Houston police chief blasts Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz and other 'smug' Republicans for being too afraid to ‘piss off the NRA’
On Saturday, December 7, a police sergeant in Houston was fatally shot while responding to a report of domestic violence — and Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, at a press conference on Monday, lambasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans for resisting even moderate gun control.
The press conference, Newsweek reports, was held only minutes before the body of Sgt. Christopher Brewer was moved from the medical examiner’s office to a Houston funeral home. McConnell and other Republicans, Acevedo asserted, need to prioritize public safety rather than being so afraid of offending the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Acevedo told reporters that he didn’t want to see Republicans’ “little smug face” and hear them saying “how much they care about law enforcement when I’m burying a sergeant because they don’t want to piss off the NRA.” The Houston police chief went on to say, “Make up your minds: whose side are you on? The gun lobby, or the children who are getting gunned down in this country every single day?”
Those who aren’t familiar with the complexities of Texas politics sometimes assume that public figures in the Lone Star State are universally opposed to any type of gun control. But not all Texans are card-carrying Republicans or staunch NRA members. Houston, in fact, is a predominantly Democratic city, as are Austin and El Paso. And when Sen. Ted Cruz was reelected in 2018, he defeated Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke by a surprisingly narrow margin.
Acevedo is critical of McConnell, Cruz and Sen. John Cornyn for failing to support the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, which expired in December 2018. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would renew the law, but the bill has stalled in the U.S. Senate.
“We all know in law enforcement that the one of the biggest reasons that the Senate and Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and others are not getting into a room and having a conference committee with the House and getting the Violence Against Women’s Act is because the NRA doesn’t like the fact that we want to take firearms out of the hands of boyfriends that abuse their girlfriends,” Acevedo told reporters on Monday.
But not everyone in the Houston Police Department agrees with Acevedo’s criticisms of McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz. The Houston Police Officers Union sent out a memo saying, “The fact that Chief Acevedo chose that moment to make a political statement on guns is nothing short of offensive and inappropriate.”
Republicans in the Senate have argued that the House’s proposed Violence Against Women Act renewal is too broad and violates the 2nd Amendment, but Acevedo disagrees.
“Who killed our sergeant?,” Acevedo asked reporters. “A boyfriend abusing his girlfriend. So, you’re either here for women and children and our daughters and our sisters and our aunts, or you’re here for the NRA.”