Kennedy: "We need more idiot control"
Congress is still debating a series of gun control measures that proponets contend will lessen the chances of a future mass shooting. Included on that list is a bill from Texas Sen. John Cornyn that, according to this item in Roll Call, "would dock federal agencies that fail to upload relevant disqualifying records into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, and would grant more money to states that comply."
It has bipartisan support, and is expected to pass the Senate easily.
But there will be at least one "no" vote, and that will come from Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy. In a speech against the measure, Kennedy said:
I don’t think we need more gun control; I think we need more idiot control.
That's worth a headline by itself. But there's more than a snappy retort behind Kennedy's stance:
The senator maintains the problem of guns making their way into the hands of disqualified people does not derive from deficiencies in the NICS itself but from federal bureaucratic negligence uploading the proper information — which is what the bill he opposes appears to try to rectify.
“One of the problems around this place, I’ve found out after a year on Capitol Hill, is that nobody ever gets fired,” Kennedy said, criticizing government workers who neglect their duties to upload data to NICS.
“They already get an incentive for loading records into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System; it’s called a paycheck. If that’s not a good enough incentive, then they need to be fired. … We don’t need a law to try to get federal workers to do their jobs. We shouldn’t be asking government workers to ‘pretty please with sugar on top, can you do your job?’”
In short, he wants accountability.
It's not a big thing to ask of government bureaucrats, or at least it wouldn't seem to be that big to folks in the private sector. But in the odd world of government, carrying out one's assigned tasks -- particularly those that protect health and safety -- requires more than a steady wage and excellent benefits. It also demands an additional financial incentive. The bigger the better and, if Congress can be seen busily and with many impassioned speeches making it legally required...everyone wins.
Except the taxpayer.