SWATting: From Random Prank to Political Tactic


When the concept of SWATting first emerged a few years ago, the incidents were typically dismissed as random pranks. Teenagers acting out in retaliation for a loss on XBox Live. Idiots calling the police on celebrities to see the reactions. While these incidents were no less dangerous, they were not politically motivated. Now, that has changed.

First, a primer on SWATting for the uninitiated. SWATting is the practice of calling the cops and falsely claiming that a violent crime is in progress. A kidnapping, an armed gunman, that kind of thing. The police show up in a heightened sense of alert, guns drawn, and the potential for a violent confrontation is high. Actual SWAT teams aren’t always involved, but high-profile incidents where they were gave the prank its name. The prank is extraordinarily dangerous, putting innocent people in a situation where they could easily be shot by the police.

Isn’t it ironic that it would become a favorite tactic of the extreme anti-gun leftists?

The pro-Second Amendment website Bearing Arms has broken a story about one of these incidents that occurred in Fairfax, VA on the 15th of October. The harrowing and disturbing story recounts the experience of open carry proponent Robert Dickens, who was leaving 7-11 with his pistol on his hip when he was pulled over by the Fairfax County Police. Before he could get off his motorcycle, three more cop cars pulled in behind him.

What could have ended in tragedy was thankfully put to rest due to Dickens’ calm demeanor and the professionalism of the Fairfax cops. They told Dickens that a man had called to report an armed robbery at the 7-11, giving the police a description of Dickens. While the caller later turned out to be a habitual SWATter with mental health issues, it goes to show what kinds of people these anti-gun zealot organizations attract with their insane philosophy. The Facebook page of Moms Demand Action, for instance, is regularly littered with frothing supporters who advocate calling the police whenever they see open carriers in the wild.

One of the most notable SWATting incidents of the year took place in an Ohio Wal-Mart, which led to the death of John Crawford, a shopper who was carrying around a BB gun sold by the store itself. Cops shot Crawford before he had a chance to surrender. The 911 caller, Ronald Ritchie, has not yet been charged for making the exaggerated claims that led to the incident, and his motivations have not been uncovered.

I don’t think these incidents represent the gun-control movement as a whole, but there’s no question that groups like Moms Demand Action need to be better about culling the lunatics from their own ranks. As Bearing Arms points out, they ruthlessly delete any comments from their page that don’t agree with their anti-gun philosophy, meaning they are at least tacitly approving of the ones that advocate SWATting.

Gun control support in the U.S. is on the decline, but that’s good news and bad news for freedom-loving, law-abiding gun owners. Good news, because it means we’ll see fewer restrictions when it comes to Second Amendment freedoms. Bad news, because it means the anti-constitutional minority may grow more desperate as they are rejected. Judging by what some of these people already find acceptable in their holy war against guns, I shudder to think what might be coming.


  1. Darrell Murray says

    When a person is caught pulling this stunt, five years in prison ought to straighten them out!

    1. Terry Rushing says

      The prisons are over capacity now so that isn’t likely to happen. I agree that there should be some consequences to such maliciousness but I haven’t a suggestion. Perhaps a civil action for recovery of expenses by police as well as civil action by the victim would be the route. People who indulge themselves is this “prank” should be mindful of the story about the boy who cried “wolf” once too often.

    2. ipsd48 says

      ………and if someone dies as a result………………20 yrs to life

  2. Morgan23 says

    I, on the other hand, believe that the Anti Gun left wingers are a bunch of emotionally unstable low information hysterics lead by a mentally unstable leadership that incite this hysterical response with a hidden agenda of disarming the American People.

    1. lorenvpf says

      Could not have said it better myself.

    2. Libertarian1911 says

      It is these same radical left wingers that resort to violence at the drop of a hat that should not have guns in the first place. They seem to lack any sort of control over their emotions and go right to violence as the solution of a problem. They project this same pattern of behavior upon everyone else thinking that gun owners would behave just like themselves and always resort to violence to solve any problem.

