Less than two weeks before the Orlando massacre — the worst mass shooting in US history — Barack Obama warned about a dangerous loophole in US gun laws. On a PBS Town Hall event, Obama said:
I just came from a meeting today in the Situation Room in which I’ve got people who we know have been on ISIL websites, living here in the United States, US citizens, and we’re allowed to put them on the “No fly” list when it comes to airlines.
But because of the National Rifle Association, I cannot prohibit those people from buying a gun.
This is somebody who is a known ISIL sympathizer.
And if he wants to walk into a gun store or gun show right now and buy as many weapons and ammo as he can, nothing’s prohibiting him from doing that, even though the FBI knows who that person is.
Remember, this was said two weeks ago, and it was eerily (and sadly) prescient, considering that the shooter in Orlando had been investigated by the FBI twice, but was able to purchase two guns and ammo just before the attack.
Look, I support the second amendment, but no right is absolute. Even staunch libertarians believe that rights end when they threaten other rights, and that with rights come responsibilities. I have the right to free speech, but not to libel and slander. I have freedom of religion, but not if my religion includes human sacrifice. I have a right to vote, but that right can depend on my not committing any felonies.
Do Republicans really believe that a terrorist sympathizer’s right to own guns with no background check is more important than the innocent victims’ lives? Of course they do. Less than a year ago, the GOP blocked a bill that would have stopped terrorists from buying guns.
And Donald Trump seems to be doing everything in his power to make this worse, and wasting no time to make it about himself. He sent out the following tweet early Sunday morning: “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism”.
And then this morning Trump said on Fox News “The problem is we have thousands of people right now in our country. You have people that were born in this country” who are susceptible to becoming “radicalized”. That’s right Trump, and it is your words and actions that are radicalizing them. It is bigoted and stupid to blame Islam and make all Muslims the enemy. After all, Hitler claimed to be a Christian, but you don’t hear people blaming “radical Christian terrorism” or proposing that we we should have closed our borders to Christians during WWII.
UPDATE: Samantha Bee expresses her righteous anger over this very issue: