Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.) demanded the disbandment of the NRA after the recent elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in which 19 children and two adults were killed. Taking that step — something for which New York state Attorney General Letitia James has actually already pushed in connection to financial corruption at the organization — would put a major dent in the pro-gun lobby in the U.S., the actions of which help drive gun policy allowing freer access to firearms like the weapon used in the Texas shooting.
“Two things are happening in Texas right now: 18 sets of parents are preparing to bury their children and the @NRA is preparing its annual convention. The NRA should cancel its convention, but it won’t – it’ll run the same playbook it has since Columbine,” Auchincloss said. (Early reports featured different numbers for the death toll from the tragedy.) “Will any politician who is planning to address the convention speak the plain truth to their craven power? The NRA has blood on its hands. It must be disbanded,” the Congressman subsequently added.
Beto O’Rourke, who formerly served as a Democratic Congressman from Texas and is now running for governor in the state, recently called out Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott for his plans to speak at the upcoming NRA convention. (Trump will also be there.) “Governor Abbott, if you have any decency, you will immediately withdraw from this weekend’s NRA convention and urge them to hold it anywhere but Texas,” O’Rourke said. Separately, O’Rourke confronted Texas Republican officials at a press conference in Uvalde this week following the shooting. At the press conference, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin angrily lashed out at O’Rourke — “I can’t believe you’re a sick son of a bitch that would come to a deal like this to make a political issue!” McLaughlin yelled. But it’s not merely a political issue! It’s the potential difference between people living or dying in incidents like what happened in Uvalde. The disconnection from reality needed for a statement like what McLaughlin said is astounding — and terribly destructive.
Governor Abbott, if you have any decency, you will immediately withdraw from this weekend’s NRA convention and urge them to hold it anywhere but Texas.
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) May 25, 2022
Unfortunately, a New York judge has already rejected AG Letitia James’s push for the NRA’s shutdown, although that judge allowed the state official’s lawsuit against the high-profile pro-gun organization over allegations of financial mismanagement (like, apparently, using organizational money for personal expenses) to move forward. That judge, besides other points, spoke of the possibility for shutting down the NRA to infringe on the constitutional rights to free speech and assembly held by the organization’s members. Meanwhile, singer Don McLean announced he’d no longer be going through with his scheduled appearance at the upcoming NRA convention. “In light of the recent events in Texas, I have decided it would be disrespectful and hurtful for me to perform for the NRA at their convention in Houston this week,” he said. When a singer shows more backbone than Republican government officials, that’s not a great sign. The bar is so low, and yet, (certain) Republicans have missed it.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) May 26, 2022