6 months, 2 weeks ago
Three days after a young man named Dylann Roof fatally shot nine people in a historic church in South Carolina—the latest in a string of gun massacres across the U.S.— Ted Cruz campaigned at a shooting range in Iowa.
Bold move for a politician? Perhaps.
But the decision reflects Cruz’s deepening alliance with the powerful gun lobby and his effort to cast himself as an unapologetic warrior for the Second Amendment.
A CNN review of speeches, interviews and court filings shows that Cruz has spent years forging ties with defenders of the Second Amendment — including a group to the right of the NRA. Some of those he’s allied himself with disdain all gun control, including gun-free zones at schools and other government buildings. Cruz has embraced those relationships as an aspect of his candidacy that sets himself apart from his rivals.
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Throughout the primary process, Cruz has touted his endorsement by the Gun Owners of America, a gun-rights group that boasts a “no compromise” stance on gun control.
In an election season that has defied all odds, the gun-rights debate has not followed a predictable path in the primaries. And while Cruz has worked to establish his Second Amendment bona fides, some establishment figures in the Republican Party see this alliance as one of the most serious problems he would face in broadening his appeal if he reaches the general election.
“This is a group that could be portrayed as extreme, and off in a ditch,” said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a former 2016 presidential candidate who has tangled with Cruz in the Senate but now sees him as a preferable alternative to Trump. “Anybody they endorse will have to carry those bags.”
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The group’s executive director, Larry Pratt, opposes all gun control and sees massacres like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School as evidence of the need for more, not fewer weapons in America.
Pratt has little tolerance for those who oppose his views, including the President and members of Congress. He said “it’s kind of a good thing” that politicians who favor gun control are in fear of being assassinated or deposed.
“That’s what the Second Amendment is,” Pratt said, “It’s a warning.”
There is much more at CNN. It’s a very lengthy article, and good except for the assumption that Cruz has triangulated his position rather than holding it outright. I wouldn’t expect much more than that from the MSM. But read the rest of the article. His position on gun rights goes way, way back, well before he ever even got into politics.
As for the awful little woman Lindsey Graham, his hand-wringing over the baggage associated with Larry Pratt is amusing and pitiful. Larry is right. The second amendment is a warning – a warning to people like Lindsey Graham to stop lording it over the people and do their bidding. That’s why Graham is so uncomfortable with it.
As for what people thing about Pratt’s endorsement, my God. What a bunch of little girls. What happened to the men of America, who would stand on principle and say what they thought, back it up, and refuse to equivocate? It appears we’ve lost most of them. Cruz is one of the good guys, one who has never backed away from gun rights.