Highlights

  • National Rifle Association's annual convention in Houston
  • Donald Trump defends rights of gun owners
  • 21 dead in Texas school shooting

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Texas massacre: does the US need stricter gun control? Donald Trump doesn't think so. Here's what he said

Donald Trump at the gun convention held in Texas blamed the gun wielders, not the weapons for tragedies like the Texas massacre that left 19 children and 2 adults dead

Former President Donald Trump defended the rights of gun owners and called for “drastically” changing the nation’s approach to mental health and school security as he addresses the National Rifle Association's annual convention in Houston, three days after a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school on the other side of the state.

"The existence of evil in our world is not a reason to disarm law-abiding citizens. The existence of evil is one of the very best reasons to arm law-abiding citizens," Trump told the crowd to applause.

The gathering came just three days after the shooting in Uvalde and after revelations that students trapped inside a classroom with the gunman repeatedly called 911 during the attack — one pleading "Please send the police now" — as officers waited in the hallway for more than 45 minutes.

WATCH | Texas school shooting: as cops face heat new video of carnage surfaces

As Democrats in Congress renewed calls for stricter gun laws, Trump maintained "the various gun control policies being pushed by the left would have done nothing to prevent the horror that took place. Absolutely nothing."

"Unfortunately, ever since Columbine, we've been afflicted by a contagion of school shootings carried out by deeply evil, violent and mentally disturbed young men," he said.

The former president insisted the answer to prevent future shootings is to "drastically change our approach to mental health" and harden schools with a "top to bottom security overhaul."

Trump told the group that every school building should have a single point of entry, strong exterior fencing, metal detectors and hardened classroom doors and every school should have a police officer or armed guard on duty at all times. He also called yet again for trained teachers to be able to carry concealed weapons in the classroom.

He and other speakers overlooked the security upgrades that were already in place at the elementary school and did not stop the gunman.

The meeting was the first for the troubled organization since 2019, following a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic.

The organization has been trying to regroup following a period of serious legal and financial turmoil that included a failed bankruptcy effort, a class-action lawsuit and a fraud investigation by New York's attorney general.

Once among the most powerful political organizations in the country, the NRA has seen its influence wane following a significant drop in political spending.

Former US President Donald Trump defended the rights of gun owners as he addressed the National Rifle Association's annual convention in Houston.

His remarks came three days after a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Texas.

Trump has squarely placed blame on the gun wielders and not the weapon itself.

Trump called for “drastically” changing
the nation’s approach to mental health and school security.

As condolences kept on pouring in from across the world, US President Joe Biden had said that the fact that a teenager can go into a shop and buy a gun was "so wrong".

(With AP inputs)

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