In Texas, the NRA, the main pro-arms lobby in the United States, opens its annual meeting

The powerful American pro-arms lobby (NRA) is organizing its annual high mass on Friday May 27 in Texas and for four days, just three days after the killing in a school in this American state which left twenty-one dead – nineteen children and two teachers. After this massacre perpetrated by an 18-year-old teenager, the NRA contented itself with denouncing, on Thursday, the act “of an isolated and deranged criminal”while clearing himself of any responsibility in the killing.

According to the powerful lobby, the participants in the big meeting “will think” to what happened in Uvalde, and “will pray for the victims”. But the holding of this convention on the scheduled date despite this new massacre sparked controversy, prompting several politicians and artists to cancel their visit. The Republican Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has therefore decided not to go there and will instead give a press conference in the bereaved city.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers In Uvalde, Texas, the story of a sadly classic American massacre

Absence of the Republican governor of Texas

Mr. Abott, a great defender of the right to possess a firearm and candidate for his re-election this year, will speak all the same in front of the members of the NRA in a video recorded upstream, specified one of his spokespersons to the log Dallas Morning News. His assistant, Dan Patrick, will also not show up in order to avoid “to add to the pain of families”.

Daniel Defense, the manufacturer of the assault rifle used in the killings, also announced on Thursday that he was giving up participating in the annual convention of the first arms lobby. “Daniel Defense will not be attending the National Rifle Association rally [NRA] because of the horrific tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, where one of our products was criminally diverted”announced a spokesperson to Agence France-Presse (AFP). “We believe it is inappropriate to promote our products in Texas at the NRA rally this week”he added.

Read also: Texas shooting: what we know about the shooting at a Texas elementary school, where 19 children were killed

Country stars have also chosen not to come. Among them, the singer Don McLean, known for his song American Piewho judged that it would be “disrespectful” for him to perform there. Artist Lee Greenwood, whose patriotic hit God Bless the USA pace the meetings of Donald Trump, also canceled his concert.

Firearms prohibited in the room

The influential conservative senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, will however be present, as will Donald Trump, who received tens of millions of dollars from the NRA for his two presidential campaigns.

The former tenant of the White House felt that the United States had “need real solutions and real leadership in this time, not politicians and partisan considerations”. “That’s why I will honor my long-standing commitment to speak at the NRA convention in Texas.”he said, promising “an important speech to the American people”.

Read also: Shooting in Texas: the attitude of the police questioned

The NRA, which claims 5 million members, said that to ensure his safety for the former head of state, who is to speak at Congress, firearms would be prohibited in the room.

Outside the building, opponents gathered with signs calling for a ban on assault rifles. Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who will face Greg Abbott in November’s gubernatorial election, is expected to join them. In an unusual scene, a sign of growing tension over the issue of weapons, he interrupted the governor on Wednesday, in the middle of a press conference, accusing him of being responsible for the tragedy.

A scourge impossible to stem?

The shooting, described as “new Sandy Hook” in the American press, in reference to the appalling massacre committed in a Connecticut elementary school in 2012, has awakened the traumas of America. The images of the faces of the very young victims, aged 11, 10 and 9, broadcast on television on a loop, and the testimonies of their collapsed relatives have moved the country, reigniting a wave of calls for better regulation of firearms .

In the United States, school shootings are a recurring scourge that successive governments have so far been powerless to stem. The debate on gun regulation in the country is almost on hold, given the lack of hope that Congress will pass an ambitious national law on the issue. The “March for Our Lives” movement, created after the Parkland shootings in February 2018, called for a large rally on June 11 in Washington to demand tougher gun regulations.

The World with AFP

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