Our Opinion: Let's at least make it tougher for madmen

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In the wake of the horrific gun massacre in Orlando, stories of Pulse nightclub patrons heroically helping others to safety are emerging. Then there is Donald Trump.

The Republican presidential candidate first congratulated himself for realizing that Islamic terrorism is a problem, a realization shared by essentially everyone. He then asserted that President Obama should resign. and in a strange interview with Fox News Monday seemed to suggest the president was somehow complicit in the shooting or approved of it. Remarks of this nature would be regarded as treasonous if made by a Democrat about a Republican president, but Mr. Obama characteristically is taking the high road in shrugging them off.

Perhaps Mr. Trump should abandon his candidacy for failing to support policies that would keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of terrorists possessing an apparent hatred of gay people? The AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle Omar Mateen apparently used to kill 49 people is designed specifically to shoot down people quickly. It is not used by hunters, it is not kept in drawers by home-owners. There is no reason why a weapon designed for mass murder should be available for purchase anywhere in the United States.

Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, said Sunday, as she has before, that stronger laws are needed to keep guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists. So why is Mr. Trump opposed to doing the same? Is he soft on terror?

Rooting out domestic terrorists is difficult work. Mr. Mateen had been on a terrorist watch in 2013-2014 but he did nothing the FBI could charge him with during that 10-month period. Anticipating the actions of people motivated by hatred of gays or other minorities fighting successfully for their rights is impossible. What we can do is make it more difficult for those consumed by hate to get the powerful weapons they need to put their hatred into practice. Is that really too much to ask of our lawmakers?


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