On Thursday morning — hours after the San Bernardino massacre that killed at least 14 people — presidential candidate and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz invoked the ghosts of Paris:
“All of us are deeply concerned that this is yet another manifestation of terrorism — radical Islamic terrorism here at home,” Cruz said. “Coming on the wake of a terror attack in Paris, this horrific murder underscores that we are in a time of war.”
Later the same day, Cruz had the chance to vote on an amendment to disarm terrorist combatants in that war. Cruz voted no.
A loophole under U.S. law permits people identified as terrorists by the FBI to legally purchase guns — including military-derived assault weapons like the .233-caliber guns used by the alleged San Bernardino killers Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. An amendment before the Senate Thursday afternoon would have given the U.S. attorney general authority to “deny the transfer of firearms or the issuance of firearms and explosives licenses to known or suspected dangerous terrorists.”
Cruz joined 52 fellow Republicans (and North Dakota Democrat Heidi Heitkamp) in voting to preserve the right of known terrorists to buy the weapons they need to wage war in America.
The amendment was opposed by the National Rifle Association, which spent $26 million to support Republican candidates in the 2014 midterm elections.
Cruz has received more than $36,000 from gun rights groups this election cycle, according the Center for Responsive Politics.
Cruz was joined in voting against the amendment by several fellow Republican presidential candidates in the Senate: Rand Paul of Kentucky (who’s received $29,547 in gun money), Marco Rubio of Florida ($8,100), and South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham.