Why ‘30-50 feral hogs’ have hijacked the U.S. gun reform debate

A heated Twitter discussion about banning assault weapons in the U.S. took an unexpected turn over the weekend, when one comment threw the internet into a confused frenzy over feral hogs.

After back-to-back mass shootings on Friday and Saturday in Dayton, Oh. and El Paso, Tx., talk of gun law reform — especially around high-powered assault weapons — in the United States heated up. Both shooters reportedly used high-powered rifles.

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Musician Jason Isbell decided to contribute to the conversation.

“If you’re on here arguing the definition of ‘assault weapon’ today you are part of the problem,” he wrote on Twitter. “You know what an assault weapon is, and you know you don’t need one.”

It was Twitter user William McNabb’s response that threw people for a loop, after he used an anecdote of feral hogs to defend ownership of assault weapons.

“Legit question for rural Americans,” he wrote. “How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?”

READ MORE: 9 killed, 27 injured in Ohio during second mass shooting in U.S. within 24 hours

Some read McNabb’s tweet as an argument for using assault weapons to defend one’s property from wild animals.

However, others were confused and mystified by the prospect of a massive wild pig invasion.

“Feral hogs” started trending on Twitter with hundreds of hilarious memes pointing out the absurdity of McNabb’s argument.

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Feral hogs may generate plenty of humour on Twitter, but they’re also a source of frustration and angst in some parts of North America, where they’re considered an invasive species.

A study out of the University of Saskatchewan earlier this year dubbed the spread of wild pigs an “ecological train wreck.”


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