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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Cruz storms off after being asked why mass shootings happen ‘only in America’

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As Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) attended a vigil Wednesday for the victims of the bloodbath in Uvalde, Tex., he stormed away from an interview after he was asked by a British journalist why mass shootings happen “only in America.”

Cruz joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and different native and state leaders at a vigil for the 19 kids and two adults killed in the Tuesday mass taking pictures at Robb Elementary School. Cruz, who’s among the many Republicans vehemently against proposals from Democrats on increasing background checks on gun gross sales, has known as for elevated security in faculties and has condemned “political posturing” in the aftermath of the assault. He can also be the lawmaker whose campaigns or political motion committees have accepted probably the most cash from the gun rights foyer, in accordance with the nonprofit OpenSecrets.

During an interview with British Sky News reporter Mark Stone, Cruz, who was seen hugging and assembly with these on the vigil, was asked whether or not this was the second to reform gun legal guidelines. Cruz responded by saying, “You know, it’s easy to go to politics.”

“But it’s important, it’s at the heart of the issue,” Stone replied, in accordance with a video of the interview considered greater than 1 million occasions as of Thursday morning.

State and native lawmakers on either side of the aisle commented on the occasions surrounding a mass college taking pictures in Uvalde, Tex. On May 24. (Video: Adriana Usero/The Washington Post)

From there, the 2 had a tense back-and-forth about gun reform legal guidelines.

“I get that that’s where the media likes to go,” Cruz stated.

The Sky News reporter replied that that was not the case, saying most of the folks he spoke with on the vigil additionally had gun management on their minds.

“The proposals from the Democrats and the media inevitably, when some violent psychopath murders people …” Cruz stated, earlier than he was lower off by Stone. The journalist stated that the alleged shooter was “a violent psychopath who’s able to get a weapon so easily — an 18-year-old with two AR-15s.”

The senator ignored him and continued: “If you want to stop violent crime, the proposals the Democrats have — none of them would have stopped this.”

Then Stone asked, “Why does this only happen in your country? …. Why only in America? Why is this American exceptionalism so awful?”

That’s when Cruz fired again: “You know, I’m sorry you think American exceptionalism is awful. You’ve got your political agenda. God love you.”

As he tried to stroll away, Stone stated he simply wished “to understand why you do not think that guns are the problem.”

“It is just an American problem,” the journalist stated to Cruz.

At the top of the trade, Cruz once more ignored the journalist’s query and accused Stone of pushing propaganda earlier than strolling away.

“Why is it that people come from all over the world to America? Because it’s the freest, most prosperous, safest country on Earth,” the senator stated. “Stop being a propagandist.”

Cruz spokesman Steve Guest advised The Washington Post that Stone’s line of questioning surrounding mass shootings in the United States was incorrect. Guest pointed to analysis from the Crime Research Prevention Center, a pro-firearms nonprofit based by former Trump appointee John R. Lott Jr., that claims “the U.S. is well below the world average in terms of the number of mass public shootings.”

“Contrary to a reporter’s assertion that suggested mass shootings are a uniquely American problem, the data shows that is not accurate,” Guest stated. “In addition to not being true, making that false argument isn’t actually helpful.”

A spokesperson with Sky News didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark Thursday.

The fiery trade comes shortly earlier than Cruz is scheduled to speak at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting over Memorial Day weekend in Houston, a couple of hundred miles away from Uvalde. The occasion is the biggest gun-lobby gathering this yr and comes after cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic. It can even characteristic speeches by a bunch that features Abbott and former president Donald Trump.

Gun-rights teams have given Cruz’s campaigns or PACs greater than $442,000 throughout his profession, probably the most of any lawmaker between 1989 and 2020, in accordance with Federal Election Commission knowledge from 2021 cited by OpenSecrets. Cruz and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) are two of the highest three lawmakers to obtain monetary contributions from gun-rights supporters, in accordance with Axios.

Cruz has confronted criticism from Democrats and liberals in latest days after he tweeted his ideas and prayers to the victims, saying he and his spouse, Heidi, have been “fervently lifting up in prayer the children and families in the horrific shooting in Uvalde.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) questioned why Cruz was nonetheless scheduled to talk on the NRA conference, whereas Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) tweeted a four-letter expletive to the Republican senator.

On Wednesday, Cruz was among the many Republicans at Abbott’s information convention in Uvalde when Democratic Texas gubernatorial nominee Beto O’Rourke interrupted the governor to inform him he was “doing nothing” to cease the following mass taking pictures. Cruz, who was standing behind Abbott, advised O’Rourke to “sit down” because the Democrat was escorted out of the auditorium.

Beto O’Rourke confronts Abbott in Uvalde: ‘You are doing nothing’

“This is on you. Until you choose to do something, this will continue to happen,” O’Rourke stated to Abbott, who largely averted eye contact with the Democrat and didn’t reply. “Somebody needs to stand up for the children of this state, or they will continue to be killed.”

Cruz additionally obtained the eye of one in every of his favourite sparring companions, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. On ABC, Kimmel supplied an emotional enchantment to Cruz and Republicans to move legal guidelines that might assist forestall future mass shootings. While background check bills like H.R. 8 have handed in the House, Senate Democrats and specialists are pessimistic {that a} deal might be executed to move it into legislation.

H.R. 8 gun background check bill probably won’t pass, even after Uvalde

“I don’t believe Ted Cruz doesn’t care about children. I don’t. I refuse to believe he is unaffected by this. He’s a father. I bet he went to bed sick to his stomach last night. It’s easy to call someone a monster. But he’s not a monster — he is a human being. And some people might not like hearing me say that, but it’s true,” Kimmel stated. “So here’s the thing I would like to say to Ted Cruz, the human being, and Governor Abbott, and everyone: It’s okay to admit you made a mistake. In fact, it’s not just okay, it’s necessary to admit you made a mistake when your mistake is killing the children in your state.”

He added, “It takes a big person to do something like that. It takes a brave person to do something like that. And do I think these men are brave people? No, I don’t. I don’t. But man, I would love it if they surprised me.”

But on Fox News, Cruz slammed what he known as “political posturing” from Democrats like O’Rourke after the assault in Uvalde. He advised host Jesse Watters that he needs faculties to put in bulletproof doorways and bulletproof glass to assist forestall shootings.

“Have one door into and out of the school and have that one door, armed police officers at that door,” Cruz argued. “If that had happened, if those federal grants had gone to this school, when that psychopath arrived, the armed police officers could have taken him out and we would have 19 children and two teachers still alive.”

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