Newly minted Texas Senator Ted Cruz has barely been in office for a weekend, and has already displayed his characteristic capacity for rhetorical sharpness combined with constitutionalism. Appearing on Fox News Sunday today, Senator Cruz was asked about gun control proposals being offered in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, and whether he could support any of them. Cruz's reply, while empathetic to the victims, was quite firm.
"The reason we're discussing this is because of the tragedy in Newtown. And every parent - my wife and I, we've got two little girls, age 4 and age 2 - every parent was horrified by what happened there. To see twenty children, six adults senselessly murdered, it takes your breath away," Cruz began, before pivoting to the political question.
"But within minutes," Cruz continued, "we saw politicians run out and try to exploit this tragedy, try to push their political agenda of gun control. I do not support their gun control agenda for two reasons: Number one, it's unconstitutional."
When the host pressed Cruz on whether there was anything he could support, Cruz said he supported using measures to update the Federal database of who was ineligible to own a firearm. However, he took special aim at a proposal by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to create a national registry of who owns guns, saying the Federal government had no business keeping a list of who chooses to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Cruz's constitutional critique is a fairly common talking point among Republican legislators. However, coming from Cruz, it may carry additional weight, as the former Texas Solicitor General has won multiple cases arguing before the Supreme Court itself, and clerked for former Chief Justice William Rehnquist.