- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Former President Donald Trump called Wednesday for bipartisan solutions following the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting and said to that end that he would not engage in political posturing on gun rights.

“America needs real solutions and real leadership in this moment, not politicians and partisanship. That’s why I will keep my longtime commitment to speak in Texas at the NRA Convention and deliver an important address to America,” Mr. Trump said. “In the meantime, we all continue to pray for the victims, their families, and for our entire nation — we are all in this together!”

Mr. Trump will address the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting on Friday in downtown Houston, just a 4 1/2-hour drive from Robb Elementary School, where 18-year-old Salvador Ramos killed 19 children and two adults.

The NRA released its own statement Wednesday afternoon offering the group’s sympathies and thanking law enforcement and school officials.

“Our deepest sympathies are with the families and victims involved in this horrific and evil crime. On behalf of our members, we salute the courage of school officials, first responders, and others who offered their support and services,” the group said.

The gun-rights group called the crime “the act of a lone, deranged criminal.”

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“As we gather in Houston, we will reflect on these events, pray for the victims, recognize our patriotic members, and pledge to redouble our commitment to making our schools secure,” the NRA said.

Mr. Trump had previously sent his personal condolences “to all who are suffering so gravely.”

“So hard to think or report about anything else after watching the Texas school ‘massacre’ which took place yesterday. Thank you to the great wisdom and bravery of our Law Enforcement Professionals, and condolences to all who are suffering so gravely with the loss of those incredible souls so close to you,” he said.

“No words can express the sorrow and grief of this absolutely horrible event. It is a moment in time which will never be forgotten!”

The former president will join other prominent Republican speakers at the NRA meeting, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas, Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.

The NRA endorsed Mr. Trump for president in 2016 and he first delivered remarks to NRA members at the organization’s annual convention that year.

Every year thereafter, other than 2021, he returned to the convention to be its top speaker.

The event will be at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston from Friday to Sunday.

The three-day event is expecting tens of thousands of NRA members in attendance and will feature more than 14 acres of displays of firearms, and shooting and hunting accessories.

• Kerry Picket can be reached at kpicket@washingtontimes.com.

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