Following the El Paso attack, Sen. John Cornyn tweeted there wasn’t an answer to gun violence.
MJ Hegar, a Democrat challenging Cornyn in 2020, tweeted back, “Since we DO have answers, I suppose you mean some issues don’t have answers that will please your DONORS. You should get your ass back to DC and pass the background checks bill sitting on McConnell’s desk.”
Most notably in Cornyn’s career, he voted against a sweeping gun safety bill that was put forth after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The bill would have expanded background checks to cover private sellers and firearms sold over the internet and at gun shows.
He has also introduced and/or co-sponsored bills that loosen firearms restrictions.
Royce West, another Democrat vying for Cornyn’s seat, called for universal background checks, too, and called on Cornyn to tell President Trump “to publicly denounce the hate speech, racism, bigotry & violence that Trump encourages.”
Cornyn has also avoided calling out Trump’s racism, as Vox reported recently, and he chose not to label the attack —as his colleague Sen. Ted Cruz did—“white supremacy.”
Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin deemed his silence as complicity. “If he is not denouncing the president’s rhetoric that gives encouragement to white nationalists, he is complicit in the consequences,” she wrote. “He can choose Trump or Texans but not both.”
A new poll out Tuesday showed only 37% of Texas voters approved of Cornyn’s job performance, with 31% disapproving. A third didn’t have an opinion, a relatively high number since Cornyn has been an elected official in Texas for more than 30 years.