Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R) sat down for a lengthy interview with CNN anchor Dana Bash over the weekend to discuss the nation's path forward following last week's atrocious school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and three adults dead.
In the aftermath of the massacre, Democratic politicians and progressive media figures have urgently called for further gun control legislation as the only obvious solution despite mounting evidence that security failures and a lax police response were major contributing factors.
In the interview, Bash peppered Crenshaw with questions and proposed a litany of various gun control measures in an effort to secure a concession from the gun-rights advocate. But each time, Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL and staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, rebuffed the progressive anchor, schooling her on the issues.
The Texas lawmaker explained that many of the so-called solutions offered by Democrats — such as "red-flag" laws, universal background checks, and raising the gun purchasing age — are bad policies since they likely would only serve to infringe the rights of millions of law-abiding citizens while doing comparatively little to stop mass shootings.
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"It's an outcome problem," Crenshaw explained. "I don't think [these proposals] would have the outcome people think they would have."
"What you’re essentially trying to do with a red-flag law is enforce the law before the law has been broken, and it’s a really difficult thing to do," he said. "It’s difficult to assess whether somebody is a threat."
"Now, if they're such a threat that they are threatening someone with a weapon already, well then, they've already broken the law. So why do we need this other law?" he added.
When asked about background checks, Crenshaw explained that Republicans are the ones who have actually proposed improving the background check system with legislation such as the Fix NICS Act. However, he said he does not support a universal background check proposal, since that would unduly regulate the private transfer of weapons, and again, not solve the real problem.
"People have to understand what universal background checks mean. That means that I can no longer sell a gun to my friend. If my neighbor — let's say her husband is gone for the week and she wants to borrow my gun, that would make us both felons," he argued, adding that "the people who are least likely to adhere to a universal background check are the criminals who intend harm."
Frustrated, Bash cut Crenshaw off, acknowledging that "there are so many real-world scenarios that are hard to police" before jumping to more proposals, such as eliminating the supposed "gun show loophole" and raising the age required to purchase "weapons of war."
Each time, Crenshaw politely repudiated Bash.
When finally allowed to share what solutions he would offer to prevent similar attacks from happening in the future, Crenshaw argued that ramping up security at schools would provide the most "immediate" and "tangible" effects.
He added that "the correlation between gun violence and gun ownership is not very strong, it’s not as strong as people tend to believe it is."
Flummoxed by that notion, Bash said, "Congressman, it sounds like you’re saying guns in this country are not a problem," adding, "I mean, there are 300-something million people [in this country, and] 400 million guns. You don’t see that as a problem?"
"No," Crenshaw plainly replied.
"If I destroyed all my guns, it would have zero effect on gun homicides, because I’m not the person who goes and shoots somebody," he said. "I am a person who might protect somebody from being shot."