Ted Cruz hit with backlash over latest Texas shooting

Mr Cruz is one of the most ardent opponents of gun control in the Senate.

Eric Garcia
Monday 08 May 2023 18:58 BST
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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

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Republican Senator Ted Cruz received a torrent of criticism after he tweeted his condolences after a mass shooting in Allen, Texas, killed eight people and left seven injured.

On Saturday, Mr Cruz tweeted his condolences and said he would be monitoring events unfolding after 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia opened fire at Allen Premium Outlets on Saturday afternoon.

“Heidi and I are praying for the families of the victims of the horrific mall shooting in Allen, Texas,” he tweeted out. “We pray also for the broader Collin County community that’s in shock from this tragedy.”

In response, many pointed out how Mr Cruz ardently opposes measures to curb gun violence.

David Hogg, a survivor of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, who has since become an outspoken advocate for gun control, criticised Mr Cruz.

“Man if only there was something you could do to prevent these tragedies,” he tweeted in response.

Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, tweeted how Mr Cruz supported regulation of industries other than guns.

“After 16 people were killed in a hot air balloon in Lockhart, Cruz authored and passed legislation improving safety rules. After mass shootings, he only offers his prayers,” she tweeted. “That’s not because laws don't work, but because there's no hot air balloon lobby funding his Senate seat.”

In recent years, Mr Cruz has opposed measures to curb gun control, including last year when his fellow Senator from Texas John Cornyn engaged in bipartisan negotiations with Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Democrat-turned-Independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. The legislation ultimately passed with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell voting for it.

Last week, Democratic Representative Colin Allred announced he would challenge Mr Cruz in 2024. Mr Allred criticised the lack of action after the shooting.

“Eight lives tragically cut short,” he tweeted on Sunday. “As I grieve with my fellow Texans and pray for those who were injured, I won't accept that we are powerless to prevent this. It's our responsibility as lawmakers to help make our communities safer. We must take common sense steps to save lives.”

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