Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) email thingie Wins The Morning talking about the NRA Convention in Houston, Texas:
THE NEW GUN-RIGHTS ADVOCATE DEFENSE: CONSPIRACY THEORIES — We all know the GOP’s well-worn retorts to calls for additional gun restrictions: People kill people, not guns. Mental health was the real problem, etc.
But at the annual NRA conference in Houston, a new defense emerged — one rooted in conspiracy theory: that the left somehow wanted — or even shepherded — Texas’ latest tragedy that left 19 elementary school kids and two adults dead, seeking to push an agenda and try to steal law-abiding citizens’ guns.
At least that’s the top takeaway from our colleague David Siders, who attended the pro-gun rights confab Friday, interviewed a bunch of attendees and found a surprising amount of pushback not rooted in reality. Here’s a sampling:
— “Why did it happen three days ago?” asked JIM HOLLIS, a lifetime NRA benefactor from St. Louis. “I’m not sure that there are not forces someplace that somehow find troubled people and nurture and develop them and push them for their own agendas.”
— “This is all propaganda,” said ANA CHAMBERS, who attended with her husband, pointing to the TV cameras and protests calling for gun control. “They’ll use anything to make us look bad.”
There was a time when comments like this would have been considered rare — and completely unacceptable by people in both parties. But in recent years, the explosion of conspiracy theories on the right have changed that expectation. So too has the prevalence of QAnon in some GOP circles.
A TALE OF TWO PRESIDENTS — President JOE BIDEN and the first lady are traveling to Uvalde, Texas, on Sunday to meet with the grieving families of the victims. This follows Biden’s meeting with the next of kin to those who were murdered in the Buffalo shooting earlier this month.
Then, there’s the man who might challenge him for the presidency in 2024: former president DONALD TRUMP, who doubled down on gun rights at the NRA’s meeting Friday — at a politically precarious moment that gun rights supporters won’t forget.
ICYMI: Trump called for a moment of silence for the victims and read out each of their names, before accusing the left, including Biden, of wanting to take away gun rights. The former president, who privately wanted to pass gun control measures while in office(everyone should read Michael Bender’s Friday NYT story about this), also called for making it easier to commit mentally ill people to institutions and for school security systems to be better armed. He even taunted Texas GOP politicians — Gov. GREG ABBOTT, Sen. JOHN CORNYN and Rep. DAN CRENSHAW — who pulled out of in-person appearances at the NRA conference in recent days, albeit not by name. Jonathan Allen and Allan Smith have more for NBC
COULD THIS AFFECT HILL NEGOTIATIONS? — There’s no doubt that Trump’s endorsement power has waned, but could his words shaming anyone looking at gun restrictions chill fledgling bipartisan talks on Capitol Hill? We’ll soon find out. These talks already face a serious uphill climb, coming just months before the midterms.
It is completely mind-blowing to me that the NRA held the convention in Texas…
…with all the usual liars