Cruz blames Dems for politicizing shootings

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGermany calls on Congress not to sanction Nord Stream 2 pipeline: report Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' Biden administration resists tougher Russia sanctions in Congress MORE (R-Texas) accused Democrats on Thursday of seizing on mass shootings to push a political agenda, saying that calling for increased gun control after such tragedies is "not the right answer."

"The reaction of Democrats to any tragedy is to try to politicize it," Cruz said on "Fox & Friends." "So they immediately start calling that we've got to take away the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. That's not the right answer."

The Texas Republican recalled travelling to Sutherland Springs, Texas, after a deadly mass shooting at a church there last year.

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"When I was at the hospital with the victims, with the victims' families, over and over again what they said to me in Texas – they said gun control is not the answer here," Cruz said.

Cruz's comments came a day after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., killing 17 people. 

The shooter was arrested Wednesday and identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former student at the school who had been expelled for disciplinary reasons. He was charged Thursday with 17 counts of premeditated murder. 

The shooting reignited calls from some lawmakers and advocates for tighter gun control laws. 

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) urged members of Congress on Wednesday to "find the courage" to pass legislation addressing gun violence. Giffords emerged as an outspoken advocate for tighter gun control laws after she was shot and critically injured in 2011. 

"Even in our grief, we must summon the courage to fight against this fear. We must find the courage to imagine a country where these massacres do not occur," she wrote on Twitter. "Our leaders must find the courage to escape the confines of their politics & pursue the moral necessity of peace & safety."

Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonBill seeks to aid families of Black WWII veterans deprived of GI benefits How lawmakers aided the Afghan evacuation GOP lawmaker says he did not threaten US Embassy staff in Tajikistan MORE (D-Mass.) also demanded on Wednesday that President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' MORE "get off his ass" and work with lawmakers to pass gun control legislation. 

"I invite him to get off his ass and join me in trying to do something about it," Moulton tweeted, referring to Trump.