WASHINGTON, United States — Former US president Donald Trump said Wednesday he will still address a convention of the pro-gun rights National Rifle Association in Texas this week, even after an elementary school shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead.
Trump is scheduled to address the powerful gun lobby’s annual meeting on Friday in Houston.
“America needs real solutions and real leadership at this moment, not politicians and partisanship,” Trump said on his social media network, Truth Social.
“That’s why I will keep my longstanding commitment to speak in Texas at the NRA Convention and deliver an important address to America,” Trump said.
Trump’s plans and words place him in direct opposition to President Joe Biden, who said after the shooting Tuesday that America must take on the NRA and enact meaningful gun reform laws.
“When in God’s name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?” Biden asked, his voice slow and heavy with emotion, in an address to the nation Tuesday evening in the wake of the shooting.
The assault in Uvalde follows a series of deadly mass shootings in the United States this month: the most recent was on May 14 when an 18-year-old self-declared white supremacist shot 10 people dead at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.
Despite recurring mass-casualty shootings, multiple initiatives to reform gun regulations have failed in the US Congress, leaving state and local governments to strengthen — or weaken — their own restrictions.