Ted Cruz walks away from a reporter who asked why the U.S. has so many mass shootings
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, walked off on a British journalist after he was pressed about reforming gun laws, and asked why mass shootings happen so frequently in America.
The exchange happened two days after a gunman killed 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, making it the second-deadliest mass shooting at an elementary, middle or high school in U.S. history. Cruz was attending a vigil for the victims.
"There are 19 sets of parents who are never going to get to kiss their child good night again," Cruz began saying in a clip of the interview.
"Is this the moment to reform gun laws?" Sky News reporter Mark Stone asked the senator.
"You know, it's easy to go to politics," Cruz said.
Stone interjected, saying, "But it's important. It's at the heart of the issue."
"I get that that's where the media likes to go," Cruz said.
He continued, "The proposals from Democrats and the media, inevitably, when some violent psychopath murders people --"
Stone then spoke: "A violent psychopath who's able to get a weapon so easily. An 18-year-old with two AR-15s."
Replied Cruz: "If you want to stop violent crime, the proposals the Democrats have, none of them would have stopped this."
"But why does this only happen in your country?" Stone said. "I really think that's what many people around the world, just, they cannot fathom. Why only in America? Why is this American exceptionalism so awful?" to which Cruz shook his head.
Cruz walked off a few moments later, after touching both of Stone's shoulders and saying, "You know what? You've got your political agenda. God love you."
Stone followed Cruz, continuing to press the senator for an answer, and eventually Cruz stopped to respond.
"Why is it that people come from all over the world to America? This is the freest, most prosperous, safest country on Earth. And stop being a propagandist," he said before walking out the door.
Cruz is expected to make an appearance at the National Rifle Association's annual convention, which takes place Friday to Sunday in Houston.
Over the span of his career, Cruz's campaigns have received the most donations of any senators from gun lobbyists, at $442,000, according to OpenSecrets, a nonprofit dedicated to tracking money surrounding America's elections.