Kinzinger Knocks GOP Calls To ‘Harden’ Schools After Texas Shooting

US Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) speaks to members of the Ukrainian Parliament in the rotunda of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on April 27, 2022. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds / AFP) (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLD... US Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) speaks to members of the Ukrainian Parliament in the rotunda of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on April 27, 2022. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds / AFP) (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) on Sunday dismissed his fellow congressional Republicans’ talking points in the wake of the tragic elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 students and two teachers dead.

Instead of heeding to calls for firming up gun control laws in the wake of the massacre, prominent Republicans such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) have turned their focus to insisting that the prevention of future school shootings relies on “hardening” schools. Among their proposals to supposedly “harden” schools are single-door entryways with armed guards on campuses.

Kinzinger — who supports universal background checks, red flag laws, raising the minimum age to buy a gun and banning high-capacity magazines — criticized the latest GOP’s deflection strategy during an appearance on CNN. Kinzinger claimed that some of his fellow Republicans are too afraid of stepping “outside of the cultist position” on the Second Amendment because of potential backlash they could receive. He pointed to the attacks he received from fellow Republicans for his vehement criticism of former President Trump and his election fraud falsehoods.

“Once you make something that’s outside of the cultist position, or outside of that, like, tribal position, you’re going to get a bunch of attacks that say, you’re crazy, it’s my right, the Second Amendment, even though we all believe in the Second Amendment,” Kinzinger said.

Kinzinger took aim at GOP talking points in the wake of the shooting. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) shifted the blame to mental health rather than the state’s lax gun laws, while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has pushed single-door entryways with armed police officers as a solution to school shootings.

“If we think that just hardening schools or reducing — basically turning schools into military camps is going to be the answer, even if it does work, which it won’t, but even if it does, that’s not the kind of country I want to live in, right?” Kinzinger said. “I got a kid that’s 4 months old now, will be going to school someday. I don’t want to have to have a military I.D. to check him into the front gate of his elementary school.”

Kinzinger argued that proponents of “hardening” schools are “scared to death to talk about” why the U.S. experiences many mass shootings.

“They know that this is an issue, but they’re scared to talk about it,” Kinzinger said. “So they launch into this thing about mental health.”

Watch Kinzinger’s remarks below:

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