Eric Swalwell is the Congressman from California’s 15th district, which is in the San Francisco bay area.
He penned an OpEd for USA Today titled Ban assault weapons, buy them back, go after resisters: Ex-prosecutor in Congress.
Ban assault weapons and buy them back. It might cost $15 billion, but we can afford it. Consider it an investment in our most important right, the right to live.
That’s direct. Surprisingly he doesn’t start with Parkland. He starts in 2009.
Gary Jackson never stood a chance.
Gary was 28 and working as a security guard at a taco truck in Oakland, Calif., in 2009 when he saw Dreshawn Lee carrying a sawed-off shotgun and reported it to police. Three months later, Lee took his revenge by shooting and killing Jackson with an AK-47-style semiautomatic assault rifle.
Taking this at face value, possession of a “sawed off shotgun” is a felony (assuming it is not an NFA device) while grandfathered AK’s were legal in Ca and the federal AWB had expired by that point. So really the possession of the illegal SBS was worse than the possession of the AK. But don’t let that stop him.
I was the prosecutor who persuaded a jury to convict Lee and persuaded a judge to put him away for 65 years to life. But Gary’s autopsy report still haunts me.
So that how did he get his revenge?
Trauma surgeons and coroners will tell you the high-velocity bullet fired from a military-style, semiautomatic assault weapon moves almost three times as fast as a 9mm handgun bullet, delivering far more energy. The bullets create cavities through the victim, wrecking a wider swath of tissue, organs and blood vessels. And a low-recoil weapon with a higher-capacity magazine means more of these deadlier bullets can be fired accurately and quickly without reloading.
I’m not a trauma surgeon but I have done ballistic testing. I’m pretty sure that a load of 00 buck will do more damage than an assault rifle round. So will a 1 oz slug. Modern JHP ammo is pretty nasty. Not to mention any sort of soft point or ballistic tip center fire rifle.
I went hunting once. I shot a 75 lbs pig in the guts with a 7mm Rem Mag with a 175 gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claw. It literally blew the pig’s intestines out the exit wound. The pig moved about 10 feet dragging its guts behind it. That is why I will never hunt again.
The point is, don’t bullshit me about how trauma surgeons thing that a 55 grain 5.56 is TEH MOST DEADLY EVR!!!
So Gary didn’t stand much chance. First-graders and teachers in Newtown, Conn., didn’t either. Nor did dancers at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, nor concert-goers in Las Vegas, nor teenagers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Fla., nor the people at the Waffle House outside Nashville. Like so many American mass-shooting victims in recent decades, their doom was all but assured by the murderer’s tool.
I want to stop mass shootings too but this is crap. Their “doom was all but assured” not because of an AR-15 but because layer upon layer of security, much of that federal and state government you put so much faith in, dropped all the balls, repeatedly. Remember, the Pulse shooter’s dad was an FBI informant and didn’t bother to tell the FBI what his son was up to. Even the Sandy Hook shooter threw up red flags, which *shocker* were not followed up on. So add those deaths to the list of “killed because of government incompetence and ineptitude.”
There are tens of millions of AR-15 owners who have never and will never kill anybody. They are a lot less of a threat to American safety than a narcissistic, dipshit of a Sheriff that 85% of his deputies think is worthless.
Nonetheless, we can give ourselves and our children the chance these victims never had. We can finally act to remove weapons designed for war from our streets, once and for all.
Reinstating the federal assault weapons ban that was in effect from 1994 to 2004 would prohibit manufacture and sales, but it would not affect weapons already possessed. This would leave millions of assault weapons in our communities for decades to come.
Instead, 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.
The AWB had no effect on reducing mass shootings. Crime was already going down and once the AWB ended, still went down. It was a uselss law of supreme feel-goodary.
A buy back will not reduce shootings. If it only targets assault weapons it’s pointless as the Virgina Tech shooter killed 32 people with a pair of handguns. One was 22 caliber with a 10 round magazine. If it targets all guns, well… good luck with that.
Also, thanks for allowing the useless and cowardly cops to have the guns that we previously law abiding citizens can’t. It’s good to know that the Coward County Sheriff’s department will hide behind trees with AR-15’s.
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.”
There is something different about the Parkland kids. Their seething hatred and vicious totalitarianism. And thanks for clarifying that you believe that the way to protect lives is to destroy the Second Amendment. It’s good to know there are whole parts of the Constitution you don’t want to protect even though you swore and oath to do so.
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.
I agree with the right to life. Which is why I own AR-15’s. The lesson of history is “don’t trust the goverment to protect you.” Go ask the Indians about that. Or maybe Andrew Pollack who is suing the SRO who hid like a chicken shit allowing his daughter to get murdered.
