Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) backed out of a scheduled appearance at the National Rifle Association (NRA) convention taking place in Houston on Friday, following the tragic mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that took the lives of 19 children and two adults on Tuesday.

Instead, Abbott will hold a press conference in Uvalde at 3:30 p.m. and send in a video recording to the convention.

Abbott has been an advocate for gun rights in Texas and has drawn strong backlash since the shooting. The shooter, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, legally bought the two guns and ammunition he used days after celebrating his birthday.

Beto O’Rourke, a former U.S. representative who is a Democratic nominee running to unseat Abbott, has been one of the loudest critics. He interrupted Abbott’s press conference on Wednesday, telling the governor, “This is on you.”


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“Governor Abbott, if you have any decency, you will immediately withdraw from this weekend’s NRA convention and urge them to hold it anywhere but Texas,” O’Rourke later tweeted.

Abbott is not the only one to pull out of the NRA convention. Sen. John Cornyn (Texas-R), who is working on gun law reform in Washington, and scheduled entertainers Don McLean, Larry Gatlin and Larry Stewart will no longer be attending.

Former President Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) will still appear as speakers at the NRA convention.

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