Ted Cruz condemned for ‘prayer’ tweet after Texas elementary school shooting massacre

Comes after a mass shooting in Uvalde left at least 19 children dead

<p>El senador Ted Cruz, republicano por Texas, habla durante una conferencia de prensa mientras el Senado realiza una votación de confirmación del candidato a la Corte Suprema, el juez Ketanji Brown Jackson, en Capitol Hill, el jueves 7 de abril de 2022</p>

El senador Ted Cruz, republicano por Texas, habla durante una conferencia de prensa mientras el Senado realiza una votación de confirmación del candidato a la Corte Suprema, el juez Ketanji Brown Jackson, en Capitol Hill, el jueves 7 de abril de 2022

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Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas faced fierce criticism for saying he was praying for the city of Uvalde after a mass shooter killed 19 children and two adults at a school in the state.

“Heidi & I are fervently lifting up in prayer the children and families in the horrific shooting in Uvalde,” he said. “We are in close contact with local officials, but the precise details are still unfolding. Thank you to heroic law enforcement & first responders for acting so swiftly.”

Mr Cruz made the remarks after a shooter opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

But many pointed out Mr Cruz’s opposition to legislation to curb gun violence, which he has opposed for years. Indeed, Mr Cruz is slated to speak at the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meeting in Houston, where he lives, later this week. Governor Greg Abbott and Senator John Cornyn, both Republicans, are also slated to speak there this week.

In fact, Mr Cruz defended gun rights following the mass shooting in his state. Speaking to the BBC, he said: ““Inevitably when there is a murder of this kind you see politicians try to politicise it, you see Democrats and a lot of other folks in the media whose immediate solution is to try to restrict the constitutional rights of law abiding citizens.

“That doesn’t work, it’s not effective. It doesn’t prevent crime.”

Criticising Mr Cruz’s position on gun control, Kurt Bardella, who advises the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, tweeted: “Ted Cruz received $300k from the pro-gun crowd so take your prayers and shove them up your ass. Your acceptance of this blood money tells us how much your prayers are worth.”

“Fervently lifting Uvalde up in prayer while refusing to do a goddamned thing to stop gun violence is why this keeps happening, especially in Texas,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, which advocates for tighter gun laws.

Ms Watts contrasted Mr Cruz’s opposition to laws to curb gun violence to the fact that after 16 people died in a hot air balloon accident Lockhart, Texas, he passed legislation improving safety for hot air balloons.

“Thank God there's no hot air balloon lobby,” she tweeted.

The National Parents Union said in a statement that “we need more than thoughts and prayers. We need policy change and real action since Texas has had more than 100 school shootings across the state since 1970.”

“Their blood, your hands,” Star Trek actor George Takei.

Representative Ruben Gallego, a Democrat from Arizona who is currently weighing a primary challenge to Senator Kyrsten Sinema in 2024, did not mince words in response to Mr Cruz’s tweet.

“Just to be clear f**k you @tedcruz you f**ng baby killer,” he tweeted.

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