In a crowded field of Democratic presidential hopefuls, Rep. Eric Swalwell of California is trying to distinguish himself from the herd by basing his campaign largely on a single issue: gun control. But when you examine the particulars, you’ll find his messaging is far outside the mainstream and more than likely unconstitutional.
Although he has yet to poll even 1 percent among the field of 20-plus candidates, he managed to snare a spot on the Democratic Party’s Miami debate stage later this week. He also picked up a supporter — actor Tom Arnold.
“I'm telling you there's something a different about this guy,” Arnold tweeted Sunday. “A little better. Tougher. Fearless and accessible. He's the real deal.”
He may be real, but his gun control agenda is no deal. Although he calls it “gun control,” it amounts to confiscation.
Swalwell has been talking, writing, and tweeting gun control for months now, but he waited until last week to unveil his proposals at a rally in front of the National Rifle Association’s Fairfax, Virginia, headquarters.
He tweeted, “THIS IS IT! We're announcing our comprehensive plan to END GUN VIOLENCE!”
Swalwell outlined his 8-point plan to end firearm violence on his campaign website, but only the first, sixth, and last proposals merit our attention. Everything else is filler, calling for more federal funding and “investments.” Here are the three problematic ones:
"Ban and Buy Back Semiautomatic Assault Weapons"
This has a number of issues, beginning with “ban and buy back.” There’s no such thing as a “buy back” program. The government can’t buy back something it never owned.
Furthermore, the sale of any property, be it real, personal, or intellectual, requires two parties: a willing buyer and a willing seller. You can’t “buy” something from someone who doesn’t want to sell it. Swalwell isn’t proposing a “buy back” — it’s confiscation dressed up with lipstick and a bow.
The second problem is Swalwell’s “assault weapons” ban, which refers to rifles built on the AR platform, including AR-15s and AR-10s.
Gun-grabbers latched onto the “AR” nomenclature to come up with the term “assault rifle” to make it sound all the more scary. It actually stands for ArmaLite rifle, after the company that designed it in the 1950s.
There’s nothing about AR-style rifles that make them more deadly than any other long gun. They’re simply semi-automatic rifles that include cosmetic features such as an adjustable stock, a pistol grip, and an accessory rail.
If the fact that they’re generally black is what frightens Swalwell, they’re also available in mint green, baby blue, and the ever-popular hot pink.
Furthermore, Congress implemented a 10-year ban on so-called “assault rifles” in 1994 — it had zero effect on gun-related violent crime so the ban was never extended.
"Secure All Sales of Firearms and Ammunition"
Swalwell wants to require universal background checks on the sale and transfer of all weapons, as well as ammunition.
All gun sales — whether at a sporting goods store or through a dealer at a gun show, already require a background check. Guns purchased from a dealer online are shipped to a local licensed dealer who then conducts the background check in exchange for a fee.
Earlier this year the House passed HR8, providing for universal background checks on private sales and transfers of firearms. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, called it a “big overreach” that would only affect law-abiding gun owners. Criminals wouldn’t bother following the law — they’re criminals. And Crenshaw adds in his video that it could have disastrous unintended consequences.
This is Swalwell’s most severe and overreaching proposal. He wants to give victims of gun violence the right to sue the manufacturer of the gun used in the crime. This would be the death knell to the U.S. arms industry. No gunmaker could afford to remain in business.
None of this is surprising, though. Late last year someone suggested that Swalwell’s endgame was to totally ban private gun ownership, which prompted a prediction that such a ban could set off a civil war. That didn’t faze the congressman.
“And it would be a short war my friend,” Swalwell replied. “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.”
Nukes? Really? Even in jest the comment was inappropriate.
When Swalwell announced his gun control plans, he made the mistake of including a photo of his “big” NRA demonstration. It depicted him surrounded by fewer than 20 supporters.
Despite Tom Arnold’s glowing endorsement, the RealClearPolitics average of polls gives Swalwell a minus 9.7 favorability rating.
Given his draconian agenda, Swalwell’s lack of popularity is the best news of his campaign.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He’s also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports - Click Here.
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