Following mass shootings in Tennessee and Kentucky

Trump, Republicans venerate police, fascist Texas murderer at far-right NRA conference in Indianapolis

Less than a week after a mass shooting at a bank in Louisville, Kentucky left six people dead, some 113 miles north in Indianapolis, Indiana the fascistic National Rifle Association (NRA) welcomed over a dozen Republican politicians, including former President Donald Trump, to its annual convention.

In the face of the daily mass shootings and gun-related homicides that have claimed over 12,270 lives this year in the United States, every Republican that spoke—including former Vice President Mike Pence, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan and “entrepreneur” Vivek Ramaswamy—venerated the police and touted their fealty to the gun lobby, rejecting any measures to curb the sales of weapons.

NRA President Wayne LaPierre opened the convention with an ominous threat to any politicians who opposed the organization. “I don’t care how many billionaires, TikTok stars or Hollywood airheads they got. Hear this, gun-hating politicians should never go to bed unafraid of what this association and all of its millions of members can do to their political careers.”

In his headline speech before an audience of a few thousand people, dominated by cops, libertarians and right-wing militia elements, the Republican presidential 2024 front-runner, Trump, delivered a fascist campaign rant.

Trump began his nearly hourlong speech with an attack on “corrupt forces and communist maniacs,” who he claimed wanted to “take away your guns while throwing open the jail house doors and releasing bloodthirsty criminals into your communities.”

Former President Donald Trump speaks at the National Rifle Association Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana Friday, April 14, 2023. [AP Photo/Michael Conroy]

“They,” Trump grunted, “want to abolish your borders and impoverish your families.” Trump and nearly every other Republican who spoke, whether in person or via a pre-recorded video, boasted of his or her support for the war on immigrants and a wall along the US-Mexico border. To applause, Trump again promised that if he was re-elected he would utilize “all necessary state, federal, local and military resources to carry out the largest domestic deportation operation in American history.”

Along with his usual attacks on immigrants, Trump went on to blame all transgender persons for mass shootings. “They want to demonize patriots and persecute Christians while pushing the transgender cult on your children.” He later promised that if he was elected president, he would direct the Food and Drug Administration to convene “an independent outside panel to investigate whether transgender hormone treatments increase the risk of extreme depression, aggression and violence.”

Appealing to police and laying the groundwork for a fascist government, Trump said the issue was not “too many guns.” “The issue,” he declared, “is too many thugs, hoodlums and savage criminals on our street. That’s really what the issue is.”

In an appeal to anti-Semitism, Trump pledged to have the Department of Justice investigate “Soros-backed” district attorneys who “hate our country,” and to appoint “100 of the most ferocious crime fighters in American history.”

In a sweeping attack on democratic rights, Trump said he “will task them with demolishing every gang, street group and terrorist network they can find piece by piece until public safety is fully restored. That means in Democrat-run cities... at the top of the list is Washington D.C. itself.”

In their speeches, Trump and other Republicans defended US Army soldier and fascist murderer Daniel Perry, whom Texas Governor Greg Abbott had pledged to pardon following his conviction earlier this month.

On Friday, the Texas Tribune reported about social media posts and texts made by Sergeant Perry in the weeks before he went on to murder anti-racism protester and US Air Force veteran Garrett Foster. The messages were released this week as part of his trial.

The Tribune reported that on May 29, 2020, Perry texted a friend, “I might go to Dallas to shoot looters.” Two days later, Perry was messaging with a friend on Facebook when he wrote “no protesters go near me or my car.”

Perry’s friend replied, “Can you catch me a negro daddy?”

“That is what I am hoping,” Perry replied.

Later, in June, Perry texted a friend, “the blacks... gathering up in a group I think something is about to happen.” He then added, “I wonder if they will let [me] cut the ears off of people who [have] decided to commit suicide by me.”

Vowing to protect this racist killer and punish the district attorney for prosecuting him, Trump promised if he was elected, “We will pass legislation protecting the absolute right to self-defense, with federal penalties for prosecutorial abuse like we saw just recently in Texas.”

As with his defense of the QAnon fascist Ashli Babbitt, Trump falsely claimed Perry “was trying to defend himself,” yet “they” want “to put him in jail for the rest of his life.”

The speaker who preceded Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, a Peter Thiel-backed 2024 Republican presidential candidate and frequent Fox News guest, also defended Perry, saying he was “wrongly convicted for defending himself against a Black Lives Matter rioter.”

Ramaswamy, Pence and Trump called for spending billions of dollars to hire armed private security guards for every public and private school.

Reducing the scourge of gun violence in America to a moralistic condemnation, Trump railed against “evil monsters” and “sickos.” To prevent “sickos” from shooting up schools, Trump called on the government to create a tax credit that will pay teachers to get concealed weapons training and to arm themselves in the classrooms.

Trump ended his fascist diatribe by calling on Congress to “stop this Marxist revolution. We have a Marxist revolution going on, and I think you’re starting to see it. ... We have to stop it. Fast.”

With Trump and the Republicans laying the groundwork for a right-wing police state, President Joe Biden released a typically spineless statement Sunday morning following the latest mass shooting, in Dadeville, Alabama, focused as always on “gun reform.”

In his statement, Biden chided “national Republican leaders” for standing “alongside the NRA in a race to the bottom on dangerous laws that further erode gun safety.” He then heaped praise on Republican Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. Following last month’s mass shooting at Covenant School in Nashville, Lee signed a meaningless executive order requiring the criminal history of a potential gun purchaser and certain mental health documents to be turned over to state government entities within 72 hours of a purchase.

Neither political party has any solution to gun violence in America because neither party can address the underlying social and political crisis that is the source of the violence, rooted in the capitalist system and the enormous social inequality it produces.