CNN correspondents Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell spoke with Texas Republican state Representative James White on Wednesday about the latest mass shooting.
On Tuesday, a gunman murdered 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The weapons used by the killer were purchased legally under Texas gun laws.
You can see the interview here:
Several clips of highlights from the exchange also went viral on social media.
"What if anything should the Texas legislature do in response to what happened in Uvalde yesterday?"
Ignoring the question, White began listing well-known details from the shooting.
"Mr. White, I’m sorry to interrupt. We know those details."
"What we want to know is what your solution is. And the reason I ask is because we’ve all seen how quickly and creatively Texas—your local legislature—can act when it wants to, say, protect the unborn embryo."
"Why not act with that alacrity to protect living, breathing 10-year-olds in this school behind me?"
"Use that same blueprint that you used for your abortion law."
"Make there be waiting periods, make them have to come back to the scene more than once. Make them have to answer questions."
"Why can’t you protect living 10-year-olds?"
"We have something called the Constitution.”
The Texas Republican didn't explain how the Constitution prohibits protecting live children, but not unviable embryos.
White then turned to familiar pro-gun mass shooting rhetoric about mental health, saying:
"What we really need to be looking at is—whether it’s in Buffalo, whether it’s in Uvalde—is these young men, for some reason, that have some very disturbed emotional state."
"We need to look at our mental health system."
Undeterred by White's tap dancing, Blackwell stated:
"There’s no evidence there’s a mental health issue. [Republican Governor Greg Abbott] has said there is no known connection to mental health, uh, illness."
White claimed it was still about mental health, but Blackwell pointed out it was only the NRA—who gave White a 92% pro-gun rating—making claims about mental illness, not law enforcement or Texas' Republican governor.
"[The NRA] say that this was the act of a lone, deranged criminal, [but] there was no evidence that there was mental illness."
White—not catching Blackwell's point the NRA's press releases are biased—just parroted the NRA's wording as proof, saying:
"Deranged is a state of mental health."
Ignoring the NRA rhetoric, Blackwell asked White if Texas lawmakers—who passed legislation to weaken gun control in the state—will "look at the guns."
"We always look at the firearms."
"But at the end of the day, we’re gonna look at the people who do these acts, we’re gonna convict them, and we’re gonna punish them."
However Camerota informed White his solution was a nonsolution.
"Sir, you can’t convict him—because he was killed."
"Along with 19 children in the school behind me."
Unwilling to admit easy access to high powered weapons might be a factor, White then blamed school security for the latest school massacre.
People are fed up with Republicans who stick to the NRA script after every mass shooting.
The NRA has graded members of Congress on their devotion to unrestricted firearm access for decades.
Based on his responses in the wake of a school massacre in his own backyard, White earned his 92% grade.
In 2021, tapes from 1999 of an NRA meeting to create a mass shooting PR strategy were leaked. Gun sales increase after mass shootings thanks to those efforts and red states further relax gun control.
In 2019, a White nationalism motivated mass shooting occurred in El Paso, Texas. But in June 2021, Texas GOP Governor Abbott signed into law seven measures to expand gun rights, one of which allows Texans to carry a handgun without training, a background check or a license.