Democratic Representative Proposes Mandatory Buyback

( – On August 28, Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA) posted a tweet suggesting a ban on assault weapons and the creation of a buyback program in the wake of a racially motivated shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, on August 25. It’s not the first time he’s advocated for the idea.

Swalwell discussed his background as a California prosecutor and the son and brother of law enforcement officers in a USA Today Op/Ed he initially published in May 2018. He said he respected the Second Amendment. Yet, he argued that assault rifles delivered at least three times more energy per gunshot than a 9mm handgun, according to reports from trauma surgeons and coroners. He also described the AR15-style rifle as “a hand-held weapon of war.”

Swalwell’s plan included reinstituting the assault weapons ban, originally implemented between 1994 and 2004, to prohibit the manufacture or sale of the weapons. However, he acknowledged that millions of assault weapons would remain in American communities indefinitely, so he proposed a mandatory national buyback program to remove the arms from society. He suggested that even offering a buyback price of $1000 per weapon would cost the nation $15 billion, a cost he considered acceptable to save lives. He’s not the only one. Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced a Senate bill to ban assault weapons.

Breitbart News pushed back on the idea. The conservative media outlet pointed to FBI statistics to argue that guns weren’t the biggest problem. For instance, in 2021, the FBI’s Unified Crime Report (UCR) indicated that criminals killed 447 people using rifles. However, they killed 1,035 using knives or cutting instruments and 461 using blunt force like hands, feet, or heavy objects. Additionally, the FBI includes several kinds of firearms in the rifle category, from pump-action and lever-action rifles to those commonly called “assault rifles.”

Critics point out that determined criminals who want to inflict damage, like individuals bent on committing hate crimes, will find any means available. They argue demonizing the weapon does little to address the underlying problems or prevent the attacks. Instead, critics argue it has become an easy fallback position for many politicians.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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