Shortly after announcing their official intentions to run for president in 2020, every single Democratic presidential candidate has traveled to one of the early primary states, except for California Rep. Eric Swalwell, who traveled to Florida for a gun violence town hall.
Swalwell spoke to several hundred gun control advocates, many of them having endured direct or indirect trauma caused by the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas high school shooting that occurred on Feb 14, 2018.
Swalwell, a former prosecutor, said all the right things, focusing his message on background checks, funding for mental health, keeping guns out of the hands of convicted domestic violence abusers, and seeking more funding for schools, not to mention opposing arming teachers.
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But when one attendee asked Swalwell if the Democratic Party was going to come take his hand guns away, the newly-minted presidential candidate dodged the question.
Instead of answer the question directly, Swalwell said that Democrats were going to go to his house, and “hopefully offer” him better healthcare and offer his kids a better education.”
The California congressman also talked about the ongoing violence in Chicago, were he all-but blamed the gun violence in Chicago on guns being bought in the surrounding states.
Swalwell noted that Chicago and Illinois have “really strict gun laws,” but because “Iowa or Indiana” may have “really loose gun laws,” that those guns purchased in those states “pour into” communities like those found in Chicago.
Shortly after the town hall, Swalwell addressed reporters, where he doubled down on his belief that the violence in Chicago is being caused by guns coming from states with lax gun laws, and the violence caused is not originating from criminal gangs involved in the drug trade.
According to the USA Today, the ongoing bloodshed in Chicago is “primarily fueled by gangs,” in the “low-income” black and Latino communities of the city.
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