Sen. Ted Cruz, parents of Colorado shooting victim discuss gun control
Parents of Aurora shooting victim, Jessica Ghawi, invite senators to dinner
SAN ANTONIO – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has voted against expanded background checks and even rolled out his own alternative gun control bill, met on Wednesday with the parents of Jessica Ghawi, the San Antonio woman who was killed in the Colorado theatre shooting.
Ghawi's stepfather, Lonnie Phillips, and Jessica's mother, Sandy Phillips, said they initially invited both Cruz and Senator John Cornyn to their home for dinner.
"The idea was to was for them to be able to sit in our daughter's chair at the dinner table, and talk about that empty chair and what it means to a family, and what it means to lose a loved one like we lost our daughter Jessica," Sandy Phillips said.
Though Cornyn has not accepted their invitation, Cruz, who was in town on Wednesday for a North Side Chamber of Commerce event, met briefly with the couple at a local restaurant.
"We just wanted to find out if we had any common ground that we can meet on, and why he didn't vote for background checks, which is what 90 percent of Americans agree, is the best thing that our country could do," Lonnie Phillips said.
But in the end, there was no common ground.
Ghawi's parents said the freshman senator told them he didn't think expanded background checks would work, and instead touted his own alternative gun control bill, a measure he rolled out this year with Sen. Chuck Grassley, of Iowa.
The Phillips' said they brought along a picture of their daughter and talked about her during their meeting, in hopes of a compromise.
"Over 30 people a day are killed by guns, and it will continue as long as nothing is done," said Sandy Phillips.
Cruz agreed to speak again with the Phillips' at a later date, but declined to speak with KSAT 12 after Wednesday's meeting.
The Phillips are hopeful Sen. Cornyn will accept their invitation sometime in the future.
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