Just days after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, the gun lobby NRA is holding its annual meeting in the same state. Star guest: Ex-President Donald Trump. His solution to gun violence: more guns. But in his speech he unmasks himself and the weapon argument.
When Donald Trump enters the stage to a standing ovation, he first walks up and down to the cheers of the crowd, holds both thumbs up at waist height, and takes a long bath in the crowd. The crowd consists of members of the American gun lobby NRA, which is holding its annual meeting this weekend in Houston, Texas. Trump calls them “the backbone of our country”. Before that there are roaring “USA, USA” calls.
The annual meeting of the National Rifle Association is overshadowed by one of the deadliest school shootings in the US in the past decade. After a few jokes on stage (Trump calls Kristi Noem a “hot politician”), the former US President gets to the point. He reads out the names of all of Uvalde’s slain, followed by the bang of each gong. There are 21 names, the names of 19 children and two adults.
It shall not be infringed
The governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, the lieutenant governor of the US state of North Carolina, Mark Robinson and the Texan Senator Ted Cruz have already spoken in front of the former US President. They all express their dismay at the Uvalde massacre, denounce the lack of protection for US schools, call for prayer, thank Jesus Christ and the NRA for the good things in life – and emphasize that we never let the Second Amendment be taken away – it shall not be infringed, it shall not be violated.
Trump uses his speaking time of around 45 minutes primarily to defend gun laws in the United States. In front of the country’s biggest gun enthusiasts, it’s not difficult to fill their ranks. “Broken families” are a reason for the increase in massacres and that schools in the USA, especially in rural areas and small towns, are not better secured. With: even more weapons. Also with metal detectors and the “use of new technologies” to ensure “that no unauthorized person can enter the school with a gun,” said Trump.
Armed police should be in every school. The police departments would have to be better trained in order to be able to eliminate attackers in a targeted manner. “This is not a question of money, it’s a question of will,” Trump said.
To underline this, Trump invites a man on stage who shot and killed a would-be attacker in a church in 2019 – he is a “true Texas hero,” Trump says. The older gentleman enters the stage, white beard, black cowboy hat: “Thank you, President Trump,” he says, adding: “You’re still my president,” for which he reaps thunderous applause and a few laughs. He alludes to the former president not recognizing the 2020 election as a result. The man in the cowboy hat says of his heroic deed: “I didn’t kill anyone, I eliminated evil.” However, he would not wish anyone to find themselves in the same situation. Only if so, then everyone is well prepared, at least here, to take up arms.
Donald Trump: “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun…”
The audience, the NRA, Trump – all comfortable and validated in their mission to serve their nation as law-abiding US citizens. Until, in a moment, a loophole suddenly opens up in the gun argument. Only more guns can reduce gun violence. A logic error revealed while Trump is still speaking.
He begins: “There is no sign that mass murderers invite more than a sign that announces a gun-free zone.” He knows that sounds good, yes, it sounds wonderful, but it’s not. Statistically it was “a total disaster”. “Gun-free zone,” Trump ridicules, “they look at the sign and say: I’m going there now.” And if someone then enters the building, all the innocent people would be “kidnapped, killed, tortured,” Trump said. Bad things would happen. “As the old saying goes,” he concludes, as in the closing argument: “The only way to stop a bad man with a gun” – the whole room agrees – “is with a good man with a gun.”
The only thing is that the hall in which Trump speaks is a gun-free zone. All the people who arrive here with guns per se and in general, walk through the trade fair with a gun, go to eat burgers with a gun so that the precious gun doesn’t just stay in the hotel room: All these people who just agree with the ex-president and applaud were not allowed to participate in this one event with a weapon. They had to wait hours outside the entrance to the concourse while scurrying through metal detectors and being searched by heavily armed security officers who would have made any airport envious.
In Trump’s logic and reasoning, NRA members are exactly the law-abiding citizens he is talking about. The heroes. The ones who protect the children. Trained with weapons, serving the security of the country, with a long beard and “MAGA” cap, with a rifle shirt and cowboy boots. You can stop the massacres.
Please don’t stop while Trump speaks. Trust yes, but within limits. Trump doesn’t want to think he’s too safe with all these weapons carriers.