The National Rifle Association’s annual meeting begins Friday in Houston and runs through the weekend.
After the massacre in Uvalde Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX, 32nd District) criticized Republican leaders who were planning to speak at the convention including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw.
“It is a disgrace. These Republicans are choosing to attend the NRA convention when they should be in their respective legislatures doing everything in their power to prevent the next attack like this,” said Allred.
U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, (D-TX, 33rd District) sent a letter to the NRA (at the bottom of this page), asking them to cancel the annual meeting in Houston. Part of the letter said, "As a multigenerational Texan and gun owner, I am asking that you cancel your convention in light of the tragedy that occurred in Uvalde, some 275 miles away from your convention site."
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UVALDE MASS SHOOTING
There is increased scrutiny on the event after the tragedy in South Texas. While Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX 2nd District) were both expected to appear at the event on Friday, after the shooting they said they would not be attending the event due to other obligations.
"Prior to the tragedy today in Uvalde we had already informed the NRA he would not be able to speak due to an unexpected change in his schedule. He now has to be in D.C. for personal reasons on Friday," Cornyn's office told NBC 5.
Abbott was vague about his plans for Friday when asked about it during a briefing in Uvalde on Wednesday.
“As far as future plans are concerned, listen, I am living moment to moment right now. My heart, my head and my body are in Uvalde right now and I am here to help the people who are hurting,” said Abbott on Wednesday.
On Thursday, a spokesperson told NBC 5 that the governor would not be attending the NRA event, but will be addressing the convention by a taped video.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer lambasted Abbott Thursday morning for his remarks that people should put aside their agendas in the wake of the deadliest school shooting in Texas history while planning to speak at an NRA Convention in Houston Friday.
The NRA said in a statement on its website, “Our deepest sympathies are with the families and victims involved in this horrific and evil crime. On behalf of our members, we salute the courage of school officials, first responders and others who offered their support and services. Although an investigation is underway and facts are still emerging, we recognize this was the act of a lone, deranged criminal. As we gather in Houston, we will reflect on these events, pray for the victims, recognize our patriotic members, and pledge to redouble our commitment to making our schools secure.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, meanwhile, confirmed he is attending the convention.
“We are seeing way too many of these horrific mass murders,” said Cruz.
Speaking after the shooting happened, Cruz said restricting the rights of others isn't a solution.
"You know, inevitably when there's a murder of this kind, you see politicians try to politicize it. You see Democrats and a lot of folks in the media whose immediate solution is to try to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. That does not work,” said Cruz earlier in the week.
Allred was asked about those comments.
“For him to say that we are going after law-abiding gun owners, this has nothing to do with law-abiding gun owners. No one is discussing that. There is no discussion around that. We are talking about trying to keep weapons of war out of the hands of an 18-year-old who doesn’t go into a classroom and kill 19 children and two teachers,” said Allred.