Jen Paski took aim at Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Greg Abbott and more Republican lawmakers on Sunday night after the Texas politicians once again offered thoughts and prayers, but no gun reform ideas, to victims of the latest mass shooting at an Allen, Texas, shopping mall.
During the latest episode of “Inside With Jen Psaki” on MSNBC, the former White House press secretary honed in on the idea of politicizing tragedy. But, she noted that those who criticize people for politicizing tragedy — which has included Cruz, Abbott and their Republican colleagues just about every time — are the ones who are actually doing so.
In light of the most recent mass shooting in Texas, Psaki first pulled up a clip of Abbott speaking to an NRA convention held in Texas last year, not long after the horrific shooting in Uvalde that killed 19 children and two adults.
Much like he usually does, Abbott claimed that there are plenty of gun restrictions already in effect that “have not stopped madmen from carrying out evil acts,” so he doesn’t believe further restrictions would help.
“Clearly, Governor Abbott felt pretty good about the gun laws in his state at that time, and boy has he continued to make the NRA proud,” Psaki said. “Texas doesn’t require a person to pass a criminal background check before buying a gun from an unlicensed seller. Texas does not require you to obtain a license before carrying a handgun in public.”
She then turned her ire to Abbott’s congressional colleagues, calling out senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, “not to be outdone,” for their respective responses to the repeated mass shootings in this country. Similar to Abbott, Cornyn and Cruz both argued that gun reform would “infringe the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens” and “doesn’t work.”
“And guess what? They both have sterling A ratings from the NRA to show for it,” Psaki sniped. (In fact, both Cornyn and Cruz have A+ ratings from the NRA, as does Abbott).
Cruz also parroted his usual talking point about politicizing tragedy, at which point Psaki got blunt.
“When families have suffered, when communities are reeling as they are in Allen today, refusing to act to protect the people in your state out of fear of your base of support is politicizing tragedy,” she said. “Refusing to support common sense gun reform measures because you fear losing your A rating with the NRA is politicizing tragedy.”
Then, Psaki turned her address back to her audience.
“So don’t be muzzled by the people who accuse you of politicizing a mass shooting when you call for change,” she said. “They want you to be silent, and they want you to let this slip from the headlines so that they can go back to being comfortable instead of politically courageous.”
You can watch Psaki’s full comments in the video above.