Senator John Kennedy (NRA-LA) was questioning Dr. Megan Ranney of the Yale School of Public Health about the causes of shootings in Chicago. Kennedy thought he could play a little game of Gotcha with Ranney, but he grossly underestimated her caliber.
Kennedy started with asking Ranney if Chicago had become “America’s largest outdoor shooting range” because of law-abiding people who had guns for self-protection and/or hunting or if it was because of a number of criminals with rap sheets “as long as King Kong’s arm.”
Ranney calmly replied by pointing out that Mississippi, Louisiana and Missouri had higher firearm death rates.
Kennedy didn’t appreciate that and pressed the issue of Chicago. Ranney tried to let him off the hook again but he kept pressing her. So she answered him, much to his chagrin:
I think there’s easy access to firearms combined with environmental conditions, lack of great education. There have actually been studies showing that when you green vacant lots and repair abandoned buildings in urban neighborhoods, you see decreases in gunshots and violence as well as depression around them.
That was obviously not the answer Kennedy was looking for as evidenced by disrespecting her by saying her answer was nothing more than “word salad.”
Whether it’s because Kennedy didn’t like the answer or truly didn’t understand it, maybe it’s time for him to find something that he is more suited for, like sitting on a rocker in front of the senior center, yelling at clouds.