Our courts haven’t found a constitutional right to have assault weapons, anyway. When the Supreme Court held in 2008 that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that this right “is not unlimited” and is “not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”
Of course a Democrat can’t read Heller or McDonald. These are the same people who read Roe v. Wade and see the words “right to privacy” and read “right to a goverment funded partial birth abortion.”
Since that District of Columbia v. Heller decision, four federal appeals courts have upheld assault weapons bans. Many other firearms are available for self-protection, they found, and the danger that assault weapons pose to society is a legitimate reason for states and localities to ban them.
Yes, the 4th and 9h Circuit Courts, the two most liberal courts in the land. They called AR-15’s “weapons of war” despite that fact that they are not, the whole semi auto vs. full auto thing. This is a lot of judicial activism by the same courts that used campaign rhetoric in their decision making processes, which is beyond the scope of what the court should do.
Australia got it right. After a man used military-style weapons to kill 35 people in April 1996, that nation adopted strict new measures and bought back 643,726 newly illegal rifles and shotguns at market value. The cost — an estimated $230 million in U.S. dollars at the time — was funded by a temporary 0.2% tax levy on national health insurance.
And they don’t have civil rights down under either. We do. Also, their gun ban did nothing to reduce their violent crime rate. I’m getting tried of the politicians who effectively say “as long as nobody gets shot with an AR I don’t care how many people get stomped to death.”
America won’t get off that cheaply. Gun ownership runs so deep that we don’t even know how many military-style semiautomatic rifles are in U.S. civilian hands.
You have no fucking idea, and that should scare the shit out of you.
Based on manufacturing figures and other indirect data, there could be 15 million assault weapons out there. If we offer $200 to buy back each weapon — as many local governments have — then it would cost about $3 billion; at $1,000 each, the cost would be about $15 billion.
No, I’m not selling my civil rights for $1,000, and $200 is just an insult.
The FBI budget for 2016 was only $8.7 billion. If you are going to spend upwards of $15 billion, you could spend it in a way that will reduce crime, like following up on leads or funding the hiring of police and sheriffs who are not lazy gutless wonders.
Nope, because you have free citizens bearing arms, you will spend the money to strip us of our rights.
It’s no small sum. But let’s put it in context.
A Democrat who is budget conscience, really?
The federal government is spending an estimated $4 trillion this year; $15 billion would be 0.375% of that, not that we must spend it all in one year.
Meanwhile, the GOP’s tax “reform” — a giveaway to corporations and the rich that threw comparatively meager scraps to working families — is projected to increase the national debt by $1.9 trillion over the next decade.
Eat my asshole! I bought a new gun and the down payment on a beautiful, head-turner of a truck with my “crumbs.”
What is it worth to American taxpayers to not see our families, friends and neighbors cut down in a hail of gunfire? Consider this an investment in averting carnage and heartache and loss.
Fuck you! I will not sell my guns to the US government unless I start my own gun company and submit for contracts.
What you are really asking is “what is it worth to American taxpayers to see millions of law abiding Americans who never hurt anybody get turned into felons because they legally purchased something we decided after-the-fact they shouldn’t own?”
How many families are you going to ruin because dad or mom has an AR? God forbid we send some illegal who drove his car drunk into a school bus back to Mexico because “it will break up his family.” But a law abiding, tax paying engineer from Alabama has to get taken from his kids because he like to shoot service match?
When I think of Jackson, I think of all the others who died with wounds like his. I think about my dad and two brothers who put their lives on the line as law enforcement officers. I think about my 11-month-old son, Nelson, and the safe classrooms I want him to learn in.
Under normal circumstances I’m not going to kill any of them, so why do you want to put me in jail?
America has a deadly problem, a problem other developed nations have avoided or addressed. Some say we’re already too far gone to take corrective action, but we cannot have a defeatist attitude about this. Fixing our problem requires boldness and will be costly, but the cost of letting it fester will be far higher — for our wallets, and for our souls.
More people have been stabbed in London this year than shot with AR-15. You can kindly shut the fuck up about “ a problem other developed nations have avoided or addressed.”
There are tens of millions of us who will not part with our rights for your petty pieces of silver.
We are not Australians. Culturally, they are subjects of the commonwealth. We are not. We will not humbly submit. If you think that you can prosecute those who won’t participate in the buyback, you are sorely mistaken.
Do you really thing you can jail 50 million Americans for not giving up their AR’s to law enforcement? How very NKVD of you.
Your Australian fantasy might be nice for you to think about when avoiding eye contact with the junkie shooting up in the BART.
Out here in Middle America, I dare you to try it.