Senator Ted Cruz began Thursday with an appearance on Fox & Friends, where he blamed Democrats for politicizing school shootings. He added that gun control “is not the right answer.”
Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt asked Cruz about the political reaction to the shooting, saying “I know the Democrats are calling for more gun control … how do you think Republicans will respond to this?” The Texas senator retorted “of course you’re right that the reaction of Democrats to any tragedy is to try to politicize it. So they immediately start calling that we’ve got to take away the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. That’s not the right answer.”
Cruz went on to talk about the Sutherland Springs shooting, that occurred on November 5th and left 27 people dead. He recalled “I was there the day after the shooting … I was at the hospital with the victims and the victims’ families — over and over again, what they said to me was ‘gun control is not the answer here.'”
He said that “the answer is to focus on criminals, to focus on violent criminals.” Moments later, he blamed the Obama administration for the Sutherland Springs shooting, saying “had the Obama administration simply followed federal law and enforced the law, existing gun laws made it illegal for the Sutherland Springs shooter to buy a gun but the Obama administration failed to report his criminal conviction, so he wasn’t in the background check system.”
Democrats have continued to push for gun control, the most recent bill to hit the floor was the Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act, which was introduced by Sen. Feinstein (D-Calif.) a few days after the Las Vegas Shooting that left 58 people dead. The bill was aimed at closing loopholes that make it possible to modify semi-automatic weapons so that they replicate the fire rate of an automatic weapon. Though that bill received initial support, Republicans managed to keep it on the floor without a vote.
Cruz was one of the many Republicans who came under attack on Wednesday for taking money from the National Rifle Association. During the 2016 cycle, Cruz took $41,805 from the NRA and currently enjoys an A+ rating from the organization. The highest paid politician was Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who took in a whopping $176,927 during the last election cycle and also boasts an A+ rating from the NRA.