On Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) spoke at a Christian Science Monitor event, and warned Republican lawmakers that their posturing and policy decisions regarding the Second Amendment could “demoralize” conservative voters going into the 2020 election.
Cruz also spoke about the dangers of the gun confiscation policies being proposed by several of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.
The Hill’s Alexander Bolton asked Cruz the following question:
What do you think [the] political response or fallout from the Right would be if President Trump were, in the next couple days, to endorse a modified version of Manchin-Toomey? And on the other side of it, what do you say to Republicans who worry about suburban areas turning Democratic because of gun control issues, and think that that could cost them in state-wide races like Texas and other places?
[The Manchin-Toomey legislation, proposed by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) in 2013, would expand background “checks to gun shows and internet sales, but not [require] them of family members and friends giving or selling guns to each other,” according to Politifact.]
Sen. Cruz replied:
If Republicans abandon the Second Amendment and demoralize millions of Americans who care deeply about Second Amendment rights, that could go a long way to electing a President Elizabeth Warren. We’re going to see record-shattering Democratic turnout. The only element missing to ensure Democratic victory is demoralizing conservatives so they stay home. I hope we don’t do that. I think that would be a serious mistake, but it would also be a serious mistake as a policy matter.
The Democrats’ proposal would not have prevented any of these mass murders. We ought to be focusing seriously, substantively on how you stop these horrific crimes – and what they’re proposing wouldn’t do it. What I’m proposing has a far greater likelihood of preventing these kinds of crimes.
Not only that. Democratic gun confiscation proposals, which are getting more and more common – and by the way, when it comes to gun confiscation on the Left, it starts with so-called “assault rifles,” but the next step is handguns. Now, at this point, I expect people around the room to snicker and say, “Come on! That’s ridiculous. They’ll never go to handguns.” Just remember that in about 24 months when we see them pushing for handgun confiscation – they have not yet proposed it, but that is, I believe, their ultimate goal … full confiscation – that would cost lives.
Cruz went on to detail the statistics pertaining to defensive use of firearms (between 500,000 – 3,000,000 times per year), as well as the fact that the Second Amendment is “a powerful tool of women’s empowerment” because it levels the playing field between larger male criminals and would-be female crime victims. Cruz stated that “a great many lives” could be at risk if Democratic gun confiscation proposals are put into place.
When pressed again on voters turning against Republicans over gun control, Cruz reiterated that he wants to “do more about gun violence,” and that what the Democrats are proposing is not about gun violence, but politics. The senator then brought up the gun violence bill he proposed along with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
According to a press release from Sen. Chuck Grassley’s official website, the Grassley-Cruz legislation would (the following bullet points are taken verbatim from Grassley’s website):
- Improve and reauthorize grants for NICS database;
- Increase federal prosecution of gun violence by establishing the Nationwide Project Exile Program and establishing a high-level federal taskforce;
- Responsibly addresses gun violence by criminalizing straw purchasing of firearms and gun trafficking;
- Protect the Second Amendment rights of members of the armed forces;
- Require the Department of Justice to explain to Congress why it has or has not been prosecuting gun cases;
- Place limitations on operations like Fast and Furious by DOJ;
- Allow firearms dealers to utilize the NICS database to for voluntary background checks of employees; and
- Allow firearms dealers to access the FBI’s National Crime Information Center stolen-gun database to ensure that a firearm is not stolen prior to acquisition.
Earlier at the Christian Science Monitor event, Cruz spoke about the gun confiscation proposals being advanced by several major 2020 Democratic candidates:
I have to say, just a few years ago, when those of us who were concerned about Second Amendment rights raised the prospect of gun confiscation, we’d get laughed at – you guys would laugh at us. You’d say, “Come on. That’s not realistic. That’s crazy conspiracy theory talk. Nobody is gonna do that.”
…three of the ten Democrats on that stage are explicitly supporting mandatory federal gun confiscation, the federal government coming and forcibly taking your guns from you – not if you committed a crime; not if you have any mental illness; if you are a law-abiding citizen who has purchased a firearm to defend your home and your family … and just this week, my former opponent Beto O’Rourke advocated a national gun registry in order to implement the mandatory gun confiscation.
With the recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, gun control has once again risen to the top of the hot button issue list, with some Democrats advocating confiscation, and some Republicans backing so-called “Red Flag” laws, which could have serious Second Amendment and Fourth Amendment consequences.