NRA Speaker Push Gun Rights After Texas School Massacre
One by one, they took the stage at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Houston and denounced the massacre of 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Texas.
Photo Insert: Then-US President Donald Trump speaking at the NRA Convention in 2019
One by one, they also insisted that further restricting access to firearms was not the answer to preventing future tragedies, Juan Lozano and Jill Colvin reported for the Associated Press (AP).
“The existence of evil in our world is not a reason to disarm law-abiding citizens,” roared former President Donald Trump before participants at the NRA convention, his pompous speech slammed by thousands of protesters outside who outnumbered attendees.
“The existence of evil is one of the very best reasons to arm law-abiding citizens,” he added and accused Democrats of trying to exploit the tragedy and demonizing gun owners.
The meeting came three days after the shooting in Uvalde and as the nation agonized over the fact that pupils trapped inside a classroom with the gunman repeatedly called 911 during the attack — one pleading “Please send the police now” — as officers waited in the hallway for more than 45 minutes.
Outside the convention hall, protesters gathered in a park where police set up metal barriers — some holding crosses with photos of the Uvalde shooting victims. “Murderers!” some yelled in Spanish.
“Shame on you!” others shouted at attendees. Among the protesters was singer Little Joe, of the popular Tejano band Little Joe y La Familia, who said in the more than 60 years he’s spent touring the world, no other country he’s been to has faced as many mass shootings as the US.
“Of course, this is the best country in the world,” he said. “But what good does it do us if we can’t protect lives, especially of our children?”
Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who is challenging Abbott in the governor’s race, ticked off a list of previous school shootings and called on those attending the convention to “join us to make sure that this no longer happens in this country.”
While Biden and Democrats in Congress have renewed calls for stricter gun laws after the Uvalde shooting, NRA board members and others attending the conference dismissed talk of banning or limiting access to firearms.