The Trump administration continues to pursue its own personal agenda, while the rest of the nation grapples with serious issues like rampant gun violence. An extremely high profile atrocity earlier this year pushed that issue even more into the spotlight than it was before, when, this past February, seventeen people were killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Even still, the president and his allies’ allegiance remains with pro-gun causes. In the wake of the Parkland shooting, as one example of this, the White House unveiled a plan to address school safety that didn’t actually include any new legislation. Among the items that it did provide for was the creation of a commission led by Betsy “bears are coming” DeVos to find ways to improve school safety.
Now, as another slap in the face to those advocating for common sense gun control, Vice President Mike Pence has been revealed to be headlining the annual NRA convention this year, which will be held next month in Dallas, Texas. The specific event he will be speaking at will see him be joined by fellow speakers like Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz.
The NRA has poured millions upon millions of dollars into Republican campaigns over the years, while maintaining a stance that’s so toxic that, on a day of mass protests in honor of the Parkland victims, the organization posted an image of the type of weapon used in the attack and captioned it, “I’ll control my own guns, thank you.”
What kind of person do you have to be to think that doing such a thing is a good idea?
Evidently, if you can get behind such a platform, then you’re exactly the kind of person who the vice president wants around him.
The vice president will be speaking at the convention the year after President Donald Trump did so. The NRA, during the 2016 presidential race, spent about $11 million on behalf of the Trump/Pence candidacy, so not only is the vice president making an ideologically repugnant step in going to the convention, he’s making an ethically repugnant one as well.
Executive Director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action Chris Cox commented of the vice president’s visit:
‘It’s an honor to have Vice President Pence address our members in Dallas. He is a lifetime supporter of the second Amendment, and he has a long a record of fighting to defend our freedoms.’
On the other side, pro-common sense gun control interests remain vehemently opposed to the vice president participating in the upcoming convention.
A petition serving as a rallying point for such interests on MoveOn.Org reads, in part:
‘Despite some of the most shocking mass shootings in American history, Mike Pence thinks it’s a good idea to be a headliner at the NRA’s convention in Dallas on May 4. It’s sad that Pence is so dismissive of the American lives lost in Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, and Parkland — not to mention the thousands of people killed every month by gun violence.’
Meanwhile, the largely student-led recently recent push for common sense gun control continues to find its expression through such means as the “March for Our Lives” held recently in D.C. and a recent round of school walkouts meant to commemorate the anniversary of the mass shooting at Columbine High School in 1999.
Featured Image via Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images