On Sunday, CNN State of the Union host Jake Tapper offered some tough questioning of Democrat presidential candidate Eric Swalwell and his proposal to ban "assault weapons" and "criminally prosecute any who choose to defy it." Liberals freaked out last week at a Texas legislative proposal to jail women for having an abortion. Isn't killing an unborn baby a little more serious than keeping a gun you bought?
TAPPER: So, gun control is the central plank in your campaign.You wrote last year -- quote -- "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've prosecuted. We have seen these in the school shootings, from Sandy Hook to Parkland. And I was just at Parkland earlier this week doing a town hall there.
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 made an obvious point, and yet some on the Left would see it as a "conservative point":
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 also picked at Swalwell's strange and contradictory positioning of backing a "Medicare for All" bill that bans private insurance, but also insisting he would amend it to keep private insurance.
Every presidential candidate should face this kind of skeptical questioning. Democrats don't get enough of it...certainly not at CNN town halls.
[Hat tip: Alex Parker, RedState]