    3. sweetolbob says

      Almost correct. Led by mentally unstable leadership who really enjoy the limelight and couldn’t get another job with the inflated salary, the perks, and the goodies that come with being a “big cheese”. Kinda like Sarah Brady, who went from crusading against the nut that shot her husband, (incidentally, he’s loose again) to the Queen of the anti gun set.

      1. Krazeehors says

        When did they let him go?

        The last I heard they were charging him with homicide in the death of James Brady.

    4. Yadja says

      I just posted something stinks here. Your theory sounds par for the course.

    5. NelsonE says

      People that are so sick in the head and so extremely vicious as to call police on us innocent law abiding gun owning Americans in the hope that police will overreact,like police is doing more and more nationwide,and unjustly shoot and kill us law abiding gun owners should be charged with multiple felonies,go to prison and be made to pay for any and all damages that may occur because of their hatefulness,their selfishness and psychopathic actions of unjustly calling the police and maliciously using the police to further their sick agendas.As another person posted on here,there are laws against yelling fire in any theater/restaurant because of what yelling fire in those places can do,so the same should apply to hateful psychopaths that unjustly call police on us law abiding gun owning Americans in the hopes that police will unjustly shoot and kill us.

      1. Krazeehors says

        I have been the victim of “Spite Callers” TWICE.

        Once was my division superintendent in the military, who called Child Protective Services when my two year old son suffered a tiny little scratch from falling in the process of learning to walk. Took me YEARS to find out who did it — until he did it to another woman in the same way for the same reason.

        Then, just 6 years ago, my son’s MOTHER-IN-LAW (who had and has a history of serious mental problems) called Adult Protective Services claiming that I had abused my mother, who was living with me at the time.

        The only problem was that THIS time, she called my retired cop brother on the other side of the country, who bought the story lock, stock, and barrel, and then tried to put me in jail.

        We have not spoken since, he still believes he was right in spite of what my mother says to the contrary, and this woman’s actions destroyed my family.

        1. Krazeehors says

          Oh yeah, and she DID it for ONE reason:

          I owed her $40.

          1. William Burke says

            So wipe your behind with a pair of $20 bills, and send them to her.

          2. Krazeehors says

            I was raised to rise above all of that. One of the lessons my dad always taught me was to “Never lower yourself to another person’s standards.”

            This woman has a very LONG history of turning people in for child and adult abuse. I think this is her way of getting attention and revenge, as she has done it to my kids 3 times.

            She even schemed to have my youngest granddaughter taken away from her mother AT BEDSIDE and then, “handing her to her youngest daughter,” because she couldn’t have any children. Her plan didn’t work because her daughter was late arriving. She even had “social workers” from CPS standing by to witness her actions.

            They would have also witnessed a murder, because there was NO WAY I was going to let this crazy woman steal MY GRANDDAUGHTER.

            When my son was in training, she schemed to take my two oldest grandchildren away stating that “(Her daughter” was only ‘capable’ of taking care of ONE child.”

            That also would have happened over my dead body.

            Sadly, this woman is a “disabled veteran” who schemed her way into 100% disability for PTSD and Gulf War Syndrome. Spent more time in a combat unit that Carter has little pills

            The ONLY saving grace was that I KNEW many of the people she was hospitalized with because I happen to have been dealing with PTSD for over 35 years. They all, without exception, called her a “F*****g Wannabee” because her story changed every single time. When a person has been truly traumatized, the story never changes.

        2. William Burke says

          I’m saddened this happened to you, beyond words, but I am sorry. That was NOT your brother. That was a pod person.

    6. Standandfight says

      These are the ones that go directly to prison no trial no lawyer no judge automatic sentence.

    7. daveveselenak says

      As M. Savage correctly stated: Lieralism is a mental disease and the mentally disordered incessantly prove it by their disturbed behavoir.

