Rep. Eric Swalwell stepped into the limelight. Of course, calling for a complete and total ban on “assault weapons,” then threatening to come after anyone who doesn’t comply with the buyback will do that. Kind of like how people remember the drunk jackwagon who tries to start a fight with everyone at the bar.
Swalwell recently sat down with NBC to talk about his proposal. In the process, at least for me, he raised more questions than answers.
NBC NEWS: Tell me a little about how you came to this idea and why you thought there needed to be a proposal that went further than the existing bills out there now.
Swalwell: It’s something I’ve given a lot of thought to over the last 10 years working as a prosecutor who saw the devastating effects that an assault weapon could do to someone’s body, leaving almost little chance of surviving if you are hit.
People survive wounds from these weapons all the time. One horrific example is the 422 people shot by the Las Vegas shooter. While 59 people died because of the tragic events of that day, 422 people were hit and survived. I promise you, if a hit left little chance of surviving, a whole lot more of those people would have been killed.
Further, statistics show that only a few hundred people die each year from being shot with any kind of rifle. Unless Swalwell was a prosecutor in a very bizarre district, there’s no way he saw all that many crimes committed with so-called assault weapons. In fact, I’d wager the reason he vividly recalls the case he’s about to mention is because they were rare. He remembers it because it was unusual.
But let’s see what else Swalwell had to say.
I told a story in the op-ed about a victim who was shot in the back of the thigh. I remember his family members asking me while I was interviewing them, “How could you die if you’re shot in the thigh?” When the pathologist told the jury that the sheer energy from that round was enough to cause the blood loss after hitting an artery, I think they were just stunned that a weapon that is legal in our country could do that kind of damage. Then when you think about the features, a pistol grip which allows you to essentially spray a crowd, we’ve seen time after time that too many people just don’t have a chance.
You can be killed if you’re shot in the thigh not because of the energy, but because of something called the femoral artery. It’s an important blood vessel that runs through the leg.
While the energy from an AR-15 may cause damage to the femoral artery, it’s not the exclusive domain of the AR-15. The hydrostatic shock from any firearm can cause that kind of damage, some even more so, but a handgun can kill with a shot to the thigh, and let’s not pretend otherwise.
Further, the pistol grip is an ergonomic feature. It doesn’t make anything like spraying a crowd more possible. Put an M-14 in someone’s hand–a select fire weapon that lacks a pistol grip–and let them spray into a crowd and guess what? It’ll still happen. The pistol grip will make it a bit more comfortable. That’s it.
It also makes the grip more comfortable for any number of activities like hunting, target shooting, or home defense.
But Swalwell is a True Believer.
I thought about the different ways to address it, with a lot of respect for the assault weapons ban that was in place and expired, but once I gave it careful thought and listened to these students I concluded the only way to do this is to get those weapons out of our communities. But while recognizing that people bought them when they were legal and there should be compensation during a grace period ideally to buy them back and then a ban on possession.
I’m not naive about this, I understand this is quite an undertaking. But I don’t accept that we have to be so defeatist about it that doing nothing or nibbling around the edges is going to make us safer. I also don’t believe you will get every single assault weapon back, but I think you can get a good amount of them back and seriously reduce the number of people killed by them.
There aren’t that many people killed by the damn things, Rep. Swalwell. Stop pretending there are.
Further, only an idiot would think this would take guns out of the hands of the people who we might want to worry about. Criminals and the deranged who might have obtained these firearms aren’t going to participate in a buyback. All that will happen is that the law-abiding citizens of this country will be disarmed while the predators still have all the firepower they want.
Good job, dipstick.
Seriously, I found this much to slap down in just his first answer.
Let’s see if he improves with the second question.
How would you define an assault weapon? One common criticism of the original 1994 Assault Weapons Ban is that it was fairly narrow and gun manufacturers were able to sell weapons that offered similar firepower after making relatively small changes.
I would stick largely to the definition that has been used before, recognizing it would have to evolve as manufacturers try to come up with technical ways around it. I’d make sure we get rid of detachable magazines and the pistol grip — to me that’s the feature that make it most deadly.
Using the old definition of an assault weapon would be useless, as we saw with the assault weapon ban. Absolutely nothing happened because of that ban, and unless Swalwell lacks an IQ with a positive integer, he should be able to see that. Even the most ardent gun grabbers seem to, which is why they keep trying to up the stakes.
And, again, the pistol grip does not make the weapon more deadly. Only a complete idiot would think so.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is what we’re up against. We’re looking at people who will say anything to try and convince people they’re right and that these weapons are a complete menace. They’ll utter complete and total nonsense that they’re sure will sway people, even if those facts don’t mesh with reality as we understand it.
Which is why we need to dig in and fight. Swalwell isn’t going away, at least not until we make him.