Swalwell’s ‘nukes’ comment is exactly why we have the Second Amendment

· November 19, 2018  
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eric swalwell at immigration presser
Alex Edelman | Getty Images

A staunchly anti-gun California Democrat made headlines after he suggested using America’s nuclear arsenal against gun owners who refuse to hand over their hardware.

As reported at Fox News, Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., made the remark on Twitter after another user said that Swalwell wants a war with gun owners: “Because that’s what you would get” with his gun control agenda.

It’s easy to point out how insane it is that a sitting member of Congress is talking about confiscating the property of American citizens and using nukes against those who don’t comply, because it’s pretty insane. Whether or not you believe his claims of being facetious is up you.

But it’s also nice to see an anti-gun politician take the mask off for a moment to remind us what the debate about the Second Amendment is really about and why 2A exists in the first place. The talk about gun control is around these mythical “commonsense” laws that we can put in place that will supposedly make Americans safer through further firearms regulation. “We don’t want to take your guns away,” the argument goes, “we just want some common sense.”

But whenever gun control boosters start talking about these “commonsense” policies, things tend to fall apart when we get down to the details. So far, I’ve yet to run into a proposal that:

  1. Is a legitimate policy innovation over what’s already on the books (i.e. isn’t just better enforcement of already existing law or stiffer penalties for breaking it).
  2. Passes muster with the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and 14th Amendments.
  3. Isn’t completely ignorant of how guns work in the first place (e.g., defining “assault weapons” by common cosmetic features).
  4. Would actually deter or reduce mass shootings or gun violence in quantity or severity, rather than just creating more soft targets – by disarming them – for those who were already going to break the law anyway.

This brings us back to the natural end of the gun control movement: bans and confiscation. Ultimately, this is where most anti-gun politicians and professional activists want to end up; those “commonsense” measures are stepping stones.

While some Americans would undoubtedly roll over and acquiesce to such an unjust action, a large number of them wouldn’t give up so easily. That kind of defiance against unjust rule is actually why America exists in the first place, in case anyone slept through the high school history class that covered what happened at Lexington and Concord.

In fact, another small dose of military history might actually help Swalwell understand the situation as well. In order to have to have the kind of “short war” that Swalwell predicts here, the U.S. government probably would have to go nuclear. Those who argue that the military could swiftly disarm the American public seem to forget that the two longest and most unsuccessful military engagements in American history have been in Afghanistan and Vietnam — against dedicated local populations with less sophisticated firepower and training.

But without historical ignorance, the American gun control movement wouldn’t exist at all. And statements and attitudes like Swalwell’s are exactly why the Second Amendment exists in the first place.


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Author: Nate Madden

Nate Madden is CRTV’s congressional correspondent. Follow him @NateMaddenCRTV or send tips to [email protected].