Much of the FBI’s Treatment of Mike Flynn Was Business as Usual, and That’s the Scandal
Agents regularly attempt to catch suspects in lies to threaten them with prosecution, even when they can’t prove underlying crimes.

Michael Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general and the former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, is back in the news after his attorneys released documents purporting to show that FBI officials considered trying to get Flynn to lie in order to prosecute him or get him fired. Flynn resigned in February 2017. In December 2017, he pled guilty to charges that he intentionally lied to the FBI about his connections and communications with a Russian ambassador.

The documents, released by Flynn’s attorneys on Wednesday, show handwritten notes that discuss strategies for interviewing Flynn. One note asks “What is our goal? Truth/admission or to get him to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” Fox News reports that the notes were written by Bill Priestap, the former head of FBI counterintelligence.

Fox highlights that question in its reporting but also contextualizes it: This document appears to show the author (again, Fox reports it is Priestap, but that has not been confirmed by the FBI or the Justice Department) questioning the tactic and suggesting that the FBI show Flynn the evidence against him rather than trick him into a lie. The author of the FBI document worries that “if we’re seen as playing games, [White House] will be furious.” At the end of the list, the author wrote, “protect our institution by not playing games.”

Much of that context is lost in an online uproar over a supposed “perjury trap” meant to bring down Trump by first bringing down Flynn. Whether or not there were individuals or factions within the agency that wanted to attack Trump, what the FBI did to Flynn is normal FBI behavior for interviewing suspects. They’ve been doing it for decades. (Remember Martha Stewart?)

This is not a defense of the FBI. What the agency did to Flynn was wrong, not because he worked for Trump, but because it is wrong to induce an otherwise not-guilty person to break the law. And it’s something FBI interviewers do regularly so that they can use their dishonesty as leverage when there’s little evidence of actual criminal behavior. Ken “Popehat” White, Reason contributing editor and a former federal prosecutor who is now a defense attorney, has written extensively about the FBI’s tactic of luring suspects into lies. After Flynn pled guilty, White used his plea deal to explain precisely why no one should sit down for an interview with FBI agents without extensive preparation.

On Wednesday, White tweeted out a useful thread explaining precisely how the FBI gets away with this and how federal laws could be reformed to eradicate the practice. Federal statute 18 USC 1001 makes it a crime to lie to the feds on a “material” matter, even if the FBI already knows the truth, aren’t misled, and the lie doesn’t affect the investigation. This incentivizes the FBI to play these games in the first place, to try to trick suspects into a lie that could be used against them. White argues that if people truly care about these tactics, they should lobby Congress to change the federal statute that makes the practice legal.

Trump appears ready to do his part in getting rid of the practice:

Framing what happened to Flynn primarily as a “deep state” conspiracy to take down Trump obscures the reality that this is a routine and completely legal FBI practice that will continue unless there are serious statutory reforms.

Today April 30

1803, Envoys from President Jefferson, Robert Livingston and James Monroe, sign the Louisiana Purchase Treaty, buying the territory from the French for $15 million.

1945, Berlin. Adolf Hitler escapes the long drop and short rope of justice that many of the rest of the Nazi’s got, when he blows his brains out.

1975. Saigon.  The city falls to forces of North Vietnam’s Peoples Army, effectively ending the Vietnam War.

 

Revisiting RAND’s Gun Law Research Review

As with the initial report, the key takeaway is that there is no solid body of empirical evidence to support the common gun control wish list items such as bans on modern sporting rifles, magazine size limits, minimum age requirements for purchasing a firearmuniversal background checks, licensing and permitting requirements or mandatory sales reporting and registration.

Also, the methodological quality of the existing body of research is low at best. As the report concludes, “the scientific literature we reviewed shows that many of the best recent studies suffer from important methodological limitations that should be addressed in future research,” and, “with a few exceptions, there is a surprisingly limited base of rigorous scientific evidence concerning the effects of many commonly discussed gun policies.” We know this already, of course.

