If I could discover this kind of information, CNN, with its vast editorial resources, easily could have as well. There was no discussion about mental health awareness. No discussion about school security procedures. Instead, the discussion focused entirely on blaming Republican lawmakers, the Second Amendment, the NRA, and law-abiding gun owners. I watched from the stage as one camera focused on the pained face of a mother in agony, a mother mourning the loss of her child. She read a statement, pausing to compose herself as best she could, tears streaming down her face, while the camera zoomed in to capture her suffering. I don’t think some of those who attended realized that the network intended for this to be a spectacle.

When the event ended, I stood to leave and a woman in front of the stage attempted to rush forward and jump on the stage, presumably to attack me. She was physically stopped by a member of my three-person detail. I’d be interested to know if CNN has footage of this. The other two, stationed on the left side of the stage, had to lift me off the stairs as another woman had angrily grabbed my arm and would not let go, making it awkward for me to step down from the last step onto the floor to exit.

Meanwhile, many of the thousands in the arena hugged, shook hands, and took photos with Scott Israel and Robert Runcie, the local school superintendent whose policies of not arresting students who committed crimes made it possible for Cruz to legally purchase firearms.