Adam Kinzinger Drops the Ball on AR-15s, While Asa Hutchinson Nails the Conservative Answer

AP Photo/ Andrew Harnik, Pool

Earlier on Sunday, my colleague Bonchie wrote about squish GOP Sen. John Cornyn (Texas) trying to defend the indefensible — the law enforcement action, or in this case, inaction during the Uvalde mass shooting last Tuesday that took 21 innocent lives and left one family without a mother and father. In the wake of this tragedy, the Buffalo grocery store massacre, and others, understandably, people are looking for answers on how to keep our schools and nation safer.


Like with Cornyn, we find another example of bad answers getting play from the legacy media by the Never Trump wing of the Republican party, this time from Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) on ABC News’ “This Week.”

Kinzinger, in the role of the “reasonable Second Amendment supporter,” gloms onto several wrongheaded ideas floated by Democrat Chris Murphy as “doable” changes to gun laws on the federal level. One, he tells host Jon Karl, is making 21 years old the minimum age to buy a rifle nationally.

And while Kinzinger also muses about requiring a special license to own an AR-15, this is the soundbite the lefty media wanted and got (notice here that they continue to dishonestly call AR-15s “assault weapons” — whatever those are):

During the interview, moderator Jonathan Karl asked Kinzinger if he agrees with Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, who supports banning assault weapons.

“I’m definitely ready to engage in that conversation and maybe that ultimately includes not selling them anymore,”  Kinzinger responded. ” That’s fine because to me, again, I’m focused on saving life now.”


But the conservative answer is – and will always be – “no.” Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.) on this week’s “Face The Nation” gave a great, clear explanation why.

Here was host Margaret Brennan’s question and their full exchange in context:

But then there’s this AR-15 style weapon, semi automatic not that good for hunting. The bullets travel three times the speed of sound, they literally blow bodies apart. That’s what was used in Buffalo, it was used in Sandy Hook, it was used in Uvalde. Why not raise the minimum age of purchase to 21 from 18?

GOV. HUTCHINSON: Well, you’ve seen some states actually do that. Right. And you’ve seen it in Florida, you’ve seen it in California and California, the restriction was held as unconstitutional. So there are some constitutional challenges to that. Ultimately, I think the Supreme Court is going to give us guidance on it. But you look at AR-15–,

MARGARET BRENNAN: but you would endorse that?

GOV. HUTCHINSON: –each one has to have– No, I want to give a little bit more history, AR-15s were around for 40 years before they were ever used in any type of mass killing or attack. And so it is about the human heart, it is about identifying the culprits and going after them. And I think it is a discussion you can have. I come down on the point that that’s not going to be the solution. And it’s going to cause more harm than good. In Arkansas, for example, as you pointed out of the long rifles, we distinguish those and those you can acquire at 18. Because we hunt with those, we it’s a culture that we start when we’re 14 or 15 here in Arkansas. And so that’s important part of it, and it’s a step to go to the AR-15s and how you draft laws that would distinguish those, that’ll be a part of the discussion, I come down. I don’t think that’s a solution. And we shouldn’t focus on that.


Exactly right. The focus needs to be on who is holding the gun and why, not whether a scary looking gun was used by monsters who chose to kill indiscriminately with it.


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