Former President Donald Trump has urged schools across the country to do a “security overhaul” — installing fences, metal detectors, armed guards and “highly qualified” teachers with concealed weapons — while speaking at the NRA’s annual convention in Houston.
He also called for other reforms, including stricter school discipline systems and “making it much easier to incarcerate the violent and insane in psychiatric institutions.”
“The existence of evil in our world is not a reason to disarm law-abiding citizens — the existence of evil is one of the very best reasons to arm law-abiding citizens,” Trump said.
The always politically contentious NRA gathering will face extra scrutiny this year in light of the deadly massacre earlier this week in Uvalde, Texas, in which an 18-year-old gunman stormed Robb Elementary School, killing 21 people, including 19 children.
Scores of protesters gathered near the George R. Brown Convention Center on Friday as participants meandered through “14 acres of the latest weapons and equipment” inside.
The NRA appeared to be canceling their “Grand Ol’ Night of Freedom” concert scheduled for Saturday after virtually all of the artists had withdrawn. As of Friday, country singer Jacob Bryant appeared to be the only musician yet to attend, despite being on Twitter specified that Thursday’s event had been wiped out.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also backed out of a scheduled in-person appearance, opting to hold a press conference in Uvalde. (Instead, he sent a pre-recorded video message.) Rep. Dan Crenshaw also withdrew – citing a conflict with his trip to Ukraine – as did Senator John Cornyn for “personal reasons.”
Trump and conservative Texas Sen. Ted Cruz chose not to cancel.
“Unlike some others, I didn’t disappoint you by not showing up,” said Trump, who was greeted with “USA USA USA!” chants. before his speech began.
At the conference, the NRA attempted to portray the tragedy as an isolated incident caused by what CEO Wayne LaPierre put it by one of the few “hateful vile monsters.” Trump said the shooter would be “forever doomed to burn in the fires of hell.” A number of speakers urged more safety in schools rather than additional gun control laws.
“What stops armed bad guys is armed good guys,” Cruz said.
In Abbott’s video, he reiterated that message, saying, “There are thousands of laws across the country restricting the possession or use of firearms, laws that have not stopped lunatics from committing evil deeds.” He argued that the shooter Von Uvalde committed a crime before the attack even began by illegally bringing a firearm onto school campus – proof, Abbott said, that gun restrictions didn’t work either.
The company that made the shooter’s weapon, Daniel Defense, had planned to attend the convention but abruptly changed course this week. The gunmaker known for enthusiastically promoting its guns — like a May ad featuring a young child holding an “AR-15 style” rifle — had attendees “GIVEAWAYS, DEMOS, CELEBRITY APPEARANCES & MORE !” promised!
The company said after Tuesday’s shooting that it would cooperate with law enforcement in any investigation and offered its “thoughts and prayers…to the families and community devastated by this evil act.”
The NRA spent tens of millions of dollars to advance Trump in 2016, according to a joint report by OpenSecrets, a campaign finance nonprofit, and a journalism nonprofit The track. The company was in a much worse financial position leading up to the 2020 race, but it still paid out millions of dollars for Trump again.
Earlier this year, amid efforts by the New York Attorney General to disband the NRA over alleged self-dealing and other wrongdoing, the group attempted to file for bankruptcy, but a federal judge rejected the plan.
Tensions remain high in Texas as officials have given conflicting details about the massacre, including why it took law enforcement more than an hour to kill the shooter, even though officers arrived at the school just minutes after the attack began.
In her speech, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem called on NRA members to resist gun control efforts despite the upheaval. “Now we’re doubling down,” she said.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/donald-trump-says-existence-of-evil-is-reason-to-arm-teachers-at-nra-convention-houston?source=articles&via=rss Donald Trump says ‘existence of evil’ is reason to arm teachers at NRA Houston conference