Texas Senator Ted Cruz claims that there have been “too damn many” mass shootings in Texas.
But he has not gone as far as to embrace gun control proposals that Democrats have put forward. In his view, those bills would not have prevented the recent spate of mass shootings in his home state.
“We’ve seen too damn many of these in the state of Texas. So, we need to end them, absolutely, yes,” he declared on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday, after recounting the time he spent with mass shooting victims’ families in west Texas.
“Now, the question is what do we need to do that actually works? And this is where I get frustrated with Democratic politicians in Washington,” he continued. “Because the proposals they’re putting forward would not have stopped a single one of these mass murders.”
Law enforcement sources informed ABC News that the gunman was prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm due to the fact that he had been diagnosed with a mental illness. Instead, he acquired his firearm in a private sale according to federal and local law enforcement sources.
Under federal law, a seller is not allowed to sell a weapon to a buyer who has been flagged by law enforcement. However, sellers are not required to conduct background checks or ask if buyers can legally possess a weapon.
Universal background check legislation passed the House earlier this year and the Toomey-Manchin bill put forward in the Senate would expand background checks to private and internet sales.
On “This Week,” Cruz made the case for an alternative bill which he introduced in 2013 with Sen. Chuck Grassley. The two re-introduced this bill earlier in May.
While it doesn’t create universal background checks, the legislation works to bolster the current system by prosecuting individuals with a criminal record who lie on background check forms and criminalize straw purchases.
Some gun rights activists believe that the NICS system has not had any impact on reducing crime, nor would an expansion of this system—which some Second Amendment figures like Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America believe acts as a de facto registry—actually curb crime. There is reason to believe that strengthening NICS could open up the floodgates for further abuse by the federal government.
Bureaucracies have a life of their own, and giving them more power means that the potential for Second Amendment infringements is higher.
To his credit, Cruz does recognize that passing Democrat-style gun control could hurt Republicans in 2020.
“If Republicans abandon the Second Amendment and demoralize millions of Americans who care deeply about Second Amendment rights, that could go a long way to electing a President Elizabeth Warren,” Cruz said last week.
Dudley Brown, the President of the National Association for Gun Rights, commented on this proposal:
We’re not excited about it. Cruz-Grassley doubles down on failed government gun control programs like “Project Exile”, better known to gun owners as “Project Gestapo” for how it’s been abused. Straw purchases are already illegal, yet the bill aims to entrap ordinary gun sellers for purposes of prosecuting them.
Brown added that “The bill reinforces existing unconstitutional Federal gun controls and falls short of real life-saving reforms like repealing gun free zones.
It focuses on the gun, not the person behind the crime. In this regard, it’s just a light version of the gun controls proposed by the Democrats.”
Texas Political Establishment Attempts to Derail Shelley Luther’s Campaign
The special election for Texas’ Senate District 30 is on pace to be one of the most heated races in the Lone Star State.
At a candidate forum on September 18, 2020, Shelley Luther, the Dallas salon owner who was jailed for opening her business in defiance of Governor Greg Abbott’s shutdown order, confronted outgoing State Senator Pat Fallon.
Fallon vacated his seat and is now backing a successor in State Representative Drew Springer.
“We don’t want somebody who’s going to be at odds with our Republican governor,” Fallon said September 18 at the Grayson County Republican Women’s Club.
I didn’t support some of the things that he has done about opening up. … So, he’s made some mistakes. He’s our Republican governor, the 80/20 rule … because you’re not going to get any bills passed unless the governor signs them.
“Let me make something clear. I am accountable to my fellow citizens in Senate District 30. Not our Governor,” Luther responded on September 19 on Facebook:
This is exactly what is wrong with Austin. Our politicians are more loyal to Abbott than us, even when they disagree with him.
I will work with Governor Abbott when he is fighting to protect the liberty of Texans, and I will oppose him when he pushes unilateral dictates that shut down our local businesses.
Fallon and Luther had a tense exchange, which was caught on video.
“You want me to go all in on this race?” Fallon questioned Luther. “I have been 5 percent in on this race. You want me to go all in on it, I’m welcome to.”
“This has become a straight-up fight between Abbott and the ‘Kumbaya’ Professional Political Class vs. the grassroots and people who remember what limited government and principles should look like,” opined conservative activist Mike Openshaw.
“Respectfully, being willing to be jailed for fighting over-reaching government shows principle; that counts for something, Patrick,” Openshaw continued.
Luther has recently received endorsements from conservative Collin County Judge Chris Hill and Young Conservatives of Texas. Springer, on the other hand, received an endorsement from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which asserted that Luther was going down a “far right” path.
A Republican is expected to carry the senate district, which may still require a runoff if the leading candidate does not get enough votes during the first round of the special election.
Election Day will be on September 29.
Luther is viewed as the truly conservative option and many believe she could help break the political status quo in Austin that has kept conservative legislation from ever being passed.
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