When it comes to political candidates from each of the two major parties, you’re not very likely to find very much difference in the policies that they’re campaigning on. Generally speaking, Democrats are going to push for gun control and are going to blame guns for mass shootings; Republicans will tend to support the Second Amendment or (if they’re more centrist like Mitt Romney) vote for less extreme gun control (and some wonder why Romney lost his run for President in 2012).
Occasionally, though, you get someone who surprises you. In this case, the surprise is John Kennedy’s nephew, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who has already thrown his hat in the ring for President in 2024, largely, it seems, because of how he views the Biden administration’s handling of the COVID–19 situation, and his view that the Biden administration trampled civil rights during the pandemic situation.
Obviously, he is not one to follow the standard narrative out there on COVID (Yes, he even wrote a bestselling book criticizing Anthony Fauci).
But RFK, Jr. seems to be willing to buck the party line on other issues, too. Joseph Mackinnon writes,
The 69-year-old son of assassinated former U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of assassinated former President John F. Kennedy stressed he knows firsthand the impact of gun violence but noted that the Supreme Court has made clear the meaning of the Second Amendment, which he would not impinge on.
Extra to acknowledging gun culture is deeply integrated in rural communities around the nation and that taking away Americans’ guns is “not the right thing,” Kennedy noted that further infringements on the Second Amendment would be rightly recognized as “part of a systematic assault on our Bill of Rights” at a time “when the Constitution has been under attack … in an unprecedented way.”
While supportive of security-hardening measures at schools as a temporary means to stymie future school shootings, Kennedy indicated that the real solution requires an understanding of the real problem, which isn’t guns. After all, other countries with comparable numbers of guns per capita go without routine mass murders.
“[In] Switzerland, the last school shooting was 21 years ago. We have one every 21 hours. The one thing that we have that is different than anybody in the world is the amount of psychiatric drugs that our children are taking and our people are taking,” said Kennedy.
As president, Kennedy said he would “look very closely at the role of psychiatric drugs in these events — and there are no good studies right now that should have been done years ago on this issue — because there is tremendous circumstantial evidence that those SSRIs and benzos and other drugs are doing this.”
“There’s something happening in our country right now that is not happening anywhere else in the world and has never happened in human history,” continued Kennedy. “You have to look at some of the — almost all of these — drugs. If you look at their manufacturers’ inserts, they include a side effect of homicidal and suicidal behavior. … Prior to the introduction of Prozac, we had almost none of these events in our country and we’ve never seen them in human history.”
Wow. Talk about going after the party line in a hard way (and he also disagrees with the Democratic Party’s positions on several other issues).
Are pharmaceuticals the cause of most mass shootings in the U.S.? I don’t know. I can only speculate, but Kennedy has a long history of going after the pharmaceutical industry in court, so, he has much more information than the average person on drugs and their side effects.
And it’s interesting and surprising that he specifically linked those to mass shootings in the U.S.
One thing that is clear, though, is that Kennedy knows that the problem driving mass shootings isn’t the tool (guns) but something (or someone) else, and he’s absolutely right about that.