The gun massacre in Uvalde, which left 19 children and two adults dead, did a number on an event scheduled mere days later and in the same state: the annual National Rifle Association convention, held a four-plus hour drive away, in Houston. A number of scheduled speakers, including Texas governor Greg Abbott, pulled out at the last second. Donald Trump, however, did not. He showed up as planned, albeit with one stipulation: Those there to celebrate the right to bear arms were not allowed to bear arms during his speech.
Those that showed up were treated to a typical Trump speech, filled with bluster and insults and distortions. There was one section, though, that stood out from the rest: He attempted to pay tribute to the victims of the mass shooting, which was perpetrated by a teenager who legally obtained a semi-automatic weapon, a handgun, and a stockpile of bullets.
Alas Trump’s tribute was nothing more than him robotically reading the names of the victims, one by one, followed by the sound of a bell. He clearly did no research into how to pronounce the names of the deceased, many of them Hispanic and Latinx, badly garbling one after the other.
This is just gross. They have Trump trying to pronounce and read the names of the dead children while the NRA rings a bell. Disgusting. pic.twitter.com/AADaVc4o0s
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) May 27, 2022
New dystopian video just dropped. pic.twitter.com/23aGRUvGNx
— justin glawe (@JustinGlawe) May 27, 2022
Not only was Trump’s tribute not moving. It seemed to many to be insulting and nightmarish.
So during this NRA conference trump read (and mispronounced) the names of the 19 dead children and the two teachers and then at the end of the speech he did a little dance?
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) May 28, 2022
I don’t think it gets any more dystopian than Trump reading out the names of murdered children with giant “NRA” signs behind him https://t.co/jWWBXI3cz8
— Robyn Urback (@RobynUrback) May 27, 2022
Reading the names of the victims at an NRA rally is the most abhorrent thing one can do.
— Allen Sun (@allensun101) May 27, 2022
I still can't get over Trump reading the names of the Uvalde victims like a kill list to the sound of bells at the NRA convention. One of the most fucked up things I've ever seen in my life.
— Brett Meiselas (@BMeiselas) May 28, 2022
Even with the attempted somber memoriam to innocent people who were preventably slaughtered, Trump made sure to end his speech with a dance.
A speech where Trump read the names of the victims ends like this pic.twitter.com/fQZxrB9OiI
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 27, 2022
The kids died. Trump danced. https://t.co/hdqOK9NLjn
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) May 28, 2022
Trump danced at the NRA convention. Their little bodies aren’t even in the ground.
And he’s fucking dancing.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) May 28, 2022
Also in attendance was Ted Cruz, who has advocated, as Seth Meyers put it, “door control” over gun control.
While those inside the convention center were attempting to defend the use of semi-automatic weapons in the face of so much needless bloodshed, hundreds of protesters congregated outside, ranging from gun control activists to children.