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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) schooled leftist actress Alyssa Milano on Tuesday during a gun control debate, arguing that America should do more to combat gun violence but without infringing upon Americans’ right to bear arms.
Milano opened up the debate, explaining that she is “terrified” because she does not know how to keep her family safe from gun violence. Milano said that despite their disagreement on the issue, she believes that with “mutual respect and humility” they can affect positive change in the country.
Milano was emotional throughout the dialogue, her voice cracking at times as she thanked Cruz for agreeing to the meeting. “I appreciate this, I really do. It means so much that you’re here. It also means a lot that you’ve let me have this moment to say my piece … ”
The actress implored Sen. Cruz to “lead” on the nation’s gun violence problem.
Sen. Cruz said during the debate that he supports the Second Amendment, while at the same time proposed legislation that would improve school safety and prevent criminals from obtaining weapons.
During the hour-long conversation, Cruz listened attentively as Milano and Parkland father Fred Guttenberg plead their case for gun control. And Cruz shared his own first-hand experience dealing with the aftermath of four mass shootings. "I have been with Texas families, crying, grieving over their children, over their parents. It is horrific; it is wrong. And it's screwed up. We need to do more to stop this," said Cruz.
Though the two agree that horrific mass shootings need to end, it's their approach that differs. Cruz said, "What I think is effective is focusing on the bad guys, is focusing on felons and fugitives and those with serious mental illnesses that are a danger to themselves or others."
Sens. Cruz and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sponsored the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act of 2019, which would improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and bolster alerts to law enforcement. The legislation would also criminalize “straw purchasing” of firearms and gun trafficking, allow firearms dealers to utilize the NICS database for voluntary background checks of employees, and allow firearms dealers to access the FBI’s National Crime Information Center stolen-gun database so that a firearm is not stolen prior to acquisition.
Sen. Cruz said during the debate that the Grassley-Cruz legislation would have helped prevent the mass shooting in Odessa, Texas.
Cruz and Milano did manage to find some common ground when Cruz said, “I want background checks to be strong and more effective and [to] keep weapons out of the hand of violent felons and fugitives and people with dangerous mental problems.”
Milano then quoted former President Ronald Reagan, suggesting that Republicans have supported gun control the past. Reagan said:
"I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen to own guns for sporting, for hunting, and so forth, or for home defense. But I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for the defense of the home."
Cruz fact checked Milano’s use of the Reagan quote, saying “Machine guns are functionally illegal right now.”
The Texas senator added, “the machine gun has been functionally illegal for 80 years, you and I can’t purchase a machine gun.”
Sen. Cruz also fact checked the notion that an assault weapon ban would help reduce gun violence, noting that when America had an assault weapons ban, the ban did not have a “material” impact on gun violence.
After the debate...
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