A few months ago, the phrase “30-50 feral hogs” entered the meme economy after Twitter user @WillieMcNabb replied to country singer Jason Isbell’s question about why anybody would need to own an “assault weapon.”
McNabb’s responded to the singer with a question- “How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 minutes while my kids play?”
As the website Know Your Meme reminds us, the online response was swift and scathing in its mockery of the guy who asked the question.
The tweet began to spread the following day as other Twitter users began to make fun of it. User @lib_crusher tweeted sarcastically, “Hate when 30-50 feral hogs run into my yard as my kids play, forcing me to dual wield AR-15s as I mow them down,” gaining over 730 retweets and 4,200 likes. User @UweBollocks made a similar joke, writing “Exactly! Last week my sons Brandtford and Hyland were out drinking Busch heavy on the back deck (they’re 13 and 11) when a pack of 76 feral hogs came running up. I only had a bolt action rifle and by the time I took out number 76, Brandtford was already gone. I miss him dearly,” gaining over 18 retweets and 440 likes.
While McNabb’s tweet was the subject of much mockery, the fact is that feral hogs do roam in large numbers, and a tragic case out of Texas proves they can be deadly to full grown adults, not just kids playing in the front yard.
A woman was attacked and killed by a group of feral hogs Sunday morning outside the southeastern Texas home where she worked as a caretaker, authorities said.
Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said in a press conference Monday that Christine Rollins, 59, arrived around 6 or 6:30 a.m. when she was attacked at the Anahuac home, 40 miles east of Houston.
The 84-year-old woman who has been under her care for almost two years went outside and found Rollins in the front yard between her car and the front door, Hawthorne told reporters.
The sheriff said Rollins had a severe head wound and several other injuries consistent with different size bites, indicating multiple animals were involved.
Hawthorne said detectives are still trying to determine whether Rollins fell because of a medical condition, and whether the fall caused her head injury, or whether the animals made her fall.
I’ve raised hogs since we moved to our farm seven years ago, and while ours were domesticated and not feral, there were more than a few times when one of our more aggressive boars would try to push me over, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the investigation determines that the animals caused her to fall.
The sheriff did point out that attacks like this don’t happen on a regular basis.
Hawthorne told reporters that feral hogs have been a problem in the county and throughout the state of Texas. But incidents like this are rare.
“Just from what little research we have found, there is less than six of these that have been reported in the nation over the very many years in reporting these kind of deaths,” he said.
Was McNabb’s tweet the best argument against a ban on the most commonly sold rifle in America today? No, not even close. But he wasn’t wrong, either. The fact is, there are many reasons to own a semi-automatic rifle, from hunting to self-defense to protection against future tyranny, and that would include “I live in wild hog country, and I want to protect my kids the best way I can.” It wouldn’t be my go-to argument, but as the terrible death of Christine Rollins shows, it’s not an unreasonable fear for a parent to have.