- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 15, 2019

Sen. Ted Cruz said Thursday that this month’s shooting rampage in El Paso was “racist domestic terrorism,” and said he would back legislation to try to prevent similar attacks in the future.

The Texas Republican said federal prosecutors should pursue the death penalty against the man arrested for the shooting.

In an op-ed for the Dallas Morning News, Mr. Cruz said he would be willing to work on legislation to stiffen the existing background check system by making sure those whose background should already deny them the ability to purchase a gun are actually flagged if they try to do so.

That stops short of the type of legislation proposed by Democrats, who want to see more records added to the system, but also want more purchases to be screened. Currently only sales involving a federally licensed dealer must be checked through the system, which exempts many private transactions.

In his op-ed Mr. Cruz recounted Texas’s particularly high body count in recent mass shootings, but said the El Paso rampage was particularly startling with the “hateful anti-Hispanic bigotry” expressed in the accused shooter’s manifesto.

“His intention to target the Hispanic community and wreak utter havoc is serious and should be treated as such. The sentiments he expressed are racist, ignorant, repulsive and profoundly anti-American,” said Mr. Cruz, who pointed out he’s the son of a Cuban immigrant.

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