There was a stunning moment on today’s Morning Joe, when Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson was stumped when asked a simple question. With all the brouhaha over gun control in the wake of the Orlando massacre, what law could have stopped Omar Mateen?

It was, of all people, Sam Stein of the Huffington Post who asked the killer question. Stein pointed out that Mateen was not on the no-fly or terrorist watch list, and had passed a background check. “So what is the actual legislative response” that would have stopped the Orlando attack? Johnson resorted to claiming that Congress had “a lot of ideas,” but could not name one that would have made a difference. He also repeatedly recited the new mantra: gun control is a matter of homeland security. Bottom line: the Dem clamor for gun control is a political stunt. It’s about increasing vote totals, not public safety.

DHS’ Jeh Johnson Can’t Name a Gun Control Law That Would Have Stopped Mateen from Mark Finkelstein on Vimeo.

SAM STEIN: So one component of this is gun control, which is being debated right now on the Senate floor. Cynics look at the gun control debate and say, okay, you want to screen people who are on the no-fly list, the terrorist watch list, this guy wasn’t on the list. You want to do background checks, this guy passed a background check. So what is the actual legislative response that would have prevented the situation like we had in Orlando?

JEH JOHSON: There are a lot of ideas in Congress right now. I just think that when you look at Orlando, you look at San Bernardino, we have to face the fact that responsible, sensible gun control is now a matter of homeland security. It’s not just a matter of public safety. It’s a matter of homeland security that we address this on a national level. This is something we’ve got to face and we’ve got to do. To minimize the opportunities for a terrorist to get ahold of a gun one way or another. It’s a matter of homeland security that we take this on.


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