As Ted Cruz faces criticism for his response to the mass shooting that left 19 children and 2 adults dead in Uvalde, Texas, a video has re-emerged showing the Republican senator frying and eating bacon on the same type of gun apparently used by the shooter.
In the 2015 clip, which was released while he was running for president, Mr Cruz smirkingly introduces a method for cooking breakfast: wrapping strips of bacon around the muzzle of an AR-15 assault-style rifle and “cooking” it with the heat of gunfire.
“Mmmm,” he says, eating the results, “machine-gun bacon.”
It has been reported that two AR-15 guns were recovered from the scene of the massacre, and that the 18-year-old shooter, Salvador Ramos, purchased firearms just days before he attacked the school.
Mr Cruz, who has long cultivated an image as a culture warrior when it comes to issues like gun control, has already been widely condemned for a tweet he sent out after the Uvalde massacre, saying he and his wife were “fervently lifting up in prayer the children and families in the horrific shooting”.
Ted Cruz fries “machine gun bacon” in 2015
Critics pointed out that Mr Cruz has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from pro-gun groups, and that he has obstructed stronger gun safety laws – this while also authoring and federal legislation to strengthen hot air balloon regulations after an accident in his state killed 16 people.
Later, in spoken remarks, he described the massacre as “truly horrific”, remarking that “there is nothing more evil than violent criminals who target children, and especially young children”.
However, Mr Cruz also remarked that it was always important to avoid anything that might be construed as limiting the rights of gun owners.
“Inevitably when there’s a murderer of this kind,” he told CNN, “you see politicians try to politicise it, you see Democrats and a lot of folks in the media whose immediate solution is to try to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.”
And like various other Republicans, he also argued that one way to avoid mass casualties in school shootings would be to deploy armed law enforcement on school campuses.