Politifact did some investigating and found that in 2015 there were 244 instances of suspected terrorists attempting to buy firearms. A staggering 223 – that is 91% – of these attempts succeeded, according to the Government Accountability Office. In 2016, Orlando shooter Omar Mateen had been investigated by the FBI for possible terror ties but still was allowed to walk into a store and purchase an assault weapon. He also succeeded in committing an act of terror against his fellow American citizens at Pulse nightclub, massacring fifty innocents and devastating the nation’s LGBTQ community and the entire city of Orlando. Democrats have been advocating for tighter gun controls for decades, as America continues to be racked by gun violence unseen in any other developed country. The greatest tragedy of all is that the Pulse shooting could have been avoided if suspected terrorists were not able to buy guns.
There are an estimated 700,000 names on an FBI secret list of known and reasonably suspected terrorists, so the data is available for the federal government to use to check firearms sales. Those on the list are not allowed to travel by plane in case they attempt a terror attack, but right now blacklisted terrorist suspects are allowed to acquire deadly weapons with ease. With 700,000 potential terrorists being able to acquire guns, it is obvious that sooner or later a terror attack with a firearm was going to happen, as al-Qaeda’s own propaganda encourages them to do.
It is worth remembering that in December, Democrats in Congress tried to pass a bill stopping suspected terrorists from buying firearms, but it was shot down by the GOP, led by Mitch McConnell. It is painfully obvious that this Republican obstructionism and infiltration of government by the National Rifle Association (NRA) paved the way for this tragedy. It doesn’t take more than common sense to think that people who can reasonably be suspected of being terrorists can be reasonably barred from possessing lethal assault weapons, but apparently they are too beholden to their NRA masters to care about the deaths of the hundreds of thousands that lose their lives to gun violence in this country.
Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.