Upon arriving in Washington, D.C. just hours before his swearing-in, Congressman-elect Joseph P. Kennedy III spoke about his upcoming term in Congress and how he’ll work to reform the nation’s gun laws.

Speaking with the Boston Herald, Massachusetts Congressman Kennedy said that in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy that gun legislation reform “is something I certainly feel strongly about.”

“I know there’s been a lot of leadership already on it. I’d love to support those efforts, and if that means taking a strong leadership role, I’d be honored to do it.”

Kennedy said he supports reinstating the assault weapons ban, closing the gun-show loophole and making it harder for mentally ill criminals to get weapons.

“Obviously this country has had too many moments of late where these horrific tragedies — after which we say ‘never again’ — keep happening. We as a society have to take a long look and say, ‘What can we do to prevent another tragedy from taking place?’ ”

Gun control hits a little closer to home for Kennedy, considering his grandfather Robert F. Kennedy and great-uncle President Kennedy were both killed by gunmen.

Aside from gun control, Kennedy also spoke to the recent drama in Congress regarding the ‘fiscal cliff.’ Said Kennedy, “Hopefully everybody can take a step back and learn from what’s happened over the last 24-48 hours and the frustration so many members of the public and Congress felt.”

“There’s really no excuse for that. We know there are deadlines coming up.”

With beginning his new term as Congressman, Kennedy is reviving the Kennedy legacy in Congress, one that has been empty since 2011 when his cousin Patrick Kennedy stepped down from his Rhode Island seat. Kennedy’s father Joseph P. Kennedy II served as a Massachusetts congressman from 1987 to 1999.

Speaking to his famous political lineage, Kennedy said, “The lesson I’ve learned most from them and other members is there’s absolutely no substitute for hard work.”


Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy IIIAP2010