Gov. Greg Abbott opts to address NRA convention in Houston via video link three days after mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott bowed to pressure and canceled an in-person appearance at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Houston on Friday, three days after a mass school shooting killed 19 elementary-school students and two teachers. Took. Texas, 270 miles west of Houston and 350 miles from NRA’s anticipated new home in the Dallas area.

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Abbott was still ready to address the NRA conference by video. He called a press conference in Uvalde late Friday, two days after Democratic gubernatorial rival Beto O’Rourke took the stage, at which Abbott and other elected leaders, mainly Republicans, were making statements about mass shootings and Blamed the authorities for “doing nothing”. “About gun violence.

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Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, often referred to as a far-right opponent pressuring Abbott in that direction, was on stage and called O’Rourke “out of line”.

Patrick opted out at an NRA breakfast event in Houston at the 11th hour to attend, he said, “praying and discussing with NRA officials.”

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Supporting speakers and performers from the NRA gathering included “American Pie” singer Don McLean, in addition to Texas lawmakers and other officials, who said it would be “disgraceful” to proceed with his act after the country’s latest mass shooting. “.

U.S. Representatives Dan Crenshaw and Sen. John Cornyn, both Texas Republicans, reportedly canceled planned appearances at the NRA convention.

Among those who addressed the convention were, in addition to Abbott, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota and former President Donald Trump, all Republicans.

From the archives (July 2021): South Dakota’s Gov. Kristi Noem hits out at fellow Republicans to consider 2024 presidential bid

The NRA said those participating in the gun show would “reflect” the Uvalde school shooting, “pray for the victims, recognize our Patriotic members and pledge to double down on our commitment to making our schools safer.” “

Inside the convention hall, thousands stopped at booths that displayed handguns, rifles, AR-style firearms, knives, clothing and gun racks. Outside, police set up metal barriers in a large park where hundreds of protesters and protestors gathered in front of the city’s convention center.

“Killers!” Some shouted in Spanish.

“You should be ashamed!” shouted at the other attendees.

Among the protesters was Little Joe, singer of the popular Tejano band Little Joe y La Familia, who said that in the more than 60 years he has toured the world, no other country has faced as many mass shootings as the US.

“Of course, it’s the best country in the world. But if we can’t protect lives, especially our children, what’s the use of it for us?” He asked.

Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks to a crowd supporting gun control Friday at Discovery Green, across from the George R. Brown Convention Center, the site of the NRA convention.

Eric Thayer/Getty Images

Speaking to protesters, O’Rourke ticked off a list of past school shootings and called on convention attendees to “join us to make sure this no longer happens in this country.”

“The time to stop Uvalde was right after Sandy Hook” [in 2012},” O’Rourke said. “The time for us to have stopped Uvalde was right after Parkland [in 2018], The time for us to stop at Uvalde was right after Santa Fe High School [also in 2018], The time for us to stop the next mass shooting in this country is now, right here, with each one of us today. ,

Texas has experienced Series of mass shootings in recent years, During that time, the Republican-led state legislature and Abbott relaxed gun laws.

Texas Elementary-School Shooting: Senate Democrat Chris Murphy Asks ‘What Are We Doing?’

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