A Democratic congresswoman said this week that the terrorist attack in Paris, France should be a wake up call for the United States that firearms are too loosely available for purchase.
"No, uh, obviously it is frightening for every western country, but I do want to remind you, before we killed a jihadist named Awlaki, he did a video that said to Americans, 'join the jihad and get guns, because it's so easy in the United States of America to get a weapon,'" Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky said on SiriusXM radio this week.
"And that ought to be a chilling reminder because, aside from blowing themselves up, which is uh, of course, not about small weapons," she continued. "These people used the kinds of weapons that are still available in the United States of America. And I think it ought cause us to have another consideration of sensible gun safety laws."
According to reports, ISIS members used fully automatic weapons in the attack is Paris. It is legal to own fully automatic weapons in the United States, but there are tight regulations.
"Well, you know, we traffic in some small weapons around the world and so it's not clear actually where those came from, but you're right, they are um, you know, people get them," said Schakowsky, when asked how ISIS members got guns in the tightly gun-controlled European Union. "But they're so available was the message that was sent to possible recruits for the terrorist organizations."
The jihadist the congresswoman is referring to, presumably American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, did not make the video in question. American born al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn, in a video released in 2011, said guns could be easily obtained by buying them at gun shows with no background check.
"Let's take America as an example," Gadahn said. "America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?"
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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