The National Rifle Association’s top lobbyist and political strategist on Sunday pointed to radical Islamic terrorism in the wake of the massacre at an Orlando, Fla. nightclub, saying there is a "serious problem in this country."
“What happened in Orlando was heartbreaking. Our prayers go out to those families, everybody impacted,” Chris Cox, the executive director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“We have a serious problem in this country, a catastrophic situation. It has nothing to do with firearms. It has nothing to do with the Second Amendment or even gun control and it has everything to do with radical Islamic terrorists.”
Cox was asked about presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE's comments that the outcome in Orlando would have been better had more people in the club been armed.
Cox said the Pulse nightclub’s gun-free-zone policy didn’t prevent Omar Mateen from “mowing down innocent people.”
Cox, however, said he does not want people drinking a nightclub armed to the teeth.
“What Donald Trump has said is what the American people know is commonsense, that if somebody had been there to stop this faster, fewer people would have died. That's not controversial, that's commonsense,” he said.
“No one thinks that people should go into a nightclub drinking and carrying firearms. That defies commonsense. It also defies the law. It's not what we're talking about here,” he added.
“What we're talking about is the failure of this government to keep us safe. And the American people are scared. And they have reason to be scared. You can do both things. You can stop bad things from happening while protecting the rights of law-abiding people to defend themselves.”
--This report was updataed at 12:45 p.m.