Cruz storms off after being asked why mass shootings happen ‘only in America’

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As Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) attended a vigil Wednesday for the victims of the massacre in Uvalde, Tex., he stormed away from an interview after he was asked by a British journalist why mass shootings happen “only in America.”

Cruz joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and other local and state leaders at a vigil for the 19 children and two adults killed in the Tuesday mass shooting at Robb Elementary School. Cruz, who is among the Republicans vehemently opposed to proposals from Democrats on expanding background checks on gun sales, has called for increased safety in schools and has condemned “political posturing” in the aftermath of the attack. He is also the lawmaker whose campaigns or political action committees have accepted the most money from the gun rights lobby, according to the nonprofit OpenSecrets.

During an interview with British Sky News reporter Mark Stone, Cruz, who was seen hugging and meeting with those at the vigil, was asked whether this was the moment to reform gun laws. Cruz responded by saying, “You know, it’s easy to go to politics.”

“But it’s important, it’s at the heart of the issue,” Stone replied, according to a video of the interview viewed more than 1 million times as of Thursday morning.

State and local lawmakers on both sides of the aisle commented on the events surrounding a mass school shooting in Uvalde, Tex. On May 24. (Video: Adriana Usero/The Washington Post)

From there, the two had a tense back-and-forth about gun reform laws.

“I get that that’s where the media likes to go,” Cruz said.

The Sky News reporter replied that that was not the case, saying many of the people he spoke with at the vigil also had gun control on their minds.

“The proposals from the Democrats and the media inevitably, when some violent psychopath murders people …” Cruz said, before he was cut off by Stone. The journalist said that the alleged shooter was “a violent psychopath who’s able to get a weapon so easily — an 18-year-old with two AR-15s.”

The senator ignored him and continued: “If you want to stop violent crime, the proposals the Democrats have — none of them would have stopped this.”

Then Stone asked, “Why does this only happen in your country? …. Why only in America? Why is this American exceptionalism so awful?”

That’s when Cruz fired back: “You know, I’m sorry you think American exceptionalism is awful. You’ve got your political agenda. God love you.”

As he attempted to walk away, Stone said he just wanted “to understand why you do not think that guns are the problem.”

“It is just an American problem,” the journalist said to Cruz.

At the end of the exchange, Cruz again ignored the journalist’s question and accused Stone of pushing propaganda before walking away.

“Why is it that people come from all over the world to America? Because it’s the freest, most prosperous, safest country on Earth,” the senator said. “Stop being a propagandist.”

Cruz spokesman Steve Guest told The Washington Post that Stone’s line of questioning surrounding mass shootings in the United States was incorrect. Guest pointed to research from the

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Cruz storms off after being asked why mass shootings happen ‘only in America’

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