President Donald Trump is set to hit Indiana Friday for a National Rifle Association (NRA) convention. As USA Today reports, it will be his first visit to the state since South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg jumped into the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Trump first acknowledged Buttigieg in a SiriusXM interview last week in which he referred to him as “the mayor of Indiana.”
“It could be the mayor of Indiana. I think I’d like running against him, too.”
The president isn’t known to bite his tongue, which is causing many to wonder if he will riff on the mayor as he has on other Democratic presidential candidates, such as Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and Elizabeth Warren.
As for Buttigieg, he has made his feelings on Trump clear and took his memoir to call Trump a draft-dodging chickenhawk. The 37-year-old mayor also claims that since then, he came to the realization that Trump’s behavior brings down not just his supporters but those who challenge him. He later said that he would not emulate the president.
As CNN reports, some people on the religious right — many of whom are Trump supporters — aren’t taking too kindly to Buttigieg’s identity. Franklin Graham, a Christian evangelist and missionary, believes that being a gay Christian is not something to be politicized or praised, suggesting that Buttigieg should instead be repentant.
— IndyStar (@indystar) April 25, 2019
As Trump prepares for this visit to the NRA convention, which tens of thousands of people will attend, others — such as Indianapolis resident Kathleen Robertson — are planning an organized protest on the state capital grounds during the event.
“My plans for the NRA is to make a lot of noise.”
She says she is not happy with the NRA’s relationship with Trump, who will be a keynote speaker at the event.
“The only way we are going to get this down is by loud sustained protest in the streets,” she added.
According to WTHR, the NRA event draws thousands of people from around the United States, and most of them are proud gun owners. And since Indiana is a conceal and carry state and recognizes carry licenses from all U.S. states, it’s likely that many will be attending with their prized possessions.
With this threat in mind, Homeland Security Bureau Commander Tom Sellas has created safety plans.
“Although we are an open or conceal carry state, we ask that you keep it concealed because it alarms people and brings unwanted attention to yourself. We also want you to make sure it’s locked in a trunk or have another way to secure it other than leaving it in plain view in a vehicle.”