U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell on Friday said the U.S. government would use its nuclear weapons in a hypothetical war against Second Amendment supporters refusing to give up their firearms, reported Fox News.

The California Democrat, who is openly considering a run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020, made the outlandish remark on social media after a gun-rights advocate pointed out that the lawmaker once called for gun owners to surrender their assault weapons.

“So basically @RepSwalwell wants a war. Because that’s what you would get. You’re outta your f****** mind if you think I’ll give up my rights and give the [government] all the power,” Joe Biggs tweeted at Swalwell.

nuclear weapons

Eric Swalwell proposed using nukes against people standing up for their Second Amendment rights. Joke or not joke, this is threatening ideology. (U.S. Congress)

As a result, this prompted Swalwell to tersely reply. He said it would be a “short war” because “the government has nukes,” thus the implication our government would use its nuclear arsenal against its own citizens.

So the joke is to vaporize citizens claiming Second Amendment rights? Now that is a dangerous proposition and so far out of bounds that a public figure using it in any manner should be delegitimized. It has been said that with all humor there is an undercurrent of reality. Is this Swalwell’s reality?

The comment drew an immediate backlash, with thousands of people criticizing the lawmaker for the ill-thought-out remark.

“Here is an actual member of the U.S. Congress talking about using nuclear weapons against Americans,” David Freddoso wrote.

“Personally, I have a bigger problem with an elected official blithely talking about nuking his fellow Americans than my neighbor owning an AR-15,” Cam Edwards tweeted.

Swalwell—a member of both the House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee—tried to defuse the situation, saying the need for a firearm to protect against the government is “ludicrous” and suggested that if an assault weapon ban would happen, people would just follow the law.

He later clarified that he was merely being facetious in his suggestion about the use of nuclear weapons. “I sarcastically point[ed] out USA isn’t losing to his assault weapon (it’s not the 18th Century),” he wrote.

Meanwhile, Swalwell appeared Friday on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” show, talking about his potential plan to run for president, saying he’s “considering” it. The lawmaker, who will turn 40 in November 2020, would be the youngest candidate ever elected president.

He also came out unapologetically for his fellow California Democrat Nancy Pelosi, backing her for the House speaker position, and promising to use the Democratic House majority to investigate President Trump and pressure the president to release his tax returns.

Swalwell isn’t the only California Democrat making ludicrous comments this week. Another potential 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris drew fury after comparing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to the Ku Klux Klan during a hearing on Capitol Hill.

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris compared ICE to the KKK. (Flicker)

She asked Ronald Vitiello, President Trump’s nominee to lead ICE, whether he shares what she said was the public’s view that ICE was spreading fear and mistrust, in particular among immigrant communities, the same way the KKK did, LET reported.

“Are you aware of the perception of many about how the power and the discretion at ICE is being used to enforce the laws and do you see any parallels [with the KKK]?,” she asked Vitiello.

Even while trying to rebuff her proposition, she relentlessly pursued the claim.

“Are you aware that there is a perception that ICE is administering its power in a way that is causing fear and intimidation, particularly among immigrants and specifically among immigrants coming from Mexico and Central America?” she asked again.

During the dialogue, Vitiello pushed back against Harris’ line of questioning. He said, “I do not see any parallels” between the immigration enforcement agency and the white supremacist group and inquired whether she was asking him if the two were in the same category.