06/23/2015 03:39 pm ET | Updated Jun 22, 2016

Sen. Ted Cruz Attempts to Explain Post-Charleston Gun Joke and Why He Wants Urban Communities Armed

Tonight, I'm joined by Texas Senator Ted Cruz, one of the prominent Republican contenders for the 2016 presidential race. The senator wasted no time revealing his political aspirations when, this past March, he became the first official candidate from either party to announce a bid for the White House. Elected to serve in Congress in 2012, the senator's tenure has been marked by hardline conservative policies, most notably his vocal opposition to President Obama's healthcare law.

Two days after the tragic church shooting in South Carolina, Senator Cruz made some comments about gun control that many felt was in poor taste. In the clip below, I ask him to explain. His answer might surprise you.

For more of our conversation, be sure to tune in to Tavis Smiley on PBS. Check our website for your local TV listings: