We Met With Ted Cruz About Stopping Mass Shootings. His Response Was Disgusting.

From left: Lonnie Phillips, Sandy Phillips, Felix Rubio and Kim Rubio meet with Sen. Ted Cruz in his Texas workplace in September 2022.

From left: Lonnie Phillips, Sandy Phillips, Felix Rubio and Kim Rubio meet with Sen. Ted Cruz in his Texas workplace in September 2022.

On Sunday, whereas many people slept, a gunman opened fired on a bus in a College of Virginia car parking zone and killed three college students: D’Sean Perry, Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis Jr. Two others have been injured. College students throughout the campus sheltered in place for nearly 12 hours whereas an intensive manhunt ensued and eventually ended when the suspect was taken into custody with out incident. The incident marks the 598th mass capturing this yr and the second faculty capturing in Virginia in 2022.

Polls present that gun management was one of many 5 prime points for voters throughout final week’s midterms. It’s clear that persons are bored with being afraid of mass shootings they usually confirmed it by reelecting each senator who co-sponsored the federal assault weapons ban invoice.

This doesn’t shock me. As an anti-gun activist, I’ve been lobbying for a federal assault weapons ban ever since my 6-year-old son and I survived a mass capturing earlier this yr after a person opened fireplace with an AR-15 at our hometown’s Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, killing seven individuals and injuring over 40.

On a brisk however sunny Wednesday afternoon in September, I sat in a gathering surrounded by a small group of gun violence victims, survivors and activists. We have been gathered in a circle of seats within the private workplace of GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

He was seated proper in entrance of me with solely two toes of scorching air between us and nothing else.

We went across the room introducing ourselves, and the senator was cordial. His face was appropriately sympathetic. He appeared every of us within the eye as we spoke. He nodded alongside somberly as I instructed him about working with my 6-year-old son from a mass shooter.

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After the introductions concluded, we requested for the senator’s help for a federal assault weapons ban.

Kim and Felix Rubio, the dad and mom of Lexi, who was murdered at Robb Elementary College in Might, had traveled all the best way from Uvalde, Texas. Felix confirmed the senator a photograph of their 10-year-old daughter in her casket. The senator checked out it stoically after which he appeared on the pained faces of the Rubios as he instructed them that his answer to high school shootings was to place extra law enforcement officials in colleges.

The power within the room shifted out of the blue. It was palpable. Some members of our group gasped. Others began crying. Sandy Phillips, the mom of Jesse Phillips, who was gunned down in a movie show in Aurora, Colorado, in 2012, walked out of the room in disgust. Shock and disbelief hung heavy within the air over every of us as somebody blurted out that 376 regulation enforcement officers stood by and did nothing to save lots of the 19 youngsters and two lecturers who have been brutally slaughtered in Uvalde.

They did nothing to save lots of Lexi.

On Oct. 24, nearly six weeks to the day of that assembly, a college capturing in St. Louis grew to become the fortieth faculty capturing this yr.

As particulars emerged, it was reported that the shooter had a dozen 30-round magazines with him and he used an AR-15-style rifle. Identical to the shooter in Uvalde. Identical to in Highland Park. The varsity had steel detectors, the doorways have been locked and there have been safety guards.

It didn’t matter.

Even the police couldn’t stop this faculty capturing ― the household of the shooter had requested police to grab the weapon that may later be used to kill 16-year-old Alexzandria Bell and bodily training trainer Jean Kuczka. Police confiscated the weapon however “decided at the moment the suspect was lawfully permitted to own the firearm.” The AR-15-style assault weapon was returned to a 3rd social gathering identified to the household. It isn’t identified how the shooter regained possession of the firearm.

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Ted Cruz was silent on Twitter. However gun violence prevention advocates weren’t. As a result of we all know that police and safety guards and locked doorways don’t stop faculty shootings. Even colleges with their very own police power just like the College of Virginia can’t stop mass shootings.

Whereas we don’t know what sort of gun was used within the Virginia capturing, we do know the one factor that may stop the vast majority of mass shootings and faculty shootings is banning assault weapons. Information proves it. Throughout the assault weapons ban from 1994 to 2004, the probability of being killed in a mass capturing decreased by 70%.

The straightforward entry to weapons of warfare is what’s killing our youngsters. Proper now, an 18-year-old who just isn’t sufficiently old to purchase alcohol or a handgun can legally purchase an assault weapon. Assault weapons have been designed to kill as many individuals as attainable within the shortest period of time. The capturing my son and I survived concerned an AR-15. In lower than 50 seconds, the shooter in Highland Park shot nearly 100 rounds right into a crowd of households. He stopped to reload twice. In Uvalde, some dad and mom had to make use of DNA to establish their youngsters as a result of bullets from an assault weapon are highly effective sufficient to liquefy an individual’s organs.

These are weapons of warfare and they’re getting used repeatedly to homicide our youngsters within the one place they need to really feel protected ― in school. And that isn’t the worst of it. A Washington Submit database on faculty shootings stories the variety of youngsters uncovered to gun violence in colleges for the reason that 1999 capturing at Columbine Excessive College is 320,000.

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What are we doing?

A federal assault weapons ban would have prevented the bloodbath in Uvalde and it might have prevented the killing of a 16-year-old woman and her trainer in St. Louis. Please don’t wait till your loved ones is touched by gun violence to become involved. Assist go a federal assault weapons ban by calling your senators right this moment by way of the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121. Ask them to help the ban after which vote to elect gun-sense candidates.

Sadly, I imagine it’s not a matter of whether or not your life can be touched by gun violence however when. The clock is ticking ― don’t let it run out on your loved ones.

A consultant for Cruz emailed the next assertion to HuffPost in regard to the senator’s response: “Sen. Cruz was in Uvalde mourning with the neighborhood the day after the capturing and later met with family members of the victims. Following this tragedy, Senator Cruz launched laws and fought to enact reforms that may double the variety of faculty useful resource officers, rent 15,000 school-based psychological well being professionals to make sure there may be early intervention to establish and assist at-risk youngsters, present vital assets for enhanced faculty security, and to enhance the gun background system and prosecute individuals who attempt to illegally purchase weapons. Sadly, Senate Democrats blocked it with no clarification in any way.”

Ashbey Beasley is a proud Indigenous spouse and mom, a serial entrepreneur and a mass capturing survivor turned activist.

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