This weekend’s terrorist mass shooting in Orlando is prompting calls for the federal government to take action to prevent future tragedies. However, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin argues figuring out what to do is not that simple.
U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), who chairs the Senate’s Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, is open to exploring options that will make Americans safer. However, the Wisconsin Republican said there’s a difficult balancing act that comes when also trying to preserve the rights of law-abiding Americans. “We need to consider what more that we can do,” Johnson said. “But it’s an enormously difficult issue…What do we do with the not guilty yet?”
A gunman entered an Orlando night club early Sunday morning, opening fire with an AR-15 rifle. He killed at least 49 people and injured dozens of others in what’s being called the worst mass shooting in modern American history. Police are also investigating the gunman’s ties to Islamic extremism, as they look for a motive in the attack.
Johnson said the fabric of American society has already been profoundly damaged by Islamic terror, a threat he believes is not going away and needs to be addresses. However, he said any solution needs to keep the nation safe, while guarding the individual rights of citizens. “It’s an incredibly difficult balancing act,” Johnson said.
AUDIO: Sen. Ron Johnson says Islamic terrorism has already damaged American society (1:10)
The Senator dismissed calls to renew a federal ban on the sale of assault-style weapons, arguing previous measures did not having much of an effect on curbing violence. “The problem with the proponents of those types of bans have is, they tried it and I think that the data showed that it really didn’t do anything in terms of curbing violence.”
Johnson is running for re-election in November. His Democratic opponent, Russ Feingold, said in a statement that the attack in Orlando was act of hate and of terror. “Our LGBTQ friends, neighbors, and all Americans have the right to feel safe and secure, and should never need to fear threats of violence,” he said.