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Cruz Calls Reaction to Florida High School Shooting 'Tiresome'

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — At today’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) slammed CNN’s Wednesday night townhall with Stoneman Douglas High School students, which included Cruz colleagues Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), as an “infomercial.”

“It is an amazing thing and — and — and it’s tiresome. Every time you see a horrific crime, people in the media and Democratic politicians immediately try to leap on it to advance their agenda, and their agenda is stripping the Second Amendment rights away from law-abiding citizens,” Cruz said of the Valentine’s Day massacre at the Parkland, Fla., school.

“Let’s be clear were many of the Democrats want to end up. Dianne Feinstein was very open and candid, where she said, if I can say, Mr. America, Mrs. America, give me your guns, I will. That’s where they want to end up,” he added. “You look at one of the biggest cheer lines last night, it was when talking about confiscating guns. That’s where they want to end up. It is profoundly unconstitutional, but also it doesn’t work.”

Cruz called it “perfectly reasonable to have a conversation, what can we do to stop this sort of mass crime,” then argued that “the left’s answer is always, always, always, strip the Second Amendment rights from law-abiding citizens.”

Rubio said at the town hall that he supports raising the age to buy a rifle from 18 years to 21 years. President Trump has pressed this line of action in the past two days, drawing opposition from the National Rifle Association.

“On Monday, when we return to Washington, D.C. we’re going to try to do this thing called unanimous consent, where basically you don’t even really have a vote. It’s just, unless any senator objects, it passes a law to fix the background check,” Rubio told students. “I believe there are 60 votes to ban bump stocks. I believe that we could potentially have 60 votes at the federal level to change the age from 18 to 21 on the purchase of any rifles.”

Vice President Mike Pence reminded CPAC today that earlier this week Trump “called on Congress to strengthen background checks, and two days ago, he directed the Department of Justice to expedite the regulation of bump stocks.”

“Later this week, when the president meets with the nation’s governors in our nation’s capital, we’ll make the safety of our nation’s schools and our students our top national priority,” Pence said. “I can assure you all of this: President Trump and our entire administration will continue to take strong action to make our schools safe and to give law enforcement and our families the tools they need to deal with those struggling with dangerous mental illness.”

Also speaking at CPAC, NRA president Wayne LaPierre went after lawmakers who blamed the NRA after the Parkland shooting.

“Think about that. In the midst of genuine grief and a very understandable passion as millions of Americans searched for meaningful solutions, what do we find? Chris Murphy, Nancy Pelosi and more, cheered on by the national media, eager to blame the NRA and call for even more government control,” LaPierre said. “They hate the NRA. They hate the Second Amendment, they hate individual freedom. In the rush of calls for more government, they’ve also revealed their true selves. The elites don’t care — not one whit — about America’s school system and schoolchildren.”