NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — Indiana Republicans canceled an appearance by National Rifle Association President Oliver North hours before he was set to speak at a GOP rally miles from where a 13-year-old boy allegedly shot a classmate and a teacher last May.
Indiana GOP initially said a scheduling conflict forced North out of Sunday’s Noblesville rally featuring Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun and other GOP candidates.
But Indiana GOP Chairman Kyle Hupfer later said North was dropped because it “simply would have been the wrong place and wrong time.”
The venue for Sunday’s suburban Indianapolis rally is miles from where a student opened fire May 25 inside Noblesville West Middle School.
Noblesville mayor John Ditslear considers himself a Second Amendment support but he was pleased to hear about the cancellation. He did not think the invitation to the city was appropriate.
“I don’t think we are healed enough in this city over the May 25th incident to have NRA at a rally like this,” he said.
Although, some who attended the rally at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds on Sunday were looking forward to seeing North speak. Debra Skinner, a life time NRA member, thought the wrong decision was made.
“Not being insensitive to the families this happened to, I just think we are in a place in society where we are too sensitive to these things,” said Skinner.
This is not the first time the NRA was unwelcome in Noblesville. Students protested a sign-up event held outside a new gun store in the city’s downtown square 24 hours after tragedy across town.
“We are just healing still,” said Hyde Heckman, a parent of a Noblesville West student. “We are trying to take care of our children we are trying to take care of our community. I am sure they did not mean to do it on purpose. It just felt very intentional.”
The suspect is scheduled to appear in court Monday to make the juvenile court equivalent of a guilty plea.