Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) cut an interview short and stormed off when a British reporter asked him whether Tuesday’s Texas school massacre should lead to gun control legislation and why mass shootings only occur in the United States – but not before accusing the correspondent of being a “propagandist” with a “political agenda.”
Cruz was attending a vigil for the 21 victims — including 19 children — of the shooting at Robb Elementary School with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, other elected officials and victim family members when he was asked by Mark Stone of Sky News whether Congress should revisit the debate over gun laws.
“There are 19 sets of parents who are never going to get to kiss their child tonight, again,” Cruz said.
“Is this the moment to reform gun laws?” the reporter asked.
“You know, it’s easy to go to politics,” the senator replied.
“The proposals from Democrats and the media? Inevitably, when some violent psychopath murders people …” Cruz began until Stone interjected that the 18-year-old gunman in Ulvalde was armed with two assault rifles he purchased legally.
”If you want to stop violent crime, the proposals the Democrats have? None of them would have stopped this,” Cruz asserted.
“But why does this only happen in your country?” pressed Stone, adding that “many people around the world, they cannot fathom, why only in America? Why is this American exceptionalism so awful?”
“You know, I’m sorry you think American exceptionalism is awful. … You’ve got your political agenda. God love you,” Cruz responded.
“Senator, I just want to understand why you do not think that guns are the problem. It’s just an American problem,” Stone asked Cruz as the senator began weaving his way through the crowd toward the exit.
The reporter and another unidentified person continued to pepper him with questions about mass shootings in the US, with Stone saying at one point: “You can’t answer that, can you?”
The senator then stopped and turned back to confront the reporter face-to-face.
“Why is it that people come from all over the world to America? Because it’s the freest, most prosperous, safest country on Earth. Stop being a propagandist,” Cruz said before walking out the door of the event.
Cruz, who is scheduled to speak at a National Rifle Association event in Houston this weekend, has called for schools to station armed officers at schools and limit the number of entrances to their buildings.
“One of the things that everyone agrees [on] is don’t have all of these unlocked back doors. Have one door into and out of the school and have … armed police officers at that door,” Cruz told Fox News Wednesday, dismissing calls for gun reform as “empty political posturing.”
Former President Donald Trump is also slated to speak at the NRA event.
The Uvalde shooter fired at a school district security officer and two police officers responding to the scene before entering the school and murdering the 19 students and two teachers.
It’s unclear if the school officer returned fire.