Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California was widely mocked on social media by conservatives in response to a video calling for a ban on “assault weapons” in response to a mass shooting in Jacksonville, Florida.
“We can’t live this way, we don’t have to live this way,” Swalwell posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, in response to shootings in Jacksonville and UNC Chapel Hill this week.
“Here’s what we have to do, we have to ban assault weapons,” Swalwell continued. “We have to buy them all back. We have to make sure the most dangerous weapons never end up in the hands of the most dangerous people. We must choose our kids, our children, the most precious people in our community, we must choose them over their killers. It’s very binary, either you choose them or you don’t.”
Swalwell’s push for gun control in the wake of the tragedies drew immediate pushback from conservatives on social media.
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Rep. Eric Swalwell conducts a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on Jan. 25, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
“Go home, commie,” Ryan Petty, who lost his 14-year-old daughter Alaina in the 2018 Parkland shooting, posted in response to Swalwell.
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“We can’t live this way, we don’t have to live this way,” Rep. Eric Swalwell posted in response to recent shootings. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Swalwell is one of many Democrats who have pushed for a ban on “assault weapons” in recent months, including President Biden, who promised to “ban assault weapons again come hell or high water and high capacity magazines” following a mass shooting in Michigan.
Biden, while serving as a Delaware senator, voted to ban semi-automatic firearms in 1994 as part of a major crime bill, while the Democrat-majority House at the time passed the ban as a standalone bill. The bill ultimately was incorporated into the sweeping anti-crime package and required exceptions in order to pass, including a sunset provision.
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The bill was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in September of that year. It enacted a 10-year ban on the manufacture, transfer or possession of “semiautomatic assault weapons” and “large capacity ammunition feeding devices.”
A Department of Justice study published in 1999 that examined the short-term effects of the ban found it “failed to reduce the average number of victims per gun murder incident or multiple gunshot wound victims.” Another DOJ study published in 2004 determined the ban’s “effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.”
Fox News Digital’s Emma Colton contributed to this report