tv. At one point during the encounter, his 10-year-old brother startled one of the officers, who then proceeded to point an assault rifle (which I don’t think police officers should have, but that’s a rant for another day) at the kid’s head.

Now, Peters and his family were lucky. Nobody was hurt, although his brother was quite obviously traumatized by the incident. Tyran Dobbs, of Elliot City, Maryland, was not so lucky. When he was swatted, an officer shot him in the face with a rubber bullet, which resulted in Dobbs having to undergo several surgeries in order to correct the damage. Women livestreamers have also been targeted by swatters.

Some may shout to the heavens that “it’s just a prank!” To which I respond, no, it really fucking isn’t. You know what is a prank? Rickrolling. The worst that happens to someone who’s rickrolled is they might get a little annoyed, but there isn’t any danger of bodily harm or death associated with a rickroll.

Swatting is not funny, it is not a prank, and if you do it, you are at best an asshole, and at worst, a fucking terrorist.

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