Post-Orlando, president and Congress talk politics, not security

If terrorism were caused by cold air, Congress and Obama could end it in a flash; their failure to get beyond politics puts America at risk while they fight Americans, not ISIS and al Qaeda.

Good fellas / Photo used under U.S. Government Works license
Good fellas / Photo used under U.S. Government Works license

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2016 — In the aftermath of the Pulse massacre in Orlando, a political argument has erupted over the reason for the attack. The failure of our political parties to get beyond the politics is getting people killed.

Last night, President Obama upped his tough talk about ISIS. “Our mission is to destroy ISIL. Since I asked to update the American people on our campaign two months ago, we have seen that this continues to be a difficult fight, but we are making significant progress.”

Orlando shootings: The real solution to the radical Islamist problem

Some progress is being made to fight ISIS, but not enough is being done to eliminate the jihadist threat or even temporarily halt it in its tracks. The government has failed Americans in failing to eliminate terror threats to America. The left opposes declaring war on radical Islamic organizations like ISIS and al Qaeda. Many oppose the Patriot Act, which expands the ability of U.S. intelligence agencies to combat terrorism.

Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party oppose expanded border security measures. Some on the left refuse to support Kate’s Law, which punishes violent foreigners who defy deportation. Instead of punishing criminals and terrorists, they focus on the fight against Second Amendment rights. Guns move the left more than terrorists do.

The Orlando attack has stirred up Americans and become a campaign and a presidential legacy issue. Obama defended his refusal to use the term “radical Islam” when he called the attack an “act of terror.”

There’s not been a moment in my seven and a half years as president where we have not been able to pursue a strategy because we didn’t use the label radical Islam. Not once has an adviser of mine said man, if we really use that phrase, we’re going to turn this whole thing around. Not once.

It is Obama’s job to lead the fight against jihadist terror in America. If Muslims joined the fight, jihadism would be eliminated in weeks. The Republican-led Congress must also act.

Congress should define clearly the classes of weapon that will be banned for public sale. “Assault rifle” is not well-defined; the AR-15 that was used in Orlando has been condemned as a semi-automatic weapon that can fire 800 rounds per minute, yet that rate would require the shooter to pull the trigger 13.3 times per second, a feat beyond human fingers. 

Free speech under attack at home and abroad

Gun carry laws should be standardized at the federal level. Congress must increase funding for the FBI and other federal agencies so that they can stop suspected terrorists from buying guns. Gun dealers should be required to report sales of some weapons directly to the FBI.

Regardless of what Congress and the president do, America will never eliminate all gun crimes. There are hundreds of millions of guns already in circulation, and slashing the numbers won’t make us safe from men like Omar Mateen and other domestic terrorists. So let Congress pass laws that will help keep guns away from lunatics and terrorists while not infringing on our rights, and let the president focus administration attention on fighting terrorists, not Americans. 

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