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reported a huge increase in people seeking firearm background check requests on the day the stimulus check arrived.

Last Wednesday, the TBI received 3,917 requests for a firearm background check on the day most people received their stimulus check from the federal government. In comparison, On Wednesday, April 17, 2019, the TBI received just 972 requests.

“We did see a large amount of sales that were not typical for our store this time of the year,” said Art Cason, the general manager of Royal Range USA in Bellevue.

He said they saw a 25% to 30% increase in guns and ammunition sales when the quarantine first started and then another spike when the stimulus check hit people’s accounts.

“The ammunition was a lot like the toilet paper situation at the grocery stores,” said Cason.

Many were clearly first time buyers.

“Some of them had never even shot a gun,” said Cason.

This prosecu persecution was done simply to get some kind of leverage on the General to get him to concoct some story about President Trump.

If heads don’t roll at the highest levels for this, with trials and long prison sentences following for everyone in the FBI & DOJ involved, I don’t what we will have, but it won’t be anything anyone should call ‘The Land of the Free’.


FBI Discussed Interviewing Michael Flynn ‘To Get Him to Lie’ And ‘Get Him Fired, ‘ Handwritten Notes Show

Explosive new internal FBI documents unsealed Wednesday show that top bureau officials discussed their motivations for interviewing then-national security adviser Michael Flynn in the White House in January 2017 — and openly questioned if their “goal” was “to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”

The handwritten notes — written by the FBI’s former head of counterintelligence Bill Priestap after a meeting with then-FBI Director James Comey and then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Fox News is told — further suggested that agents planned in the alternative to get Flynn “to admit to breaking the Logan Act.”……..

“What is our goal?” one of the notes read. “Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?”

“If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ + have them decide,” another note read. Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley called the document’s implications “chilling.”………

 

 

Makes you wonder what else has been missed in NYC, doesn’t it?


Bodies found in unrefrigerated trucks in New York during COVID-19 pandemic

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The city of New York delivered a freezer truck to a funeral home on Wednesday after it was found to be storing dead bodies in unrefrigerated U-Haul vehicles, a Reuters eyewitness said.

The eyewitness saw bodies in a U-Haul van and said two vans and a truck were parked outside the funeral home.

ABC News reported about 100 bodies were stored in the vehicles after the owner of the Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Services funeral home said the freezer that normally stores bodies stopped working.

ABC did not identify the owner and no one at the funeral home was immediately available to comment. It was not clear how long the bodies had been stored in the U-Hauls or whether any were COVID-19 victims.

The bodies were found after neighbors reported an odor coming from the trucks, New York media reported.

The New York Police Department declined to comment. The Department of Health could not immediately be reached for comment.

I’ve been there. You walk around in silence, almost like the power to speak has been taken from you. And although you can walk right up to multiple little mass grave plots marked Graves of Thousands Unknown this was ‘merely’ a concentration camp. Not one of the camps in Poland designed for mass slaughter.

April 29 also marks the 72nd anniversary of Israel’s founding as a nation. Israel was formed on April 29, 1948 exactly three years after the Dachau liberation.


US troops liberated Dachau concentration camp 75 years ago

Seventy-five years ago the U.S. Army liberated Dachau, a concentration camp operated by Nazi Germany during World War II.

On April 29, 1945 the U.S. Army’s 42nd Infantry Division (Rainbow), now a part of the New York Army National Guard, uncovered the concentration camp in the town of Dachau, near Munich Germany. According to a press release by the New York National Guard, the frontline soldiers in the Army unit knew there was a prison camp in the area, but knew few details about the camp’s true nature.

“What the Soldiers discovered next at Dachau left an impression of a lifetime,” the division assistant chaplain (Maj.) Eli Bohnen wrote at the time, according to the release. “Nothing you can put in words would adequately describe what I saw there. The human mind refuses to believe what the eyes see. All the stories of Nazi horrors are underestimated rather than exaggerated.”