    8. Leo Klaudi says

      I agree, you sure tagged tis one.

  3. Mark Clemens says

    Moms against anything will trample upon your rights. Look how MADD has complete disregard for the 4th, 5th Right amendments. To advance their BLOOD LAW.

  4. fred says

    SWAT teams, little boys with TOO many toys, and they ARE just like the gestapo and being used by criminals in gov’t to harass and destroy everyone good, except the TRUE criminals! Never call the police if a REAL crime is commited anymore, thry are just there to COLLECT money from those of us who still have some, don’t kid yourselves otherwise! Get out and VOTE, send the newest Hitler from Kenya to jail!

  5. CalebJ says

    Interesting story! Until we get adequate background checks on gun transfers, I’ll play safe and regard everyone (except law enforcers in uniform) who displays a gun in a public place as POTENTIALLY a homicidal maniac. Best let the cops know…

    1. linda15419 says

      Don’t be stupid. Use some judgement. Do you call the cops every time you see someone having a drink in a restaurant? Are they automatically going to drive drunk and kill someone? You are pulling the cops off real crime and wasting resources. If you do it often, you’ll be labelled as a whack- job. Oh, wait . . .

    2. NelsonE says

      Tell us CalebJ,what special brand of stupid are you to make such a statement like the one you make here?I had to pass a background check when I got my firearms license,and even though I have a firearms license I have to pass a background check each and every time I buy any firearm.I ordered a AR15 lower receiver from an internet vendor and that AR15 lower receiver had to be sent to a local gun shop where I had to go and pass a background check before the gun shop would release the AR15 lower receiver to me.It is easy to see by your idiotic,ignorant and extremely hateful post that you are not a firearms owner and what’s more you have no clue as to what purchasing firearms really entails so do us all a really big favor and shut the hell up you communist leaning fascist hateful fool.”Best let” your mother know what a mistake and total waste of resources she committed when instead of aborting you she was stupid enough to go through with the pregnancy.And as for your unwavering belief and trust in “the cops” I guess you’re too God damned stupid and uninformed to notice that police nationwide are unjustly shooting and killing innocent people,innocent family pets,unjustly robbing law abiding people of their hard earned money,and as if that wasn’t egregious,heinous and vile enough on the part of “the cops” cops nationwide are also molesting and raping women and children,just ask nypd sergeant Alberto Randazzo,


      Thursday, October 30, 2014, 2:30 AM

      Federal prosecutors have indicted a Colorado woman on charges of
      conspiring with an NYPD sergeant on Skype to molest her 1-year-old, the
      Daily News has learned.

      Keira Norton and Sgt. Alberto Randazzo each face a mandatory minimum
      sentence of 15 years in prison if they are convicted of the sickening
      charges in Brooklyn Federal Court.

      Randazzo, 38, was busted by the feds in February on charges of
      downloading kiddie porn while free on bail in connection with state
      charges that he had solicited women to sexually abuse their children.

    3. Terry Rushing says

      Let me guess: You attended public school, you reside in the northeast, you believe that the police will protect you and you vote for liberal candidates.

      1. NelsonE says

        Why don’t you post “Gun Free Zone” signs on your house if you’re so against guns CalebJ?Let us know how that works out for you,provided the criminals don’t murder you after they invade your house beat,rob and victimize your stupid ass.

    4. Marvin Sauer says

      Once this happens enough you will see the police response diminish, they will start to assume the calls are NOT real emergency’s. They will quickly get to the point certain phone numbers reporting 911 calls are bogus. When they reach this point I hope you never need true emergency service, You will find the response to your calls will be less than emergency status. The boy who cried WOLF! too many times. Your actions will in fact endanger people in need of true emergency service, Are you willing to take responsibility for your actions when your actions result in an innocent person not receiving the necessary immediate emergency care?

