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Trump Brings Surprise Guest On-Stage As He Addressed NRA Convention in Texas

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former President Donald Trump gave the keynote address at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention, which began in Houston, Texas, on Friday.

The former commander-in-chief’s speech came as a pall was cast over the event by the horrific massacre of 19 fourth-grade students and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday. And while some entertainers who were slated to perform pulled out afterward, Trump kept his commitment to attend as he somberly recognized the tragedy.

Trump called Jack Wilson to the stage, who was working as a volunteer security team member when he shot and killed a shooter at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, near Fort Worth, in 2019.

Two people were killed by the gunman during service at the church before Wilson stopped him within six seconds.

“I took out evil,” he said to the audience, adding that he still considers Trump to be his president. “We have to deal with evil at all levels. You have to be prepared to stand up and do what you have to do to stop evil in this country.”

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Earlier, as the former president began his speech, he read each of the victims’ names in the Uvalde massacre.

“Each precious young soul that was taken is an incomprehensible loss, literally not comprehensible, stolen from us by a malice that no words can describe, sickness. The monster who committed this crime is pure evil, pure cruelty, pure hatred, absolute pure hatred. And while those he slaughtered are now with God in heaven, he will be eternally damned to burn in the fires of hell,” said Trump.

“As we mourn for so many beautiful victims, I know that everyone here joins me in praying for the families who are suddenly missing the brightest light in their lives. We see their agony, we ask God to ease their suffering and to heal their pain and together we grieve side by side as one great American family,” he added.

Trump went on to blame Democrats for using the Uvalde tragedy for politics while calling for more security at schools. He also refused to blame the instrument of the massacre, a semi-automatic rifle used by the gunman.

“While we don’t yet know enough about this week’s killing, we know there are many things we must do,” the president said. “We need to drastically change our approach to mental health. There are always so many warning signs. Almost all of these disfigured minds share the same profile.”

“Teachers, parents, school officials, and community members need to be recognizing and addressing these alarm bells promptly and very, very aggressively,” he noted further. “And our school discipline systems, instead of making excuses and continually turning a blind eye, need to confront bad behavior head-on and quickly. And clearly we need to make it far easier to confine the violent and mentally deranged into mental institutions.”

“If the United States has $40 billion to send to Ukraine, we should be able to do whatever it takes to keep our children safe at home,” Trump — who is heavily rumored to be eyeing another presidential run in 2024 — continued.

“We spent trillions in Iraq, trillions in Afghanistan, and got nothing. Before we nation-build the rest of the world, we should be building safe schools for our own children in our own nation. Right?” he asked.

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In his remarks, Wilson also addressed what he believes would go a long way towards reducing senseless violence like the tragedies at his church and Robb Elementary.

“And that means going back to God and going back to church and getting the families back together,” he said.

Wilson also talked about how he had gotten word that Trump may invite him on stage.

“I was not confident it was going to, but, you know, it’s an honor to be recognized by him for what I did. That’s what I was called and meant to do, and that was God’s will,” Wilson explained.

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