The U.S. Army unit uncovered thousands of bodies of men, women and children held in the concentration camp.

“There were over 4,000 bodies, men, women and children in a warehouse in the crematorium,” Lt. Col. Walter Fellenz, commander of the 1st Battalion, 222nd Infantry, said in his report. “There were over 1,000 dead bodies in the barracks within the enclosure.”

After NYS Rifle & Pistol is dismissed, SCOTUS distributes 10 Second Amendment Cases for 5/1/2020 Conference (Updated)
Four justices have signaled they are ready to take a 2nd Amendment case. Are there 5 votes to reverse?

On Monday, the Supreme Court decided NY State Rifle & Pistol Association. (Let me know if you’d like an edited copy.). Four Justices signaled they were ready to take another Second Amendment case.

Justice Kavanaugh wrote in his concurrence:

And I share Justice ALITO’s concern that some federal and state courts may not be properly applying Heller and McDonald. The Court should address that issue soon, perhaps in one of the several Second Amendment cases with petitions for certiorari now pending before the Court.

Justice Alito wrote in his dissent, joined by Justices Thomas and Gorsuch:

We are told that the mode of review in this case is representative of the way Heller has been treated in the lower courts. If that is true, there is cause for concern.

Immediately after the case was decided, the Supreme Court distributed 6 Second Amendment cases for the May 1, 2020 conference (H/T to the Duke Center for Firearms Blog.)

  1. Mance v. Barr (5th Circuit)—challenge to federal prohibition on out-of-state handgun purchases
  2. Pena v. Horan (9th Circuit)—challenge to California’s prohibition on “unsafe” handguns (including “microstamping” requirement)
  3. Gould v. Lipson (1st Circuit)—challenge to Massachusetts’s “may issue” conceal carry licensing regime
  4. Rogers v. Grewal (3rd Circuit)—challenge to New Jersey’s “may issue” conceal carry licensing regime
  5. Cheeseman v. Polillo (N.J. Supreme Court)— challenge to New Jersey’s “may issue” conceal carry licensing regime
  6. Ciolek v. New Jersey (N.J. Supreme Court )—challenge to New Jersey’s “may issue” conceal carry licensing regime

Mance v. Barr is the oldest case on the list. My colleague Alan Gura filed this petition in November 2018. It was originally distributed for the 3/29/2019 conference. But then was “rescheduled.” The petition was then distributed at the 4/12/19 conference. Yesterday, the Court scheduled the next distribution for 5/1/2020. This petition is an excellent vehicle if the Court wants a law-profile case that won’t reach any sweeping rulings.

Or, if the Court wants to take a conceal carry case, Rogers v. Grewal has been floating around since December 2018. (I am engaged in several gun-related cases with the New Jersey Attorney General). The two criminal prosecution cases can be held over, and vacated if Rogers prevails.

Once the Court decides one, or more of these cases, and clarifies the appropriate level of scrutiny, the other cases can be GVR’d.

UpdateSCOTUSBlog located four more Second Amendment cases that were distributed for the 5/1/20 conference:

  1. Worman v. Healey (1st Circuit)—challenge to Massachusetts ban on “assault weapons” and large-capacity magazines
  2. Malpasso v. Pallozzi (4th Circuit)—challenge to Maryland’s “may issue” conceal carry license regime
  3. Culp v. Raoul (7th Circuit)—Challenge to Illinois’s ban on allowing non-residents to apply for conceal carry license
  4. Wilson v. Cook County (7th Circuit)—Challenge to Cook County’s ban on “assault weapons” and large-capacity magazines

We should know Monday morning whether there is a new grant. And invariably, the local governments will try to moot the cases. Again.

Oh the Southwest side of Chicago……..

Brothers shoot suspected robber in Bridgeview

A store clerk and his brother shot a suspected robber Tuesday in Bridgeview after he allegedly tried to rob a business in southwest suburban Justice for the second time in five days.

