After Uvalde, Trump, Cruz to Speak at NRA Event in Houston

'It's not the time,' Dem Rep. Sheila Lee says of annual NRA meeting also set to feature Abbott
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2022 8:26 AM CDT
After Uvalde, Trump, Cruz to Speak at NRA Event in Houston
Former President Trump speaks at a rally at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on April 23, 2022, in Delaware, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Joe Maiorana, File)

(Newser) – As more details emerge on Tuesday's mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where the death toll has been updated to include 19 children and two adults, the Houston Chronicle reports that the National Rifle Association's annual meeting is set to take place a few hours away this weekend. The gathering at Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center, set to take place Thursday through Sunday, is expected to draw 55,000 people, according to the government firm that operates the center. Among the Republicans scheduled to speak are Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, as well as former President Trump. "Make plans now to join fellow Second Amendment patriots for a freedom-filled weekend for the entire family as we celebrate Freedom, Firearms, and the Second Amendment!" the group's website reads. Some, including Democratic Texas Rep. Sheila Lee, are calling on the NRA to cancel the event. "It's not the time," she noted Tuesday. More on the shooting:

  • A congressman's rage: Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona had a curt message for the firearms group, per the Daily Beast. "F--- you @NRA," the US Marine combat veteran tweeted Tuesday evening. Gallego also responded angrily to a news report about Cruz noting that some were trying to "politicize" the shooting and push for new gun-safety laws. "F--- you @tedcruz you care about a fetus but you will let our children get slaughtered," Gallego wrote. "Just get your ass to Cancun. You are useless."

  • 'Sad update': Family members waiting in anguish at a nearby civic center in Uvalde for news of their loved ones were asked "one by one" to provide DNA swabs to help identify the injured and dead, a KHOU reporter noted. Citing Interpol, Insider reports that DNA is often used to identify disaster victims when bodies are "not immediately identifiable."
  • Shows of support: Those who've been through mass shootings themselves offered messages of solidarity on Tuesday, per CNN. There is "an army of survivors" to help the Uvalde community get through this, says Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, was killed in the 2018 Parkland massacre. Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan, 6, was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, advised parents who lost a child in Tuesday's massacre that they can find joy in life again: "It's possible, but it sure as heck isn't easy. I have a surviving son who I love with my whole life. He brings me joy."
  • More on the shooter: Multiple sources offer details to the Washington Post on what they know about the gunman, an 18-year-old who was killed by police at the scene of the shooting. Friends and family say he came from "a fraught home life" and had experienced bullying over having a stutter and lisp. He's said to have started posting images of firearms on his social media about a year ago.
  • More on the victims: Among those killed in Uvalde were fourth-grade teacher Eva Mireles, a mom of one who an aunt tells ABC7 had worked for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District for 17 years. Also dead were three fourth-graders: 8-year-old Uziyah Garcia, described by his grandfather as the "sweetest little boy that I've ever known," per the AP; Xavier Lopez, 10, whose mom was with him at the school at an awards ceremony just hours before the shooting, per KSAT; and Amerie Jo Garza, 10, whose dad told ABC News in a statement: "My little love is now flying high with the angels above. Please don't take a second for granted. Hug your family. Tell them you love them. I love you Amerie Jo."
(Read more Uvalde mass shooting stories.)

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