So close to the drama, so little concerned. Thousands of people flocked to Houston (Texas), Friday, May 27, on the occasion of the annual convention of the National Rifle Association (NRA), the main American arms lobby. Three days after the killing in the primary school of Uvalde, 450 kilometers away, a form of gravity imposed itself on the participants, without influencing their convictions one notch. They celebrated their talisman, the controversial Second Amendment to the Constitution, protecting the right to be armed. Planned over three days, the program of the event is dense: a hunters’ dinner, a law seminar, a forum for committed women, a vast exhibition hall with pistols, assault rifles and state-of-the-art hunting rifles. And then, distinguished guests, starting with former President Donald Trump, a regular on this stage.
At the podium, Friday, the minute of silence in memory of the victims of Uvalde lasted ten seconds. Either a brief interlude between the pleas pro domo. Wayne LaPierre, president of the NRA, called the perpetrator of the killings a “criminal monster”. He spoke of too lax justice, a broken mental health system, insufficient protection for schools, but rejected any questioning of the “fundamental human right” of all citizens to protect themselves.
At the end of the afternoon, Donald Trump took the floor. He began by listing the names of these “beautiful people” what the victims of the Robb school were, each followed by a resounding gong, absolutely surreal, before congratulating themselves on this moment of silence, which was not one. Doubling adjectives to denounce the author of the killing in Uvalde, “doomed to burn forever in the fires of hell”, Donald Trump repeated the hackneyed recipes of the pro-gun movement: more metal detectors, more guards and armed police in schools. More training in security services to deal with shooters in action. More psychiatric care. No limitation to the Second Amendment. In a rhetorical reversal, the ex-president accused Democrats of pushing “a far-left political agenda”adding: “The United States has 40 billion dollars [37,2 milliards d’euros] sent to Ukraine, we must be able to do what is necessary to protect our children. »
Doctrinaire Reading of the Second Amendment
Outside the building where the convention was being held, hundreds of angry demonstrators denounced the gun lobby. The Uvalde massacre, in which Salvador Ramos, 18, murdered nineteen children and two adults, recalls the responsibilities of industrialists in the sector and their main promoter, the NRA. A powerful organization despite waning influence, supporting Republican candidates (nearly $29 million in 2020), it did not consider canceling its rally. Faced with numerous legal complaints and competition from even more radical pro-arms associations, the NRA does not want to project a feeling of vulnerability. She therefore refuses to discuss a ban on weapons of war, such as automatic rifles, in the name of a doctrinaire reading of the second amendment.
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