At a stop in Eau Claire, Ron talked with folks about how he’s working to keep local communities safe from Islamic terrorism.
Rather than restrict gun sales to people on a so-called terror watch list in response to the June 12 deadly attack in Orlando, Fla., government should ramp up its efforts to defeat Islamic extremists, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said Saturday during a stop in Eau Claire.
“This is a defense against the failed battle against ISIS,” Johnson said of gun-related votes expected Monday in the Senate, one of which would allow the government to prevent terrorist suspects from buying guns. “This incident has to do with Islamic terrorists.”
The measure is far from certain to pass, and Johnson, a Republican from Oshkosh, said the Democratic proposal to restrict gun access is a “simple, knee-jerk reaction” to a complex problem. He faces a tough re-election fight against former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold, the man he defeated in 2010.
“This issue is a lot more complicated than people, including some U.S. senators, seem to realize,” Johnson said. “Let’s not rush this through and politicize this tragic event. Let’s take a look at this thoughtfully and get all of the facts and then take appropriate action.”
In an effort to gather more facts about the shooting at a gay Orlando nightclub in which 49 people died and another 53 were wounded, and about Omar Mateen, the shooter, whom the FBI said had ties to Islamic extremism. Johnson is seeking information about the shooting and Mateen from various sources, including the FBI and Facebook.
Johnson, chairman of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affiars Committee, gave Facebook officials until June 29 to turn over information related to Mateen. On Saturday Johnson praised Facebook for working with him and acknowledged “we won’t get that information right away.”
Afterward, the senator and others at the event signed large posters supporting the police department and first responders in Orlando who worked at the shooting scene.