After his Florida high school was attacked in February by a deeply troubled student, David Hogg became an instant celebrity as he and many of his fellow students demanded more gun control in countless major-media interviews and at demonstrations and other public events.
Not so with the survivors of the school shooting last week in Santa Fe, Texas, near Houston, in which 10 people were killed and another 13 were injured.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, believes the reason “CNN and other media outlets aren’t giving these students the kind of wall-to-wall coverage” given to the Parkland, Florida, shooting is that there is general support for the Second Amendment in Texas.
In an interview with the Daily Signal, Cruz said the Santa Fe students “told him they don’t believe more gun control is the way to make schools safer.”
See the interview:
Cruz described the Santa Fe shooting as “horrific” and said school and church shootings are something new to society that have become too common.
“Something’s wrong. When we were kids, this wasn’t a part of going to school,” he said. “You might worry about getting a black eye at school or something, but you didn’t worry about someone, some lunatic coming in and shooting and murdering as many people as they could. That was not part of school.”
But there are solutions, he said, and he heard some good ideas in his conversations with Santa Fe students.
“It was really striking. Out of a dozen students who just hours earlier had been in this shooting, every one of them said the answer is not gun control. They said, don’t take our guns. They said if you take our guns, it won’t make us safer, it will just mean the killers and murderers have guns,” he said.
“A lot of the students there said, ‘Well, maybe more metal detectors in schools. Maybe more armed police officers in schools, so that you’re able to stop something like this when it happens.’ Several of the students brought up that they thought teachers should be able to be armed,” he continued.
Cruz noted the contrast in the media’s response to the Parkland students and the Santa Fe students.
“CNN, after the Parkland shooting, it was round-the-clock coverage of the students calling for aggressive gun control because that happens to be the political agenda of most of the media. In this case, where the students aren’t calling for that, suddenly … the media isn’t interested in covering it,” he said.
Cruz said that in addition to metal detectors and more officers, other options include cutting down on the number of entrances and exits, so that access to schools is more difficult.
“I also think that there’s a lot more we can do going after violent criminals. Inevitably, people say, ‘We’ve got to do something.’ That’s right, we do have to do something. But we need to do something that works. The proposals from Democrats, of taking away the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, they don’t work,” he said.
Places with the strictest gun control, he said, “almost inevitably” have “among the highest crime rates, the highest murder rates.”
“It’s actually what the students told me … is true, that when you disarm the law-abiding citizens, then it means the criminals are the ones that have guns.”
And Cruz said following existing laws will help.
He cited the church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in November.
“It was already contrary to federal law for that gunman to have a firearm. He had a felony conviction, a domestic violence conviction. But the Obama administration never reported his conviction to the background check database, so it was never in the database,” Cruz noted.
He pointed out that the Sutherland Springs shooting is another the media tend to leave alone.
“Because what stopped that shooting was another citizen. Stephen Willeford, law-abiding citizen, lived a block away from the church, who heard about it, ran over barefoot with his AR-15 and engaged the gunman. And ultimately saved many, many lives. … Often what stops a bad person is a good person with a gun,” Cruz said.
“But that’s not what the media wants. They want to ban firearms for law-abiding citizens. If you want to stop violent crime, focus on the criminals.”
NBC News did quote Santa Fe student Alex Carvey saying guns are not the problem.
“I think people are the problem,” she said.
Her comment contrasted to the immediate aftermath of the Parkland shooting, “when student survivors kicked off a national call for tougher gun control laws on social media and in street protests.”
The Santa Fe students pointed out that laws already prohibited the shooter from having a gun.
WND also reported a Pew Research poll found the divide between conservatives in what political pundits call “flyover country” and the left on the coasts is widening.