NRA holds annual convention in Houston three days after Uvalde shooting

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As the NRA holds its annual meeting this weekend, the umpteenth Uvalde primary school shooting on May 24 highlights the political paralysis on the issue of gun control, which has always prevented the adoption of a restrictive law at the federal level.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is holding its annual meeting this weekend. Coincidentally, it is in Houston, Texas, that the powerful pro-gun lobby meets, a few hours drive from Uvalde Elementary School, where 18-year-old killed 19 children and two female teachers on May 24.

A crowd of firearms enthusiasts, mostly white men, gathered around the convention center on Friday, our correspondent in Texas notes, Thomas Harmswhile outside the building protesters gathered with signs calling for a ban on assault rifles or asking to “ stop killing children “. Questioned by our journalist, a young father told him that the demonstrators ” didn’t understand anything “, believing of” false information relayed by fake media “.

The NRA sympathizers were already, this Friday, ten or twenty thousand to have met in Houston. 50,000 in total are expected for this weekend. In front of them, a few thousand demonstrators. Several speakers have already canceled their visit to Congress, such as Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who only recorded a video, and his deputy Dan Patrick. Remaining alongside Donald Trump are Conservative State Senator Ted Cruz and Attorney General Ted Paxton. On the side of opponents of the NRA, it was Democrat Beto O’Rourke, a former elected official from El Paso who also experienced a similar shooting in 2019, who took the podium to speak directly to members of the NRA. . ” You are not our enemies, and we are not yours, did he declare. But we can no longer wait for you to act. »

The faint hopes of a consensus between Democrats and Republicans

A small group of Republican and Democratic senators also met urgently, hoping to find a compromise to advance the legislation. The discussions must continue despite the long holiday weekend. Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, chairman of the Senate Republicans, made a personal commitment by asking Texan John Cornyn to work for a compromise with the Democrats. The two parties could agree on one point: encourage states to pass so-called red flag or “alarm signal”, which allow law enforcement and judges to prevent people presenting a danger from keeping their weapons. Encourage, also, checks before arms purchases.

For a text to pass in the Senate, 10 elected Republicans must add their voices to those of the Democrats. Nineteen states already have a “red flag” law, but it’s not a panacea, says Republican Cornyn. The racist Buffalo shooting, which left 10 dead on May 14has also taken place in the state of New York, which has one of the strictest gun control laws, underlines another Republican senator.

The adoption of a text at the federal level would be a step forward, but supporters of arms control are under no illusions. As recently as Friday, Republican senators blocked legislation to strengthen the federal fight against domestic terrorism, including gun control.

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