NAACP urges Abbott to skip this week’s NRA conference
The NAACP is urging Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to skip his scheduled appearance at the National Rifle Association (NRA) conference this week following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
“You say you ‘don’t know the answer’ to the endless, senseless school shootings. We have the answer: gun regulations. Where do you begin? By skipping this week’s National Rifle Association conference,” NAACP President Derrick Johnson wrote in a letter to Abbott on Wednesday.
“Mass shootings are preventable. The evidence is undebatable: it is far too easy to access assault rifles in the United States, and certainly in Texas,” Johnson added. “The overwhelming majority of Americans want common-sense gun control, yet the NRA’s position on the Second Amendment offers no room for compromise and ambiguity.”
Johnson told Abbott that appearing at the NRA conference, slated to begin in Houston later this week, would be wrong as Texas mourns the 19 schoolchildren and two teachers gunned down in a classroom.
“Governor, your attendance at the event right after 19 innocent children were murdered by a gun sends a message that guns are more important than the lives you represent. Which is more important to you?” Johnson asked Abbott.
“We implore you to make the right decision. Do not attend. Instead, with grave urgency, enact common-sense gun control measures in your state that will save countless innocent lives, including those of children,” Johnson concluded in his letter.
The Hill has reached out to Abbott’s office for comment on the NAACP’s letter.
Abbott, who opposes gun control measures, issued a statement on Tuesday saying that “Texans are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime & for the community of Uvalde.”
Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke (D) called on Abbott earlier in the day to skip his appearance at the NRA summit, which is also slated to feature appearances from former President Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
“Governor Abbott, if you have any decency, you will immediately withdraw from this weekend’s NRA convention and urge them to hold it anywhere but Texas,” O’Rourke tweeted.
Trump said Wednesday he would still speak at the conference.
“America needs real solutions and real leadership in this moment, not politicians and partnership,” Trump said in a post made on his social media platform Truth Social.
“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!” he added.
In a previous statement, Johnson pressed lawmakers to take legislative action on gun rights, saying, “Don’t just post a tweet, pass a bill.”
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