The main pro-gun lobby in congress in Texas in the midst of controversy

The powerful American pro-gun lobby NRA is holding its annual meeting in Texas on Friday in the midst of controversy, just three days after the appalling shooting at a school in this American state. A few hours drive from Uvalde primary school, where an 18-year-old teenager killed 19 children and two teachers on Tuesday, the NRA is organizing its high mass, in the presence of former President Donald Trump.

The former tenant of the White House confirmed his presence on Wednesday, saying that the United States needed “real solutions and real leadership in this period, not politicians and partisan considerations”. “That’s why I will honor my long-standing commitment to speak at the NRA convention in Texas,” he said, promising “an important speech to the American people.”

The meeting of the pro-gun lobby comes at a time when the police are under fire from critics, suspected of having taken too long to intervene in the school of Uvalde. According to a video and numerous testimonies, parents waited outside the school, according to them for an eternity, without the police intervening, while the high school student, Salvador Ramos, was carrying out his massacre in a classroom. class.

“About an hour” after the suspect entered the school, US Border Patrol units arrived, “entered the school and killed the suspect”, said Victor Escalon, the regional director of the Texas Department of Security. Faced with the press in number and the pain of the families, he repeated that there was “a lot of information, many fluctuating points” in the investigation. “It takes days, hours, it takes time.”

He said that, contrary to what had been mentioned before, the perpetrator of the killing had “faced no one”, no police, before entering the school.
Before entering it, underlined Victor Escalon, he shot at the school. “Four minutes later”, the first local police arrived on the spot. “They hear gunshots, take bullets, retreat and take cover,” the police chief said Thursday. It was then 11:40 a.m. Tuesday, and Salvador Ramos was in Robb Elementary School.

“It’s complex”

It was from this moment that parents began to arrive in front of the school.
In a video posted on social networks and obtained by Storyful, we can see frustrated parents, urging the police to enter the establishment at the time of the tragedy. The footage also shows a police officer roughly pushing one of the people outside the establishment.

Daniel Myers, a 72-year-old pastor, had arrived with his wife Matilda outside the school about 30 minutes after the shooter entered the school. The parents on site “were ready to return (to the establishment). One of the relatives said: ‘I was in the military, just give me a gun, I will go. I will not hesitate. I will go,’” he told AFP .

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“So during that time,” said Victor Escalon during his press conference, the police, hit by gunfire, “evacuated staff, students, teachers… A lot of things are happening, it’s complex “. Then, an hour later, the specialized police arrived and killed the young man behind the massacre.

Biden on site Sunday

In addition to the 21 killed, 17 people were injured, including three police officers. The shooter had targeted his grandmother before going to school with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. On Thursday, the manufacturer of this weapon announced that it would not be attending the NRA convention. President Joe Biden is due to go there with his wife Jill on Sunday to “share the mourning of the community” of this small town upset by one of the worst massacres by firearm in recent years in the country.

The tragedy stunned Uvalde, a town of 16,000 inhabitants halfway between San Antonio and the Mexican border, and predominantly Hispanic, with pain. In addition to a similar memorial in front of the school, twenty-one white crosses have been lined up in the central square of Uvalde, around a fountain, to mark the memory of each of the victims. Dozens of residents, relatives, students and friends gathered there on Thursday, laying wreaths of flowers, as did Meghan Markle, wife of British Prince Harry. “I love you, cousin, see you next time,” wrote a young girl on the cross representing one of the victims, Jackie Cazares.

A “stalker”

On Tuesday, the sound of the shots “was very loud” told AFP Madison Saiz, an 8-year-old student in one of the other classes at the school. “When it happened, our teacher told us to get into a corner, and our whole class just did. »
The shooter’s mother, Adriana Reyes, told ABC that her son was not “a monster” but that he could “be aggressive” at times. Presented as a victim of harassment, he was himself “a stalker” in high school, told AFP two students who knew him.

In the United States, school shootings are a recurring scourge that successive governments have so far been powerless to stem. The debate on gun regulation in the country is almost on hold, given the lack of hope that Congress will pass an ambitious national law on the issue. The March for our Lives movement, created after the Parkland shootings, called for a June 11 rally in Washington to call for tougher gun regulations.

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