It is not very often that a member of the media will willfully call out an elected Democrat, much less a Presidential candidate. However, in a recent CNN “State of the Union” show, Jake Tapper interviewed Presidential candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), discussing Swalwell’s signature campaign issue: gun control.
Tapper began by saying: “So, gun control is the central plank in your campaign. You wrote last year: ‘We should ban possession of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons. We should buy back weapons from all those who choose to abide by the law. And we should criminally prosecute any who choose to defy it by keeping their weapons.’ Criminal prosecution for keeping assault weapons. What’s the punishment for people who don’t hand in their guns? Do they go to jail?”
Based on Tapper quoting Swalwell, I can already comment so much on that, but I’ll hold off for now.
Swalwell replied: “Well, Jake, they would, but I also offer an alternative, which would be to keep them at a hunting club or shooting range. And the reason I have proposed this is because these weapons are so devastating. I have seen this as a prosecutor in the cases that I have prosecuted. We have seen these in the school shootings, from Sandy Hook to Parkland… But it’s not just the violence that they have caused. It’s the fear, the immeasurable fear, that our children live in, because they are still on our streets. I want to get rid of that fear. I want to do what Australia did and New Zealand just recently did. I think this issue just needs some bold leadership to do it.”
Again, I could say so much right now, but I really want to get to the main point of this article, which is Tapper rebuking Swalwell with one particular fact that the Left always chooses to ignore.
Tapper said: “I know you know this, but the vast majority of gun-related deaths in this country are not related to these semiautomatic assault weapons – whatever you want to call them – and the vast majority of gun owners are law-abiding citizens who have purchased these weapons legally and use them safely. One of the most frequent attacks on this issue from President Trump and the Republicans is that Democrats want to take away your guns. But isn’t it fair to say you actually do want to take away people’s guns?”
This is some of the best journalism I have seen in a long time. Granted, the fake news media sets the bar embarrassingly low, but still. What Tapper says is correct: the vast majority of gun-related deaths in America are not due to semi-automatic rifles or “assault” weapons. Not to mention that the overwhelming majority of gun owners purchase their guns legally, follow every law and regulation and use their weapons responsibly. But perhaps the cherry on top is the fact that Tapper does challenge Swalwell (something I have rarely ever seen a member of the media do towards a Democrat) and proposes that it’d be fair to say that Swalwell and the Democrats do, in fact, want to take away people’s guns because THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT THIS GUY IS CAMPAIGNING ON!
But Swalwell’s response is actually quite hilariously bad.
Swalwell replied: “You know, keep your pistols, keep your long rifles, keep your shotguns. I want the most dangerous weapons, these weapons of war, out of the hands of the most dangerous people.”
I’m betting he was a bit blindsided by such a challenging question from Tapper.
But now, as I promised, I will get down to the nitty gritty stuff and fully challenge and dismantle Swalwell’s entire campaign issue.
Let’s return first to the quote Tapper used, specifically this part: “We should buy back such weapons from all who choose to abide by the law.”
Key words here are “all who choose to abide by the law”. What about those who do not abide by the law? Yes, I know Tapper asked if they’d go to jail and Swalwell basically confirmed that, but let me ask you something: how exactly would you go about doing that?
Registered weapons would be easy enough to at least keep tabs on, but how do you enforce this law? By having police officers check every single household that has registered weapons to check if all of the weapons have been turned in? According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) there are between 5 to 10 million AR-15 rifles that are legally owned in America. But this might be a bit of a low-ball estimate and it certainly does not include the number of illegally owned guns in America, such as some of the ones used during the Las Vegas massacre.
Those who abide by the law would likely abide by this law as well, but that leaves such “assault rifles” largely in the hands of those who do not abide by the law. And as it turns out, those who commit crimes, including shootings, don’t tend to care much for what the law says.
Now, the next thing I want to mention is that Tapper is certainly right about the vast majority of gun-related deaths not being related to semiautomatic rifles. According to data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting research, between 2010 and 2014, there were approximately 43,000 murders in America where a gun was used. A full 70% of those murders were from handguns, while a measly 3.6% were from rifles.
And according to the Daily Wire: “Even if one takes the 21.5% (9,228) of gun deaths that were committed using unclassified firearms, assumes that half of them were rifles (a very generous assumption given the statistics), and adds that to the 3.6% of gun deaths in which rifles were identified as the weapon used, that still amounts to just over a quarter (25.1%) of total firearm murders in the United States.”
In other words, even if you give some of those statistics the benefit of the doubt, you still get nowhere close to solving the issue of “gun violence” since semiautomatic rifles are a very tiny portion of the gun-related deaths in America. And according to EveryTown USA, an organization that is very supportive of gun control, about two-thirds “of all gun deaths in the U.S. are suicides,” with the problem of firearm suicide rates increasing by 19% over the past decade.
So not only are homicides far less frequent than suicides (by using a firearm), but of those homicides, a very small amount of those are done by the types of weapons Swalwell, other Democrats and 99% of the media want to take away.
And the last thing I want to talk about here is returning to Swalwell’s embarrassing response to Tapper’s challenging question. He says that we can keep our pistols, long rifles (supposedly he means hunting rifles) and shotguns. But he wants “the most dangerous weapons, these weapons of war, out of the hands of the most dangerous people.”
First, statistically speaking, rifles are not “the most dangerous weapons” if so few of them are ever actually used in homicides.
Second, these are not “weapons of war”. They LOOK like weapons used by the military, but that doesn’t mean anything. In an article from last year, I showed you a couple of pictures of two different bolt-action hunting rifles. One looked like your typical hunting rifle and the other looked like one a special forces unit would use on terrorists or something. If you remember, the one that looked like your typical hunting rifle actually used a higher caliber round than the “military-style” one. Meaning that the typical hunting rifle was more powerful and more deadly than the one people think looks like a military weapon.
The point of that is to say that 1) an AR-15 is not a “weapon of war” because no soldier would use the AR-15 over the standard M16, M4, SCAR or ACTUAL weapons of war. The AR-15 is modeled after the M16 but it is semi-automatic (M16 can fire full-auto or burst, depending on the model), lower pressure and meant for civilian use. And 2), just because a weapon looks like it could be used in the military does not mean it would be used or is more powerful than a gun that might not look like it’d be used by the military.
Again, those bolt-action rifles looked different, but the more “plain” or “civilian” looking weapon was actually more powerful than the scary “military-style” rifle.
Third, him saying he wants to keep these types of guns away from the most dangerous people stands in contradiction with his supposed desire to have law-abiding citizens give up their guns. Again, those who abide by the law will not commit crimes, so they are not the most dangerous people.
What Swalwell wants to implement will do the exact opposite of what he says it’s meant to do: it will take guns away from the least dangerous people – those who abide by the law – while leaving those who do not care one wit about the law with better guns than law-abiding citizens.
His policies would not take away guns from “the most dangerous people”. It would take them away from those who need them most. From those who actually follow the law and would not commit atrocities like Sandy Hook or Parkland.
So his policies are flawed and his reasoning for his policies is flawed as well. But I guess that just sums up the entirety of the American Left, doesn’t it?
“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”
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