No Gun Control Problem, but Idiot Control Problem: Sen. Kennedy

March 23, 2021 Updated: March 23, 2021

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) suggested Tuesday that he doesn’t believe gun control bills are the solution to gun violence, saying what needs to be done is “idiot control” instead of “gun control.”

“I don’t believe we have a gun control problem in America. I believe we have an idiot control problem,” Kennedy told reporters at the Capitol. “The objective should be to how to control the idiots who abuse guns. The objective should not be—how to get rid of the Second Amendment.”

Kennedy made the comments following a Colorado supermarket shooting that reportedly left at least 10 people dead on Monday. A separate shooting at an Atlanta-area spa left eight dead last week.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday called for a ban on “assault weapons” and “high-capacity” magazines following the Colorado shooting. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that Congress must pass legislation to prevent gun violence.

biden remarks
President Joe Biden delivers remarks in Washington on March 15, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Kennedy expressed disagreement. He compared gun violence to drunk driving, which sometimes kills people.

“The answer to that is not to get rid of all sober drivers,” Kennedy pointed out. “But what some of my Democratic colleagues want to do is to basically get rid of the right to keep and bear arms, to stop the killings.”

“That’s like stopping all people from driving because some drive drunk. And I think that’s what underpins this debate,” Kennedy added. “Many of the people promoting greater gun control, if you really drill down and probe what they truly believe, they don’t believe in the Second Amendment.”

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Kennedy said it bothers him that the opponents of the Second Amendment suggested, implicitly or not, over 100 million American people who own guns are potentially dangerous or bad people.

“When a Jihadist who happens to blow up a school, and who happens to be a Muslim, and who happens to kill every kid in that school does such a heinous act, we are told: ‘don’t judge all Muslims by the action of a few.’ And I agree with that, absolutely,” Kennedy added. “But why doesn’t the same rule apply to the 100 million gun owners in America?”

This month, the Democrat-controlled House passed H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446, restricting gun transfers and expanding background checks.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who was interviewed simultaneously, said there are common-sense measures to deal with gun violence.

“The fact is, no bill, none, can prevent every shooting, but what can be done is you can help make communities safer,” Wyden said.

Jack Phillips contributed to this report.