Actress Alyssa Milano announced that she would be meeting with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) to discuss their respective views on gun legislation. The two engaged in a Twitter volley over the Second Amendment in the wake of recent mass shootings in the United States.
Milano announced on Twitter early Sept. 5 that she will be meeting Cruz on Tuesday, Sept. 10, “about guns.”
“We don’t agree on this issue,” she wrote. “But if we can talk with mutual respect & humility, maybe all of us come together to effect positive change.”
“I will enter this with an open heart, ears, and mind. I hope he does the same,” she added.
I’ll be meeting with @tedcruz on Tuesday about guns.
We don’t agree on this issue.
But if we can talk with mutual respect & humility, maybe all of us come together to effect positive change.
I will enter this with an open heart, ears and mind. I hope he does the same.#NoRA
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) September 5, 2019
Milano initially tweeted in response to Texas Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler) who had taken to Twitter to clarify what he wanted to do after a shooting rampage in western Texas on Aug. 31 that left at least seven dead and more than 20 injured.
Other recent shootings in the United States include the back-to-back mass shootings in early August in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that together killed 31 people.
“‘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,” Schaefer 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.”
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. 2/6
— Matt Schaefer (@RepMattSchaefer) September 1, 2019
The exchange between Cruz and Milano started when—in response to Schaefer’s tweet—Milano asked someone to “cite which passage of the Bible God states it is a God-given right to own a gun?”
To this, Cruz served a lengthy response where he asserted that the core of the discussion is the right to life and liberty, which is intrinsic to the 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.”
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 struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed,” Cruz quotes a small passage in the Bible, Exodus 22:2, as having stated. He cited another passage declaring that it is considered murder if someone kills another not in self-defense.
Cruz then quoted the United States Declaration of Independence, which acknowledges that the Creator endows men with unalienable rights, among which are “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
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.
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.” She added she will be in Washington next week.
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.
In an abrupt change of tone, she also added, “We can live-stream the meeting so the American people can hear your [expletive] first hand.”
Cruz on Sept. 3 responded, saying, “I’d be happy to sit down & visit next week about uniting to stop gun violence & about the Constitution. If we can have a civil & positive conversation—in the spirit of 1 Peter 4:8 as you suggest—despite our political differences, that might help resolve the discord in our Nation.”
I’d be happy to sit down & visit next week about uniting to stop gun violence & about the Constitution. If we can have a civil & positive conversation—in the spirit of 1 Peter 4:8 as you suggest—despite our political differences, that might help resolve the discord in our Nation. https://t.co/YfkB97wAA0
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) September 3, 2019
He also said, according to Deadline.com, that the planned discussion between Cruz and Milano “are the kinds of things that should be happening more often. We shouldn’t be talking past each other. We should be talking to each other.”
“That they are willing to talk to someone who completely disagrees with them is what we should be doing,” he said, according to the outlet.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Sept. 3 said he is waiting on the White House to clarify its position on legislation to address gun violence. McConnell said he would be willing to bring a given bill to the floor if President Trump is willing to sign that bill into law.
“The administration is in the process of studying what they are prepared to support if anything, and I expect to get an answer to that next week,” McConnell said in an interview. “If the president is in favor of a number of things that he has discussed openly and publicly, and I know that if we pass it, it’ll become law, I’ll put it on the floor.”
The full House and Senate are both on a six-week recess and are scheduled to reconvene on Sept. 9.
President Donald Trump recently 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.
“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,” 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.
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 shoot faster. That was 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.