Pence calls for quick execution of mass shooters at NRA summit
“Ignoring the motivations of the trans activist who killed three children and three adults at that Christian school in Nashville, and the ‘mental health challenges’ of the man who killed five people and injured eight others in Louisville, President Biden and the Democrats have returned to the same tired arguments about gun control and confiscation,” Pence said.
The event marks the first time both Pence and former President Donald Trump have shared a stage since they left office. Trump is expected to speak at the forum later this afternoon. Trump seemed to be the main draw, with his photo centered on a poster board at the event and plenty of MAGA hats in the audience.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed an executive order on stage with NRA CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre that puts an end run around some banks’ recent efforts to stop lending to gun retailers and manufacturers in her state.
“I will be signing it on behalf of protecting those industries related to the gun and firearm industry from being discriminated against by financial institutions banking, credit card or otherwise,” said Noem, who is weighing her next political move.
Other presidential contenders, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, sent in video messages. Guy Relford, a prominent Indiana talk show radio host and 2nd Amendment attorney sitting in the front row, said he’s leaning toward DeSantis in the primary but found his decision to send a video message “disappointing.”
“Trump has always said all the right things. He’s got a little bit of a spotty record as president,” Relford said. He mentioned many in the gun rights movement didn’t like Trump’s swift action on bump stocks even though “there’s not a lot of people who care a lot about bump stocks necessarily.”
The NRA convention was once a must-stop cattle call for presidential contenders, but the group’s influence has been on the decline in recent years. In 2019, NRA held its annual convention in the belly of Lucas Oil Stadium adjacent to where the actual convention takes place in the Indiana Convention Center. This year, the speeches were delivered in a tiny ballroom in the convention center.
In the wake of the recent mass shootings, some Republicans changed their tune. Republican Gov. Bill Lee publicly urged the Tennessee state Legislature to pass a version of a red flag law in the state. That’s a policy Pence once embraced when he was governor of Indiana. But as a potential presidential contender today, Pence said America doesn’t need gun control but crime control.
“We don’t need lectures about the liberties of law-abiding citizens. We need solutions to protect our kids,” Pence said. “So to Joe Biden and the gun control extremists, I say: Give up on your pipe dreams of gun confiscation, stop endangering our lives with gun bans, and stop trampling on our God-given rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution!”