AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Rep. Eric “Nuke ’em All” Swalwell is one of the slew of Democrats vying to win their party’s nomination for the presidency. At this point, Swalwell seems to be primarily a one-issue candidate. While he’s talked about more than gun control, that’s his primary focus.

Because of that and his previous comments suggesting his willingness to nuke Americans who refuse to comply with his gun control scheme, he gets a lot of attention from the pro-gun crowd, myself included. It’s attention he wouldn’t get at all, even if running for president.

However, it seems that Swalwell also grossly misunderstands that attention.

First, hate is such a strong word. No one hates Swalwell. I don’t particularly like him, but it’s not because he’s some boogeyman. He’s just the latest in a long line of politicians who crave power and, at the same time, seek to limit the rights of people you disagree with. We don’t like him because when someone brought up the fact that his gun control proposals might spark a civil war, he answered that the government would win because it has nuclear weapons.

No, I don’t hate him, but I damn sure don’t like him.

His claim that you’ve handled weapons has nothing to do with it one way or another. I know a lot of anti-gunners who own guns and have handled weapons. It doesn’t make them particularly effective in convincing anyone one way or the other. It doesn’t with Swalwell, either.

As Beth Baumann notes over at Townhall:

The Congressman utilized the same typical Leftie talking point: “I’m a gun owner but…”

It’s the phrase gun control advocates love to cling to. In their minds, they think they’re relating to us who utilize our right to keep and bear arms.

Instead of saying he’s a gun owner, Swalwell said he’s “comfortable shooting guns,” as if that’s supposed to give him a pass for wanting tougher firearm laws (hint: it doesn’t).

No, it doesn’t. Not in the least.

Baumann continues:

There’s a bigger reality here: people like Swalwell do everything in their power to segregate themselves from us. They’re quick to stand 20 feet away, point at us gun owners and act like we’re crazy because we want to protect our right to keep and bear arms. For some of us, it’s important to protect the Second Amendment because we want to have the ability to defend ourselves and our loved ones. For others, it’s about having the ability to hunt and provide food for their families. Some enjoy the shooting sports and competition side of guns. Either way, we’re not backing down from our right.

That’s precisely what Swalwell has done. He’s “handled” guns before, he supposedly knows how to do so, but at the same time, he’s making it very clear that he’s not one of us while trying to pretend he is.

The idea is to relate to us so that rather than look at his proposals and dismiss them as the idiotic measures that they are, we’ll think, “Oh, well, he’s a gun guy, so maybe we should rethink this.”

He’s not a gun guy. He’s not someone who hangs out in the gun store, swapping stories with the staff. He’s not spending a Saturday at the range, popping off rounds and having a few laughs with the guys there. He’s not stoked to see a billboard announcing the upcoming gun show in town. He doesn’t spend time on the internet rolling his eyes at the latest caliber war in some Facebook group.

He’s nothing like us.

But he wants us to think he is because if we do, he thinks it’ll change our opinions of not just him, but his policies.

What he doesn’t get is that gun folks aren’t sheep. We don’t bleat and follow whoever is loudest about being a gun person. We’re not mindless automatons. We think. We understand the Second Amendment.

Saying you know how to handle guns doesn’t change our opinions of you. It doesn’t shape our views. If anything, it may open you to outright mockery.