Former President Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) both delivered speeches at the annual convention of the National Rifle Association in Houston on Friday.
"The existence of evil in our world is not a reason to disarm law-abiding citizens who can protect a lot of people. The existence of evil is one of the best reasons to arm law-abiding citizens," Trump said, refusing to endorse new gun control measures after a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, killed 21 people just three days earlier.
Cruz also doubled down, arguing that if gun bans worked, "Chicago wouldn't be the murder hellhole that it has been for far too long."
New York Times fact-check reporter Linda Qiu noted that, after adjusting for population, Chicago's rate of gun homicide was the 26th highest in the country in 2020. "The three cities with the highest gun homicide rates — Jackson, Mississippi; Gary, Indiana; and St. Louis — had rates double that of Chicago's or more. All are in states with more permissive gun laws than Illinois," Qiu wrote.
Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) had been scheduled to speak in person but delivered his address by prerecorded video instead. Abbott told the crowd that gun laws already on the books "have not stopped madmen from carrying out evil acts on innocent people in peaceful communities."