You may remember U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) from a few days ago when he suggested on Twitter that the U.S. government would use nuclear weapons against citizens who refused to give up their firearms in the event of a mass confiscation, drawing the ire of gun owners everywhere on the Internet.
Let’s clear up that first part…on Nov. 16, Swalwell responded to a Second Amendment supporter who said the Democrats’ proposal to confiscate or buy semi-automatic rifles would result in “war” due to resistance from the gun owners. He continued to say that “it would be a short war” because “the government has nukes.”
He quickly backpedalled and said it was all just a big ol’ joke from a Congressman about the U.S. using nuclear weapons on its own people in the event of a civil war.
He crowed about this snopes.com article, claiming that it “should end the faux-outrage from gun groups” and that it debunks news outlets that “claimed I made serious threat to nuke gun-owners.”
It’s fine. He was just joking about theoretical mass murder in the middle of a serious discussion about the entire purpose of the Second Amendment.
The same day, Swalwell flexed his depth of gun knowledge in a Twitter exchange with the NRA’s Dana Loesch.
Swalwell tweeted, “We should ban assault weapons by buying them back or restricting them to ranges/clubs.”
I mean…in most states (with the exception of those with open carry laws), even if you have a concealed carry permit, you can’t just walk around with a long gun unless you’re in the woods hunting, so its kind of puzzling what he’s even proposing with the second part of that statement. And apparently a ban is the same as restricting guns to ranges, somehow.
Loesch responded by asking, “Would you limit the ban and confiscation to semi-auto rifles or would you extend the ban to semi-auto handguns also, seeing as they’re illegally used many times over more in crimes such as homicide?”
Now here’s the good part.
Swalwell responded by tweeting, “Fair question. Rifles. They’re more powerful and cause more carnage when used with a pistol-grip. See @ScottPelley @60Minutes piece.”
This is a U.S. congressman.
As if we had to say it: That’s simply not true. In any way. At all.
Let’s not forget that according to FBI crime statistics, more people are killed in the U.S. with clubs and hammers each year than with rifles of all varieties, pistol grip or no. And those numbers are low. In 2011, 323 people were murdered with a rifle, and 496 were killed with hammers and clubs. That’s in a nation of over 350 million people.
About 356 murders were committed with a shotgun in the same time period. That means that all the other gun homicides committed annually are done with a handgun of some kind.
Yet, Swalwell doesn’t care about that. His response to Loesch’s bait shows that he obviously only cares about political talking points and party loyalty, not reality.