Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) took actress and activist Alyssa Milano to task over remarks she made questioning Second Amendment rights.
On Sunday, Milano questioned the validity of the Second Amendment in a tweet following news of a mass killing that took place Saturday in Texas.
A 36-year-old suspect shot and killed at least seven people on the streets of Odessa, Texas, in what appeared to be random attacks. The incident resulted in the injuries of nearly two dozen other people. The Midland Police Department announced that the suspect was killed in a police exchange of gunfire shortly after the suspect carried out the heinous attack.
What happened during the exchange between Cruz and Milano?
In a pointed tweet, Milano wrote, "Can someone cite which passage of the Bible God states it is a god-given right to own a gun? This guy is unbelievable and is clearly owned by the gun lobby."
She was responding to a tweet from Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Texas), who promised that he would not allow the mass killer's acts put a damper on the Second Amendment rights of Texans.
Schaefer wrote, "I am NOT going to use the evil acts of a handful of people to diminish the God-given rights of my fellow Texans. Period. None of these so-called gun-control solutions will work to stop a person with evil intent."
Cruz noticed Milano's complaints, and responded in kind.
He wrote, "An excellent Q, worth considering carefully w/o the snark of Twitter. It is of course not the right to a modern-day firearm that is God-give [sic] but rather the right to Life & the right to Liberty. Essential to that right to life is the right to DEFEND your life & your family."
The Texas lawmaker continued, "The right to self-defense is recognized repeatedly in the Bible, eg Exodus 22:2: 'If a thief is caught breaking in at night & is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed.' (Note, though, verse 3 says it IS murder if during daylight (ie, not self-defense)."
Cruz backs up his point
He went on to cite a passage from the Declaration of Independence to bolster his explanation.
"The Declaration of Independence acknowledges our rights thusly: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,'" he quoted. "And, for that reason, the Second Amendment provides 'the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, SHALL NOT be infringed.' It wasn't to protect people's ability to hunt, or to shoot target practice, but to defend their lives, their homes & their families."
Cruz invoked the name of Texas resident Stephen Willeford, who risked his own life in an attempt to stop the Sutherland Springs, Texas, mass murderer.
"Stephen Willeford exercised that fundamental right when he risked his own life to stop the Sutherland Springs murderer, saving countless others as a result," he added.
Cruz continued by pointing out the ideas of St. George Tucker as further reading for Milano.
"St. George Tucker, one of the most important scholars in early America, explained the reasons behind the Second Amendment as follows: 'This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature ... in most govts it has been the study of rulers to confine this right w/in the narrowest limits possible. Wherever...the right...to keep & bear arms is, under any...pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.'"
"That's also why, post Civil War, disarming Black Americans was a critical objective of the KKK, and was memorialized in countless Jim Crow laws — to strip African-Americans of their God-given right to self-defense from violence," he reasoned. "I'm a Texan. What happened in Midland-Odessa — and El Paso, Santa Fe & Sutherland Springs — was sick, deranged & horrifying. We need to do MUCH more to stop violent criminals & those w/ dangerous mental illness BEFORE they murder & I'm leading the fight in the Senate to do so."
He concluded that "playing politics" with such heinous crimes is not the way to carry out lasting change.
"Playing politics w/ these deranged crimes — and trying to use them as an excuse to violate the constl rights of law-abiding citizens — won't make anybody safer. Forcible gun confiscation (as some 2020 Dems urge) won't prevent mass-murders. But it would weaken our self-defense."