Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) will speak at the National Rifle Association convention this weekend, just days after the deadly Uvalde school shooting in the same state.
“I’m going to be there because what Democrats and the press try to do in the wake of every mass shooting is they try to demonize law-abiding gun owners, try to demonize the NRA,” Cruz told a local CBS affiliate on Thursday.
#NEW In Uvalde, @tedcruz told @cbs11ken he’s going to address @NRA convention in Houston. “I’m going to be there because what Democrats and the press try to do in the wake of every mass shooting is they try to demonize law-abiding gun owners, try to demonize the NRA.” @CBSDFW pic.twitter.com/nMg807fLES— Jack Fink (@cbs11jack) May 26, 2022
A gunman killed 19 elementary school students and two teachers at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday — the 137th school shooting to take place in the United States in 2022 so far.
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Cruz was slammed online Tuesday after tweeting he was "fervently lifting up in prayer the children and families in the horrific shooting in Uvalde."
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) cursed Cruz out for identifying himself as an anti-abortion lawmaker and pushing for the reversal of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortions nationwide, but not taking more steps to fight mass shootings, calling Cruz "useless."
In addition to Cruz, former President Donald Trump, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, and North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson are all scheduled to attend the three-day event. "American Pie" singer-songwriter Don McLean withdrew from performing at the event on Thursday, saying performing at the convention right after the shooting would have been "disrespectful and hurtful."
Two Texas Republicans in Congress, Rep. Dan Crenshaw and Sen. John Cornyn, pulled out of the event, though both cited reasons not related to the Uvalde shooting.
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The NRA released a statement Wednesday afternoon giving its "deepest sympathies" to the families and victims involved in the shooting.
"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 said.