No shortage of roundtable topics during Kinzger forum

August 2, 2018

PRINCETON — U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, on a tour of the 16th District, attended a roundtable discussion Wednesday that touched on topics such as guns, health care, the upcoming midterm elections, and the president’s trade war.

The Channahon Republican faces Democrat Sara Dady, a Rockford immigration attorney, on Nov. 6.

The district, which includes all of Lee, Ogle and Bureau counties, has been held by Republicans for all but 2 years since 1917.

Gun control and school safety

A school shooting is among the worst things he could imagine happening in his district, said Kinzinger, who spoke highly of the Dixon High School resource officer Mark Dallas, who prevented the May 16 school shooting from claiming any lives.

Improving school security, however, depends on both federal and state money, and “part of the problem is you have a state that’s bankrupt right now,” Kinzinger said.

He said a ban on bump stocks is likely to happen, and he supports adding a background database to flag people who aren’t allowed to own weapons, as well as raising the legal age to buy a gun to 21.

“If you have to be 21 to drink a beer, then I think you should have to be 21 to buy an AR,” he said.

Raising the age limit likely will lower the likelihood of school shootings, he said.

“Most school shootings occur with somebody in, or just graduated from that school and they still have a bone to pick. If we can put that to 21, you alleviate that issue,” Kinzinger said.

Police have said the gun 19-year-old senior Matt Milby took to graduation practice at Dixon High that day belonged to his mother. Dallas shot Milby as he was fleeing the school; no one else was injured.

Milby is charged with three counts of attempted murder, and four counts involving aggravated discharge of a firearm.

Mid-term elections

When it comes to the possibility of Republicans losing control of Congress, Kinzinger cautioned constituents to just remember what happened during the lengthy and heated joint Congressional hearing involving FBI official Peter Strzok in July.Scenarios like that would become more commonplace were Democrats to take control of Congress, he said, except it would be Republicans in the cross hairs.

“Imagine that instead of Peter Strzok, it’s every Republican office head, every secretary facing hostile questioning for 12 hours a day – that’s what happens,” he said.

Maintaining GOP control of the Senate is essential because of all the nominations “Democrats are stalling on,” he said, adding, “We never stalled for Obama, by the way, they just want to resist everything.”

If the GOP loses the House, nothing proactive will be accomplished for 2 years, and “every day will be [U.S. Rep.] Maxine Waters, as the new head of Financial Services, grilling everybody under her jurisdiction,” he said.

Republicans are “doing our best,” he said, but “every day the news is derailed in some way or the other,” and he’d rather people “talk about the successes we’ve been having,” like the economy.

Arguments from the “other side” that the economy isn’t in good shape “doesn’t hold a lot of water,” he said.

Update hourly