Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) has an A rating from the National Rifle Association but he says that Democrats are at fault for not passing more gun control legislation.
During a Tuesday interview on MSNBC, host Thomas Roberts asked Kingston if he looked at the recent massacre of 20 school children in Connecticut and felt "a sense of guilt" over his tough stance against gun control.
"Where I think we have the guilt is we see a huge problem like this -- and it's a problem that's happening in other countries as well -- and we look for something that, okay, what can prevent it?" Kingston explained. "And I think that's where we need to go with this discussion is, yes, put gun control -- more gun control -- on the table. But, also, don't forget the mental health element. Don't forget, is there a home situation that we need to learn more about? Was this young man addicted to violent video games? Was there a Hollywood influence? I think that we can't just stop at guns."
Roberts observed that many pro-gun Democrats had recently changed their tune and that the Republicans were in danger of being the party of "the people that defend Glocks" if they continued to oppose meaningful gun restrictions.
"What also is disturbing though is people would say, do the Republicans -- I mean, here we have a town, which was controlled in the House by Democrats, in the Senate by Democrats and the White House by Democrats for two years and nothing took place for stricter gun control laws," Kingston insisted. "So, for the partisans in our country to already start injecting politics in here, that saddens me further."
"Now, we have to remember that Connecticut has the the fifth toughest gun control laws in the country, including an assault weapon ban that bans 35 different weapons," he added. "The weapon that was used was not an assault weapon, therefore it wasn't banned."
The MSNBC host pointed out that Kingston had gotten an A rating from the NRA because he had voted against gun regulations for years -- including opposing the Brady Handgun Bill, supporting a partial repeal of the D.C. firearm ban, opposing restrictions on semi-automatic assault weapons and voting to decrease waiting periods.
"None of the policy issues which you just ticked off would have prevented [Connecticut shooter] Adam Lanza from doing this," the Georgia Republican opined. "And it's very sad that we want to cloud the issue by making NRA the policy as opposed to Adam Lanza and what triggers this off."
"We need to just be complacent in the fact that we can send our children to school to be assassinated?" Roberts wondered.
"I think if we want to have a reasonable discussion, we have to look at what happened in Germany with all the gun control laws, it didn't prevent anything," Kingston asserted. "What happened in Connecticut, the fifth toughest gun control law in the country? It did not prevent anything. So, what I'm saying, you can't just stop at guns. You have to look at mental health. What about having a toll-free number for people who have somebody like an Adam Lanza in the house, where there may be some red flags that they could say, 'I'm concerned that my son may have a tendency towards violence or insane acts. What do I do?'"
"I think at this point we need to come together as a nation instead of start pulling off in separate camps."