Monday, January 30, 2023

Trump to speak at NRA meeting in Texas days after school shooting


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Former president Donald Trump will headline a discussion board at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Houston this Friday — a couple of four-hour drive from the place a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Tex., killed at least 19 children and two teachers on Tuesday.

Trump mentioned Wednesday he would maintain the looks, in a submit on his Truth Social platform.

The Memorial Day weekend occasion is the yr’s largest for the gun foyer meeting after cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s set to happen over three days and “showcase over 14 acres of the latest guns and gear,” according to its official web site.

“The National Rifle Association is pleased to announce that former President Donald Trump will headline a star-studded cast of political heavyweights at the NRA Institute for Legislative Action,” the physique mentioned in a statement in May.

The discussion board can also be slated to embrace Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem, and North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson — all Republicans. The subsequent night time, “American Pie” singer Don McLean is due to carry out.

Sen. John Cornyn (R) of Texas was additionally scheduled to speak however pulled out earlier than the shooting for private causes requiring him to be in Washington on Friday, a spokesman mentioned. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) likewise dropped his deliberate look for a visit to Ukraine, an aide mentioned.

Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat difficult Abbott for governor, known as on him to withdraw from the convention. Abbott’s workplace didn’t reply to requests for remark.

Noem’s spokesman mentioned she was nonetheless planning to attend.

Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears (R), a former Marine who strapped an assault rifle over her gown in a memorable marketing campaign advert final yr, is scheduled to headline an NRA Women’s Leadership Forum Luncheon Friday as a part of the occasion in Houston. Earle-Sears and her spokeswoman didn’t instantly reply to inquiries Wednesday about whether or not she plans to go forward following the school shooting.

The NRA discussion board comes because the shooting reignites debate over gun management in Washington. President Biden called for the United States to “stand up to the gun lobby” in the wake of the deadliest school shooting in practically a decade, and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) moved Tuesday night to put two House-passed gun-control payments on the chamber’s calendar.

The NRA couldn’t instantly be reached for remark early Wednesday about whether or not the occasion will go forward.

Biden voices grief and anger at shooting: ‘I am sick and tired of it’

Authorities mentioned the suspected gunman, Salvador Ramos, 18, was sporting physique armor and carrying a rifle, when he opened fireplace in a fourth-grade classroom round 11:32 a.m. on the third-to-last day of the school yr — sending youngsters fleeing for his or her lives. The gunman was later killed by legislation enforcement officers.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) went viral on-line after he gave a speech in the Senate on Tuesday night time pleading together with his colleagues to put politics apart and work collectively to cease mass shootings. Murphy was in the House in 2012 when a shooting befell in his district, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, the place 20 youngsters and 6 adults had been killed.

“Why are we here if not to try and make sure fewer schools and fewer communities go through what Sandy Hook has gone through, what Uvalde is going through,” he mentioned. “I am here on this floor to beg, to literally get down on my hands and knees and beg my colleagues: Find a path forward here.”

The Texas shooting additionally comes because the nation continues to be reeling from a mass shooting earlier this month in Buffalo, the place a gunman killed 10 individuals in a racist assault at a grocery retailer.

Cruz tweeted Tuesday that he was “fervently lifting up in prayer the children and families in the horrific shooting in Uvalde.”

His message triggered a rebuke from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) who talked about his attendance at the NRA occasion and mentioned “faith without works is dead.”

The NRA occasion is due to happen at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston on Friday and has been billed as a “celebration of American freedom!”

“It is truly an honor to have President Trump address NRA members for the sixth time at our 2022 NRA-ILA Leadership Forum in Houston,” mentioned NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre in the May assertion.

He mentioned Trump had “helped ensure the freedom of generations of Americans,” by appointing judges who “respect and value the Constitution and the Bill of Rights” and thanked the previous president for his “support for our right to keep and bear arms.”

Trump has embraced the gun foyer, although after the Parkland excessive school shooting in 2018, he briefly expressed help for background checks for gun purchases and better police energy to seize weapons from mentally disturbed individuals. He confronted vital resistance from the NRA and Republicans and shortly abandoned the concepts. His administration additionally banned using bump shares, a tool that makes it simpler to fireplace a semiautomatic rifle extra quickly.

The NRA is combating a lawsuit by the New York lawyer basic accusing the group’s executives of misspending hundreds of thousands of {dollars}. The NRA, established in 1871, boasts greater than 5 million members.

Laura Vozzella contributed to this report.

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