NATIONWIDE — The day after a gunman killed 26 people and injured 20 others as they worshipped in a Texas church, questions remain over what to do next to prevent another tragedy.
Among the media and bystanders, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, came to offer his condolences, but when talking to reporters, there was one subject Cruz did not want to touch.
"There is a reason that there is a public distrust of the media," Cruz said after being asked if he'd consider gun reform measures. "Because the immediate focus is on a political agenda of gun control."
For Texas Gun Sense spokesperson Ed Scruggs, that message rings hollow.
"The same old excuses of, you know, thoughts and prayers, and now is not the time to talk about this, I just don't think that's going to hold water much longer," Scruggs said.
Scruggs said that now is the time to talk about gun control, and ways to better perform background checks.
"And one thing that we want to look at is, are there loopholes, are there things in state law to help prevent this."
Just how the shooter passed a background check to purchase the AR-style rifle used in the shooting is now coming under scrutiny. The shooter received a "bad conduct discharge" from the Air Force for assaulting his wife and child, a charge the shooter lied about in the FBI background check processknown as the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. But the Air Force irevelealed Monday that the shooter's domestic violence offense wasn't entered into the NICS database.
Texas previously denied the shooter a handgun license, and even Governor Greg Abbott commented that the shooter shouldn't have possessed guns.
Still questions remain if further reforms are needed to prevent more attacks like this.
"If a person lies on that form, they're supposed to catch that at the NICS," Michael Cargill, a gun right's activist and the owner of Central Texas Gun Works. "The NICS system needs to work. And there's a breakdown in the system somewhere."
But some lawmakers could be open to fixing a background check system found lacking. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said he'd be willing to look into background check reforms.