Former DHS Head: No, Gun Control Wouldn’t Have Stopped Orlando Terrorist

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Jun 26, 2016 5:08 PM
Former DHS Head: No, Gun Control Wouldn’t Have Stopped Orlando Terrorist

Tom Ridge, former head of the Department of Homeland Security, said that no matter what Democrats believe in their quest to pass more gun control legislation, it wouldn’t have stopped Orlando shooter Omar Mateen from killing 49 people and injuring 53 others at Pulse nightclub. 

"You kind of wonder what kind of glasses some of the Democrats are wearing as they look at that horrible tragedy," Ridge told radio host John Catsimatidis on "The Cats Roundtable."

House Democrats held a sit-in on the chamber floor to demand action on gun control legislation last week, while the Senate rejected a series of gun control bills, including one piece of legislation that would’ve banned those on terrorist watch lists from buying a gun.

"The notion that somehow gun control would have eliminated that is just an absolute disconnect," Ridge said.  

"I do think there's some reasonable people on both sides of the aisle and even within the [National Rifle Association] that probably do support the notion that if you're on a terrorist watchlist and if you can't get on an airplane, you probably shouldn't be about to purchase a firearm. OK. I get that. ... But this is totally unrelated to the incident in Orlando where the murderer pledged allegiance to [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] and was probably inspired and converted by the virtue of the internet and some of his travels."

Many are in sharp disagreement over banning those on the terrorist watch list from purchasing guns, however. Critics on both the right and left note that while it sounds reasonable enough, terror watch lists are extremely secretive lists and lack due process.