Former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonFederal judge changes his mind about stepping down, eliminating vacancy for Biden to fill Joe Biden's gamble with history Can America prevent a global warming cold war? MORE said Tuesday that more people would have died in the terrorist attack at a nightclub in Orlando over the weekend if clubgoers had been armed and shot back at the lone gunman.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, the former president was asked to respond to Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPence: Supreme Court has chance to right 'historic wrong' with abortion ruling Prosecutor says during trial that actor Jussie Smollett staged 'fake hate crime' Overnight Defense & National Security — US, Iran return to negotiating table MORE’s claim that fewer people would have died at the club if they had firearms.
“Did you see how dark it was?” Clinton said. “It’s likely that more people would have been killed.”
A gunman of Afghan descent, who claimed to have been inspired by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, killed 49 people and wounded dozens more in an attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Omar Mateen, who was killed during a standoff with police, was armed with a handgun and an AR-15 rifle with high-capacity magazines.
It was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history and the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.
The tragedy has reignited a debate over the nation’s gun, immigration and intelligence gathering laws, as well as political correctness and the nature of Islam.
Clinton on Tuesday pushed for a ban on military-style assault weapons like the AR-15, arguing that gun deaths dropped sharply after he signed such a ban as president in 1994. That law expired in 2004.
“It worked pretty well,” Clinton said of the ban. “Then when it was allowed to expire. For a while we didn’t seem to have uptick in crime, but look at what happened with big weapons at Sandy Hook and Aurora, Colorado and most recently in Orlando and San Bernardino, California.”
“It’s clear that if you’re firing a lot of ammunition in a short amount of time with a weapon designed to kill, more people will die than if you’re stuck with a pistol,” Clinton continued. “If [the Orlando shooter] just had a pistol, nobody believes he could have killed 49 people.”