Republican Senator Ted Cruz has defended US gun laws after the school shooting in Texas that killed 21 people.
About 19 children, between the ages of seven and 10, and two adults were killed Tuesday when 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos opened fire with an AR-15 rifle at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
The tragedy has sparked debate over gun control in a country where the issue has become a political fault line.
Mr. Cruz, a longtime advocate for gun ownership, attended the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting in Houston on Friday.
He told the crowd how Democratic “elites” were trying to “disarm” Americans to ban AR-15s, the weapon used in most school shootings.
He said: “Guns are used defensively between 500,000 and 1 million times each year to stop a crime.
“It means that if the left disarms America, these crimes would no longer be stopped.”
He argued that “only criminals with guns” would result in “many more single mothers on subways” being attacked since they could no longer commute with their 33-inch semi-automatic rifles in their purses.
At that point, he said that “far more children” would die if guns were banned.
Like dozens of high-profile gun ownership advocates in US politics, Mr. Cruz receives large donations from the NRA.
In 2019, the lobby group paid the former presidential nominee $176,274, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
This is the second major shooting in the US this month after a May 14 attack in Buffalo, New York killed 10 people.
In both cases, the attackers legally purchased AR-15 rifles when they were just 18, an age considered acceptable for purchasing guns but not for drinking alcohol or driving.
The Uvalde shooting was the second deadliest attack in US history, surpassed only by the 2021 Sandy Hook massacre, which also used an AR-15.
The gun was also used in a 2018 school shooting in Florida, a 2019 El Paso massacre, a shooting in Ohio the next day, and a 2017 music festival shooting.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/05/28/more-children-would-die-if-ar-15-rifles-were-banned-says-ted-cruz-16729317/ "More children would die if AR-15 rifles were banned," says Ted Cruz