Abbott drops out of the NRA conference and goes to Uvalde instead

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will not appear in person at the National Rifle Association convention in Houston on Friday, instead traveling to Uvalde, where earlier this week a deranged gunman murdered 19 children and two teachers. Instead, the governor will deliver a pre-recorded speech, a spokesman for his campaign said.

“Gov. Abbott will be making comments about recorded video at the NRA conference,” said Mark Miner, Abbott campaign spokesman, in a expression. “He will go to Uvalde today.”

Abbott was one of several prominent Republican officials scheduled to attend the conference along with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former President Donald Trump. His decision to withdraw from the event follows widespread criticism by Democrats of Republican officials and the NRA for defying gun control legislation after an 18-year-old gunman legally purchased and then used two rifles to carry out a massacre at Robb Elementary School.

At a news conference on the mass shootings on Wednesday, Abbott’s Democratic opponent in the upcoming election, Beto O’Rourke, berated the governor and accused him of “doing nothing” to prevent future mass shootings. Earlier that day, O’Rourke urged Abbott to “immediately withdraw from this weekend’s NRA conference and urge them to hold it anywhere but Texas.”

Some other high profile personalities have fell out at the convention, including singers Larry Gatlin and Don McLean. Gun manufacturer Daniel Defense, the company that made the rifle used in shooting, also has it pulled out the NRA event.

Trump said Wednesday that he still plans to speak in person at the convention.

“America right now needs real solutions and real leadership, not politicians and partisanship,” the former president wrote on his social media website Truth Social. “As a result, I will stand by my long-standing commitment to speak at the NRA conference in Texas and deliver an important address to America. In the meantime, we all continue to pray for the victims, their families, and for our entire nation – all of us in this together.”

On Wednesday, the NRA released a expression to express its “deepest condolences” to the families of the victims of “this appalling and vicious crime”.

“Although an investigation is ongoing and facts are still emerging, we recognize that this was the act of a lone criminal with a mental disorder,” the NRA said. “As we gather in Houston, we will reflect on these events, pray for the victims, recognize our patriotic members and commit to redoubling our commitment to keeping our schools safe.” Abbott drops out of the NRA conference and goes to Uvalde instead

Laura Coffey

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