CNN’s Dana Bash went head-to-head with Rep. Dan Crenshaw about the ongoing gun control debate that has reopened with new intensity following last week’s mass school shooting, pointing out to the Texas Republican that there are more guns than people in the U.S.
Reporting from Uvalde, Texas, where 19 students and 2 adults were massacred at Robb Elementary School, Bash opened by asking Crenshaw what he sees as the “solution” to mass shootings, considering that he has said “no to a lot of the solutions people are talking about.”
“The way that the answers are coming out now, it’s that nothing is going to change,” she said. “And I don’t think people in this community and across the country want to hear that after their babies are being massacred by these guns.”
Crenshaw, who was elected to Texas’ second congressional district in 2019 and is running for reelection this year, argued that increasing security at schools would have the most “immediate” and “tangible” effects.
Bash suggested that securing schools and restricting access to guns “in a way that respects the second amendment” is not mutually exclusive, but Crenshaw disagreed. Not only would Democratic gun control policies “infringe on the rights of millions and millions of gun owners,” but they also “probably wouldn’t have the outcome you’re hoping for,” he told Bash.
“The correlation between gun violence and gun ownership is not very strong, it’s not as strong as people tend to believe it is,” he said.
Bash persisted. “Congressman, it sounds like you’re saying guns in this country are not a problem,” she replied. “I mean, there are 300-something million people, 400 million guns. You don’t see that as a problem?”
Crenshaw said no, citing the country’s longstanding “culture” of gun ownership. “If I destroyed all my guns, it would have zero effect on gun homicides because I’m not the person who goes and shoots somebody,” he said. “I am a person who might protect somebody from being shot.”
“There were 19 people who were highly trained in the hallway and they couldn’t save these children,” Bash responded, referring to the fact that Uvalde police waited more than an hour to enter the classroom where the shooting took place.
They both agreed that this was, indeed, a problem, one that Bash pointed out could never have been anticipated when the 2nd amendment was written.
“Do you really think the Founding Fathers when they wrote ‘well-regulated militia,’ intended for enough guns – weapons of war – that you are so highly trained in using, should be used to massacre children?” she asked.
According to the non-partisan voter information organization Vote Smart, Crenshaw holds a 92% approval rating from the NRA and won their endorsement for his upcoming election. He voted “no” on all key gun reform legislation during his tenure, except for the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021, on which he abstained from voting.