If the hoaxers that decided to attempt to “swat” Katherine Clark (D) thought that it would make her re-think the legislation that she is sponsoring they thought wrong.
This is not the first time that a lawmaker has been targeted by swatters, but for the 54-year-old Clark it was a disconcerting event. When her quiet evening at home was interrupted by the bright floodlights of police, Clark was surprised to find cruisers blocking both ends of her street and armed police officers on her front lawn, some carrying “long guns.”
It’s a pretty terrifying sight at 10 o’clock, after a nice weekend with your family.
Clark said that the “swatting” was likely prompted by the legislation that she is is sponsoring, the Interstate Swatting Hoax Act. This law aims at ending the practice of swatting — maliciously calling in a false report to police designed to elicit a large law enforcement response, like a heavily armed SWAT team — by making it a federal crime with escalating consequences based on the damage caused by swatters.
Clark discussed the legislation that likely spurred the hoax, and said it is fortunate that in her situation the emergency response to the fake report did not end in violence.
But that’s not always the case. So the criminal punishments go up in accordance with what harm is inflicted. And it also provides that, if we can catch the perpetrator, [prosecutors] also have the ability to make them pay for the cost of these events.
When asked if this report would make her less vocal, Clark laughed. Since 2013 Clark has made fighting cyber abuse a priority. It was through her work with the victims of cyber crimes that Clark became aware of the practice of Swatting, and is not going to be backing off on this issue anytime soon.
“No,” said Clark “If that was the intent of calling in this event, I think they have underestimated my commitment to making sure that we do stop this practice.”
If anything, Clark said, it would make her “double down” on her efforts to end the dangerous, irresponsible, potentially lethal and expensive practice.
No mother should have to answer the door to the police in the middle of the night and fear for her family’s safety simply because an anonymous person disagrees with her.
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Featured image via The More You Know