Former President Donald Trump still plans to address National Rifle Association members in Houston on Friday in the wake of the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
“America needs real solutions and real leadership in this moment, not politicians and partisanship. That’s why I will keep my longtime commitment to speak in Texas at the NRA Convention and deliver an important address to America,” Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social on Wednesday. Trump is billed as the event’s keynote speaker.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) also appear to be scheduled to speak at the NRA’s Leadership Forum, an event put on by the group’s lobbying arm — just days after a shooter massacred 19 children and two adults in western Texas. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) and North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) are also confirmed guests.
The NRA convention is perhaps the one place in Texas where you won’t find guns after the shooting: In a memo on its website, the NRA says guests aren’t allowed to bring their guns to the main assembly hall.
Democrats are calling on the NRA and speakers to cancel the event following the massacre, arguing that it’s in poor taste and sends the wrong message.
“Governor Abbott, if you have any decency, you will immediately withdraw from this weekend’s NRA convention and urge them to hold it anywhere but Texas,” Democrat Beto O’Rourke, Abbott’s opponent in November’s election, tweeted.
The shooter, Salvador Ramos, legally bought two AR-style rifles just after his 18th birthday, according to law enforcement.