Thursday, May 26, 2022


Breitbart tells me that Ted Cruz was on Fox News last night, portraying himself as the champion of parents concerned about school gun violence:
On Wednesday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Jesse Watters Primetime,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) stated that Democrats blocked legislation he proposed in 2013 to bolster school security and keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill by keeping it from reaching the 60-vote threshold.

Cruz said, “In 2013, I introduced legislation that would spend $300 million on federal grants to harden schools to make them safer, to make them more protected. The Democrats filibustered that legislation. I’ve introduced legislation to say schools like this elementary school behind me can get federal grants to harden their security, to put in bulletproof doors, bulletproof glass, to put in armed police officers to protect kids.”

He later added, “In 2013, I introduced legislation called Grassley-Cruz, which targeted felons and fugitives and those with serious mental illness. It directed the Department of Justice to do an audit of federal convictions to make sure felons are in the database. It directed the Department of Justice to prosecute and put in jail felons and fugitives who try to illegally buy firearms. That vote in the Harry Reid, Democrat Senate...a majority of the Senate voted in favor of Grassley-Cruz, but the Democrats filibustered it. They demanded 60 votes. They defeated it because they wanted to go after law-abiding citizens instead of stopping the bad guys. We need to stop the bad guys.”
That's one way of describing what happened.

Here's what really happened. In response to the Sandy Hook massacre in late 2012, Democrats (and a couple of Republicans) tried to pass the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013. Among other things, the bill would have expanded background checks and made the sale of some semiautomatic weapons illegal. Republicans filibustered the bill in the Senate, and it died.

Cruz and Senator Chuck Grassley offered their own plan as an amendment version to the Safe Communities bill, but it wasn't the same bill with all of Cruz's neat stuff added, as The Washington Post explained last year:
Amendments aplenty were proposed and defeated. The one from Cruz and Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) would have removed the core of the gun bill: the expanded background checks.
Um, that seems like a big deal.

(Grassley-Cruz "instead proposed more prosecutions of gun buyers who falsely stated their criminal histories during the background-check process." I'm guessing that we wouldn't have found out about most of these liars until after they committed violent crimes.)

Wait, there's more:
Among other changes, the Cruz amendment would have reduced penalties for states that neglected to submit records to the FBI’s centralized database for background checks of gun buyers, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The Cruz proposal also would have capped federal grants to improve states’ reporting procedures for the FBI database at $20 million, down from $100 million, and allowed for the interstate sale and transport of firearms.
So Democrats didn't filibuster this proposal because they hate school safety. They filibustered it because it gutted their gun bill, made the background-check system weaker, and created more avenues for the proliferation of guns. But your right-wing relatives will never believe that.

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