GOP Sen. Ted Cruz doubles down on his anti-gun control stance: Violence 'is actually the only thing that does' stop violence, he told crowd at event

GOP Sen. Ted Cruz doubles down on his anti-gun control stance: Violence 'is actually the only thing that does' stop violence, he told crowd at event
Ted Cruz at a convention hosted by the National Rifle Association on May 27.AP Photo/Michael Wyke
  • Sen. Ted Cruz reiterated his stance against gun control on Saturday at the Texas Tribune Festival.
  • Addressing a crowd, Cruz suggested violence is the "only" thing that stops violence.

Sen. Ted Cruz on Saturday doubled down on his anti-gun control stance, saying that violence is the solution to violence.

Speaking at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin, Cruz said there are "lots of folks on the left that say, 'Look, let's just get rid of all the guns.'"

"What that would mean," he said, without citing any evidence, "is 500,000 to a million more people are victims of crime, are victims of rape, of murder, of assault."

According to FBI crime statistics, in 2020, there were nearly 540,00 violent crimes.

Then a member of the audience is heard interrupting and asking him about AR-15s, to which Cruz responded by discussing the 2017 shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The gunman, Stephen Willeford, killed 26 people and injured nearly two dozen others.


"The weapon that Stephen used to stop that was an AR-15," Cruz said.

Another audience member then interrupted Cruz again, saying "violence doesn't solve violence."

"It actually is the only thing that does," he responded.

Then the senator appeared to blame Democrats for the murder rate, which rose 30 percent between 2019 and 2020 — the most recent data, per The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Violence doesn't solve violence? That is actually why the left wants to abolish police and why you see murder rates skyrocketing," he said.


The White House over the summer renewed calls for stricter gun control measures to be enacted in the wake of a devastating school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in May. Police said a gunman killed 19 children and two adults in the shooting.

President Joe Biden after the shooting urged Congress to act on gun control legislation.

"After Columbine, after Sandy Hook, after Charleston, after Las Vegas, after Parkland, nothing has been done," Biden said during a prime-time address. "This time that can't be true. This time we must actually do something."

"How much more carnage are we willing to accept?" Biden asked.

"This is about protecting children, this about protecting families, this is about protecting whole communities," Biden added. "It's about protecting our freedom to go to school to go to a grocery store or church without being shot and killed."


There have been hundreds of mass shootings in 2022, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which collects statistics on gun-related injuries or deaths.