Ted Cruz, fresh off the stage at the National Rifle Association convention in Houston, sat down at a sushi dinner that was interrupted Friday by a fellow Texan, who three days later faced a Republican lawmaker over his harsh stance on firearms. did. 21 people were shot dead in a primary school in the state.
At the end of the confrontation the man was walking towards the door shouting at the security officers.
“Nineteen kids died! It’s in your hands! Ted Cruz, it’s in your hands!” He says in the video of the incident.
The person, Benjamin Hernandez, told HuffPost that he was in Houston because his digital advertising company was livestreaming the protests held outside the NRA convention. When he saw Cruz go to the same restaurant where he was having dinner, Hernandez said, he thought, “Oh, hell no.”
“A few days ago, I caught that clip of Beto [O’Rourke] face [Texas Gov. Greg] Abbott, and I wrote something to this effect, ‘Face all these hypocritical asses like Beto.’ And it’s really easy to tweet, isn’t it?” Hernandez told HuffPost. “But then two days later, Ted Cruz is walking into this place where I am, and it’s like, OK, I have to talk to him now.”
Although other Republican lawmakers pulled out of the NRA program after the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Cruz maintained his scheduled appearance, delivering a speech where he argued that guns were not to blame for the fatality.
At the restaurant, Hernandez pretended to pose for a photo with his arm around Cruz, while a friend began recording a video, who asked him to talk about gun policy after the fake photo. Caught turning to Cruz.
“You know, I’ll encourage you. I gave about a half-hour speech at the NRA convention today. I encourage you to watch it,” Cruz can be heard responding.
Hernandez, speaking quickly, urges Uvalde to explain his stance on gun control in the wake of the shooting, where 19 children and two adult teachers were killed.
“Background Check Is It That Hard?” He says.
Cruz looks at the person filming, appears to feel what’s going on, then tells Hernandez, “Well, you don’t want to hear.” Hernandez then stops speaking, allowing Cruz to say that the Democrats’ proposal, which he did not define, could not stop the shooter. Eighteen-year-old Salvador Ramos, who died on the spot, waited until his birthday to legally buy two AR-15 rifles and more than 1,600 ammunition.
Hernandez then tells Cruz: “You can make it harder for people in this country to get guns. You know that. You know that. But you stand here, you stand at the NRA convention — it’s tough, It’s hard when there are more guns to stop gun violence.”
At that point, security officers find themselves between Cruz and Hernandez, leading them to the door.
The two-minute video was shared by Indivisible Houston, a progressive activist group, which identified Hernandez as a board member. Another patron of the sushi restaurant Captured the conversation from another angleAs Cruz’s defenses began to force Hernandez away.
“The time of civil discourse and debate — when they allow it, which they don’t — is over for me,” Hernandez told HuffPost.
He continued: “It’s uncomfortable. Yes, it was uncomfortable for me to go and do that – that’s not me. My mom was also surprised that I dropped the F-bomb. But this week I’ve dropped the F-bombs, because I’m just pissed that they’ll stand there and do nothing about it.
He said what surprised him most about Cruz’s response was how “canned” it was—the same reaction Cruz had given a Sky News reporter about Democratic proposals, who pressured him on gun control measures earlier in the week. was put
“You’re directing me to your 30-minute speech, and you can’t answer a simple question? Background check, can’t we start there?”
While a bipartisan group of lawmakers has begun working toward a compromise on gun control measures, Congress has failed to pass meaningful reform due to repeated mass shootings over the past decade. A bill to expand background checks passed in the House but is stalled in the Senate, where it is not expected to pass because of Republican opposition.