‘Horrific and evil crime’: NRA says organization will reflect on mass shootings ahead of annual meeting in Houston

Here's what we know

HOUSTON – As the discussion on gun laws are once again at the center of attention following another deadly mass shooting in America, many people were questioning if the National Rifle Association would cancel its annual meeting in Houston.

The NRA released a statement after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire Tuesday at a Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, killing at least 19 children and two teachers.

The statement reads the following:

“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.

“Although an investigation is underway and facts are still emerging, we recognize this was the act of a lone, deranged criminal. 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.”

MORE: Gov. Greg Abbott won’t say whether he plans to attend NRA convention in Houston on Friday

From the release, the organization plans to address the deadly shooting at the event, calling the gunman a deranged criminal.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner also addressed canceling the convention.

“Canceling the convention would leave the city subject to a number of legal issues. The greater question is why are elected officials speaking there? What message does that send?” Turner asked.

Cesar Espinosa is the Executive Director of FIEL. His organization is one of several that are planning to protest the start of the convention.

“We find it unfathomable that these folks are still willing to celebrate gun culture when gun culture just took the lives of more than 18 children,” Espinosa said.

Black Lives Matter Houston, Moms Demand Action an Interfaith group, and healthcare workers are also planning protests Friday at noon.

“Maybe not cancel it but at least postpone it to a later time when this is not so fresh in people’s memories,” Espinosa said.

Turner has asked all protesters to assemble non-violently.

The NRA has not announced any changes to the event, although Republican Sen. John Cornyn, who was slated to speak at the conference, will no longer be in attendance.

KPRC 2 reached out to Cornyn’s office on why he decided to pull out from speaking at the convention.

According to his press secretary, “Prior to the tragedy in Uvalde, we had already informed the NRA he would not be able to speak due to an unexpected change in his schedule. He has to be in D.C. for personal reasons on Friday.”

The Houston Police Department is the lead agency providing security for the event. The Department of Public Safety said its troopers and special agents will provide assistance to HPD.

Related stories:

Gov. Greg Abbott won’t say whether he plans to attend NRA convention in Houston on Friday

Judge Lina Hidalgo releases data on gun violence in Harris County ahead of NRA Convention in Houston

Rest in Peace: Here’s what we know about the students, adults tragically killed during Uvalde elementary school mass shooting

18 children, 3 adults killed in shooting at Uvalde elementary school, Texas senator says

Uvalde school shooting PHOTOS: Latest images from the scene, aftermath

Texas leaders react after at least 15 killed in Uvalde elementary school shooting

Biden speaks following deadly elementary school shooting in Uvalde

Texas elementary school shooting echoes the Sandy Hook massacre

Active shooter incidents increased more than 50 percent last year, FBI data shows

‘They know what a hero looks like’: Daughter pens open letter to ‘selfless’ teacher killed in Uvalde school shooting

SUSPECT INFO: New details obtained about 18-year-old shooter who officials say killed 19 students, 2 adults at Texas elementary school

‘Hard to process the tragedy’: Houston-area school districts offer condolences, react to mass shooting at Uvalde elementary school

2 Texas funeral homes offer free services for Uvalde school shooting victims


About the Authors:

Award-winning journalist, mother, YouTuber, social media guru, millennial, mentor, storyteller, University of Houston alumna and Houston-native.