    5. mac12sam12 says

      We have adequate background checks. If you sell a weapon to a criminal without a transfer your name is attached to the serial number. If that weapon is used in a crime you’ll be arrested along with the criminal.

    6. Libertarian1911 says

      So, it is your educated opinion that anyone, other than a uniformed law enforcement officer, with a legal open carry is a criminal? That is very enlightened. What is your opinion of people who carry concealed? Are they also criminals? Do you also call the police to report them? Whether you realize it or not you are surrounded by honest citizens who carry every day. There are millions of guns on the street every day concealed in holsters, pockets, bags, or under jackets. Keep looking over your shoulder, the guns are out there.

    7. burt banford says

      That is bull Yes be scared of the cops. They are just looking to use there new toys.

    8. William Burke says

      Government troll.

  6. Florio Vino says

    Morgan! You are so right! The anti-gun NUTS are just people that are looking for a cause, and promote causes of the own, which resulted in more violence than has ever resulted from “Guns” that have been used to protect this once wonderful Country, now second rate, because of thes ANTI-ANTI` everything that made this Country the first rate one that now is going downhill. Fewer guns have been used to commit heinous crimes, than have been used to protect this once WONDEROUS place. WE have to make certain and hopefully WE WILL as a result of this election return SANITY to our COUNTRY and peace protecting us from others by the proper utilization of our GUNS. Look at Chicago!! There have been more crimes committed daily than in some of our Military actions. Not only GUNS are being used, that have illegally obtained from other sources outside of that area, but KNIVES, AXES and anything that can be used to commit criminal acts of murder and terror. There is an answer, and it is to use the NATIONAL GUARD resources to stop it, or reduce it to a minmal amount as there will always be CRIME !

    1. William Burke says

      Elections? Really? That horse left the barn a long time ago. Elections are largely rigged now!

  7. Yadja says

    Very interesting and confusing. We have laws against crying “Fire” in a crowded theater guess next thing will be this. Something does not smell right here.

    1. William Burke says

      You are standing over a rotting corpse, with a knife sticking out of its back, and all you can say is, “something does not smell right here!”?


      1. Yadja says

        I realize the dangers in this and I know about the militarization of our police departments across our country and there have been some deaths associated with them reacting and yes I know it is a dangerous situation, I am just wondering why these people have decided this is a good thing to do.

        Adding fuel to the gun control fire….that is where I was coming from. I have seen them over react in my tiny town, 20 police cars, as many US Marshall cars, a command center set up, Swat Teams all over the place and up and down the roads, full gear, an armored vehicle I thought it was WWIII, turned out it was a 20 year old who was defying his warrant and they came prepared for battle. Luckily the kid surrendered before they blew his house to pieces.

        I just am still digesting this.

  8. Don Dale says

    There SHOULD be laws in place to prevent this crap from happening. If a false report is called in and an over eager rookie kills an innocent person, what is in place to stop the anti-gun nut from doing the same thing tomorrow?

    1. William Burke says

      In all probability, it will be the anti-self defense lunatic in the first place.

  9. EDWARD MIKAN says


  10. William Burke says

    You have got to be kidding. Moms Demand Action They’ll Never Get is led by Shannon Watts, former MONSANTO lobbyist. She’s a hired assassin! She is NOT a principled person at all.

    If she “culled the lunatics”, she’d have to fire herself! These are not misguided people; these people are willful tyrants.

  11. vintageautomobilia says

    Ronald Ritchie should be charged with two murders. The man the police killed and the woman who suffered a heart attack and died. He committed a crime when he called in a false 911 claim, and both of these deaths are directly linked to that.

  12. Standandfight says

    The people that cause these confrontation are the parties that need to see the inside of a prison. No lawyers no trial by jury automatic prison sentence.

  13. Kat says

    At the very least these fools should be charged with filing a false police report.

  14. Sluggo D. Mann says

    I always said these liberal anti-gun crybabies were mental cases.

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