The NRA is having its annual meeting this weekend in Houston—which is, admittedly, not ideal in the wake of this week’s mass shooting of children at a Uvalde elementary school.
There will be a number of prominent speakers at the conference, including former President Donald Trump, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Naturally, the event has sent liberals into a tizzy, and the usual suspects have crawled out from under their respective rocks to call not only for peaceful protests at the NRA meeting but apparently violent ones as well.
Foremost among the latter was Bette Midler, whose tweet asking protestors to “come armed” to the protest is raising a few eyebrows.
AT THE GEORGE R BROWN CONVENTION CENTER IN HOUSTON TEXAS, THIS WEEKEND. Come armed. https://t.co/QNUJkLGEqh
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) May 25, 2022
“AT THE GEORGE R BROWN CONVENTION CENTER IN HOUSTON TEXAS, THIS WEEKEND,” she wrote. “Come armed.”
This was in response to another user who had written, “PEOPLE SHOULD SHOW UP AND PROTEST AT THIS CONFERENCE.” Both tweets are notable for the consistent use of ALL CAPS, suggesting that their authors were shouting with vein-popping rage while typing—another indication if more were needed, that Twitter does not have a salutary effect on mental health.
The NRA, for its part, released a statement deploring the horrific events of Tuesday—something that would be unnecessary in a saner society, since it is an organization strictly dedicated to the lawful exercise of a constitutionally-protected civil right, and is no more responsible for criminal activities than are the video game designers and Hollywood filmmakers who celebrate violence.
— NRA (@NRA) May 25, 2022
“Our deepest sympathies are with the families and victims involved in this horrific and evil crime,” the statement read. “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,” the statement continued, “we recognize this was the act of a lone, deranged criminal.”
Alas, the NRA’s statement is unlikely to deter anyone. Even Bill Kristol, the chief of the “Never Trumpers” himself, has joined the hue and cry.
With the NRA’s annual meeting later this week in Houston, and with Trump, Abbott, et al speaking, could the opponents of accepting mass murders stage a peaceful demonstration/protest/counter-rally that could highlight the true extremism of the GOP, and not just in TX, on guns?
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) May 25, 2022
“[C]ould the opponents of accepting mass murders stage a peaceful demonstration/protest/counter-rally that could highlight the true extremism of the GOP, and not just in TX, on guns?” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, Trump has confirmed he will still be attending the conference.
“America needs real solutions and real leadership in this moment, not politicians and partisanship,” he wrote on his new social media network 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!”
As for the scurrilous rumor that the NRA has hypocritically banned guns and other weapons from the convention hall—that’s actually a Secret Service request and pertains only to Trump’s time speaking at the center.
NPR: Guns are banned during Trump's speech at the NRA conference this week
“Secret Service is taking control of the hall during Trump's speech and is prohibiting attendees from having firearms, firearms accessories and knives” https://t.co/Y302Py3qET
— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) May 25, 2022
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