Eric Swalwell touts gun-control reform in North Liberty

Following his announcement that he is running for president, U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., made a visit to North Liberty Sunday afternoon.


Emily Wangen, Politics Reporter

NORTH LIBERTY — U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., rounded out his first visit to Iowa since announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president with a house party event in North Liberty, where he called for a ban and buy back policy for assault rifles.

During the event attended by nearly 30 people Swalwell spoke about his upbringing as a first-generation college student from Sac City and his positions on issues like climate change, education, and gun control, amongst other issues.

Gun control has been an issue that Swalwell has consistently spoken out in speeches, media appearances, and social media. He supports allowing guns like pistols, shotguns, and rifles to be used but added he would like to implement a ban and buy back policy for assault rifles.

“I like to shoot, but as a prosecutor I saw what happens when the most dangerous weapons ended up in the hands of the most dangerous people” Swalwell said. “I will be a president who makes ending gun violence a priority.”

Swalwell’s stances on gun control was one of the reasons Iowa City resident and member of the gun control organization Moms Demand Action Louis became interested in Swalwell as a candidate.

“I know that he is supportive of gun sense laws,” said. “we’ve got to get rid of guns, and not all of them— Moms Demand Actions is not opposed to the Second Amendment, but if we could get background checks for everyone, not just people who buy guns in stores.”

On health care, Swalwell proposed a universal health care plan that Americans could opt into and called for more investment in health research. On education, he proposed federal investment in school infrastructure and technologies. In higher education, he proposed debt-free higher education for students who participate in work study and volunteer.

“We see so many dreams deferred, we want those dreams to be real,” Swalwell said. “The lessons and memories of college should last a lifetime. The debt should not.”

Jane Cranston, who owns the home that hosted the Swalwell event with her husband Ed Cranston, is the co-chair of the Pot Luck Insurgency group— a group which has hosted several Democratic Candidates in the past at house parties. Cranston said she believes the smaller venues has a big impact as more people are able to interact with the candidates and ask questions one-on-one.

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“It’s really warmth and rapport and that sense of being a team,” Cranston said. “you’re able to capture that more in a home.”

She added that the group will not endorse any candidate, but likes Swalwell’s experience and demeanor.

“The calm presence in the room, the person who actually knows stuff— that would be him,” Cranston said.

She said the Swalwell campaign reached out to the Cranstons to host the event which was attended by approximately 30 people including retired Iowa City businessman John Gross.

“I met him last year when he was here and I connected with him really well” he said.

He noted that what drew him to Swalwell was his honesty and integrity.

Gross said he hopes the primary process is a positive race without the mudslinging that can typically be found in politics and finds healthcare, education, and immigration to be the most important issues heading into 2020.

Swalwell is in his fourth term representing California’s 15th Congressional District after being reelected in November after defeating Republican nominee Rudy Peters by 50 percentage points. He currently serves on the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees and chairs the Intelligence Modernization and Readiness Subcommittee. He previously served on the Homeland Security and Science, Space, and Technology Committees.