The male tried to rob the store about 6:15 p.m. near 82nd Street and Roberts Road in Justice, but was foiled by the clerk, according to Bridgeview spokesman Ray Hanania. He was also suspected of robbing the same place on Friday.

The clerk called his brother, who was driving with friends nearby on Roberts Road, Hanania said. Together, they chased the suspected robber into Bridgeview, where they engaged in a brief shootout.

The suspected robber was shot in the back and hospitalized in good condition, Hanania said. Weapons were recovered from both the suspect and the brothers.

Bridgeview police are investigating the shootings, while Justice police are investigating the robberies, Hanania said.

Charges are pending against the suspected robber, Hanania said. The brothers will not be charged.

Sen. Kevin Cramer Leads Effort to Protect Firearm Businesses from Loan Discrimination During COVID-19

GOP Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) is spearheading an effort to ensure that firearm related small businesses do not receive discriminatory treatment from banks, after the Senate passed additional funding to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Sen. Cramer penned a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza asking the trio of administration officials, all of whom play a role in the execution of PPP loans, how this type of discrimination would be prevented. A group of GOP senators joined Sen. Cramer in defending the Second Amendment during COVID-19:

I’ll take
‘What are really nothing more than demoncrap front organizations’
for $500, Alex.


Why Have Women’s Groups Gone Dead Silent on Biden Sex-Assault Accusation?

Women’s groups and prominent feminist figures have remained almost universally silent over a former staffer’s accusation of sexual misconduct against former Vice President Joe Biden—including those individuals and groups who came to express regret for how the Democratic Party handled similar accusations made against President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

The collective non-response from mostly Democrat-aligned groups comes as potential female running mates struggle themselves in responding to the Biden allegation, which has the potential to upend his campaign against President Donald Trump, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women in alleged incidents spanning decades. And it echoes the division among progressives when the #MeToo movement revived scrutiny of Clinton’s own alleged sexual misconduct.

Man shot while attempting to burglarize Bay County home

BAY CITY, MI — Police are investigating the shooting of a suspected burglar in Bay County.

About 1:45 a.m. on Wednesday, April 29, Michigan State Police troopers and Bay County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the shooting scene at a house in the 5100 block of Baxman Road in Monitor Township. They arrived to find a resident had shot a 26-year-old man in his abdomen, said MSP Special 1st Lt. David Kaiser.

Police determined the wounded man had entered the home through a window he had broken, Kaiser said.

The wounded man was taken via ambulance to an area hospital, where he remains in stable condition.

The resident was not arrested or issued a citation, Kaiser said.

Kaiser did not know if the burglar and resident knew each other prior to the incident.


Suspected burglar shot and injured by homeowner in Lake Elsinore

A man suspected of breaking into a house in Lake Elsinore [California]  on Monday night was shot and injured by the homeowner, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday.

Deputies responded to the 18000 block of Carmela Court at around 11:30 p.m. after getting reports of gunshots in the area, authorities said. On arrival, they found a man in the street with multiple gunshot wounds.

That man was identified as Rodney Ortiz Jr, 39, of Banning. Ortiz was transported to a local hospital for his injuries.

The Sheriff’s Department said a homeowner in the area reported that Ortiz forced his way into the homeowner’s residence. Ortiz was confronted by the homeowner, who had a handgun.

“The homeowner, fearing for his safety, fired at Ortiz, who took off running and collapsed in the street in front of the residence,” officials said.

Ortiz was involved in two other vehicle burglaries in the area prior to Monday night’s burglary, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Fear is an opportunity for tyranny

And ’twas ever thus.

One of the many lessons of the COVID-19 response is how easily public official embrace tyranny, and how many people accept it because of fear.

I’m afraid of COVID-19. I’m in a relatively high-risk group, and I’m laying very low. I’ll probably lay low for longer than my state tells me to, but that’s my decision. I didn’t like the initial 2-week shutdown, but I thought I understood the reasons – flatten the curve and keep the health care system from being totally overwhelmed – and I knew it would buy us time to learn more about the illness.

