Why Bernie Sanders is Wrong For Advocating Swatting

During the most recent Democratic debate, Senator Bernie Sanders (I, VT) said something rather startling:

If somebody is loading guns and ammunition into a house, I think it’s a good idea to call 911. Do it.

You can see the video of that exchange for yourself here.

bernie sanders cnbc
Senator Bernie Sanders (I, VT). Image courtesy of CNBC.

Now, the question was talking about racial profiling. I’ve scoured the internet for anything that explicitly said that these neighbors saw guns or ammunition being loaded. If anybody reading this finds evidence to the contrary, I’ll happily amend this post.

What was being reported was between four to six individuals who appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent that loitered in the area, as well as “work” being done in the garage and large packages being delivered.

I know for a fact that the San Bernardino shooters did not have Federal Firearms Licenses, the possession of which is mandated to receive a firearm in the mail, so it is highly unlikely that they received firearms in the mail.

Directly from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms website about shipping firearms in the mail:

Generally, for a person to lawfully transfer a firearm to an unlicensed person who resides out of State, the firearm must be shipped to a Federal firearms licensee (FFL) within the transferee’s State of residence. The transferee may then receive the firearm from the FFL upon completion of an ATF Form 4473 and a NICS background check.


A nonlicensee may not transfer a firearm to a non-licensed resident of another State. A nonlicensee may mail a shotgun or rifle to a resident of his or her own State or to a licensee in any State. The Postal Service recommends that long guns be sent by registered mail and that no marking of any kind which would indicate the nature of the contents be placed on the outside of any parcel containing firearms. Handguns are not mailable. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun.

But, for sake of argument, let’s say that instead of being mailed packages in the mail, the shooters went and bought firearms and ammunition and were openly seen bringing them from their car to their home.

Owning a firearm is not illegal, nor is it grounds for probable cause to conduct an investigation.

Owning ammunition is not illegal, nor is it grounds for probable cause to conduct an investigation.

Transporting weapons and ammunition to and from your vehicle is definitely not illegal, nor grounds for probable cause. Otherwise, how would anybody get to and from the range without undergoing interrogation?

What Bernie Sanders has done, after a fashion, is twist a question to promote his anti-gun agenda and has advocated for people to “swat” others.

According to Wikipedia:

Swatting is the act of deceiving an emergency service (via such means as hoaxing an emergency services dispatcher) into dispatching an emergency response based on the false report of an ongoing critical incident.

This is not the first time that anti-gunners have advocated for their followers to “swat” law abiding gun owners. It is definitely the first time, to my knowledge, that a presidential candidate has openly encouraged people to “swat” others.

This is what happens when you “swat” people.

swatting tyran dobbs wjla-tv
“Swatting” victim Tyran Dobbs. Image courtesy of The Blaze via WJLA-TV.

That was somebody who was unarmed.

Imagine if people took Senator Sanders seriously and “swatted” gun owners on a regular basis. Imagine how many people would be killed simply because somebody afraid of an inanimate object was too ignorant to read up on the law.

Do the research. Get the facts.

(featured image source: 6abc.com)

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