RFK Jr: Gun control won't reduce gun violence... but let's ban "assault weapons" anyway

AP Photo/Hans Pennink

Robert Kennedy, Jr. has a lot of people excited. While it’s unlikely he’ll beat President Joe Biden in the primary–especially considering Democrats are seemingly trying to rig the game so that can’t happen–he’s still turning a lot of heads.

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Oddly, on the right as well as among some on the left.

Recently, he made some gun control comments that might do more to garner support among right-leaning folks.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. deviated from much of the Democratic Party during a town hall with NewsNation on Wednesday, saying there is nothing policymakers can “meaningfully” do through gun control to reduce the gun violence epidemic in America.

Kennedy, who is rivaling President Biden for the 2024 Democratic nomination, was asked by an audience member how he would use federal resources to slow gun violence.

“I do not believe that there is, within that second amendment, that there’s anything we can meaningfully do to reduce the trade in the ownership of guns,” he said, “and I’m not going to take people’s guns away.”

“Anybody who tells you that they’re going to be able to reduce gun violence through gun control at this point I don’t think is being realistic,” Kennedy added.

Well, isn’t that refreshing?

That’s something you didn’t hear out of any of the Democrats running for the nomination four years ago, that’s for sure. Kennedy’s comments sound like we have a pro-gun Democrat.

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However, I wouldn’t get too excited.

You see, while the quotes are awesome and what I’d love for all politicians to believe, Kennedy isn’t exactly consistent on guns. It seems that while he doesn’t think gun control will reduce gun violence, he still favors some gun control anyway.

Kennedy said that he would get behind a bipartisan assault weapons ban, which the overwhelming majority of Democrats support, but has little chance of getting through Capitol Hill given widespread GOP opposition.

Further, he’s also offered support for more restrictions on gun purchases. Universal background checks, anyone?

Yeah, I get it. The Kennedy family has a history of gun violence. Kennedy’s father and uncle were both shot and killed by assassins. He’s got a reason to be skittish regarding firearms.

But my issue is that he’s talking out of both sides of his mouth. He’ll support restrictions on gun sales and assault weapon bans, but he doesn’t think that gun control will reduce gun violence in any meaningful way? Then why support the restrictions in the first place if you don’t believe they’ll do anything?

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A lot of people on the right like Kennedy because he’s anti-establishment. I get that. I’m not a big fan of the establishment myself.

Yet we need to remember that anti-establishment isn’t universally good.

Yes, the Founding Fathers were anti-establishment for their time, but so were Lenin and Mao. Anti-establishment doesn’t mean pro-liberty. It just means the person in question opposes the status quo.

While I don’t think Kennedy is Mao reborn or anything, we need to look at someone like this cautiously, especially since he’s saying one thing here and another thing there.

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