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Political Coercion on Campus

Swatting Comes to Binghamton University

Liberals often pontificate about how we need to raise the level discourse of our political conversations.  They claim they want to get rid of “fiery rhetoric” and stop the demonization of people and polices.  Liberals talk the talk but they do not walk the walk.  As with everything in politics liberals want conservatives to do all the conceding while they continue with business as usual.  Lately you see this with the debate on the sequestration.  They claim conservatives want “dirty air and water”, “no police”, and “no fire departments”.  You also see it when it comes to the debate on the 2nd Amendment.  Liberals use rhetoric like “They care about guns more than kids” and “NRA is pro-murder.”

Liberals do not have any intention of giving up using fiery rhetoric or their demonization of conservatives.  They are actually intensifying their assaults on conservatives and they are taking no prisoners.  Lately their attacks have been more than just on television or in the pages of periodicals.  Liberals have taken to using tactics designed to intimidate and terrorize their political opponents.  The tactic they have started using is known as “swatting.”  No it does not entail a flyswatter.  It is a very terrible and dangerous action that puts the victim in danger.  I myself have recently become a victim of swatting.

Before going into my story I want to inform people on what swatting is.  As I stated above swatting is meant to intimidate and terrorize the victim.  It does this by using the police as their tool.  A swatting usually starts with the perpetrator placing an anonymous call to the police.  Often the caller uses a Skype like program that masks the original IP address.  The caller sometimes masks the number being used as the victim’s home phone or cell phone.  The caller then claims to be the intended victim and claiming they have hostages or just killed a love one.  The call is intended to provoke a response from police and have them mobilize a SWAT team, hence the term “swatting.”  Being that police think they are moving into and active shooter/hostage situation they are on edge.  It is very terrifying when cops surround your home decked out in full combat gear.  And being that cops are on edge going into the situation there is a possibility that the victim of the swatting may be shot in the confusion.

Lately this tactic has been used against prominent conservative bloggers.  The victims of these swatting incidences are not bloggers in their mother’s basement.  They are very active people in everyday life and the conservative movement.  Editor-in-chief of RedState.com and CNN’s own conservative, Erik Erickson was swatted in May of 2012.  A lawyer and blogger, from Virginia, Aaron Walker, aka @AaronWorthing , was swatted in June of 2012.  Deputy District Attorney and blogger Patrick “@Patterico” Frey was also swatted last year.  In these cases the swatter, who is suspected to be the same person, pretended to be the victim and told police he just shot his wife.  Conservative actor Clint Eastwood was also swatted in February of this year (2013).

As anyone that knows me, or is friends with me on Facebook, is aware of; I am very outspoken about my political opinions.  I am also very active on Twitter (@NickFondacaro) and I post articles on RedState.com.  I often infuriate the liberals I am friends with or encounter on twitter when I present  them with the facts in our argument.  Lately I have been posting a lot of memes and articles about guns and the 2nd Amendment.  I shared a meme that had a picture of bullets and said something to the affect of “Invest in precious metals, buy lead.”  I also commented that I recently bought 180 shares.  Someone decided that that was a good enough motive and good enough evidence to call Binghamton University Police and claim I was storing the ammunition on campus.

On Tuesday 2/12/13, campus police (1 Officer) came to my, on campus, apartment and said they got an anonymous call claiming I had bought ammunition and that it might be in my apartment.  I told them that yes I did by ammo, I had it shipped to a friend’s house in Pennsylvania, and it is now at my house (which is over 25 miles away from the campus).  All of which is the truth.  He asked where I lived and I said Afton (NY) and he said “OH, Afton” which I took to mean that he knew I live locally.  He asked me the caliber and I said 5.56.  He responded with “so you have a .223 at home?” and I said yes.  He then said “It’s one of those ‘assault weapons’.”  He used his fingers to quote the words ‘assault weapons’ and used a sarcastic tone of voice.  At one point he said something to the effect of “with the way things are now I just have to check into all claims.”  He ask if I had anything to prove it was shipped to my friend’s house so I showed him the confirmation email from CheaperThanDirt.com showing where it was shipped to. He asked that I forward him the email to help “calm people down” and I did. He then asked a final time if I had any ammo or weapons, I said no, he said fine, and then he left.  At no point was I ever under arrest.

I then took to the internet to inform all of my friends and others in the conservative movement that I was just swatted.  I am very thankful for the overwhelming support I received from friends and strangers.  I also contacted, swatting victim, Aaron Walker on twitter and asked him what his opinion is about what just transpired.  He responded to me saying “IMHO an attempted swatting.”  I agree with him.  I am thankful that the officers on our campus are reasonable and level headed.  I also contacted the head of the Office of Student Conduct, who I know from my work in our student government.  He assured me that nothing would come of it and if anything did come up, to call him.

The idea that someone would stoop so low as to use swatting to try and shut me up is disturbing.  Shutting up your opposition is not how one conducts a civil conversation.  I do not know who it was that swatted me but I have my suspicions.  No matter who is responsible it is despicable.  I am saddened to think that someone would use such a terrible tactic.  No matter the reason; the ends do not justify the means.  Liberals claim that want a raise political discussions to a higher level.  Using tactics like swatting is evidence that they do not.  Until liberals stop using terrorist tactics like swatting there is no hope for a change in the discussion.

[Please follow me on Twitter @NickFondacaro, thanks for reading!]

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