We met with Ted Cruz about stopping the mass shootings. I didn’t like his reaction.

From left: Ronnie Phillips, Sandy Phillips, Felix Rubio, and Kim Rubio meet with Senator Ted Cruz in his Texas office in September 2022.

From left: Ronnie Phillips, Sandy Phillips, Felix Rubio, and Kim Rubio meet with Senator Ted Cruz in his Texas office in September 2022.

From left: Ronnie Phillips, Sandy Phillips, Felix Rubio, and Kim Rubio meet with Senator Ted Cruz in his Texas office in September 2022.

On Sunday, while most of us were sleeping, gunmen opened fire on a bus in the University of Virginia parking lot, killing three students (D’Sean Perry, Devin Chandler, and Lavel Davis Jr.). Two of his others were injured. Students across campus took refuge at the site for nearly 12 hours while an intensive search continued, which eventually ended when the suspect was taken into custody without incident. The incident will be the 598th mass shooting this year and his second school shooting in Virginia in 2022.

Polls Show Gun Control was one of the top five issues for voters in last week’s midterm elections.It’s clear that people are sick of fearing mass shootings, and they’ve shown that by re-electing all the senators they co-hosted Federal Assault Weapons Prohibition Bill.

This doesn’t surprise me. As an anti-gun activist, I have been lobbying for a federal assault weapons ban since his six-year-old son. With an AR-15 at our hometown’s Independence Day parade Seven people were killed and more than 40 injured in Highland Park, Illinois.

One sunny Wednesday afternoon in September, I attended a conference surrounded by a small group of gun violence victims, survivors, and activists. We gathered in a circular seat in the private office of Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz.

he was sitting in front of me.

We went around the room and introduced ourselves, and the senator was kind. His face was appropriately sympathetic. He looked each one of us in the eye as we spoke. He nods solemnly as he talks about escaping a mass shooting with his six-year-old son.

After the introductions, we asked Senators to support a federal assault weapons ban.

Kim and Felix RubioLexi’s parents, who were murdered at Rob Elementary School in May, had traveled all the way from Uvalde, Texas. Felix showed the senator a picture of her 10-year-old daughter in a coffin. The senator calmly looked at it, saw Rubios’s anguished face, and told them his solution to the school shootings was to put more police officers in the schools.

The energy in the room suddenly changed. it was obvious. Several members of our group gasped. Others started crying. Sandy PhillipsThe mother of Jesse Phillips, who was shot dead at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in 2012, walked out of the room in disgust. I was leaning against it. 376 law enforcement officers Nothing was done to help the 19 children and 2 teachers who were brutally massacred in Uvalde.

They did nothing to save Lexi.

On October 24th, nearly six weeks after the date of that meeting, St. Louis school shooting This is the 40th school shooting incident this year.

As details emerged, it was reported that the shooter had twelve 30-round magazines and was using an AR-15 style rifle. Like Uvalde’s shooter. Like Highland Park. The school had metal detectors, doors were locked, and there were security guards.

It didn’t matter.

Even the police could not prevent the shooting at this school. The shooter’s family had asked police to seize the weapons later used to murder her 16-year-old Alexandria Bell and gym teacher Jankchuka. Police seized the firearm, but “determined at that point that the suspect was legally permitted to possess a firearm.” AR-15 style assault his weapon was returned to a third party known to the family. It is not known how the shooter recovered the firearm.

Ted Cruz remained silent on Twitter. But gun violence prevention advocates have not. They know that police, security, and locked doors won’t stop school shootings. Even schools like the University of Virginia, which have their own police force, can’t prevent mass shootings.

We don’t know what guns were used in the Virginia shootings, but the only way to prevent the majority of mass shootings and school shootings is to ban assault weapons. I know there is. The data prove it. During the ban on offensive weapons from 1994 to 2004, 70% less likely to die in a mass shooting.

Easy access to weapons of war is killing our children. Currently, 18-year-olds who are not old enough to buy alcohol or a handgun can legally purchase assault weapons. I was. The shooting my son and I survived involved an AR-15. In less than 50 seconds, the Highland Park shooter had fired nearly 100 rounds into the family crowd. He stopped to reload twice. In Uvalde, some parents had to use his DNA to identify their child. This is because assault weapon bullets are powerful enough to liquefy human organs.

These are weapons of war, used again and again to murder children where they are supposed to feel safe: in schools. And it’s not the worst. The Washington Post’s database of school shootings, number of children exposed to gun violence in schools 320,000 since the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School.

what are we doing

A federal assault weapons ban could have prevented the massacre at Uvalde and the murder of a 16-year-old girl and her teacher in St. Louis. Don’t wait until your family is exposed to gun violence. Call Senators today via the United States Capitol Switch at 202-224-3121 to help pass a ban on federal offensive weapons. Ask them to support the ban, and vote to elect gun-sensing candidates.

Sadly, I don’t think it matters if your life is affected by gun violence, but when it happens. Don’t let your family die.

Cruz’s representative emailed the following statement to the Huffington Post regarding the senator’s response: Cruz mourned with the community at Uvalde the day after the shooting and later met with loved ones of the victims. In the wake of this tragedy, Senator Cruz introduced legislation, doubling the number of school resource officers to his, and hiring his 15,000 school-based mental health professionals to put them at risk. We fought to enact reforms to ensure early intervention to identify and help children who are suffering. Tighten school safety, improve gun background systems, and prosecute anyone trying to buy a gun illegally. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats blocked it without any explanation. ”

Ashbey Beasley is a proud Indigenous wife and mother, serial entrepreneur, and mass shooting survivor turned activist.

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