At least one GOP rep open to new assault weapon ban

At least one GOP rep open to new assault weapon ban
Chip Somodevilla/Pool via AP

From 1994 to 2004, we had an assault weapon ban on the books. Most researchers agree that it didn’t actually accomplish anything. Despite that, anti-Second Amendment lawmakers have been clamoring for the opportunity to pass yet another one.

Because the previous one worked so well.

In the wake of Uvalde, it’s not surprising that many Democrats are calling for a new ban. What is troubling is that at least one Republican lawmaker is stating his openness to consider it.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) said Sunday he’s open to a federal ban on AR-15 rifles, saying his position has changed in the wake of the Uvalde, Texas, shooting.

Driving the news: “Look, I have opposed a ban, you know, fairly recently. I think I’m open to a ban now,” Kinzinger told CNN.

  • “It’s going to depend on what it looks like because there’s a lot of nuances on what constitutes, you know, certain things,” he added.

Details: Kinzinger said an “extra license” or “extra training” may be required to own weapons like an AR-15. He also supports universal background checks and “red flag” laws, per CNN.

Yeah, that’s a firm no from the rest of us.

Look, Kinzinger can give up the idea that he’s pro-gun if he wants to. He represents Illinois and depending on what part of the state he’s in, he may be able to keep getting away with it.

However, Kinzinger is deluding himself if he thinks he’s pro-gun. After all, this is the same Rep. Adam Kinzinger who backed universal background checks just last year.

Of course, we know how that went. That bill never survived the Senate, so it’s safe to say Kinzinger’s support for an assault weapon ban won’t either.

For that to happen before the midterms, the Senate would have to decide they need to pass something in order to appease the masses prior to November.

I don’t see that happening, though. After all, as we saw last week, there has never been a point in this century where the majority of voters actually wanted gun control. Why appease people with a policy that most people don’t actually want?

So why would Kinzinger be open to an assault weapon ban?

Well, his district covers some of the areas outside of Chicago. It’s entirely possible he thinks that as more people leave the city and even the suburbs, they’ll settle in his district and bring their gun control attitudes with them. As such, he’ll need to be more conciliatory towards gun control.

That means backing an assault weapon ban at this time and a universal background check bill last year.

He probably thinks this will help him save his career. In truth, he might be right though I doubt it. Even among Democrats, gun control isn’t the dealbreaker issue.

However, he’s also becoming more and more ineffectual as a Republican. The truth of the matter is that while he might be able to win statewide office with this record, he’ll also be someone other Republicans try to take out during the primary.

He’s basically killed his progression in politics, all to appease people who aren’t really going to support him anyway.