McCain talks about guns, border in Green Valley

2013-02-20T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T11:19:42Z McCain talks about guns, border in Green ValleyBecky Pallack Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 20, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Sen. John McCain stopped in Green Valley Tuesday during a statewide tour to talk with constituents.

McCain was relaxed and joking with the audience.

"It's hard trying to do the Lord's work in the city of Satan, and so it's wonderful to be back here," he told a packed room at the Green Valley Community Performance & Art Center.

Seasonal Tucson resident Rosemary Kutschke said she was impressed that he answered every question and amazed that he had no security.

McCain spoke for about 20 minutes about sequestration, gun control and the U.S.-Mexico border, and then he opened the program for an hour of "questions, comments or insults."

Here are some of his comments from the event.

On sequestration

"The results of sequestration in Arizona would be 49,000 jobs lost."

On gun control

"In 2012, there were 80,000 criminal background checks for people who were going to purchase guns that said 'no, this is not a person who is qualified to own a gun' because they have a criminal background or some other reason. So 80,000 were denied. This is the number that were prosecuted - 44. Why don't we tighten up on the people who are in violation of the background checks? Why don't we start out with that to keep guns out of the hands of criminals? That's one of the measures we can take.

"Another measure we can take is to tighten up the criminal background checks themselves. Tucson shooter Jared Loughner passed a background check in November 2010 even though he suffered from extreme mental illness, was deemed unqualified for service in the U.S. Army and was expelled from Pima Community College. The system failed."

On the border

"We need some more Border Patrol agents and we need more fencing. But we also need to use and implement the technology that we developed in Afghanistan and Iraq. The use of drones, the use of sensors.

"I believe we can achieve border security, and I believe that we need to address sooner or later the fact that there's 11 million people living in this country illegally. … If we are going to provide them with a path to citizenship, they must pay a fine, they must have background checks, they must learn English, they must pay for any expenses associated with that, they must get in the back of the line behind anybody who has come to this country legally.

"There's nothing like a little time in the slammer to say 'maybe I don't want to try and cross the border again.' "

On Benghazi

"This attack could have been prevented in my view.

"We still don't know - what did the president do on the night of the attack?"

On StarNet: Find audio clips of McCain's comments about Benghazi at

Contact reporter Becky Pallack at or 573-4346. On Twitter @BeckyPallack.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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