IN Focus: Young, Braun on gun debate, Taliban talks, Bolton departure

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INDIANAPOLIS – Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) and Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) appeared on this week’s edition of IN Focus, discussing the gun debate, John Bolton’s departure from the White House and the secret talks with the Taliban that were scrapped in recent days.

We also asked Young about the scrutiny on the vaping industry after several recent deaths, and the President’s call for a possible ban on flavored vaping products, a move Young says he would support.

“I support the president’s regulation of this,” said Sen. Young. “At a time when so many of our young people are beginning to obtain nicotine products which of course can scar them for their entire life, I think this is the right decision. And it’s a nice compliment to our legislation of raising the age of purchase up to 21. So that we don’t have people at age 18 passing on tobacco products to their 16 or 14 year old friends.”

On the gun debate, Young and Braun said they are still waiting to see what kind of compromise might emerge that could get the President’s support.

We asked Young to comment on questions raised by some gun control supporters, like March For Our Lives, comparing the vaping and gun violence epidemics.

“6 people died from vaping. @realDonaldTrump is banning them,” the organization posted on Twitter. “100 people die from guns every day. 36,328 every year.”

“The distinction that you have to make and its just a matter of law, is that the 2nd amendment provides a constitutional law long recognized by the constitution and the United States,” said Sen. Young. “We’re trying to make sure that we are addressing the root causes. We’ve already invested a lot of resources at the federal level in mental health.”

“We should make sure for the sake of maintaining those second amendment rights, that we do anything we need to do to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill,” said Braun, who has been more vocal on the issue than some of his fellow Republicans.

“Common sense gun legislation, let’s start there and make sure it’s focused on criminals and the mentally ill.”

As for the talks with the Taliban, both Young and Braun said the President was right to cancel.

“I think the President of the United States did the right thing in stepping away from the table,” said Young, who recently traveled to the Middle East. “By stepping away, the president sent a signal. Just as he did with Kim Jung Un in North Korea. And just as he’s done with President Xi of China. Which is if you participate in bad behavior while we’re at the negotiating table, I’m gonna walk away.”

And as for Bolton’s departure, Young brushed away any concerns about the President dismissing his third national security adviser in as many years.

“They all serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States and clearly he had lost confidence in John Bolton,” said Young. “That’s his prerogative.”

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