‘Spare us your prayers’: Ted Cruz faces backlash after eight killed in Texas mall shooting | Texas

Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s comment Saturday that he was “praying” for the families of the eight victims killed in a shopping mall shooting in his state has sparked outrage as many critics say the Republican should be advocating for meaningful gun control instead of repeatedly invoking prayer after massive, deadly violence.

Cruz and other Texas Republicans have received similar responses for citing general emotional support, thoughts, prayers or a combination thereof after the killings in Allen, Texas, on Saturday.

Criticism of Cruz grew several hours after the shooting when he tweetedHeidi and I pray for the families of the victims of the horrific shooting at a mall in Allen, Texas. We also pray for the wider Collin County community shaken by this tragedy.

Shannon Watts, founder of gun safety group Moms Demand Action, said on Twitter: “YOU helped arm him with guns, ammunition and tactical gear. He did exactly what you knew he would do. Spare us your prayers and talk about justice for a shooter who is…dead.”

“The only responsibility we can hope for is that arms extremists like you are thrown on the ash heap of history.”

Star Trek actor George Takei added: “You are worse than useless.”

Another Twitter user said that thoughts and prayers are “nothing but blasphemy and evil.” Yet another joked: “Have you tried turning the prayer machine off and on again.”

At least eight people have been killed in a shooting at a shopping mall outside of Dallas – video

According to Axios and Open Secrets, Cruz has received more than $442,000 from organizations that keep guns as accessible as possible. He has used language referring to thoughts and prayers rather than gun restrictions in response to other previous mass shootings in his state.

After a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022, Cruz commented, “Heidi and I are lifting up in prayer the entire community during this devastating time and we mourn the lives that have been lost. taken by this act of evil. None of us can imagine the anguish that the parents in Uvalde go through. Our hearts go out to them.”

In response to a racist shooting at a Walmart in El Paso that left 23 dead in August 2019, said: “Heidi & I are praying for everyone in El Paso. As events continue to unfold, heed all warnings from local authorities and law enforcement and stay safe. #Pray4ElPaso.”

Cruz’s comments on a shooting that left two dead a few months later near one of his state’s universities used to be: “Heidi and I are lifting up in prayer those killed and injured in last night’s shooting at an off-campus party at Texas A&M Commerce @tamuc.”

However, Cruz has offered more than prayers in response to certain mass shootings, such as commentary on immigration policy. After authorities said a Mexican who was previously deported shot and killed five neighbors last month, Cruz has tweeted: “Thank you to the brave men and women of law enforcement who worked tirelessly to apprehend this mass-murdering illegal alien who murdered 5 innocent people. The victims deserve justice. And this monster deserves the death penalty if convicted.”

In the hours and days leading up to Saturday’s Allen shooting, Cruz touted his support for gun rights. Early Saturday afternoon, he retweeted a message from Senate Republicans stating, “Ted Cruz’s challenger said he wishes the Second Amendment hadn’t been written. Beto 2.0?”

Early on Saturday, Cruz said of 2024 challenger Colin Allred, a Democratic congressman: “Wow. This man wants to represent Texas ?? quoting him saying, “Would it be better if [the second amendment] not written? Naturally. But there’s no chance we’re going to withdraw it.

Cruz used googly eyes his tweetwhich referred to the constitutional right for Americans to bear arms.

Republican U.S. Congressman Keith Self, whose district includes Allen, was outraged on Sunday when asked about the invocation of spirituality after mass shootings like the one a day earlier.

“These are people who do not believe in an almighty God who absolutely controls our lives. Yourself said on CNN. “I am a Christian – I believe he is.”

Self further argued that the lack of adequate mental health care in the US was the cause of mass shootings. And then he said the country’s focus should be on praying for the families of the Allen victims.

Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott also tried to redirect the public conversation about the Allen mall shooting to mental health. Eve

“People want a quick fix,” Abbott said on Fox News Sunday. “The long-term solution here is to address the mental health issue.”

Abbott’s comment on mental health came after host Shannon Bream noted that a Fox News poll showed that 80% of participants supported gun control measures such as raising the minimum age to purchase a firearm and mental health screenings. Fox News viewers are largely Republican.

Neither Cruz, Abbott nor Self immediately responded to requests for comment.

Despite Texas’ history of mass shootings, Abbott signed a law in 2021 allowing state residents to legally carry guns without a license or training. Meanwhile, a federal judge last year lifted one of Texas’ few remaining gun restrictions, barring people under the age of 21 from carrying handguns.

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