Mission accomplished. It’s been far more than two weeks, and the damage from the shutdown itself has gotten to the point that it becomes crystal clear it needs to be removed. The benefits have been less clear, too. There doesn’t seem to be much evidence that shutdowns mattered all that much in the curve of the COVID-19 toll in various states and various countries. We understand more than we did, but although we don’t understand enough, we have to take a few leaps because one thing we do understand (and was clear from the start, actually) is that the shutdown itself is causing tremendous damage. And that damage is not limited to economics; it involves mental and physical health as well.

Almost six weeks ago I wrote this:

So here’s my question for all you epidemiologists and infectious disease experts out there –

Wouldn’t it be better to have only high-risk people stay home? People over 60 and those with pre-existing conditions? That way, if all those at low risk kept mingling, a lot of them would get a mild flu and herd immunity will be achieved fairly quickly, to the benefit of all, without overwhelming the health care system.

I’m not suggesting this as an actual policy right now, but I’m just wondering if my logic is flawed. I suppose the question is how long would it take for it to run its course and achieve sufficient herd immunity, and when would it be safe for us old folks to finally emerge. Also, would there be a lot of deaths among the younger ones in the meantime?

I just don’t see the end game for the current mitigation strategies.

It wasn’t rocket science to question what was happening back then. And that was before the worst of the draconian measures were put in place by governors such as Michigan’s Whitmer, which are not only startlingly strict but seemingly unrelated to any public health goal or logic involving such goals.

What’s going on? People in power like more power, particularly people on the left. Tyrants of all stripes have long used emergency powers to increase their control over the people. Sometimes those emergency powers become semi-permanent or even permanent. It certainly doesn’t surprise me that some governors are trying to stretch it out for as long as possible.

I believe that’s one of the reasons the MSM is trying to stoke fear, and has been doing so from the start. There’s plenty of fear to be had, of course, just from the basic facts of the matter without trying to increase it further. But the MSM is strongly motivated in various ways to do just that: in order to get Trump, to give petty tyrants like Whitmer more reasons to clamp down, and to increase traffic because “if it bleeds it leads.”

The real wild card in all this is how long the people are going to take it. Spring is stirring even in northern climes, and it’s fully flowering further south, and people are ready to burst forth from their own enforced isolation. Some people’s livelihoods depend on it, and a lot people feel their sanity does as well.

And some people are just tired of being told what to do without seeing sufficient reason to obey, when all they’re asking for is the freedom to go about their normal lives – or as near normal as possible, taking precautions to protect the most vulnerable.

Our Dress Rehearsal for a Police State

All my life, I have dismissed paranoids on the right (“America is headed to communism”) and the left (“It can happen here” — referring to fascism). It’s not that I’ve ever believed liberty was guaranteed. Being familiar with history and a pessimist regarding the human condition, I never believed that.

But the ease with which police state tactics have been employed and the equal ease with which most Americans have accepted them have been breathtaking.

People will argue that a temporary police state has been justified because of the allegedly unique threat to life posed by the new coronavirus. I do not believe the data will bear that out. Regardless, let us at least agree that we are closer to a police state than ever in American history.

“Police state” does not mean totalitarian state. America is not a totalitarian state; we still have many freedoms. In a totalitarian state, this article could not be legally published, and if it were illegally published, I would be imprisoned and/or executed. But we are presently living with all four of the key hallmarks of a police state:

No. 1: Draconian laws depriving citizens of elementary civil rights.

The federal, state, county and city governments are now restricting almost every freedom except those of travel and speech. Americans have been banned from going to work (and thereby earning a living), meeting in groups (both indoors and outdoors), meeting in their cars in church parking lots to pray and entering state-owned properties such as beaches and parks — among many other prohibitions.

