Presumptive US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Sunday renewed his call for the US to consider racial profiling as a preventive tactic against terrorism in the aftermath of last week’s mass shooting in Orlando, Florida.
“I hate the concept of profiling, but we have to start using common sense,” Trump said in an interview on CBS’ Face the Nation.
Trump issued a similar call in December last year after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, that left 14 people dead and more than 20 injured.
On Sunday, he also sought to downplay any differences between his positions on gun control and those of the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Last week, Trump said on Twitter that people on the government’s terrorist watch list should be barred from buying firearms, a stance that contradicts that of the NRA.
However, Trump now seems to be backtracking, saying on ABC’s This Week that he “understands exactly” the NRA’s objections to restricting access to people on the watch list.
“A lot of people are on the list that really maybe shouldn’t be on the list and their rights are being taken away,” he said.
The NRA used the Sunday morning political shows to criticize, and even mock, Democratic efforts to pass new gun control laws in the wake of Orlando.
NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said on Face the Nation that legislation was effectively useless at preventing terrorist attacks.
“These bad guys we’re facing, they don’t say: ‘Oh gosh, they passed a law. Oh gosh, I don’t think I could do it,’” LaPierre said.
Democrats made their own push for expanded gun controls, which the US Senate was scheduled to take up yesterday — and more broadly, for a grassroots effort to take on opponents of stricter gun control in the wake of Orlando.
Senator Chris Murphy, who led a 15-hour Democratic speechifying marathon on the Senate floor that ended early on Thursday, said on ABC that “the only way that you win this issue is by building a political infrastructure around the country that rivals that of the gun lobby.”
Democratic US presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed her support for the effort, writing “Stand strong @ChrisMurphyCT” on Twitter.
Racial profiling has been an occasional theme of Trump’s campaign. In addition to his most recent comments, he has discussed increased surveillance of Muslims and mosques, and has said that he would consider registering Muslims in a special database or requiring that they carry cards that identify them as Muslim.
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