Trump and GOP leaders to speak at NRA event in Houston after Texas school shooting

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  • Former President Donald Trump will speak at an NRA event in Houston, Texas, after a gunman killed 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
  • Other prominent Republicans, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz, are set to join Trump at the NRA’s annual meeting.
  • The White House said President Joe Biden, who criticized the “gun lobby” in a gloomy speech Tuesday night, will travel to Uvalde with First Lady Jill Biden on Sunday.

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Former President Donald Trump will deliver a headline speech in support of gun rights at a National Rifle Association event in Houston on Friday, days after a shooting massacre at a Texas elementary school made a fervent push to strengthen firearms laws.

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An 18-year-old gunman used a legally purchased AR-15-style long rifle at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, killing 19 children and two adults, officials said. The massacre marked the deadliest school shooting in Texas history.

Trump confirmed on social media Wednesday afternoon that he would not be canceling his appearance at the NRA’s annual “Leadership Forum” in light of the shooting. He suggested he offer “real solutions and real leadership” in his address at the NRA’s self-described “celebration of Second Amendment rights.”

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Other prominent Republicans, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, are set to join Trump at the event, which begins at 2 p.m. CT, NRA. According to,

His office said Thursday that Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who was slated to appear with Trump on Friday afternoon, would instead make the return trip to Uvalde and hold a press conference. Abbott will record a video message that will be played at the Houston Convention Center, less than five hours from the site of the massacre. NBC News reported,

A spokesman for Cruz did not respond to CNBC’s requests to confirm his presence at the meeting. When asked about Abbott’s alleged video comments, spokeswoman Kimberly Carmichael referred CNBC to the governor’s campaign, which did not immediately respond.

Two other Texas Republicans, Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, told CNBC earlier this week that they had pulled out of the convention prior to the Uvalde shooting.

Cornyn spokeswoman Natalie Yezbic said in an email Wednesday that there were “unexpected changes to our schedule” and “have to be in DC on Friday for personal reasons.”

Crenshaw’s chief of staff Justin Desigil said the congressman was unable to return from Kyiv, Ukraine, to attend the event.

Noem will speak on stage, a spokesman for the governor confirmed to CNBC. North Carolina’s Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson is also scheduled to speak at the event.

Noem, in a promotional video shared on the NRA’s social media over the weekend, articulates a quote from the late actor and former NRA leader, Charlton Heston: “Joe Biden, I’ll give you my gun when you take it from my cold dead.” Take out your hands.”

The White House said President Joe Biden, who criticized the “gun lobby” in a gloomy speech Tuesday night, will travel to Uvalde on Sunday to “mourn with the community” with First Lady Jill Biden.

An NRA spokesman did not immediately confirm who would speak at Friday’s event.

In a statement on Wednesday, the NRA extended its “deepest sympathies” to the victims and families affected by the “horrific and horrific crime”. The group said it would “pledge to double our commitment to making our schools safe.”

The most powerful gun-rights organization in the country, the NRA, has resisted most attempts to restrict firearm access—including expanding background checks on gun purchases, a plan most Democrats and gun-control activists support. Huh. Several bills to strengthen background checks passed in the Democrat-led House in 2019 but were stalled in the Senate.

Bipartisan talks on a potential gun law – which appear to focus on more stringent background checks and so-called red flag laws – resumed this week in the Senate. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. gave Cornyn the green light to negotiate with Democrats on proposals that the Texas senator believes would help stop the shootings in his state.

The NRA and some Republican lawmakers have suggested instead that America should strengthen safety in public places and focus on mental health, addressing gun violence without restricting gun ownership, among other proposals. For example, Cruz this week presented the idea that school buildings should have only one entrance which is guarded by an armed officer.

His critics say he ignores the crux of the logic issue. They often imply that mass shootings happen more common in the US Compared to other countries where guns are much less prevalent.

Those critics have turned aggressive following the massacre in Uvalde, 10 days after an 18-year-old white man was shot and killed in a racially motivated attack at a supermarket in a predominantly black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York. had come.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke in Texas on Wednesday crashed Abbott’s press conference and rebuked the governor for his handling of the mass shooting. After O’Rourke was escorted out of the room, Abbott called on the Americans to “not focus on themselves and their agenda,” but instead focus on healing.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y. called Abbott “a complete hoax” for “empty platitudes” on Thursday morning, while noting that the governor was set to speak at an NRA convention two days later.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a Democrat, said on thursday That his city could not cancel the NRA convention, which is due to last all weekend, because it would “leave the city subject to a number of legal issues.”

“The big question is why are elected officials speaking out there and what message does it send,” Turner said. “You can’t pray and send condolences one day and champion guns the next.”

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