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Jake Tapper To Dem Rep. Eric Swalwell: ‘Vast Majority Of Gun-Related Deaths’ Are Not From Semi-Automatic Rifles

On Sunday, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), who recently declared his candidacy for president, appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union.” During the segment, host Jake Tapper asked Swalwell about his signature issue — gun control.

TAPPER: So, gun control is the central plank in your campaign. You wrote last year: “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.”

Criminal prosecution for keeping assault weapons. What’s the punishment for people who don’t hand in their guns? Do they go to jail?

SWALWELL: Well, Jake, they would, but I also offer an alternative, which would be to keep them at a hunting club or a shooting range.

And the reason I have proposed this is because these weapons are so devastating. I have seen this as a prosecutor in the cases that I have prosecuted. We have seen these in the school shootings, from Sandy Hook to Parkland…

But it’s not just the violence that they have caused. It’s the fear, the immeasurable fear, that our children live in, because they are still on our streets. I want to get rid of that fear. I want to do what Australia did and New Zealand just recently did. I think this issue just needs some bold leadership to do it.

Tapper then noted that the majority of shooting deaths do not involve semi-automatic rifles.

TAPPER: I know you know this, but the vast majority of gun-related deaths in this country are not related to these semiautomatic assault weapons — whatever you want to call them — and the vast majority of gun owners are law-abiding citizens who have purchased these weapons legally and use them safely.

One of the most frequent attacks on this issue from President Trump and the Republicans is that Democrats want to take away your guns. But isn’t it fair to say you actually do want to take away people’s guns?

SWALWELL: You know, keep your pistols, keep your long rifles, keep your shotguns. I want the most dangerous weapons, these weapons of war, out of the hands of the most dangerous people.

Tapper is correct when he states that “the vast majority of gun-related deaths in this country are not related to these semiautomatic assault weapons.”

According to Uniform Crime Reporting data from the FBI, between 2010 and 2014, there were approximately 43,002 murders in the United States in which firearms were the weapon of choice. 70% (30,114) of the firearms used were handguns, while 3.6% (1,530) were rifles.

Even if one takes the 21.5% (9,228) of gun deaths that were committed using unclassified firearms, assumes that half of them were rifles (a very generous assumption given the statistics), and adds that to the 3.6% of gun deaths in which rifles were identified as the weapon used, that still amounts to just over a quarter (25.1%) of total firearm murders in the United States.

For context, 5.3 times as many people (8,109) are murdered in the United States with “knives or cutting instruments” than with rifles, and 2.3 times as many people (3,574) are murdered in the United States with “hands, fists, [and] feet” than with rifles, according to FBI data.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Gayle

    April 15, 2019 at 12:50 am

    He is an idiot! I would like to see this pa sy take guns away from law abiding gun owners. This will not stop gun violence. The law breakers will always get guns, they don’t care about law School!

    • Meathead

      April 15, 2019 at 1:51 am

      The government is going to take guns from 180 million citizens? yeah, sure they are!

      They just outlawed Bump Stocks and are surprised that almost none were turned in. If federal agents come to take them, they may find that the Bump Stock, with the right flash suppressor, is far more accurate than has been reported.

      Come and get ’em, you fools!

  2. Meathead

    April 15, 2019 at 1:46 am

    Evidently, Swallowell has no knowledge of firearms and is just regurgitating information that he has heard other anti-gunners use.
    The only difference between a .22 Ruger and a .22 AR-15 is the appearance, nothing more. Both are semi-automatic rifles.
    There is no such thing as an “Assault Rifle”, nor is there an assault knife, assault axe, assault hatchet, assault hammer, etc. All are tools, pure and simple. The “assault” factor comes from the human using the tool. The only way to stop “assault” is to outlaw humans.
    Cane didn’t need an AR-15 to slay Able.

  3. Thomas Karones

    April 15, 2019 at 3:22 am

    Common sense is sadly lacking among the Democratic candidates! Thus twit doesn’t know what he’s talking about the same as most of the others! Does he really think the American people will willing give up their only protection against an oppressive government! I would like to see him go door to door trying to collect everybody’s AR-15’s!

  4. Nancy West

    April 15, 2019 at 10:00 am

    What good is keeping your defense weapon at the sport club? These people are trying to take your defense away and it is for nefarious reasons

  5. Curtis Bartley

    April 15, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    This butt hole need to be shot he wants to blow up Americans.

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