Senate Votes Down GOP Senator John Kennedy’s Bizarre, Gun-Crazy Plan

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In recent Senate proceedings, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) provided a comprehensive smackdown to rambling nonsense from Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) in favor of a GOP-led proposal to turn back the clock on pistol brace regulations and make the equipment less intensely subject to government restrictions.

Kennedy’s speech ahead of Schumer was bizarre. Why do these Republicans so often use such plain weird rhetoric? “Attaching a pistol brace to a pistol, which doesn’t change the pistol in any fundamental way except stabilizing it, does not stop the pistol from being a pistol,” Kennedy argued, according to the Congressional Record. “It doesn’t. And it sure doesn’t turn it into a short-barreled rifle. Pistols are pistols. Rifles are rifles. Duh. All the pistol brace does is allow an American, especially a handicapped American, to safely grip a pistol and control it in a safe manner. That is all it does. Like I said, stupid should hurt more. This ATF rule is why so many Americans wonder how so many governmental officials in Washington, DC, made it through the birth canal.”

The basic reality is that pistol braces, which in general often increase the physical maneuvers that can be accomplished with the firearms to which they’re attached, have been evidently involved in several recent mass shootings, including the attack in Nashville, Tennessee, at a private Christian school where three young children and three adults were killed. That’s the basic fact. Kennedy’s sprawling arguments about, for instance, the supposed lack of authority for the ATF to pursue these restrictions without specific authorization by Congress don’t appear to be as settled as he’d like his listeners to believe.

“Mr. President, America’s tragic epidemic of gun violence has been made worse by easy access to pistol braces,” Schumer said in the Senate. “But today, amazingly enough, with all of these mass shootings, Republicans want to loosen safety rules regarding these accessories and take us backward in the fight against gun violence. It is hard to believe that that is what is happening. Pistol braces make it easier to conceal and transport weapons that function as highly dangerous short-barreled rifles and, in many instances, have been accessories of choice in recent mass shootings. Some of these mass shooters choose these braces to cause mayhem, and we are loosening the rules on them.” The Senate rejected the proposal in a vote last week. Read more here.