No. 2: A mass media supportive of the state’s messaging and deprivation of rights.

The New York Times, CNN and every other mainstream mass medium — except Fox News, The Wall Street Journal (editorial and opinion pages only) and talk radio — have served the cause of state control over individual Americans’ lives just as Pravda served the Soviet government. In fact, there is almost no more dissent in The New York Times than there was in Pravda. And the Big Tech platforms are removing posts about the virus and potential treatments they deem “misinformation.”

No. 3: Use of police.

Police departments throughout America have agreed to enforce these laws and edicts with what can only be described as frightening alacrity. After hearing me describe police giving summonses to, or even arresting, people for playing baseball with their children on a beach, jogging alone without a mask, or worshipping on Easter while sitting isolated in their cars in a church parking lot, a police officer called my show. He explained that the police have no choice. They must respond to every dispatch they receive.

“And why are they dispatched to a person jogging on a beach or sitting alone in a park?” I asked.

Because the department was informed about these lawbreakers.

“And who told the police about these lawbreakers?” I asked.

His answer brings us to the fourth characteristic of a police state:

No. 4: Snitches.

How do the police dispatchers learn of lawbreakers such as families playing softball in a public park, lone joggers without face masks, etc.? From their fellow citizens snitching on them. The mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, set up a “snitch line,” whereby New Yorkers were told to send authorities photos of fellow New Yorkers violating any of the quarantine laws. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti similarly encouraged snitching, unabashedly using the term.

It is said that about 1 in every 100 East German citizens were informers for the Stasi, the East German secret police, as superbly portrayed in the film “The Lives of Others.” It would be interesting, and, I think, important, to know what percentage of New Yorkers informed on their fellow citizens. Now, again, you may think such a comparison is not morally valid, that de Blasio’s call to New Yorkers to serve a Stasi-like role was morally justified given the coronavirus pandemic. But you cannot deny it is Stasi-like or that, other than identifying spies during World War II, this is unprecedented in American history at anywhere near this level.

This past Friday night, I gathered with six others for a Shabbat dinner with friends in Santa Monica, California. On my Friday radio show, I announced I would be doing that, and if I was arrested, it would be worth it. In my most pessimistic dreams, I never imagined that in America, having dinner at a friend’s house would be an act of civil disobedience, perhaps even a criminal act. But that is precisely what happens in a police state.

The reason I believe this is a dress rehearsal is that too many Americans appear untroubled by it; the dominant force in America, the left, supports it, and one of the two major political parties has been taken over by the left. Democrats and their supporters have, in effect, announced they will use state power to enforce any law they can to combat the even greater “existential” crisis of global warming.

On the CNN website this weekend, in one of the most frightening and fanatical articles in an era of fanaticism, Bill Weir, CNN chief climate correspondent, wrote an open letter to his newborn son. In it, he wrote of his idealized future for America: “completely new forms of power, food, construction, transportation, economics and politics.”

You cannot get there without a police state.

If you love liberty, you must see that it is jeopardized more than at any time since America’s founding. And that means, among other things, that at this time, a vote for any Democrat is a vote to end liberty.

Hog Hunting In The Time Of Coronavirus
In Texas, you can still hunt feral hogs despite the lockdowns. Just make sure you prepare like it’s the end of the world.

Preparing for a hog hunt is like preparing for the end of the world. You need a reliable rifle and ammunition, of course, but you also need a bunch of other stuff—a sidearm, maps, binoculars, compass, flashlight, knife, raingear, boots, food and water, two-way radios. Once you’re all geared up, you can’t help but think that if the end came, you’d be ready.

The feeling is even more intense when you go hog hunting during a global pandemic. It might not be the apocalypse, but when it comes to buying guns and ammo—or toilet paper—it might as well be.

I know, because I recently went on a hog hunt in East Texas. Hunting feral hogs might not seem like an essential activity during coronavirus lockdowns, but here in Texas it is.

