Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) gave a lengthy response on Twitter to actress Alyssa Milano after she asked someone to “cite which passage of the Bible God states it is a God-given right to own a gun?”
In a series of tweets to Milano, Cruz said that at the core of the discussion is the right to life and liberty, which is intrinsic to the right to defend oneself.
Milano, a liberal activist, responded to Cruz calling his rhetoric “[expletive],” while adding that she’d “love” to meet with him and suggested that their potential meeting be live-streamed.
Milano had initially responded to Texas Rep. Matt Schafer (R-Tyler) who had taken to Twitter to clarify what he wanted to do after a spree shooting took place between the Texas cities of Midland and Odessa on Aug. 31. The incident left at least seven dead and more than 20 injured.
“‘Do something!’ is the statement we keep hearing. As an elected official with a vote in Austin, let me tell you what I am NOT going to do,” Schafer tweeted.
“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,” he wrote. “I say NO to “red flag” pre-crime laws. NO to universal background checks. NO to bans on AR-15s, or high capacity magazines. NO to mandatory gun buybacks.”
“What can we do? YES to praying for victims. YES to praying for protection. YES to praying that God would transform the hearts of people with evil intent. YES to fathers not leaving their wives and children. YES to discipline in the homes,” Schafer added.
“YES to supporting our public schools. YES to giving every law-abiding single mom the right to carry a handgun to protect her and her kids without permission from the state, and the same for all other law-abiding Texans of age. YES to your God-given, constitutionally protected rights. YES to God, and NO to more government intrusions,” he concluded.
To one of Schafer’s tweets, Milano asked, “Can someone cite which passage of the Bible God states it is a god-given right to own a gun?”
She also accused Schafer of being “unbelievable” and “clearly owned by the gun lobby.”
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) September 1, 2019
Quoting the Bible
In a lengthy message, Cruz clarified to Milano that at the core of the discussion is the human right to life and right to defend oneself.
“It is of course not the right to a modern-day firearm that is God-give[n] but rather the right to Life & the right to Liberty,” Cruz clarified. “Essential to that right to life is the right to DEFEND your life & your family.”
As an example, Cruz used a small passage in the Bible, Exodus 22:2, where the right to self-defense is asserted.
“If a thief is caught breaking in at night & is strick a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed,” Cruz quotes the passage as having stated. He cited another passage declaring that it is considered murder if someone kills another not in self-defense.
2/x 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).
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) September 1, 2019
Cruz then quoted the United States Declaration of Independence, which acknowledges that men are endowed by the Creator with unalienable rights, among which are “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
4/x 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.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) September 2, 2019
He also quoted the Second Amendment in the United States Constitution, which said: “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,” he commented on the Second Amendment.
Cruz also weighed in on the spree shooting in Midland and Odessa.
“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 tweeted.
“Playing politics w/ these deranged crimes—and trying to use them as an excuse to violate the constitutional 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,” Cruz asserted.
10/x 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.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) September 2, 2019
In response to Cruz, Milano challenged him to a live-streamed meeting “on the gun issue and many other issues that include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” adding that she would be in Washington, D.C. next week.
I’d love to come in and meet with you on the gun issue and many other issues that include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, @tedcruz and also, 1 Peter 4:8.
I’ll be in DC next week. We can live-stream the meeting so the American people can hear your [expletive] 1st hand. https://t.co/S3ljfjjOtG
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) September 2, 2019
She also wrote “1 Peter 4:8,” in her tweet, a Bible verse that reads “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” It is unclear what Milano specifically meant to say by pointing Cruz to this Bible verse.
Trump Considering Many Sides in Gun Control Debate
President Donald Trump has reiterated his support for expanding background checks for gun buyers. At the same time, he wants to avoid the “slippery slope” of eroding citizens’ second amendment rights.
Trump has acknowledged that gun rights groups are an important part of his voting base and that he will uphold their right to bear arms.
“We have background checks, but there are loopholes in the background checks. That’s what I spoke to the NRA (National Rifle Association) about yesterday. They want to get rid of the loopholes as well as I do,” he told reporters on Aug. 21.
“Then all of a sudden we’re talking about, Let’s take everybody’s gun away. People need weapons, unfortunately, for the protection. Don’t want to take away people’s Second Amendment rights,” he added.
At present, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is used for background checks involving sales to licensed firearms dealers. They make up the majority of firearm sales.
The Department of Justice reports that 77 percent of criminals in state prison for firearm crimes get firearms through theft; on the black market; from a drug dealer or on the street, or from family members and friends. Less than one percent get firearms from dealers or non-dealers at gun shows.
Trump acknowledged gun violence as a national health emergency but repeated his point that guns don’t pull triggers, people pull triggers. He emphasized that he wants to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.
In 2018, the Trump administration outlawed bump stocks and other gun modifiers that make semi-automatic firearms fire faster after the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, which left 58 dead and over 800 injured.
Epoch Times reporter Masooma Haq contributed to this report.