On Thursday, a protest went to the Texas residence of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to push for action against gun violence as the toll inflicted by it rises across the United States.
The protest involved a fleet of 52 yellow school buses. Nobody seems to have ridden in the buses; empty seats in the vehicles represented the over 4,300 U.S. children who’ve died by gun violence since 2020. The first bus in the procession carried items left behind by victims of school shootings, including the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and the 2018 violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The parents of Joaquin Oliver, who was one of the Parkland victims, founded the non-profit organization that put on the Thursday procession — which appears to have successfully made it to Cruz’s Texas residence and his Houston office. At Cruz’s residence, Manuel Oliver (Joaquin’s father) handed over a letter written by Joaquin in which he pushed for gun safety measures as part of a school project.
“We’re going after the money,” Manuel remarked. “These leaders are not loyal to the Second Amendment. They’re loyal to the gun industry and manufacturers, who protect them… I wanted to find a graphic way of showing them what the impact really is.” Cruz himself was not at his residence or office, and a member of the Senator’s security staff took the letter from Manuel. A security agent — the affiliation of whom wasn’t immediately clear — “took some pictures and made some calls,” Manuel explained regarding when the group arrived at the Senator’s Texas home. The letter advocates for mandating universal background checks for purchasing firearms. It was after arriving at the Senator’s house on Thursday when the group headed over to his Houston office.
Manuel indicated on Thursday after arriving at the Houston office associated with the Senator that those behind the protest intended to head elsewhere and target other pro-gun officials, although it’s unclear whether he and his group have specifically named anyone who might be next. “If you’re a senator and you believe the things that are happening are okay, look out for a yellow school bus that will be outside your office,” Manuel said. Around the country, numerous protests against gun violence have taken place after the recent mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two adults were killed at Robb Elementary School — although that’s not where devastating gun violence recently impacting the U.S. ended. Huge groups of protesters gathered outside the subsequent National Rifle Association (NRA) convention — which was taking place in Texas — and other demonstrations took place on June 11, a planned day of national activism with March for Our Lives behind it. That group was founded by survivors of the Parkland shooting.
After the violence in Uvalde, Cruz pushed for limiting the number of doors at schools in an effort to keep potential attackers from accessing the premises. What about fire safety? What about windows? Is it physically possible for Cruz to have a serious, good-faith conversation about potential gun safety measures — or is he going to stick to talking about doors? Footage of the buses is below:
— Ugochi Iloka KHOU (@UgochiKHOU) July 14, 2022