Gun control measures focus on law-abiding Americans and “don’t work” to control violent acts, Sen. Ted Cruz said Wednesday, during a heated argument with CNN’s Chris Cuomo over the issue.
“Jurisdictions with the toughest gun control laws, cities like Chicago, cities like Washington D.C., they almost invariably have the highest crime rates, the highest murder rates,” the Texas Republican, who won in his state’s Republican primary Tuesday, told Cuomo during a wide-ranging “New Day” interview.
Cuomo disagreed with Cruz’ statement, telling him that the Giffords Center, named for former Rep. Gabby Giffords, the Arizona Democrat who was shot during an event in 2011, has said that states with the most strict gun control laws have the lowest rates of gun deaths.
“Just a recent example, look at Connecticut, look at how they brought the numbers down,” he said.
However, Cruz accused Cuomo of citing sources from “a partisan source that is not reliable,” with the news host asking him if he got his information from the National Rifle Association.
“When you disarm law abiding citizens, the consequence is the criminals have the guns,” said Cruz. “I said we need to be effective. . . there is a lot we can do to be effective in stopping crime.
“Just yesterday, I reintroduced legislation that I introduced in 2013 in the wake of Newtown. Instead of the Democratic talking points of going after law abiding citizens, it focuses on criminals.”
Cruz, also appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, commented that the AR-15 rifle, one of which was used in the Parkland, Florida shootings, is “clearly protected” under the Second Amendment.
“I spent a lot of time dealing with murders and violent criminals,” said Cruz. “We need to stop these mass murders. The toughest gun control laws, what is we forget, is targeting violent criminals. It is legislation I introduced in 2013. It got a majority vote in the Senate. Most bipartisan support. What did it do? It increased funding by school safety. The Obama administration had cut that.”
If the bill hadn’t been filibustered by former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Democrats, “it could have been another police officer could have intercepted this gunman before he murdered those teenagers,” Cruz said.
He also noted that in his own home state, the Sutherland Springs church shooting was the “worst church shooting in history,” but the shooter had a weapon because the Air Force, under President Barack Obama, failed to report a conviction to the national background check database.
“Even Michael Bloomberg will say banning assault style weapons won’t cut down on the number of gun deaths in America,” said Cruz. “The problem has much more to do with handguns illegally moving around in areas like Chicago.”