Or at least it isn’t banned. In his March 31 executive order, Gov. Greg Abbott made it clear that hunting and fishing are not prohibited so long as proper measures are taken to prevent the spread of the disease.

Some friends and I had been planning a hog hunt for months, long before the pandemic upended our lives, and as the appointed weekend neared, we decided that if the governor said we could go and the ranch owner still wanted us to come, then we’d throw some face masks and hand sanitizer in our packs and go kill some hogs. Even if we didn’t get any, it would at least get us out of the house to somewhere besides the grocery store and Home Depot.

Yes, People Hunt Feral Hogs
For the uninitiated, hog hunting is hugely popular across the South and especially Texas, which has the largest feral hog population in the country by far, some two million and counting (nationwide, there are between six and nine million feral hogs spread across 39 states).

Last summer, Texas lawmakers unanimously passed a law allowing anyone, resident or not, to hunt feral hogs on private land without a license, year round, with no limits. As far as the state is concerned, hunting feral hogs is pretty much like hunting rats or possums. If you see them, you can kill them.

If that seems harsh, understand that feral hogs aren’t domestic farm pigs. The term “feral hog” refers to hybrids of Eurasian wild boars (introduced to North America by Spanish conquistadors in the sixteenth century) and domesticated hogs that have escaped and gone feral. With the latter, they actually change physically, growing thick coats of hair and sharp tusks.

They’re an invasive, non-native wild species that’s incredibly destructive and sometimes dangerous. They tear up ranch land, destroy crops, infect livestock with diseases, eat endangered species, and on rare occasions will attack and kill people. In addition, they are incredibly intelligent and difficult to hunt or trap.

Many Americans have no awareness of this. Recall the “30-50 feral hogs” meme explosion that ensued when Willie McNabb, some random guy in southern Arkansas, responded to a tweet by musician Jason Isbell questioning the necessity of “assault weapons” in the wake of a mass shooting. “Legit question for rural Americans,” McNabb wrote, “How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?”

Everyone on the internet had a good laugh at McNabb’s expense until some people pointed out that actually, feral hogs are a problem in rural America, can be very dangerous, and sometimes travel in herds of 30 or more. The Washington Post even ran an explainer-type piece about the affair.

Four months later, after everyone had forgotten about it, Christine Rollins, a 59-year-old caretaker for an elderly couple in rural east Texas, was killed by a large herd of feral hogs after she got out of her car, right in front of the couple’s home.

Attacks like that are rare, but property damage from feral hogs is commonplace. All told, they cause about $2 billion in property damage nationwide every year, an amount that’s steadily growing. In Texas alone the annual damage estimate is in the hundreds of millions, so there’s a powerful incentive for landowners to kill or trap as many as they can.

In recent years, they’ve begun outsourcing that killing to hunters, and in the process have managed to monetize the hog problem. Today, Texas hog hunting is its own little industry. Ranches all over the state offer almost every conceivable hog hunting experience, from traditional blind hunting, walking and stalking, night hunts with thermal and night vision optics, and for those willing to spend a couple thousand dollars—at least—helicopter hunts, including helicopter hunts with fully automatic rifles. There are even places that will take you hog hunting with a pack of trained dogs and a knife. (The dogs attack and pin the hog, and you come in with a knife and stab it in the heart.)

But no matter how many hogs are hunted down, it doesn’t make a dent in the population. Every year, hunters in Texas kill tens of thousands of the animals, but there’s no way to kill or trap them faster than they can reproduce. Females can begin breeding as young as six months old and produce two litters every 12 to 15 months, with an average of four to eight piglets per litter, or in the case of older sows, 10 to 13 piglets.

Hence, the population explosion of feral hogs over the past four decades:

Once primarily a rural problem, feral hogs are now becoming a problem in suburban areas. The federal government has even taken notice. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture created an office devoted to the wild hog problem, the National Feral Swine Damage Management Program, which produced a 250-page report last year on mitigation efforts……………