Cruz at NRA: mass shooter a 'monster,' but 'rarely has the Second Amendment been more necessary'
Cruz spoke at NRA event three days after 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at elementary school in Texas
Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz on Friday, days after a mass shooting in his state, told a silent crowd at an annual National Rifle Association event in Houston that Texans have too often "seen the face of evil” when it comes to such deadly attacks but "rarely has the Second Amendment been more important."
Cruz spoke at the NRA event three days after an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in the Texas town of Uvalde, which made the gun-rights group’s annual summit an especially politically charged event, with protesters outside the venue as the gates opened.
"There are no words to describe a monster who enters a school and murderers, little children, 19 little kids," Cruz said. "The entire state, the entire country, is horrified and grieving. And it is an evil that has happened too many damn times. In the last several years, especially. Texas has repeatedly seen the face of evil."
While Cruz condemned such gun violence – to the point of refusing to call the now-deceased shooter Tuesday by his name – he urged those in attendance not to give up the fight to protect gun rights and argued that strict guns law, including the those in some of the country’s most liberal cities, have not curbed gun violence.
"Rarely has the Second Amendment been more necessary to secure the rights of our fellow citizens," he said. "It's a lot easier to moralize about guns and to shrink about those you disagree with politically. But it's never been about guns.
"We know that places with some of the most restrictive gun laws – places like Chicago and Baltimore and Washington D.C. – don't have less gun violence. Indeed, they contain some of the most dangerous communities on the face of the earth."
Still, with an evenly-divided Senate likely making it even tougher to pass legislation to address mass shootings while protecting gun rights, Cruz called for a solution.
"As President Obama said this week, 'It is long past time for action, any kind of action. Do something.' And here perhaps to the surprise of some I emphatically agree.
"There have been too damn many of these killings and we must act decisively to stop them," he said, while arguing tougher background checks and the banning of so-called assault rifles have yet to prove to be the solution.