U.S. Senator Ted Cruz sat down with Alyssa Milano for their promised gun control debate on Tuesday. Gun control activist Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jamie was murdered in the attack in Parkland, Florida last year, was there alongside activist Ben Jackson as well.
Milano started by saying she had heavily prepared for their conversation, and said she had woken up that morning with a panic attack, because of what Cruz “represents”. Milano talked about how terrified she is when she looks at her children, and doesn’t know how to keep them safe, before passively-aggressively calling Cruz a “villain”.
“For many people in this country your stance has made you almost like this caricature of a villain. And that’s why this meeting was so important to me, because I wanted to look you in the eye and know that you’re really a human with a heartbeat.”
As I was watching the conversation on Cruz’s Facebook page, this was the first moment I wondered if Milano would have been any different with Cruz if there had been no cameras for this event, which I suppose is another way of saying this was the first moment I thought to myself “Oh, so she’s going to grandstand here.” For the record, Milano’s comments came less than three minutes into the hour-long conversation, which Cruz noted that Milano had suggested live-streaming.
Cruz, for his part, said he hoped that folks watching people on opposite ends of the spectrum having a civil conversation might have a contagious effect. The thing is, while Milano may not have yelled or called names, she wasn’t exactly civil. Her entire point of view seems to be that if you don’t support the gun control laws she’s demanding, you must be okay with murder. If that’s your starting point, you’re already seeing anybody who disagrees with you as cold, heartless, gun-humpers who love their AR-15’s more than they love babies. How can you have a good faith conversation if you believe the person you’re talking to is a monster?
“Isn’t it worth it?” Milano asked at one point, meaning “isn’t it worth passing whatever gun laws we’re demanding if it makes us safer?” Cruz’s response was good.
“Yes we should do everything we can to stop violent crime, but there’s a flip side to this and it’s a flip side I’m very concerned with, which is that guns are also used to stop crimes.”
Milano interrupted at this point to ask Cruz how a security guard with a handgun could stop a killer with an AR-15.
“It’s not just security guards. In Houston this past weekend, a 28-year old African American woman was coming home and a group of men came seeking to assault her and surrounded her. She had a pistol in her purse, and she pulled it out…”
Again Milano interrupted, saying “We don’t want to stop her!” which is nonsense. This is what Alyssa Milano wrote a little more than a month ago.
Where is an assault weapons ban? Where is a magazine capacity ban? Where is a national red flag law? Action on ghost guns? Background checks on ammunition? Raising the age to buy firearms to twenty-one? Mandated safe storage, insurance, and trigger locks? Biometrics? Licensing?
Something tells me that Alyssa Milano really isn’t okay with concealed carry. If she really doesn’t want to stop that woman in Houston from carrying a firearm for self-defense, what does she think about the fact that if that woman lived in Los Angeles, there’d be no way she’d ever receive a concealed carry license and would be legally carrying that firearm? I’m sad that Cruz didn’t actually bring it back around to that, but unfortunately he got interrupted quite a bit.
I applaud Ted Cruz for being willing to sit down with Alyssa Milano for a good faith conversation. I just don’t think that’s what we saw through the camera lens that Milano had requested.