Why is '30-50 feral hogs' trending? Plus the best memes about viral Tweet defending assault weapons

Tom Herbert

A Twitter user's bizarre defence of assault weapons has gone viral following the tragic shootings in America over the weekend.

Calls to ban assault weapons in America have resurfaced once again after 31 people were killed in two devastating shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio on Saturday and Sunday.

William McNabb waded into the gun control debate on Monday evening with a tweet in which he defended keeping assault weapons as a defence against "30-50 feral hogs" running into his back yard where his children play.

But the tweet was widely mocked online because of the odd mental image it conjures up and has inspired countless memes.

What happened?

American gun control laws are again a topic of debate in the wake of the weekend's shootings in El Paso and Dayton in which 29 people lost their lives.

Alleged gunman Patrick Crusius, 21, is accused of carrying out a gun rampage through a Walmart superstore in the Texas border city of El Paso that claimed 22 lives and left dozens more wounded on Saturday.

In an unrelated shooting spree in Dayton, Ohio, in the early hours of Sunday morning, Connor Betts, 24, opened fire in a busy nightlife district, killing another nine victims, including his own sister.

Musician Jason Isbell reacted to the tragic news with a tweet which read: "If you’re on here arguing the definition of “assault weapon” today you are part of the problem. You know what an assault weapon is, and you know you don’t need one."

However Arkansas-based McNabb, who describes himself as a libertarian in his Twitter bio, replied: "Legit question for rural Americans - How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?"

But McNabb's response quickly went viral, with many Twitter users finding comedy in the absurd argument he put forward for defending the use of assault weapons in the home.

Are feral hogs a problem in America?

Feral hogs are a problem in America (USDA)

According to the USDA, feral hogs are a "dangerous, destructive, invasive species", introduced to America in the 1500s.

Feral pigs costs the US around $1.5 billion each year in "damage and control costs". The animals are known to damage property, agriculture and ecosystems, along with sites such as cemeteries and can carry certain diseases.

They breed quickly and have spread across the US and hunting alone is thought not enough to control them. However, it is recommended that if you do see swarms of hogs storming your backyard that you refrain from firing off rounds from your assault rifles while your kids play but instead contact officials to deal with them.

Best 'feral hog' memes