Ted Cruz Wants ACTION* On Gun Violence! *Action Literally Meaning Thoughts, Prayers
What a difference a shiny, new administration makes: After the Boulder, Colorado, massacre Monday, President Joe Biden demanded actual, serious gun safety legislation. Our president with a working brain was able to identify a problem and a solution.
BIDEN: I don't need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common sense steps that will save lives in the future. [...]
The Senate should immediately pass, let me say it again, the United States Senate, I hope some are listening, should immediately pass the two House-passed bills that close loopholes in the background check system. These are bills that received votes with both Republicans and Democrats in the House. This is not and should not be a partisan issue. This is an American issue. It will save lives. American lives. We have to act.
Unfortunately, there are Republicans in the Senate, and they're terrible. They might've sucked less when Biden was in the Senate. I was too busy watching Madonna videos to notice. Yes, Congress managed to pass a federal ban on assault weapons in 1994, which George W. Bush would let expire a decade later. Biden points to this as precedent for bipartisan cooperation. However, the ban was a subsection of the larger 1994 Crime bill, and it passed the Republican-controlled Senate with a 52 to 48 vote. We all know Mitch McConnell would filibuster the fuck out of any gun safety legislation, so you'd need 60 votes. That's not going to happen. You could attach a new assault weapons ban to a deport Black people bill, which for the record I oppose, and Republicans still wouldn't support it.
"The United States Senate, I hope some are listening, should immediately pass the two house passed bills that close… https://t.co/o9lEn9w0y4— Shannon Watts (@Shannon Watts) 1616519092.0
Biden doesn't even have full Democratic alignment on the House-passed bills that close background check loopholes. Senator Joe Manchin has declared his opposition to the House bills. He supports background checks for commercial transactions but not for private sales if you know the person. This is especially bananapants because a gunman's friends and families are usually the most shocked after his shooting spree. The Atlanta gunman was described as “super nice," “super Christian," and “very quiet." The minimum wage employee at a gun shop is probably a better judge of character.
Senator Ted Cruz from the great state of Cancun went on a predictable tirade today. He dismissed calls for gun legislation as “ridiculous theater." He's a goddamn senator. His job is to pass laws. It's like an actor dismissing the Noel Coward play he's performing as “ridiculous theater." Why else do you think you're here?
CRUZ: Every time there is a shooting, we play this ridiculous theatre where this committee gets together and proposes a bunch of laws that would do nothing to stop these murders.
Republicans can only respond to proposed gun laws with a senseless nihilism: Restricting access to guns won't prevent gun violence so why bother? It remains unclear why anyone with this defeatist attitude would enter the “pass laws" profession. They also don't actually explain how these psychopaths would find their murder machines if they couldn't buy them legally.
Cruz got up in his feelings when it was suggested that Republicans have no solutions for gun violence. How could Democrats not embrace the bill Cruz cooked up with Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley that targets felons and people with “serious mental disease." The problem is that few mass shooters fit these obvious and convenient categories.
CRUZ: Democrats propose taking away guns from law-abiding citizens, because that's their political objective.
Oh no! Let's please think about the law-abiding citizens who want to stockpile AR-15s. Republicans don't seem to care about the law-abiding women whose bodily autonomy they would eagerly deny.
Cruz also insists that Democrats' proposed gun laws would only make gun violence worse, which is just absurd, but he wasn't done yet being so completely Ted Cruz.
CRUZ. I agree it's a time for actions and by the way, I don't apologize for thoughts or prayers. I will lift up in prayer people who are hurting, and I believe in the power of prayer.
CRUZ: The contempt of Democrats for prayers is an odd sociological thing.
It's not “odd." It just means we won't use prayer as a shield against action. This Bible verse might best sum up the difference between Democrats and Republicans (at their best):
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Look, if prayers actually worked, I would graciously use one of mine to make Ted Cruz less repulsive. I'm presuming of course that prayers are unlimited. If they're like genie wishes where I only get three, then fuck him.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."