NRA convention puts GOP's gun gamble on full display
Mass shootings in Louisville and Nashville didn't keep the NRA's annual convention from attracting a pack of likely Republican presidential candidates.
Why it matters: The three-day convention, which opened in Indianapolis on Friday, broadcasts the extreme staying power gun politics have with generations of Republican politicians.
What's happening: Conservatives remain relatively unmovable on guns despite a wave of violence that’s terrorized schools, banks and places of worship across the country.
- Republican primary hopefuls are gambling that a spike in shootings doesn't push the broader American public to vote against them in the general election.
- Yes, but: A Gallup poll before the shootings in Louisville and Nashville showed 63% of Americans are dissatisfied with gun laws.
Zoom in: Pain over both shooting rampages has crossed party lines, AP's Will Weissert writes. That hasn't stopped the convention from becoming a microcosm of 2024 GOP politics:
- Former Vice President Mike Pence, a one-time governor of Indiana, was booed loudly, Axios Indianapolis co-author James Briggs reports from the room.
- Some attendees sported jerseys with former President Trump's name.
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump's top rival, and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley appeared via video.
The bottom line: Decades of advocacy for a strict interpretation of the Second Amendment — and the notion that guns are needed to protect citizens in an increasingly dangerous world — has kept the NRA at the center of GOP politics.