Handsome Mike Gatto, protector of California’s 43rd District, saw some action on his anti-swatting bill today as it passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee by a staggering unanimous vote. If signed into law, AB 47 will implement tough new fines and mandatory jail time for those caught swatting.
What’s swatting, you ask? It’s an extremely dangerous new prank not unlike ordering a pizza to an enemy’s house. Only instead of ordering a pizza, you call 911 and beg for a SWAT team to show up and neutralize some phantom threat.
While that sounds hilarious, Gatto explained there’s an unintended downside. “Swatting is a dangerous prank and a serious drain of public-safety resources away from real emergencies,” Gatto crooned before a wall of swooning female reporters. “This bill is not just about protecting folks like Justin Bieber. It’s about protecting kids playing in the street when emergency vehicles needlessly speed by. It’s about protecting homeowners and law enforcement when a house is needlessly stormed.”
That seemingly inexplicable reference to the Biebs finds its root in a recent high-profile swatting of the teen heartthrob’s mansion. Other musical luminaries like Ryan Seacrest, Justin Timberlake and Rihanna have also been targeted. But lest you assume Handsome Mike’s only looking out for his favorite musicians, rest assured that he introduced the law last year, back when swatting was only being used as a weapon against political bloggers.