A man confronts Ted Cruz at the restaurant: “19 dead children, it’s in your hands”

Sen. Ted Cruz, fresh off the stage at the National Rifle Association convention in Houston, sat down to a sushi dinner that was interrupted on Friday by a fellow Texan who confronted the Republican lawmaker about his stance tough on guns, three days after 21 people were shot dead at an elementary school in the state.

The end of the confrontation saw the man shout over security guards as they marched him towards the door.

“Nineteen children are dead! It’s in your hands! Ted Cruz, it’s in your hands! he says in the video of the incident.

The man, Benjamin Hernandez, told HuffPost that he was in Houston because his digital advertising company was broadcasting the protests held outside of the NRA convention live. When he saw Cruz walk into the same restaurant where he was having dinner, Hernandez said, he was like, “Oh, hell no.”

“A few days ago I took this clip of Beto [O’Rourke] confront [Texas Gov. Greg] Abbott, and I wrote something to the effect of, ‘Faced with all those hypocritical assholes like Beto did.’ And it’s really easy to tweet, isn’t it? Hernandez told HuffPost. “But two days later, Ted Cruz walks into this space where I am, and it’s like, OK, I have to go talk to him now.”

Although other Republican lawmakers dropped out of the NRA event after the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Cruz stuck with his scheduled appearance, delivering a speech in which he argued the guns weren’t to blame for the fatal incident.

At the restaurant, Hernandez pretended to pose for a photo with his arm around Cruz while a friend began surreptitiously recording a video that captured him turning to Cruz to talk about gun politics after the fake photo.

“You know, I would encourage you — I gave a speech for about half an hour today at the NRA convention — I encourage you to watch it,” Cruz can be heard responding.

Hernandez, speaking quickly, begs him to explain his stance on gun control following the Uvalde shooting where 19 children and two adult teachers were killed.

“Background check – is it that hard?” he says.

Cruz glances at the person filming, seeming to realize what’s going on, then tells Hernandez, “OK, you don’t want to listen.” Hernandez then stops talking, allowing Cruz to say that the Democrats’ proposals, which he did not define, would not have stopped the shooter. Salvador Ramos, 18, who died at the scene, waited until his birthday to legally buy two AR-15 rifles and more than 1,600 rounds.

Hernandez then tells Cruz, “You can make it harder to get guns in this country. You know. You know. But you stand here, you stand at the NRA convention – it’s harder, it’s harder when there are more guns to stop gun violence.

At that time, security guards position themselves between Cruz and Hernandez, escorting him to the door.

The two-minute video was shared by Indivisible Houston, a progressive activist group, which identified Hernandez as a board member. Another boss of the sushi restaurant captured the interaction from another angleas Cruz’s security began to force Hernandez away.

“The time for civil discourse and debate — when they allow it, which they don’t — is over, for me,” Hernandez told HuffPost.

He continued: “It’s uncomfortable. Yes, it was uncomfortable for me to go and do that ― that’s not me. My mum was even surprised that I dropped the F-bomb. But this week, I dropped F-bombs, because I’m so pissed that they just sit there and do nothing about it.

He said what surprised him most about Cruz’s reaction was how “preserved” it seemed – Cruz had given the same response about the Democratic proposals to a Sky News reporter who pressed him on gun control measures earlier in the week.

“You’re directing me to your 30-minute speech, and you just can’t answer a simple question? Background check, can’t we start there? »

While a bipartisan group of lawmakers began working toward a compromise on gun control measures, Congress largely failed to pass meaningful reform in the face of repeated mass shootings over the past decade. A bill to expand background checks passed the House but is stalled in the Senate, where it is not expected to pass due to Republican opposition.


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