Within 450 km (280 miles) of the gunman’s location kill 21 people At an elementary school in Uwald, Texas, former U.S. President Donald Trump held a provocative meeting with the pro-gun lobbying group the National Rifle Association (NRA).
In the wake of the Uwald massacre, calls for stronger gun control have grown, with Trump defending the NRA, which has rejected calls to cancel its annual convention.
“Whenever a deranged or unhinged person commits such a horrific crime, there is always a ridiculous effort by someone in our society to use the suffering of others to advance their own extreme political agenda,” Trump said. .” in the event In Houston, Texas, referring to gun reform advocates.
“What’s more disgusting is their eagerness to shift the blame away from the villains who committed mass violence and onto the shoulders of the millions of peaceful, law-abiding citizens who belong to organizations like our wonderful NRA.”
The former president called for stronger school safety, rather than focusing on gun reform. “If the U.S. has $40 billion to Ukrainewe should be able to do everything we can to keep our children safe at home,” he said.
Former speakers on Friday, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noam, stressed that regulating guns is not the answer to gun violence. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also spoke about the annual event in a video message.
NRA and Republican officials at the event portrayed the Uvalde attacker as unhinged and evil, blaming the shooter himself rather than giving the 18-year-old easy access to the semi-automatic rifle he used in the massacre.
Noam said Democratic congressional leaders are calling for more gun laws that “won’t do anything to stop gunmen.”
“They’re using the tragic situation to push their agenda. It’s all about control. It’s rubbish,” she said.
Protesters against the NRA gathered outside the convention center throughout Friday. Demonstrators carried a child-sized coffin, photos of Uwald’s victims and signs calling for stronger gun control measures.
“Our time to stop the next mass shooting in this country is now, right here,” Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke tell the protesters.
As NRA supporters arrived in the chamber, demonstrators chanted “NRA fuck off” and “Shame, it could be your child today”.
– John Hendren (@johnhendren) May 27, 2022
Protester Johnny Mata said the NRA should stop its convention and hold a memorial service for the victims in Uwald.
“They have the guts not to cancel these families,” Mata told Reuters. He added that the NRA should “stop being involved in the assassination of children in American schools.”
Many critics of the NRA pointed to the ban on guns in the chamber during Trump’s speech.
“Donald Trump bans guns in NRA speech — making it safer from gun violence than most American schools,” progressive commentator and former Michigan gubernatorial candidate Abdul Eh Al Said wrote on Twitter.
Founded in 1871 by two Civil War veterans, the NRA is the largest gun lobbying group in the United States.
The group is influential among Republican lawmakers and has become public enemy number one for many Democrats, who see it as the driving force behind the conservatives’ steadfast stance Oppose gun reform.
While the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees “the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” reform advocates say the government must introduce laws to curb gun violence, which has been on the rise for the past two years.
According to US media reports, so far this year, there have been 214 mass shootings in the United States, in which four or more people have been shot dead. Gun Violence Archives database.
Trump, who does not rule out running for president again, is a staunch supporter of the gun rights movement.But when he took office, his government banned bump stock A device that allows a semi-automatic weapon to fire faster, an accessory.
At the time, the NRA said it was “disappointed” by the ban, which makes it illegal to own explosive stockpiles, forcing people to destroy or hand them over to the government.
Ban comes after gunman killed dozens At the 2017 Country Music Festival in Las Vegas.