Former President Donald J. Trump rejected calls to cancel his speech at the National Rifle Association convention in Houston which came only days after the murderous rampage by a gunman who slaughtered 19 children and two teachers in their classroom, then he delivered a rousing address in which he honored the victims and defended the right to bear arms.
Trump was unapologetic while the pressure from media and noisy activists was too much for some who were scheduled to appear at the convention, including country music star Lee Greenwood whose anthem “God Bless the USA” is regularly played before Trump rallies and singer Don McLean whose iconic “American Pie” is one of the most recognizable songs of the last half-century who both caved and ran up the white flag.
During a Thursday call-in to former Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka on his radio show, Trump said, “You know I’m making a speech at the NRA in Houston and it’ll be very interesting time to be making such a speech, frankly, and then on Saturday night, I’m going to Wyoming to campaign against Liz Cheney who’s absolutely atrocious, the job she’s done,” referring the malicious actor who teamed up with Democrats on the January 6 committee.
“On Friday night, I’ll be in Houston and we’ll be making a speech and discussing a lot of the things which you would agree to,” he added, “and you know, you have to protect, you have to protect your Second Amendment, you have to give that Second Amendment great protection because without it, we would be a very dangerous country, frankly.”
Trump on his NRA speech tonight: “Interesting time to be making such a speech, frankly .. You have to give that Second Amendment great protection because, without it, we would be a very dangerous country.” pic.twitter.com/uMOXbzfsrJ
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) May 27, 2022
On Friday afternoon, Trump took the stage at the George R. Brown Convention Center to the missing Greenwood’s epic patriotic song, receiving an enthusiastic welcome from the crowd.
Early in his speech, the former and possibly future president asked for a brief moment of silence before reading the names of the slain students and their heroic teachers whose “lives were destroyed by an out of control lunatic,” as a bell tolled after each name.
(Video: YouTube/Fox 26 Houston)
Trump had strong words for the evildoer who opened fire on the room full of helpless victims at Robb Elementary School.
“Each precious young soul that was taken is an incomprehensible loss, literally not comprehensible, stolen from us by a malice that no words can describe, sickness,” he said. “The monster who committed this crime is pure evil, pure cruelty, pure hatred, absolute pure hatred and while those he slaughtered are now with God in Heaven, he will be eternally damned to burn in the fires of Hell.”
He also called out Democrats who have exploited the tragedy to promote their anti-gun zealotry.
“Now is the time to find common ground. Sadly before the sun had even set on the horrible day of tragedy, we witnessed a now-familiar parade of cynical politicians seeking to exploit the tears of sobbing families to increase their own power and take away our constitutional rights,” he said. “Every time a disturbed or demented person commits such a hideous crime, there’s always a grotesque effort by some in our society to use the suffering of others to advance their own political agenda.”
“Even more repulsive is their rush to shift blame away from the villains who commit acts of mass violence and to place that blame onto the shoulders of millions of peaceful, law-abiding citizens who belong to organizations such as our wonderful NRA,” he continued. “When Joe Biden blamed the gun lobby, he was talking about Americans like you and along with countless other Democrats this week he was shamefully suggesting that Republicans are somehow ok with letting school shootings happen. They’re not ok with it.”
“This rhetoric is highly divisive and dangerous and most importantly it’s wrong, it has no place in our politics,” Trump said.
Other highlights from Trump’s NRA address included a defense of the Second Amendment even as the White House and Congress move to exploit the tragedy in Uvalde to begin to dismantle it.
“We can never forget that we have a right to our Second Amendment which is under siege, but we will prevail, we will prevail,” he said. “As our Bill of Rights says in those clear and immortal words: ‘The right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.'”
The former president called for schools to be the “single hardest target in our country” as he called for teachers to be permitted to carry concealed firearms to protect children from monsters like Salvador Ramos.
Trump also jabbed Republican politicians who bowed to the mob and declined to show, while not mentioning them by name, but missing in action was Rep. Dan Crenshaw who was in Ukraine, Sen. John Cornyn who is dickering with Senate Democrats on gun control legislation, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott who did address the crowd remotely.
“I’m honored to be here in the great state of Texas, with the wonderful patriots of the NRA. And unlike some, I didn’t disappoint you by not showing up. Got to show up,” he said.
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