RICHMOND, Va. — In the wake of one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history, Virginia Democrats are calling on Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears to withdraw from being a keynote speaker at the National Rifle Association's 2022 Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Texas this week.
According to the NRA's annual meeting website, Earle-Sears is scheduled to be the keynote speaker on Friday at their "Women's Leadership Forum - Luncheon & Auction" fundraiser during the three-day convention in Houston.
The Virginia Democrats issued a statement Wednesday asking Earle-Sears, a Republican, to cancel her speaking engagement at the convention.
The Virginia House Democrats tweeted , "Virginians know the pain of trying to rebuild their lives and their communities in the wake of a mass shooting and we expect more from our elected leaders."
The convention will take place just days after 21 people, including 19 children, were killed at a Texas elementary school by a lone gunman.
Earle-Sears, who was elected as the first black woman lieutenant governor in Virginia in November, shared her condolences with the victims’ families Tuesday on Twitter.
An ill-wind is blowing through our land; a wretched evil that destroys. Terry and I are praying for the parents, siblings, family members, and friends of Robb Elementary School who are now experiencing the deepest of pains. It is a season we wish on no one. 🙏— Winsome Earle-Sears (@WinsomeSears) May 24, 2022
The Marine veteran is an outspoken supporter of gun rights, and even used a photo of her holding an AR-15 in her social media posts and mailers during her campaign.
Former President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he still plans on attending the convention. Other Republican politicians still listed as speakers for the event include Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Dan Crenshaw and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.
Democrats have been critical of the NRA and gun manufacturers. President Joe Biden has called on lawmakers to take on the gun lobby and pass gun control measures.
"It’s just sick that gun manufacturers have spent two decades aggressively marketing assault weapons which make them some of the biggest profits. For God’s sake, let’s have the courage to stand up to the industry," Biden said.
CBS 6 reached out to Earle-Sears's office on Wednesday, but did not receive a response at the time this article was posted.