On Tuesday, Democratic president candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell took aim at the NRA, taunting them that they wouldn’t debate him. But NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch had a swift and blistering response, quoting from Val Kilmer’s immortal performance as Doc Holliday in the film “Tombstone” and firing back, “I’m your huckleberry.”
Swalwell was responding to Loesch pointing out that Swalwell had “dodged legitimate questions about his gun confiscation-and-jail policy for quite some time.” Prior to that salvo, she had stated, “You said you would jail law-abiding gun owners if they didn’t turn in their lawfully owned firearms. How do you plan to confiscate guns?”
Swalwell responded, “Ms. Loesch — I see you’ve spent another day blowing up my Twitter. Thank you for following! But here’s the deal, you’re an @nra mouthpiece. I don’t aim down, so I don’t debate mouthpieces. But send me your president, @OliverLNorth. I’ll debate him anywhere.”
Loesch launched the torpedo: “I’m your Huckleberry. Unless you’re afraid to lose.”
Swalwell, apparently afraid to take on Loesch, sidestepped, “Here’s a prediction: the @nra is afraid to have its president debate me. They talk so tough on Twitter, but when challenged to a debate to defend their advocacy for unrestricted weaponry it’s just crickets from @OliverLNorth. #NoFear.”
As The Daily Caller detailed back in November, Swalwell and Loesch went at it on Twitter, but in the end, just as happened this week, Swalwell was left denuded:
Swalwell answered, “She’s not lying. We should ban assault weapons by buying them back or restricting them to ranges/clubs. #EnoughIsEnough.”
Loesch asked, “Would you limit the ban and confiscation to semi-auto rifles or would you extend the ban to semi-auto handguns also, seeing as they’re illegally used many times over more in crimes such as homicide?”
Swalwell answered, “Fair question. Rifles. They’re more powerful and cause more carnage when used with a pistol-grip. See @ScottPelley @60Minutes piece. To reduce semi-auto pistol deaths I’d have universal background checks and mandatory reporting on mental health.”
When he was asked whether he planned to expand his proposal to all semi-auto rifles now, Swalwell replied, “No different. I interpreted her question to mean semi-auto rifles covered under what’s considered an assault weapon. cc: @DLoesch”
Then Loesch asked a question of Swalwell which he did not answer: “Can you explain to me the difference between assault weapons and semi-automatic rifles? Is .223 ok but 30.06 not? Why?”
When Swalwell wouldn’t answer, Loesch added on Twitter:
This simply reinforces my suspicion that Swalwell uses “assault weapon” interchangeably with “semi-auto rifle.” He wants to legislate based on a rifle’s appearance and not the actual mechanics or caliber of the rifle. He and others know enough to stop short of saying “semi-auto rifles” so they use the vague and non-technical “assault weapon” descriptor as though they only mean some rifles and not all of them.
Two problems with this. First, the majority of gun homicide is due to illegally possessed handguns. This is supported by FBI UCRs. Second, the argument is inconsistent. Example: you want to ban a .223/5.56 but not a .308 or 30.06? Have you actually compared these rifles? See photo for reference. You’re arguing for an unknowledgeable ban of things based strictly on cosmetic appearances. The argument also completely excludes a multitude of contributing variables from consideration, like the recidivism rate, the percentage of homicide driven by prohibited possessors, a cultural rot eroding respect for life, etc etc. Instead, people who claim to care so much for life and solutions, as you will see in the comments, would rather yell “WHORE!” and “TERRORIST!” at law-abiding gun owners than engage in any real good faith discussion on the issue, which is why we get nowhere.