When confronted about Florida’s lax gun laws in the wake of the Orlando shooting, Florida Governor Rick Scott stressed the need to focus on radical Islam and said, “The Second Amendment didn’t kill anybody.”
“This is ISIS. This is evil. This is radical Islam,” he told CNN on Friday morning. “I’m tired of what’s going on in our country. We’re not focused enough on ISIS.”
“When are we going to say to ourselves as a country, ‘enough is enough?’” asked Scott, reminding his audience of Steven Sotloff – a journalist from Miami who was kidnapped and beheaded by ISIS in 2014. “I don’t want anything like this to happen in my state ever again – to any citizen.”
CNN host Pamela Brown asked Scott if Florida’s gun policies are to blame for the Orlando shooting: “Can you accept any responsibility for the gun laws here in Florida?” she asked. “The fact that it is easier to walk out of a gun store in half an hour with an AR-15 that can kill more people faster than a pistol…yet it’s harder to get a pistol than an AR-15.”
“Just remember, the Second Amendment has been around for over 200 years,” replied Scott, dodging the question. “That’s not what killed innocent people. Evil killed innocent people. There will be a time for a conversation about what will make our country safer again. Let’s have a conversation about how we destroy ISIS.”
The Republican Governor expressed frustration with Obama’s immigration policies. He described a recent scenario when he was on the phone with the White House: “If you allow a Syrian refugee into my state…will you share that information with me in your background checks?” he asked. The feds refused. “Give me a break,” says Scott. “I’m responsible for the public safety of the 20 million people in my state, of 100 million tourists, and you have information about somebody you are allowing to come to my state…and you won’t share it with me? That’s wrong.”
Scott also said that nobody on the Terrorist Watch List should be allowed to purchase firearms. Omar Mateen, the man responsible for the tragedy in Orlando, had been removed from the list after numerous interviews.