Ted Cruz was met with a booing audience when he said his plan to stop school shootings is putting more police in schools.
Cruz commented on gun control efforts and the Uvalde school shooting at the Texas Tribune Festival.
A responsive audience jeered at Cruz at some points, demanding age restrictions on assault weapons.
Sen. Ted Cruz was met with boos from a Texas audience when he said that his plan to combat school shootings is placing more police officers in schools.
Cruz spoke about guns and other contentious topics at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin on Saturday, where he was met with a responsive audience.
“Whenever you have a mass murder … you have Democrats in Washington, the step they immediately go to is we need to take away firearms from law-abiding citizens,” Cruz said, prompting sparse applause. “OK, you can clap for that except for the minor problem that it doesn’t work. If the objective is to stop these crimes, gun control is singularly ineffective.”
Cruz argued that gun control measures punish “law-abiding citizens” instead of criminals, though the audience seemed to disagree with him at some points.
“If you want to stop crime,” Cruz said, “you target the bad guys. You target the criminals, the felons, the fugitives. You prosecute them, you put them in jail, you get them off the streets, and you also enhance security at vulnerable targets.”
Cruz has made similar comments before in defense of the National Rifle Association, which he said “stands up for the rights of every American,” Business Insider previously reported. Cruz has received the most donations from gun rights groups among other Texas lawmakers, according to Axios.
“Two weeks ago, I stood on the Senate floor and tried to pass legislation I’ve introduced that would double the number of police officers in school,” Cruz said to a crowd of boos. “If we want to keep our kids safe, and I desperately want to keep our kids safe, the most effective step we can do is to have police officers there to protect them who can intercept a mass murderer before he gets into the school and stop them.”
Cruz was met with more yells from the audience, this time specifically about the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in May that left 19 elementary schoolers and two teachers dead. A total of 376 law enforcement officers responded to the shooting, though the gunman remained at large for over an hour. An interim report on the police response found that responding officers “failed to prioritize saving the lives of innocent victims over their own safety,” Insider previously reported.
Cruz said that the Uvalde shooter was successful in his efforts because he was able to get into the school through an unlocked door, but members of the audience continued to yell back at him.
“Look, if you have a solution to stop the deranged evil murderers, I’d love to hear it. My solution is to throw them in jail,” Cruz said. “Stop them before they commit these crimes. There are some we won’t know about beforehand, and the single best step to stop them is to have armed officers on campus that can stop them before they kill our kids.”
“But look, instead you guys can instead sing kumbaya with them and hope they’ll just stop, but what you’re proposing doesn’t work,” Cruz added.
“Eighteen-year-old boys don’t need an AR-15,” someone from the audience yelled, prompting applause.
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