NRA Convention Begins, Trump to Speak Friday (Mark Humphrey/AP File)
By Eric Mack | Thursday, 26 May 2022 08:40 PM
Despite calls for a delay, a move or an outright cancellation of the National Rifle Association convention this weekend in Houston, the show will go on, starting Thursday — with former President Donald Trump vowing to keep his speaking date Friday.
The call for a move of the convention come after Tuesday's mass shooting at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school that left 19 children and two fourth grade teachers dead.
''Our deepest sympathies are with the families and victims involved in this horrific and evil crime,'' the NRA wrote in a statement in advance of the meetings Friday through Sunday. ''On behalf of our members, we salute the courage of school officials, first responders, and others who offered their support and services.
''Although an investigation is underway and facts are still emerging, we recognize this was the act of a lone, deranged criminal.''
The NRA vowed to use its platform to advocate for securing the safety of children in schools nationwide.
''As we gather in Houston, we will reflect on these events, pray for the victims, recognize our patriotic members, and pledge to redouble our commitment to making our schools secure,'' the statement concluded.
Trump has vowed to deliver his planned speech Friday at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston during the leadership forum between 2 and 4 p.m. local time (3 to 5 p.m. Eastern time).
''America needs real solutions and real leadership in this moment, not politicians and partisanship,'' Trump wrote Wednesday from his Truth Social account. ''That's why I will keep my longtime commitment to speak in Texas at the NRA Convention 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 — we are all in this together!''
Among the other leadership forum speakers are Republicans including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas and North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, according to the NRA.