Republican congressman announces having ‘epiphany’ that teens shouldn’t own assault rifles

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) told CNN's Chris Cuomo that he came to an "epiphany" on gun control.


After the Republican Party worked as a unit to oppose any possible gun control, Kinzinger said that he isn't sure if it's popular or will poll well, but he thinks that perhaps there should be better background checks before someone buys a gun. The bigotry of low expectations from Republicans on sensible gun control has helped set the bar. Kinzinger wants to raise it a few inches.

His second "epiphany" was that teenagers should probably not own assault rifles. While that wouldn't have stopped the mass shootings this past week in Gilroy, El Paso or Dayton, assault weapons it would prevent a teenager from being able to purchase an assault weapon any place that requires background checks.

He noted that in the U.S. the age to buy a handgun is 21, so he thinks the age for an assault weapon should match it.

Kinzinger claimed that he wasn't sure if the issue would "poll well," saying "I don't care." In fact, an overwhelming majority of Americans support not only banning assault weapons for teenagers, but for anyone. Americans also support stricter background checks.

Cuomo noted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has zero intention of passing any restrictions on guns, so any bill that Kinzinger pushes in Congress isn't likely to go anywhere.

"Well, all I can say to him is my opinion and, you know, the — I guess epiphany I came to in terms of -- are these going to stop all shootings, no. But if it can stop one shooting from happening, we got to do it," he said. "I think if it came back to me, even in its current form, there’s some things I don’t like, I would probably vote for it."

Kinzinger is currently polling at 58 percent up against his Democratic challenger Sara Dady at 42 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Watch the full interview below: