HOUSTON — U.S. Senator Ted Cruz demanded swift action following the Uvalde shooting at an NRA rally in Houston -- but presented options other than the banning of firearms like assault rifles.
Rather than propose a ban on weapons, Cruz proposed such policies as requiring schools to have only one entrance, and staffing armed police or military veterans on guard at school entrances.
“The shooter in Uvalde got in the exact same way the Santa Fe shooter did,” Cruz said. “He walked through an unlocked backdoor into an open classroom. We need serious funding to upgrade our schools to install bulletproof doors and locking classroom doors. And to hire law enforcement to protect our most precious asset — our children.”
Cruz brought up a piece of legislation he proposed in 2013 called Grassley-Cruz, which he said would have mandated the Department of Justice to conduct audits of federal agencies, ensured all felony convictions have been reported, created a gun crime task force at the Department of Justice to prosecute felons or fugitives for trying to buy weapons and provided $300 million for school safety improvement grants mean to “harden our schools.”
That proposed 2013 bill didn’t mange to pass the 60-vote threshold required to break the filibuster from Democrats, and amendments to the bill by Democrats with majority support were filibustered by Republicans as well.
“Had Uvalde gotten a grant to upgrade the school’s security, they might have made changes that could have stopped this shooter and killed him at the single point of entrance with armed law enforcement there on the ground before he hurt any of those innocent kids and teachers,” Cruz said. “Ultimately, as we all know, what stops armed bad guys is armed good guys.”
Cruz then brought up the Border Patrol agents who ended up finally killing the shooter at Robb Elementary in Uvalde. He didn’t mention the police who waited up to an hour to breach the classroom the shooter was in -- a call the Texas Department of Public Safety said Friday was the "wrong decision."
“The right to keep and bear arms is not abstract,” Cruz said. “Taking guns away from those responsible Americans will not make them safer, nor will it make our nation more secure.”
Cruz blamed the Democrats for refusing to prosecute violent crime in cities across America and said rarely has the Second Amendment been more necessary to secure the rights of citizens.
Tragedies like the shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo this week are a mirror forcing Americans to ask hard questions, Cruz said. He asked that people see where American culture is failing its citizens, citing absent fathers, broken families, declining church attendance, cyber-bullying and the act of murder in video games -- but not the ease of gun access.
“It’s a lot easier to moralize about guns and to shriek about those you disagree with politically, but it’s never been about guns,” Cruz said. “We know some places with some of the most restrictive gun laws don’t have less violence. They contain some of the most dangerous communities on the face of the earth.”