Fayetteville, AR –-(Ammoland.com)- Representative of California’s 15th congressional district, Eric Swalwell, has taken up a position that we are promised over and over is advocated by no one: gun confiscation. His proposal? In an editorial for USA Today, he says:
“we should ban possession of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons, we should buy back such weapons from all who choose to abide by the law, and we should criminally prosecute any who choose to defy it by keeping their weapons. The ban would not apply to law enforcement agencies or shooting clubs.”
How much would he offer owners of icky guns? $200. Not satisfied with prosecutions, however, he suggested on Twitter that if America’s gun owners refuse to go along with his scheme, well, “it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit.”
I’d prefer that he would say “real” instead of “legit,” but he hasn’t hired me as his editor, so I’ll let that pass. I am an American gun owner in possession of several guns that I suspect he wishes to take away from me, so I will take pains to object to his demands.
Swalwell claims that Australia took the right approach to deal with gun violence. Here he disconnects himself from the facts. The homicide rate in Australia began a decline in the late 80s, spiked briefly following the 1997 imposition of new gun controls, and returned to the previous downward trend. If we insist on finding an effect of the gun legislation, a temporary increase in the number of people killed is the one that the data suggest. The black market in firearms in that country is going strong, and the suicide rate rose slightly over the pre-1997 numbers, climbing to the highest level in recent decades.
What, then, can he mean by saying that Australia got it right? I am forced to conclude that he means the disarmament of the law-abiding, since that is all that the Aussies accomplished. He shows his failure to understand the nature of rights and of criminal violence when he says later in his article that “the Parkland teens have taught us there is no right more important than every student’s right to come home after class. The right to live is supreme over any other.” Certainly, the right to live is fundamental. But so is the right to make personal decisions. My choice to own an AR-15, for example, does not harm anyone in itself, and since I am not going around threatening or committing acts of violence against innocents, unlike the pattern for mass shooters, Representative Swalwell has no business telling me that I have to turn my rifle in.
He claims that his reference to nuclear weapons was sarcasm, and if that’s the case, he should not only quit his day job but should also refrain from contemplating a career in comedy. The glee with which people who are opposed to basic rights discuss the murder of millions in pursuit of their goals should tell the country exactly why we must stop them.
About Greg Camp
Greg Camp has taught English composition and literature since 1998 and is the author of six books, including a western, The Willing Spirit, and Each One, Teach One, with Ranjit Singh on gun politics in America. His books can be found on Amazon. He tweets @gregcampnc.