In a USA Today op-ed titled “Ban assault weapons, buy them back, go after resisters,” California Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-East Bay), has proposed banning all “military-style semiautomatic assault weapons” and forcing existing owners to sell their weapons or face prosecution. An extreme policy detail that has separated his views from even some of his more left-leaning colleagues.
Under his new proposal, Swalwell outlines how the government would offer anywhere from $200 to $1,000 to buy back every weapon outlawed by the ban. The total cost appears high as experts estimate that it would take nearly $15 billion to buy back roughly 15 million weapons. While this isn’t the first time we have seen buy back proposals, Swalwell goes the extra mile arguing how the government should “criminally prosecute any who choose to defy [the buyback] by keeping their weapons.”
In an increased effort to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and potentially dangerous people, past plans have focused on more in-depth background checks, lower capacity magazines, and raising the age to buy a gun, however complete confiscation is an entirely different and highly controversial beast.
According to NBC, Swalwell has addressed this criticism by “saying he and other Democrats had been too deferential to Second Amendment activists and should follow the lead of teenage survivors of the Parkland shooting who have been more strident.”
In the op-ed he says “There’s something new and different about the surviving Parkland high schoolers’ demands… They dismiss the moral equivalence we’ve made for far too long regarding the Second Amendment. I’ve been guilty of it myself, telling constituents and reporters that ‘we can protect the Second Amendment and protect lives.’”
Additionally, Swalwell says “Australia got it right.”
Following several mass shootings, the 2nd Amendment and specifically “assault rifles” have been at the center of the gun debate, but since the op-ed’s release, Swalwell has come under extremely heavy fire from critics on twitter.
Some write “Make no mistake, Democrats want to eradicate the Second Amendment, ban and seize all guns, and have all power rest with the state. These people are dangerously obsessed with power.” – @johncardillo. And “basically Eric Swalwell wants a war. Because that’s what you would get. You’re out of your f***ing mind if you think I’ll give up my rights and give the government all the power.” @Joebiggs.
Representative Swalwell specifically responded to the two comments listed above stating “and it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit.” As imagined, the conversation or idea of the U.S. government nuking its own people ignited yet another blaze.
And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit. I’m sure if we talked we could find common ground to protect our families and communities.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) November 16, 2018
Swalwell has been no media stranger lately as he appeared on Fox News last week where he prospected the idea of running for president in 2020.
The conversation surrounding a buy back proposal is sure to add fumes to an already heated political topic.
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