California Congressman Eric Swalwell is running for president. And as a way to separate himself from the crowded field of Dems angling to win the party nom and take on Trump in 2020, Swalwell has made his anti-gun crusade the centerpiece of his campaign.
“I will be the first candidate to say that reducing gun violence has to be a top three issue,” Swalwell told Esquire. “Last year I wrote a bill calling for a buyback and ban on assault weapons — not just to ban future manufacturing, but to just take the 15 million that are out there and buy them back.”
How can the government purchase something back that never belonged to it in the first place?
But even supposing it can, what would eradicating the existence of “assault weapons” actually do to reduce crime? The answer is virtually nothing.
The FBI tells us that in 2016 rifles of any make or model were used in approximately 3 percent of firearm homicides. Even as it relates to mass killings, the number of “assault weapons” used to carry out the attacks is relatively low.
The anti-gun rag Mother Jones found that from 1982-2012 black rifles were used in only 14 percent of mass killings, debunking — unintentionally, I might add — the notion that AR-15s are the “preferred weapon” of psycho killers.
Put another way, one is about nine times more likely to get murdered with a handgun than they are a rifle or shotgun or any other firearm. Also, don’t forget that the second deadliest school attack in U.S. history was perpetrated by a killer with two commonly owned handguns. In 2007, the Virginia Tech shooter murdered 32 people and wounded at least 17 more with a Glock 19 and a Walther P22.
Ban handguns, then, is the answer? Because that’ll stop the violence. Right? Wrong! Few people talk about this nowadays but the deadliest school attack in U.S. history was the Bath School Massacre in Michigan, which occurred in 1927, long before the AR-15 made its way to the market.
The killer used explosives, including dynamite, to blow up 38 elementary schoolchildren and six adults at the Bath Consolidated School. Fifty-eight others were injured in the massacre.
Point is an America without ARs — or even without guns for that matter — is still a dangerous place. Much in the same way banning dope doesn’t stop heroin addicts from booting up, restricting access to certain pieces of hardware doesn’t stop bad people from doing bad things. Violence is inherently a people problem, not a gun problem. One would hope an elected official would understand the significant limitations of gun bans as a means to curb violence. But Swalwell completely misses the mark. BTW, Mexico largely banned civilian gun ownership, and how’s that working out?
“I’m the only candidate calling for a mandatory national ban and buyback of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons,” he recently wrote in a Chronicle op-ed. “It’s bold and will cost money, but it is constitutional and it rightly treats gun violence as a life-or-death matter. Our children deserve better than an attempt to reduce or contain gun violence. Our goal must be to end it.”
Should we be surprised by Swalwell’s ignorance? Not at all. Remember, this is the guy that suggested he’d “nuke” gun owners who resisted his confiscation decree.
And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit. I’m sure if we talked we could find common ground to protect our families and communities.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) November 16, 2018