Former President Donald Trump’s mangled recitation of the names of the 21 Uvalde, Texas, mass shooting victims at the National Rifle Association’s convention on Friday made Twitter critics’ blood run cold.
The names of the 19 children and two teachers, broken up into hardly recognizable syllables in Trump’s stumbling pronunciation, were interspersed with the funereal sound of a gong.
Despite the tragedy, Trump hailed the NRA in his speech at its convention in Houston and ended his remarks with his trademark clenched fists and “cha-cha-cha” dance move.
He blamed the horrific bloodshed at yet another American school on “broken families” — and called efforts to curb gun violence “grotesque.”
Twitter users found the entire spectacle horrifying.
This is just gross. They have Trump trying to pronounce and read the names of the dead children while the NRA rings a bell. Disgusting. pic.twitter.com/AADaVc4o0s
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) May 27, 2022
A speech where Trump read the names of the victims ends like this pic.twitter.com/fQZxrB9OiI
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 27, 2022
Journalist Justin Glawe called Trump’s tribute to the Uvalde victims “dystopian” and said that the gongs seemed to “signal that the republic is doomed.”
One critic said the readings sounded like some kind of ceremonial sacrifice to the NRA cult.
New dystopian video just dropped. pic.twitter.com/23aGRUvGNx
— justin glawe (@JustinGlawe) May 27, 2022
The death rattle of a dying country.
— beth, an alien (@bourgeoisalien) May 27, 2022
Many were dumbfounded by Trump’s apparent lack of preparation to read the names of the dead children and their teachers.
It's hard to imagine a greater insult to the dead. Just stop.
— Citizen Pi (@citizenpi314) May 27, 2022
This is beyond offensive.
— ©arolBlues😷 🎶 (@CBluesDC) May 27, 2022
Reading the names of the victims at an NRA rally is the most abhorrent thing one can do.
— Allen Sun (@allensun101) May 27, 2022
This sociopath is so self-absorbed and disconnected that he is incapable of understanding the very nature of the vile and detached insult he is conveying to the broken hearted people of Uvalde in their moment of unimaginable grief and sorrow.
— James...today🍁 (@fji002) May 27, 2022
Others had very different ideas for Trump’s ghoulish dance at the end.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.