After Uvalde massacre, Gov. Greg Abbott cancels NRA appearance but still provides recorded message

Despite a steep rise in mass shootings in 2021, the GOP-controlled Texas Legislature passed seven pieces of legislation last year easing firearms restrictions.

click to enlarge Their master's voice: Gov. Greg Abbott listens intently as NRA chief Wayne LaPierre speaks during a 2021 ceremony where the governor signed seven bills easing firearms regulations. - Sanford Nowlin
Sanford Nowlin
Their master's voice: Gov. Greg Abbott listens intently as NRA chief Wayne LaPierre speaks during a 2021 ceremony where the governor signed seven bills easing firearms regulations.
Gov. Greg Abbott has scrapped his appearance at the National Rifle Association’s convention in Houston so he can appear in Uvalde, where a gunman killed 21 people Tuesday in the worst school shooting in state history, the Texas Tribune reports.

However, the Republican governor — who's made a series of hard-right moves as he faces reelection this fall — will provide prerecorded remarks for the gathering, according to the Tribune, citing a spokesperson for Abbott's office.

The Uvalde shooting rampage, which claimed the lives of 19 elementary school children and two teachers, has rekindled national outrage over Republican lawmakers' efforts to block legislation aimed at strengthening firearms background checks and limiting access to certain weapons.

Despite a steep rise in mass shootings in 2021, the GOP-controlled Texas Legislature passed seven pieces of legislation last year easing firearms restrictions. The most controversial, signed by Abbott last summer during a ceremony at the Alamo, allowed Texans to carry handguns without a license or training.

This week, both Beto O'Rourke, Abbott's Democratic challenger in the November election, and NAACP president Derrick Johnson demanded that Abbott pull out of the NRA speaking engagement. O’Rourke also made headlines by confronting Abbott at Wednesday news conference where he discussed the Uvalde shooting.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, other Texas Republicans scheduled to attend the NRA gathering, have since canceled. However, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, the state's other GOP senator, said he won't back out, according to the Tribune.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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