The Heritage Foundation’s Amy Swearer was one of just a handful of Second Amendment supporters invited to testify before a House committee hearing on “gun violence” on Wednesday, and I’m glad to welcome her to today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co for an after action report and to get her thoughts on what we should be talking about instead of trying to ban and arrest our way to safety by turning the right to keep and bear arms into a privilege to be doled out to a favored few by bureaucrats and anti-gun politicians.
Swearer says that she knew going into the hearing that the deck was going to be stacked against those who support the Second Amendment, but was still dismayed and depressed to hear anyone and everyone who disagreed with the Democrats’ anti-gun agenda painted as uncaring monsters who love their guns more than innocent school children.
“This is not set up to be a place where you have meaningful discussion,” Swearer told BA. “The tone has been predicable, this whole thing has been predictable, and it’s heartbreaking, because this does matter. It matters to you, it matters to me, who live in this same nation. Our parents teach in the same schools, our kids go the same schools, we live and work in these places. We’re not unaffected by this, we just care enough to say that the laws that you’re proposing won’t work. And we keep pointing that out, and we keep being told that the only reason we oppose this is because we hate kids. Not because there might be something wrong with the laws that are proposed, or that there are better alternatives, but it’s ‘how dare you, it’s because you hate kids.'”
Swearer was also a party to a bit of grandstanding on the part of California Rep. Katie Porter, who accused the Heritage Foundation legal fellow of committing perjury during a 2019 appearance testifying in opposition to a ban on so-called assault weapons authored by Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island without allowing her the opportunity to respond.
Porter quoted Heritage Foundation legal fellow Amy Swearer as having warned that a bill introduced by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) that would ban assault weapons would “see millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens become felons overnight for nothing more than scary-looking features on firearms.” The bill was introduced in the aftermath of a recent spate of mass shootings including the one at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
“It’s true,” said Swearer.
“I was quite surprised by your answer,” said Porter. “You read the bill before you came to Congress to testify against it, yes?”
Swearer said yes as it pertains to the ban on assault weapons.
“So you knew that the bill would allow any gun owner to maintain possession of any semiautomatic assault weapon that was lawfully possessed before the bill became law,” said Porter.
“No. So that is the case under that bill,” said Swearer. “The problem is…”
Porter interjected as Swearer tried to explain her stance.
“The time belongs to me,” said Porter.
“If you don’t want to hear an answer to my question, I’m not sure what’s being asked,” said Swearer.
Porter told Swearer, “You knew that the bill would allow the gun owner to maintain possession of any semi-automatic assault weapon that was lawfully possessed before the bill becomes law.”
“I respect that we have different opinions on Representative Cicilline’s assault weapons law, but we cannot have different facts,” said Porter, who went on to accuse Swearer of perjury.
“You falsely testified under oath about the bill…,” said Porter.
Swearer interrupted Porter and asked her, “Would you like the explanation of why I said that?”
Porter refused, causing Swearer to look frustrated.
“I have been accused of falsely testifying under oath and I would like to address it,” said Swearer.
Swearer never did get that opportunity, at least in front of Porter, though she did offer a rebuttal on today’s show, pointing out that there was plenty of language in the text of Cicilline’s bill that would have indeed turned law-abiding citizens into felons, including bans on even loaning “assault weapons” to a friend, neighbor, or some relatives.
Clearly Porter wasn’t interested in a conversation or even a debate. Like most of the House Democrats, she was looking to get some media attention with her grandstanding, and she got it, so bravo to her I guess. For those of us looking for a substantive discussion on what really can be done to reduce violent crime without infringing on the civil rights of American citizens, however, I’d encourage you to check out the conversation with Amy Swearer in the video window above.