The confrontation happened hours after Senator Cruz spoke at the NRA Convention in Houston and blamed everything but guns for school shootings.
On Friday evening, an activist confronted Texas Senator Ted Cruz about the Uvalde school shooting following the junior senator’s appearance at the National Rifle Association Convention in Houston, Texas.
Benjamin Hernandez, a board member of progressive advocacy group Indivisible Houston, approached Senator Cruz at a local sushi restaurant.
In video of the confrontation, Cruz poses for a photo with Hernandez, after which Hernandez starts asking the senator questions about the role of gun control in the Robb Elementary school shooting. “I have a young daughter,” Hernandez explains as Cruz interrupts him.
“Can you tell me about background checks? What about them?” continues Hernandez as Cruz clearly looks for an exit.
Cruz continues to urge Hernandez to listen to the speech he just delivered at the NRA Convention, during which Cruz blamed everything but guns for mass shootings like the one in Uvalde, from violence in video games to social media bullying to declining church attendance.
In said speech, Cruz even went as far as to say “What stops armed bad guys is armed good guys.”
Uvalde Police waited 78 minutes before actively confronting the gunman, despite children’s cries of “911” and “help!”
Hernandez then tells Cruz, “You can make it harder for people to get guns in this country. You know that. You know that. But you stand here, you stand at the NRA convention ― it is harder, it is harder when there are more guns to stop gun violence.”
Hernandez and Cruz continue the heated conversation when security starts to physically move Hernandez away. As Hernandez is pulled away from the senator, he yells, “19 children died! 19 children died! That is on your hands!”
Hernandez told HuffPost that when he saw Cruz in the restaurant, he had no choice but to approach him.
“A couple of days ago, I had caught that clip of Beto [O’Rourke] confronting [Texas Gov. Greg] Abbott, and I wrote something to the effect of, ‘Confront all these hypocritical assholes like Beto did.’ And it’s really easy to tweet, right?” Hernandez said.
“But then two days later, Ted Cruz is walking in this space where I am, and it’s like, OK, I have to go talk to him now.”
Hernandez said that the time for “civil discourse and debate ― when they allow it, which they don’t ― that’s over, to me,” noting that Cruz’s canned response is a prime example of lawmakers’ refusal to engage in conversation and instead stick to party talking points.
“It is uncomfortable. Yes, it was uncomfortable for me to go and do that ― that’s not me. My mom was even surprised that I dropped the F-bomb. But this week has had me dropping F-bombs, because I’m just so incensed that they would stand there and not do anything about it.”