- The Washington Times - Friday, June 17, 2016

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz excoriated congressional Democrats in a 23-minute speech on Thursday for using an Islamic terrorist attack as a pretext for crafting new gun-control laws.

President Obama, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and numerous Democratic lawmakers have said last Sunday’s massacre in Orlando, Florida, by 29-year-old Omar Mateen is proof that new gun restrictions are necessary. The former security guard pledged allegiance to ISIS while killing 49 and wounding 53 others at Pulse, a gay nightclub.

“This week played out all too predictably. Yesterday we saw a political show on the Senate floor. Democrat after Democrat standing for hours — incensed not at ISIS, incensed not a radical Islamic terrorism — incensed that Americans have a right to keep and bear arms. This is political distraction,” Mr. Cruz said.

“This is political gamesmanship,” the senator continued. “I think the American people find it ridiculous that in response to an ISIS terror attack the Democrats go on high-dungeon that we’ve got to restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. This is not a gun-control issue — this is a terrorism issue. It is nothing less than political gamesmanship for them to try and shift to their favorite hobby horse of taking away the Bill of Rights of law-abiding citizens.

Mrs. Clinton told an audience in Cleveland, Ohio, earlier in the week that semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 are “weapons of war,” which should not be “on our streets.”

Mr. Obama made similar comments while speaking from Orlando on Thursday, saying it “defies common sense” for Americans to have equal or greater firepower than their attackers.

“The notion that the answer to this tragedy would be to make sure that more people in a nightclub are similarly armed to the killer defies common sense,” the president said. “Those who defend the easy accessibility of assault weapons should meet these families and explain why that makes sense.”

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