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2016-07-07

Orlando, counter-terrorism & beyond

By US Rep. Lamar Smith

Special to the Courier

This has been an eventful past several weeks for our country.
Let me first comment on the recent tragedy in Orlando, Florida. The events in Orlando on the morning of Sunday, June 12, amounted to a horrific terrorist attack – the worst terror attack on United States soil since 9-11. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the Orlando community.
Congress is considering the most effective measures to prevent further terrorist attacks. Policies must improve intelligence gathering to thwart national security threats. In addition, law enforcement officials at the federal, state, and local levels must be encouraged to coordinate against acts of terrorism. And, the United States must develop a plan to counter terrorism around the world.
Some people think we can stop terrorism with gun control measures. But Americans have a constitutional right to bear arms, which cannot be denied based on suspicion or without due process. Instead, our focus should be on protecting Americans from threats, domestic and foreign.
To protect the homeland, we must take the fight to the enemy. House Republicans have released a national security strategy with 67 ideas to keep America safe. It is a blueprint for how we can win the war against radical Islamic terrorists at home and abroad, restore US leadership and improve our national security. Please look at our proposal, which is available at abetterway.speaker.gov.