O’Rourke: People at NRA convention ‘not our enemy’
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke spoke at a pro-gun control rally outside the National Rifle Association (NRA) convention on Friday, where he urged NRA supporters and the protesters to not see each other as the enemy.
“To those who are attending the NRA convention across the street, you are not our enemies. We are not yours,” O’Rourke said.
The NRA has been facing backlash for hosting its convention in Texas after a deadly elementary school shooting on Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 children and two teachers.
Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) pulled out of his scheduled appearance at the event after many, including O’Rourke, said it would be insensitive for him to go.
“We are extending our hand open and unarmed in a gesture of peace and fellowship to welcome you to join us, to make sure this no longer happens in this country,” O’Rourke said at the protest across the street from the convention.
O’Rourke and other Democrats re-upped calls for stricter gun control since the Texas school shooting and shooting at supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo, N.Y., that killed 10 people earlier this month.
The former presidential candidate made headlines earlier this week when he approached Abbott during a press conference in Uvalde on the shooting.
“You are doing nothing,” O’Rourke said, addressing Abbott. “You said this was not predictable, this was totally predictable, and you choose not to do anything.”
The shootings have spurred talks in the Senate about potential gun control measures, and Republicans in the upper chamber have appeared open to discussions. However, it is uncertain if legislation will pass as a result of the talks.
“The time for you to respond and join us is now. We cannot wait any longer for you. Those who will be the victims of the next mass shooting unless we act are counting on us at this moment so please join us now or be left behind,” O’Rourke said.
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