Cruz Clashes With Reporter Over US Mass Shootings

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Republican US Senator Ted Cruz earned some scorn online after he was spotted not wearing a mask on a domestic commercial flight
Republican US Senator Ted Cruz earned some scorn online after he was spotted not wearing a mask on a domestic commercial flight AFP / Mandel NGAN

Uvalde, Texas -- In many ways, the U.S. has always stood out as an outlier to much of the world, especially as it relates to gun culture. After the most recent mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two adults dead, foreign observers are questioning again if the U.S. is ready to access its approach to assault weapons. 

This was on full display on Wednesday during a vigil in Uvalde when British reporter Mark Stone took an opportunity to question Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., on whether new restrictions on guns could be expected. 

Cruz, one of the most vocal opponents of gun control, initially expressed his condolences for the families of the victims at Robb Elementary School and lamented their loss. But when Stone pivoted to the question of whether the time had come for any reforms to gun laws, Cruz waved it off, saying it was “easy to go to politics” in the wake of tragedies. 

But when Stone, who works as the U.S. correspondent for Sky News, defended the importance of discussing whether gun reforms would be considered, Cruz grew defensive. 

Cruz initially dismissed the question of control as a misdirection by media commentators and the Democratic party. He characterized the reform proposals from congressional Democrats as opportunistic and as a futile effort in thwarting future mass shootings. 

“If you want to stop violent crime, the proposals the Democrats have, none of them would have stopped this,” said Cruz. 

Stone responded that many people "around the world" just cannot understand why the worst mass shootings are concentrated in the U.S. 

"Why is this American exceptionalism so awful?’” Stone asked. 

Cruz bristled at the question: “You know, I’m sorry you think American exceptionalism is awful.”

Stone said that "this aspect" of American exceptionalism was awful in his view, prompting Cruz to accuse the correspondent of possessing a "political agenda." He then placed his hands on Stone's shoulders and said "Gold love you" before attempting to walk away.

Following Cruz, Stone and another reporter asked why Cruz refused to answer their question on American exceptionalism and why it was the "only country that makes this kind of mass shooting" possible.  

Turning to Stone, Cruz responded: “Why is it that people come from all over the world to America? Because it’s the freest, most prosperous, safest country on earth,” he said, jabbing his finger at Stone.

With the shooting in Uvalde, the U.S. has now seen approximately 27 school shootings in 2022. It comes just over a week after a gunman opened fire in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, that left 10 Black Americans dead.

In contrast, in Stone’s native U.K., mass shootings similar to the one in Uvalde are exceedingly rare. After a mass shooting in Scotland in 1996, the British government enacted stricter gun control measures that greatly limited access to guns.

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