WASHINGTON — Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told actress Alyssa Milano that he would be “happy to sit down & visit next week about uniting to stop gun violence & about the Constitution” after the two have had disagreements over guns and the Bible on Twitter.
Milano has been active in politics in the last year, demonstrating and speaking out against abortion bans, Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination and being an early online voice in driving the #MeToo hashtag.
Milano has been active on Capitol Hill in the past, and proposed a meeting with the conservative Texas lawmaker when she visits Washington next week.
“I’d love to come in and meet with you on the gun issue and many other issues that include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” the actress tweeted Monday.
Milano continued that they should live stream the meeting so the “American people can hear your bull**** first hand.”
Cruz responded that he is open to “a civil & positive conversation … despite our political differences” and added that he is willing to “unite to stop gun violence.”
“If we can have a civil and positive conversation — in the spirit of 1 Peter 4:8 as you suggest — despite our political differences that might help resolve the discord in our nation,” the senator tweeted.
Scripture 1 Peter 4:8 reads: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
The back-and-forth began when Milano tweeted “Can someone cite which passage of the Bible God states it is a god-given right to own a gun? This guy is unbelievable and is clearly owned by the gun lobby,” in response to a tweet from Texas state Rep Matt Schaefer in which he calls owning guns a “God-given right.”
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Cruz, a Harvard-trained lawyer and onetime Supreme Court litigator, responded in a series of tweets, citing the Bible: “If a thief is caught breaking in at night & is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed.” (Note, though, verse 3 says it IS murder if during daylight (ie, not self-defense).” He also quoted the Constitution and scholars.
“I’m a Texan. What happened in Midland-Odessa—and El Paso, Santa Fe & Sutherland Springs—was sick, deranged & horrifying. We need to do MUCH more to stop violent criminals & those w/ dangerous mental illness BEFORE they murder & I’m leading the fight in the Senate to do so.,” Cruz also tweeted.
While he seemed to have made peace with Milano, Cruz was engaged Tuesday in a spat on Twitter with Chicago’s Democratic mayor, Lori Lightfoot, after he said new gun control legislation won’t work, pointing to gun violence in Chicago.
Gun violence over the Labor Day weekend left seven people dead and an additional 34 wounded in Chicago on the South and West Sides, according to police.
More: 7 fatally shot, 34 wounded in Chicago during Labor Day weekend gun violence
Lightfoot responded in a tweet directed at Cruz: “60% of illegal firearms recovered in Chicago come from outside IL—mostly from states dominated by coward Republicans like you who refuse to enact commonsense gun legislation.”
“Keep our name out of your mouth,” she continued.
In a series of tweets responding back to the mayor, Cruz tweeted: “Mayor, your anger is misplaced. Virtually every year, Chicago has the most murders of any city in America.”
“Maybe, rather than getting angry when others point out the tragically high murder rate in Chicago, you put aside the partisan talking points & the failed gun-control policies Chicago has pursued for decades,” he continued.
Texas has seen multiple mass shootings in the last few years, including a rampage through Odessa and Midland that left 7 dead on Saturday, a shooting at Walmart in El Paso that was inspired by anti-immigrant rhetoric where 22 were killed, at a high school in Santa Fe where a student shot and killed ten people and in Sutherland Springs where a gunman killed 26 people at the First Baptist Church.
Contributing: Grace Hauck