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Political Editors / Jun. 14, 2016

Democrats’ Rank Politicization of Death

Pushing gun control from atop the Orlando coffins.

Democrats in the House didn’t even sit through a moment of silence before they stood on the coffins of the Orlando dead to push their gun control agenda. The leftists in the chamber re-introduced legislation that would prevent anyone on the no-fly list from purchasing a firearm or explosives. Although he was investigated by the FBI three years ago, the jihadi murderer was not on a terror watch list at the time of the attack. But that’s just parsing details to Democrats, who want to exploit the outrage to advance their long-desired gun control measures.

To be clear: Democrats don’t care about the 49 dead. Monday evening, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced a moment of silence to remember the Americans who died Sunday. In video of the moment, as most of the chamber stood with head bowed, some Democrats paid the ultimate disrespect by walking out of the chamber. Others interrupted the somber moment by chanting, “Where’s the bill?” Just as some leftists belittle the prayers of people petitioning God after such a murder spree, these lawmakers demonstrated a disregard for the plight of real Americans so that they could push for bills like the one they introduced this week. Never let a crisis go to waste.

The bill Democrats revived was a measure defeated by Senate Republicans in December. As we pointed out then, preventing people on the terror watch list (which contains 280,000 Americans with no ties to terrorism) from buying guns in no way prevents those on the list from getting guns illegally. Furthermore, the bill would take away Americans’ constitutional rights without due process — a gun control loophole, if you will.

But the constitutionally dubious nature of the bill did not prevent Democrat lawmakers — who also took an oath to support and defend the Constitution — from accusing Republicans of being an accessory to terrorism by defeating their scheme.

Obama joined in this political opportunism when instead of highlighting the threat of Islamic terrorism he fed the press a narrative that this could have been prevented if AR-15s were just harder to acquire. “Even after the terrible assault in Mumbai, India, which included the use of armed assaults by transnational terrorist group, restricting Americans’ access to firearms still made no sense,” wrote Heritage Foundation James Carafano. “There are far better ways to protect Americans from armed terrorist assaults.”

As commentator William Murchison wrote: “The death toll in Paris last year from the great Islamic onslaught was nearly three times that in Orlando, in spite of France’s far stricter gun laws.”

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