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Pence told NRA he was a 'friend' 2 weeks before Santa Fe High shooting

Mike Pence wants the victims and families of the Santa Fe school shooting to believe he stands by them, but exactly two weeks earlier, he told the NRA he and Trump are their ‘friends.’

By Oliver Willis - May 18, 2018
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Mike Pence waves after speaking at the National Rifle Association Leadership Forum
Mike Pence waves after speaking at the National Rifle Association Leadership Forum

Exactly two weeks before the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas that killed at least eight people, Mike Pence proudly told the NRA it has “two friends in the White House” with him and Trump.

On Friday, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said most of those who were murdered were students at the school. A police officer was also injured.

The shooting is the 22nd campus shooting of 2018 in the United States.

Pence made a statement after the shooting in which he claimed, “We say to the students, the families, the teachers of Santa Fe high school and all of those affected in the entire community: We’re with you.”

But when he spoke at the NRA’s annual leadership forum in Dallas on May 4, Pence was effusive in his praise of the organization. The NRA has led the fight against popular reforms that would help to prevent school shootings.

The NRA has also attacked the student survivors of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, as they have become advocates for gun safety reform.

During his NRA speech two weeks ago, Pence bragged about being a “card-carrying member” of the organization as he assured the gun lobbyist group of the steadfast support from the White House.

“You know, last year, President Trump spoke to this very gathering; the first President to do so in 34 years,” Pence said. “And he told you then, in his words, that, ‘You have a true friend in the White House.’ And I’m here today, as his Vice President, to tell you that you have two friends in the White House.”

He lavished praise on the organization as well.

“There is no greater champion of America’s tradition of responsible gun ownership than you, the men and women of the National Rifle Association,” Pence said.

Pence also praised Trump for his dangerous proposal to arm teachers.

“The quickest way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” he said.

Teachers and law enforcement have repeatedly pointed out that arming teachers makes schools more dangerous, while also increasing the chaos when police have to respond to a school shooting.

Pence told the NRA that he and Trump “will make America safe again.”

But the Santa Fe shooting shows Pence’s words are an empty promise, as more children lose their lives simply because they went to school.

The NRA, enabled by the politicians it helped elect, continues to hinder school safety. Mike Pence knows that, and his claim to stand with the victims of the latest school shooting doesn’t have a leg to stand on.


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