The US gun lobby plans to meet for an annual event just three days after the school shooting in Texas on Friday. While ex-President Donald Trump appears as a guest star, the Texas governor is said to have canceled his participation. The manufacturer of the assault rifle used in the crime also prefers not to advertise its products.
Just three days after the school massacre that left 21 dead in the small Texas town of Uvalde, the annual meeting of the US gun lobby organization, the National Rifle Association (NRA), begins on Friday. Numerous conservative Republican politicians will appear at the three-day event in the Texan city of Houston, including former President Donald Trump. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the manufacturer of the gun used in the killing spree declined to attend the meeting.
According to US media reports, Abbott has canceled its participation in the event. He will speak via recorded video at the NRA meeting instead of speaking himself as planned. The politician justified his cancellation by attending a press conference in the massacre site of Uvalde. Abbott’s cancellation comes as the massacre has reignited the national debate over access to firearms.
The Republican governor has been criticized for opposing tougher gun laws. At an earlier Abbott press conference on the killing spree, there was a political scandal. Democrat Beto O’Rourke interrupted Abbott’s ongoing press conference on Wednesday and accused him of not doing anything about rampant gun violence in the United States. Abbott argued that stricter laws were not the answer to preventing acts like the one at Uvalde.
The manufacturer of the assault rifle used in the Texas school massacre is also not attending the annual meeting. “We believe that this week is not the right time to promote our products at the NRA convention in Texas,” AR-15 rifle maker Daniel Defense told AFP.
The NRA has been instrumental in preventing the passage of stricter firearms regulations in the United States time and time again. The manufacturer Daniel Defense had previously pledged its full support in the investigation into Tuesday’s massacre.
A week before the attack, the company tweeted an image showing a young boy sitting on the ground with an assault rifle while an adult pointed his finger at the gun. “Raise a child to walk the way it is meant to walk – and when it grows up it will not deviate from it,” reads the caption accompanying the picture.
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