The following remarks were delivered on the House floor by Congressman Tom McClintock:
The terrorist attack on Orlando should bring into sharp focus the growing threat our nation faces from Islamic terrorism. Although Islam is a religion, it is often accompanied by a poisonous political ideology that is antithetical to everything our country stands for. That ideology now poses a direct threat to the liberty and safety of our people, and we have every right to defend ourselves against it.
We knew for years that the terrorist’s father was broadcasting pro-Taliban and anti-American rhetoric aimed principally at a large and growing Afghan Islamic population within the United States. We knew that the terrorist himself had travelled repeatedly to Saudi Arabia under mysterious circumstances; that he associated with known terrorists and Islamic radicals in the United States; and that he had expressed the most virulent anti-American views. And we took no action because there are far more instances of such threats than we can begin to assess or address.
This administration has drastically increased the admission of refugees from regions where overwhelming majorities believe in imposing Sharia Law. Those who are fleeing Islamist ideology should be welcome in this country at assimilable levels; but those who are coming here to impose it are a direct threat to our Constitution and have no business being admitted to our shores. Yet this administration sees no difference between the two.
Earlier this year, when Governor Rick Scott of Florida, acting on behalf of law enforcement, requested information on the Islamic immigrants being inserted into his state, he was refused that vital public safety information.
While seeking to radically increase the number of Islamists being admitted to this country, this administration has failed not only to enforce our immigration laws but it has actively undermined those laws. As a direct result of these deliberate government policies, we are enduring Islamist attacks within our borders that will continue to increase in both frequency and severity.
These policies have encouraged a large and growing fifth column that is violently hostile to our country, and it has become deeply imbedded within our communities. San Bernardino and Orlando were just the first bloody foretaste of what is to come until and unless these policies are stopped and reversed.
Last year, the House passed the SAFE Act – an acronym for “Safety Against Foreign Enemies.” It was the first, tentative step toward properly screening refugees from hotbeds of Islamic extremism. It merely required affirmative verification of a refugee’s lack of hostile intent if they are coming from Islamist strongholds in Iraq and Syria. 135 Democrats in this House opposed the SAFE Act, and Senate Democrats killed it in January at the behest of their President.
The very same politicians who will not allow us even to confirm the intent of Islamists entering America are at the same time using the Orlando atrocity as an excuse to disarm loyal and law-abiding Americans. Within hours of the attack, the Left began to use this terrorist atrocity to justify more restrictions on the rights of Americans to defend themselves.
They would have us believe that terrorists who are bent on destroying our country by savagely killing Americans will somehow make one exception to their contempt for our nation by meticulously obeying our gun control laws.
The leftists tell us to leave it to the police. Really? In Orlando, it took more than three hours for police to secure the scene and confront the attacker, while hostages were being shot and the wounded were left to bleed to death. Three hours. In San Bernardino, the terrorists had already fled before police even arrived at the scene.
The first line of defense against an armed terrorist is an armed American. Yet the Democrats seek to make it harder for Americans to arm themselves while increasing the threat posed by mass immigration from those countries where Islamist ideology is rampant.
Is it possible they don’t understand that there is an international arms market and that terrorists can get their hands on any kinds of weapons they want as effortlessly as teenagers can buy pot? While the Orlando terrorist got his guns legally, he could just as easily have gotten them illegally. That’s not the case for a law-abiding American citizen. Law abiding citizens obey our laws. Terrorists do not.
The Left’s vision for our country is one in which Americans are forbidden from fighting back and must helplessly wait to be rescued while they are terrorized by Islamic extremists who should never have been in this country in the first place. And that is going to continue until this country wakes up to the danger it faces and takes decisive action at the ballot box.
That is ultimately the choice before us: we can either suffer increasingly violent attacks on increasingly defenseless Americans or we can chose to finally take seriously the nature of the enemy we face and finally demand leaders who will secure our borders, empower Americans to defend themselves and act forthrightly to defend our country.
*Congressman Tom McClintock