In Fort Worth and near Austin Tuesday, the debate fired away on whether there should be more restrictions on how and where Texans buy guns.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) stopped by a company in Leander that makes semi-automatic rifles to ramp up his attack on President Obama's proposal to ban military-style assault rifles and limit the size of magazines to 10 rounds.
"I think that effort is cynical; I think that effort is political; and I think that effort is wrong," Cruz said.
The senator said no gun control proposal talked about in Washington would have prevented the recent tragedy at a Connecticut elementary school, and the assault rifle ban in the 1990s did nothing to cut violent crime.
"When the politicians and media are ginning up energy to come after our rights, that's the purpose of the Bill of Rights, is to stand and say these are fundamental rights of every American," Cruz said.
The best target of compromise, Cruz claimed, would be demanding states consistently update mental health records for background checks. But in Fort Worth, Democrats hold a different view.
They want only licensed dealers selling weapons at gun shows held at city facilities. They also want a background check on all buyers with a seven-day waiting period.
"This isn't about taking away any gun rights; this is about putting some common sense reasonable restrictions on the loopholes gun shows in the city of Fort Worth presently have," said Tarrant County Democratic Party chairman Steve Maxwell.
Maxwell, who said he owns three guns added: "It's time we did something. It's time we just quit talking about it. It's time we made some affirmative move in that direction to make it more difficult for people who are going to use these guns in the wrong way."
Sen. Cruz has said there is no "gun show loophole" since dealers must run checks, and private sales don't require them.
What's on target here is both sides trying to sell their positions in this contentious debate.