Trump is a coward. At the NRA gun show, he admitted it.

Harrisburg, PennsylvaniaDonald Trump On Friday, he admitted his cowardice when it comes to America’s pandemic Armed violence And what resulted from it Slaughtering the children of this country.

And because he’s Trump, he tried to make that seem like a virtue.

Speaking at a National Rifle Association gun show in Pennsylvania’s capital on Friday, Trump bragged about his record of inaction.

During my four years nothing happenedTrump said. “There was a lot of pressure on me regarding the weapons. We did nothing. We did not surrender.”

This is Trump telling the truth for a change.

This is what an act It is happening. From January 20, 2017 to January 19, 2021 – during Trump’s presidency – the country witnessed 1,714 mass shooting incidents in which four or more people were killed or injured, with 1,679 deaths and 7,355 injuries. Everytown for gun safetya non-profit organization that advocates for solutions to stop gun violence.

Trump did not mention this in his speech at the NRA. It also, of course, transcended the context of the moment six years ago when He proposed changes to gun laws that the NRA did not want While he accuses other Republicans of being too afraid to do so before finally backing down.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump wait to hear him speak at an NRA Forum on February 09, 2024, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.Supporters of former President Donald Trump wait to hear him speak at an NRA Forum on February 09, 2024, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump wait to hear him speak at an NRA Forum on February 09, 2024, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Trump and the NRA are taking advantage of our divided country

Trump can’t stand up to the NRA because they are too similar. They sell the same product – division. They turn your fear into their money.

Trump uses that money to gain power and evade responsibility. Transfer campaign contributions to attorneys In his criminal and civil cases.

Does Trump prefer impeachment or the courts? The former president believed the courts were a safe bet against accusations of disenfranchisement. now? Not much.

The NRA uses this money to live large – Private jets, luxury vacations, custom closets – all while masquerading as a defender of the good old American people.

Its leaders have long since made up for the momentary discord during Trump’s first term as president.

To be clear: The NRA does not serve the masses It was assembled Friday at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex To hear Trump. It is a lobbying arm for the arms manufacturers in this country.

The NRA doesn’t just want you to buy a gun. He wants you to buy as many weapons as possible. As with Trump, division is his best marketing tactic.

The NRA’s constant clamor is that Democrats want to take away guns from everyone. Her show is always about the “good guy with a gun” getting in a shootout with a “bad guy” with a gun.

Guess what the good guy and the bad guy have in common – they’re both armed with rifles made by companies that the NRA values ​​more than your life.

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Trump once proposed creating the Natural Resources Authority

Wednesday marks six years since A Massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School In Parkland, Florida, where a 19-year-old used a semi-automatic rifle to kill 14 studentsd three employees.

Trump hosted a White House meeting on gun reform two weeks later, where he accused Republicans in a bipartisan group of lawmakers of sidestepping some gun issues.Because you’re afraid of the NRA“.

At the table in that meeting, Trump publicly considered raising the age requirement from 18 to 21 to purchase an assault rifle and making it easier to confiscate guns from people deemed a danger to themselves or others.

But he also supported NRA-backed plan to arm teachers in schools.

Who’s afraid of the NRA? That’s all Trump. And why? Natural Resources Authority Spent more than $31 million To help Trump defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

The NRA clearly only cares about the money

In 2020, when the NRA was divided by infighting over lavish spending by its leaders, the group… He still spent more than $16 million In Trump’s losing battle against Joe Biden.

It was never about guns, either for Trump or the NRA. It’s about money.

Wayne LaPierre, NRA leader Who resigned last monthHe admitted in testimony during a civil trial that he spent the group’s money and accepted gifts from vendors To live a lifestyle From private flights, luxury vacations and tailored suits.

He’s gone, but the gun possession continues.

Trump’s speech on Friday was the closing event of the NRA’s Great American Outdoor Show. A ticket to hear Trump costs $15, or comes free with a new membership to the group, which range in price from $45 for one year or $1,500 for a lifetime membership.

Charles Cotton, president of the National Rifle Association, introduced Trump, saying the group had “no greater friend” than the former president.

Trump won’t bypass the NRA again but will ask us to “get over” the violence

The crowd, many of whom wore apparel bearing Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, greeted him enthusiastically when he took the stage.

But Trump quickly became lethargic, looking exhausted, and the crowd matched his energy as he repeatedly repeated his usual complaints about immigration, crime and the economy.

He has twice predicted a “100% chance” of a major terrorist attack in the near future and World War III if he is not elected president again.

“An entire generation of young people could be destroyed by something that could happen.” Trump said of that imagined war.

Republican Party impeachment case against the president: Do you know what Republicans don’t need to investigate Biden? Evidence, it seems.

He did not dare to talk about the generations that witnessed the killing and injury of schoolmates. Trump rarely seems to learn from his mistakes, but skipping the NRA is not a mistake he will repeat.

He has a new approach to slaughtering children in the classroom – “Get rid of it“.

During his campaign last month before the Iowa caucuses, Trump addressed the recent school shooting He left behind an 11-year-old boy And His manager died Six were wounded before the 17-year-old gunman killed himself.

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a party event in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 15, 2024.Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a party event in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 15, 2024.

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a party event in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 15, 2024.

“It’s terrible, and it’s so amazing to see her here.” Trump said during his election campaign For an office where, by its own account, it has done nothing to stop this sort of thing. “But we have to get over it, we have to move forward.”

Unfortunately, school shootings are no longer a surprise. Trump is neither ignoring the carnage nor his eagerness to move forward and profit from the NRA without doing anything to stop it.

Follow USA TODAY elections columnist Chris Brennan on X, formerly known as Twitter: @By Chris Brennan

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump’s NRA rhetoric shows his cowardice regarding gun violence and school shootings

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