The National Rifle Association still plans to host its annual meeting Friday in Houston, Texas, despite Tuesday’s mass shooting at an elementary school that left 19 children and two adults dead in the state. More than 55,000 people are set to attend and hear speeches by former President Trump and Republican Texas lawmakers including Governor Greg Abbott and Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn. Michael Spies, senior staff writer at The Trace, says the NRA convention will serve as a “Republican pep rally” to uphold “an absolutist vision of the Second Amendment,” and argues the Republican Party’s devotion to unrestricted gun access goes beyond the NRA, whose power he says is slowly weakening. “The machine works on autopilot now,” says Spies, who also discusses a pending Supreme Court case which could do away with a New York law requiring gun owners to hold a permit to carry concealed guns.
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