Sen. John Kennedy: 'Crime Is Up Because' Democrats 'Believe in Defunding the Police'

By Susan Jones | June 24, 2021 | 7:28am EDT
President Biden says gun control will reduce "gun violence." (Photo: Screen capture)
President Biden says gun control will reduce "gun violence." (Photo: Screen capture)

( - Following President Joe Biden's flatly delivered speech on "gun violence" Wednesday, a Republican senator said the president missed the mark on substance:

"I don't hate anyone," Sen. John Kennedy told Fox News Wednesday night, "but whoever is advising the president on crime and I don't know who it is, but whoever it is his -- his Secret Service name ought to be 'butthead.'

I mean, why has Chicago become the world's largest outdoor shooting range? Why is it safer to walk down the streets of Mogadishu than New York City?

Crime is not up, as the president seemed to indicate today, because of inadequate background checks. Crime is up because many -- not all -- but many members of the president's own party believe in defunding the police. They ran on it, and in many cities, they've done it.

Crime is up because many members of the president's own party want to turn cops into social workers. Crime is up because many members of the president's own party think all cops are racists, including apparently the African-American police officers. Crime is up because many members of the president's own party think that when a cop shoots, a criminal, it's always the cops' fault. But when a criminal shoots a cop, it's always the gun's fault.

Now, most people in America know that, and we're not going to get in control of this crime situation until we do three things, until President Biden does three things.

Number one, fund the police. Give them their money back.

Number two, let cops be cops let them do their job. Now, if they misbehave, if they don't follow the law, punish them, hold them accountable -- like we did with Derek Chauvin. But most cops, follow the law.

And number three, we're going to have to do what Mayor Giuliani and Mayor Bloomberg did in New York City. We're going to have to do it in all the major crime areas. We're going to have to bring back stop, question and frisk, and apply it in a racially neutral manner.

It is perfectly legal. It has been used for years. Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote the opinion in 1968, a case called Terry v. Ohio that says it is perfectly legal to stop, question and frisk, if you do it in a racially neutral manner.

And until we do -- I mean this business of the confusion from the press conference and this business of background checks and -- I mean, it's just drivel, and I think most Americans know it.

Biden described the spike in crime, especially murders in America's big cities, as a seasonal event, made worse this year by people emerging from pandemic-induced lockdowns:

"Crime has — historically rises during the summer. And as we emerge from this pandemic with the country opening back up again, the traditional summer’s — summer spike may even be more pronounced than it usually would be," Biden said.

Biden announced four strategies for reducing "gun violence," but they do not include support for traditional policing:

--Zero tolerance for gun dealers who willfully violate key existing laws and regulations;

--Five new strike forces to crack down on illegal gun trafficking;

--Historic funding for states, cities, and counties, and Tribes for law enforcement and crime prevention;

--Support for community violence intervention programs.

Biden said his plan does not infringe the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms:

"Those who say the blood of lib- --'the blood of patriots,' you know, and all the stuff about how we’re going to have to move against the government. Well, the tree of liberty is not watered with the blood of patriots. What’s happened is that there have never been — if you wanted or if you think you need to have weapons to take on the government, you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons."

"The point is that there has always been the ability to limit — rationally limit the type of weapon that can be owned and who can own it."

Biden said the Democrats' "American Rescue Plan" will help local jurisdictions "bring back those law enforcement jobs and social service jobs."

And we're providing more guidance on how they can use the $350 billion nationally that the American Rescue Plan has available to help reduce crime and address the root causes.

For example, cities experiencing an increase in gun violence were able to use the American Rescue Plan dollars to hire police officers needed for community policing and to pay their overtime. 

Mayors will also be able to buy crime-fighting technologies, like gunshot detection systems, to better see and stop gun violence in their communities.  They can use the funding to scale up wraparound services for the residents as well, including substance abuse and mental health services that we know will make a difference in prevention of crime.

Biden never mentioned the leftist defund-the-police movement that labels cops as criminals and criminals as victims of a racist system. The anti-law-and-order movement has emboldened criminal behavior, and it has caused law enforcement officers to quit their jobs in droves because they're fearful of doing their jobs with targets on their backs.

Kennedy told Sean Hannity:

You remember how people panicked when they couldn't find toilet paper? Imagine how they're going to feel when they can't find a cop. And that's where -- that's where we're headed here.

This attitude among many, not all, but many of my Democratic colleagues that we can -- we can have order without justice, that we can have order without law enforcement, is nonsense. I don't know where it came from.

Unfortunately, I don't know why, but there are people in this world, they're not mixed up. They're not confused. They're not sick. It's not a question of whether their mama or daddy loved them enough. They're just anti-social. And society's got to be protected, and we've got to have cops to do it.

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