While POTUS Lays Out ISIL Strategy, GOPers Vote to Allow People on Terror Watch Lists to Buy Guns

WASHINGTON – DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued the following statement on the contrast between the President’s Oval Office address on Sunday evening and the reaction of Republican presidential candidates who insist on continuing to allow people on the terror watch list to purchase guns and Donald Trump’s plan to ban Muslim immigration.

“Since the President’s address from the Oval Office last night, Republican presidential candidates have shamefully clung to a policy of continuing to allow people on terror watch lists to purchase guns. Even while independent news organizations have declared their claims about the no-fly list ‘mostly false,’ the Republican candidates for president insist on allowing suspected terrorists to purchase weapons like those used in the San Bernardino terrorist attack. In addition, outrageous proposals like Donald Trump’s total ban on Muslim immigration only play into the hands of terrorists like ISIL/Daesh who use the worldview of a “clash of civilizations” as the driver for recruitment to their perverted and murderous ideology.  

“The Republican embrace of fear and their absurd position on the no fly list is a stark contrast from what we saw in the President’s compelling address, a reminder of how far we have come since 9/11 to harden our defenses, to target terrorists over the last 7 years, to decimate Al Qaeda’s leadership, to kill Osama Bin Laden and Jihadi John, and to mobilize a coalition of more than 60 countries to destroy ISIL/Daesh. The President’s strong call for the American people to embrace freedom over fear was particularly powerful in the context of ramped-up airstrikes and the engagement with special forces that’s already taking place in Iraq and Syria.

“Rather than embracing the NRA’s blind support for allowing those on the terror watch lists to buy weapons, and making ridiculous proposals to ban Muslims in an ugly appeal to the GOP fringe, the Republican candidates for president ought to agree that as Americans we are united regardless of party in confronting and defeating the terrorist threat. They should acknowledge that irrespective of party, we should all be able to get behind measures like those the President laid out to prevent terrorism at home, whether directed from abroad, lone wolves, or attacks like those in San Bernardino. They should join the President in improving security around the fiancée visa program, working with Muslim community leaders, law enforcement, and tech companies to better identify homegrown threats, and of course, keeping guns out of the hands of terror suspects.”