I met with Ted Cruz. This is why.

But mostly, I met with the senator because we can’t fix the problems that face this nation unless we talk with people who disagree with us. The truth is that no matter what happens in the 2020 election, there will always be two parties in the Senate which will be close to evenly divided. If we keep living solely in our echo chambers, we will only hear what we ourselves say. And our nation will continue to suffer.

I know we didn’t change his mind on how we fix gun violence in America. And he didn’t change ours. But maybe we understand one another a little better. Here’s what I came away with that I wasn’t so sure of before the meeting: Ted Cruz is a human being. He is a real person. He isn’t a villain in a movie. He cares when these shootings happen. When people on my side of this fight say he doesn’t, they’re wrong.

I hope he came away with the fact that we are caring people, and supporters of the Second Amendment, just not unlimited gun rights. I hope he recognizes a little bit more the fear parents have throughout the country and by listening to Fred’s gut-wrenching story of loss, I hope he understands the pain and devastation of these fears realized. And I hope AND pray that he will find the courage to evolve enough from his calcified ideology to use his power in the Senate to convince the Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to debate, deliberate and move on the gun violence prevention bills that are on the table.