Right after El Paso and Dayton, anti-gun hysteria kicked into high gear. Everyone was freaking out, and it wasn’t difficult to understand why. El Paso took place in a Walmart of all places. Dayton was an outdoor second of a bar. It seemed like nowhere was safe.
As a result, the hysteria kicked into overdrive.
In the midst of it all, someone asked a question. It was a simple one. How would you protect your family from 30-50 wild hogs?
Like I said, it’s a simple question. However, it’s amazing how the folks over at Vice missed the point.
Absolute pandemonium ensued, confusion followed by skepticism followed by gleeful, devastating clownings of McNabb’s tweet. Personalities from Rob Delaney to Jonny Sun weighed in, and the jokes continued for days, reveling in the sheer absurdity of the extremely specific (and yet nonspecific) threatthat faced America that absolutely had to be heard out and dealt with before the automatic weapons debate could be settled: somewhere between 30 and 50 hogs, feral ones, rushing into a yard without so much as a heads-up.
Twitter is famous for finding a good meme and running it into the ground before most people even hear of its existence, but the response to “30-50 feral hogs” was like a dam break, and the site’s users riffed like classic rock never died. The intensity of the response, and the ridiculous sound of the original tweet (feral hogs are a problem, but not best solved by handing out guns, according to experts), was impossible to separate from the desperate circumstances from which it arose: two unspeakable tragedies in rapid succession. It’s hard not to wonder if we didn’t latch onto the sheer stupidity of this one incredibly inane argument for personal rights to arms as a kind of coping mechanism for the incomprehensibly painful circumstances we found ourselves in: near-constant deaths, and no clear path to stopping them within a system that works very hard to protect the status quo.
The problem is, the question wasn’t about a feral hog problem. The question stemmed from the need to protect one’s family, and that’s not something you’re likely to see an answer on from the people at Vice.
They’re too busy trying to mock a problem that they in their coastal or urban enclaves are likely never to experience. They can’t understand that it only takes a single wild hog to ruin your day if it’s angry enough. They can’t understand what it’s like to call the police and have to wait an hour for them to make it from across the county.
It’s not something they care about.
Instead, they want you to focus on El Paso and Dayton. They want you upset and afraid. They want you to be hysterical.
What they don’t want you to do, though, is recognize that it’s your duty to protect yourself and your family. No one else will because no one else can. The police, even if they did have a duty to protect you as an individual, simply aren’t going to be available the split second you need them. I had some recent experience that drove that home for me. They’re not going to be there in time.
The moment you realize that, though, is the moment you realize that nothing Vice is trying to sell is worth buying.
They don’t care about hogs. They care about making it so you and yours don’t have the means to protect yourself from a violent attack, be it from two-legged critter or four-legged ones.