Presidential contender Robert F. Kennedy Jr. says that he supports Second Amendment and would not seek a gun confiscation program if elected.
Asked about his stance on gun rights by The Epoch Times, Kennedy, the nephew of President John F. Kennedy, replied, "I support the Constitution that includes the Second Amendment."
"I'm not going to take anybody's guns away," he said. "I think at this point in history all that would do is to increase this toxic polarization."
Kennedy said that he grew up in rural areas, and thus understands how "integrated" firearms are into the culture of such people.
"It's existential for those people who live in those areas," Kennedy said, citing the self-sufficiency required to live far from civilization centers.
"And it's part of our Constitution, the Second Amendment as the Supreme Court has interpreted it."
The current Supreme Court has veered toward defending gun rights, striking down state-level statutes in several cases where it said these statutes trampled constitutional rights.
Pharmaceutical LinkKennedy's long been a critic of the ways that pharmaceutical products have damaged physical and mental health, particularly among the newest generation, and suggested that psychoactive pharmaceutical products may explain the rise in mass shootings, which are most often perpetrated by men under 40.
"This is the sickest generation of kids that we've ever, anybody has ever produced," he said, citing a massive uptick in cancers, autoimmune disorders, OCD, ADHD, and other physiological and neurological problems.
When discussing the issue of mass shootings, Kennedy said, "We need to look at the role of psychiatric drugs, particularly of SSRIs [anti-depressants] and benzos [benzodiazepine-class drugs]."
However, he said that research into this matter has been stymied by the National Institutes of Health.
"All of those drugs have on their inserts, 'May induce suicidal and homicidal behavior,'" Kennedy pointed out. Suicidal ideation or suicide attempts are cited as one of the most common side effects of anti-depressants and other psychoactive medications.
He suggested this would serve to explain disparities in gun violence rates between the United States and Switzerland.
"Switzerland has more guns per capita than the United States," he noted. "And Switzerland has not had a mass shooting for 21 years, we have one every 21 hours."
"Something is happening in our country, something that has never happened before in history," Kennedy said. "There's never been a time in history when people walk into a room of children or strangers and start shooting people—not in our country where we've had guns from the beginning, and not in any other country in the world. Something has happened here.
"I don't think it's a coincidence that Americans take three times as many pharmaceutical drugs as other countries" and also has the most significant gun problems, Kennedy opined.
"We have the sickest population in the world. And I think that a lot of the psychiatric issues that we're looking at come from despair, they come from alienation. And they're aggravated by those drugs.
"We need to look at those connections and figure out really what is going on, because this is a new phenomenon.
Red Flag 'Snitch Laws'Asked for his opinions on red flag laws, Kennedy quipped, "I don't like snitch laws."
Under red flag laws, a concerned person can make an anonymous report to a court of law alleging that a firearm owner is a threat to themselves or others. The court can then order an emergency confiscation of the individual's guns pending further evaluation, without giving the gun owner any chance to defend themselves prior to the seizure.
Proponents say it's an important way to ensure the safety of the community. Opponents say it strips citizens of due process rights and allows vengeful acquaintances to target those they don't like.
"I would want to look at how those laws are structured and what people are suggesting," Kennedy said.
"I don't think you should be able to call the police in this country and tell on your neighbors. I'm just uncomfortable with it."
Kennedy is seeking the Democratic nomination. Party executives have ruled that he and other Democrat contenders for the presidency will not be given the chance to debate President Joe Biden in front of the American people.