Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office sent out a memo Friday afternoon that slammed Republicans for blocking a Republican bill to stop terrorists from buying guns legally in the U.S.. I wrote a few days ago that Democrats were outsmarting Republicans on this, and today’s memo is the proof.
The press release shows just how tragic this Congress of NRA stooges really is, because it’s not just a partisan issue and it’s not just that the public supports this and it’s not just that it’s only sane to check for known terrorists before selling a gun to someone, but it’s come to Republicans blocking a Republican bill on an issue supported by the public, terrorism experts, and even NRA members themselves (not to be confused with the NRA’s actual purpose, which is currently as a lobbying organization for gun manufacturers).
Here’s the memo. First, they note the three votes this week alone to block Rep. Peter King’s (R-NY) bill that would close the loophole that lets known terrorists buy guns legally:
House Republicans votedthree times this week to block debate on Republican Congressman Peter King’s Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act, which would close the outrageous loophole that allows suspects on the FBI’s Terrorist Watchlist to buy guns.
As House Republicans continue to protect terrorists’ legal ability to purchase deadly weapons, the facts are staggering: according to the GAO, over the last 11 years, more than 2,000 suspects on the FBI’s Terrorist Watchlist bought weapons in the United States. More than 90 percent of all suspected terrorists who tried to buy guns in America walked away with the weapon they wanted over the time period.
The Dem Leader’s office then cited none other than the Bush administration and various Republicans:
REPUBLICANS, COUNTER-TERRORISM & LAW ENFORCEMENT EXPERTS, NRA MEMBERS SAY: STOP PROTECTING TERRORISTS’ ABILITY TO PURCHASE GUNS
The Bush Administration:
“The [Bush] Justice Department proposed legislation…that would give the attorney general discretion to bar terrorism suspects from buying firearms, seeking to close a gap in federal gun laws.” [4/07]
Republican Former NJ Governor Tom Kean:
“Congress has also failed to close a gap in federal law that prevents the FBI from blocking a sale to an individual under investigation for terrorist activity…The Bush administration asked Congress to authorize the FBI to block gun sales to terrorist suspects, to no avail… If lawmakers fail to close gaps in the background check system…the next terrorist shooting on American soil will be shocking, but it will not be surprising.” [11/09]
Republican Congressman Peter King:
“[It is] more important than ever that we have the toughest laws in place to keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists…any type of weapons they could use against Americans…This is clearly a terrorist loophole, where terrorists – even if a person’s name is on the terrorist watch list, they can go out and purchase a weapon. This should be a bipartisan issue. The Bush Administration supported my legislation, and now the Obama Administration is supporting it as well. This should clearly be a bipartisan issue. We should not allow people on the terrorist watch list to purchase a weapon.” [5/10]
They cited former FBI Director Robert Muller and Counter-Terrorism expert from the Bush administration Richard Clarke:
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller:
“FBI Director Robert Mueller suggested Tuesday that Congress consider barring terrorism suspects from legally buying guns after an audit found that 47 people on a terrorism watch list were approved for purchases last year… ‘We ought to look at what can be done to perhaps modify the law,’ Mueller told members of a House Appropriations subcommittee.” [3/05]
Richard Clarke, Counter-Terrorism Expert in Bush Administration
Imagining a hypothetical terrorist attack at the Mall of America: “It had not been hard for the terrorists to buy all their guns legally, in six different states across the Midwest.” [1/05]
They cited gun owners and NRA members (again, don’t confuse the actual people who belong to the NRA with the NRA’s real purpose of selling as many guns as they can, which suggests that having people terrified of terrorists is actually good business for the NRA):
Gun owners and NRA Members:
And gee, law enforcement is also on board:
Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly:
“All of our collective efforts would benefit from the passage of this bill, which would exclude anyone who is on the terror watch list from being able to legally purchase a gun, obtain a permit to buy explosives, or a license to sell them,” [5/10]
International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP):
“The IACP has long advocated for laws that prevent individuals who pose a danger to society or themselves from purchasing firearms. As you know, under current law an individual wishing to purchase a firearm must undergo a background check, having their name run through the National Instant Background Check System. Certain individuals—such as those convicted of a felony or those listed on the FBI’s Violent Gang List—cannot legally purchase firearms. S.1237 would properly classify those who are on the terror watch list prohibited purchases.” [3/08]
What we have here is a failure to justify outrageous and deadly and disgusting behavior.
Republicans (and the occasional Democrat) have no excuse for being such cowardly stooges of the NRA that they will not even take action to prevent terrorists from purchasing guns legally, even in a year when we have had more mass shootings than days. How can logical people conclude anything other than this is the plan. The plan is to make money for the NRA by encouraging people’s worst fears by promoting domestic terrorist attacks with easy access to weapons.
Republicans in the Senate and the House have spent this week, days after the Planned Parenthood terrorist attack and the San Bernardino terrorist attack, refusing to even try to prevent terrorists from easy access to weapons.
Ms. Jones is the EIC of PoliticusUSA and a Huffington Post contributor.
She has covered President Barack Obama, 2016 Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton, VP Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Gloria Steinem and Senators Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders and interviewed then House Democratic Leader now Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including regular appearances on The Ann Walker Show With Scott Nevins for UBN Radio and KPTR 1450’s California Woman 411, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, The Richard Dawkins Foundation and more.