Gun debate heats up locally, nationally
The debate over gun control is heating up in at least one congressional race in Kansas at the same time that Democrats in the U.S. Senate are trying to pressure Republicans into allowing a debate on the issue in the wake of Sunday's massacre in Orlando, Fla.
Democrat Jay Sidie, of Mission Woods, one of three Democrats seeking to unseat Third District Congressman Kevin Yoder, this week called on Yoder to back legislation that would prevent people on the FBI's terrorist watch list from buying guns.
“It’s beyond comprehension that Congressman Yoder believes that suspects on the terrorist watch list — who are already banned from flying — should be able to buy weapons and explosives,” Sidie said. “Congress should put aside the petty partisanship and work together to close this loophole, which is an important step in any comprehensive strategy to destroy ISIS and keep Americans safe.”
At the same time, Democrats in the U.S. Senate launched a filibuster Wednesday, blocking a vote on a bill to fund scientific research until GOP Senate leaders allow a debate on gun legislation.
Yoder's office issued the following statement in response to Sidie's remarks:
"Known terrorists shouldn't be allowed to buy weapons of any kind in the United States. Period. In the case of (Orlando massacre suspect) Omar Mateen, he was neither on the terrorist watch list nor the no-fly list. We need robust and renewed efforts to identify and stop radical Islamic terrorism before it occurs both abroad and in the homeland. It's time our President takes ISIS seriously and turn our attention to the root cause of this attack."