NRA kicks off annual meeting in Houston amid Texas school shooting protests

0
12
NRA kicks off annual meeting in Houston amid Texas school shooting protests

The National Rifle Association, America’s largest gun-rights advocacy group, began its three-day annual meeting in Houston Friday — three days after 19 children were massacred 280 miles away in the town of Uvalde in the worst school shooting in a decade.

Hundreds of protesters gathered behind police fencing outside the members-only event at the George R. Brown Convention Center, chanting, “NRA, shame on you!”

In a nearby park, protesters marched with signs calling for a new assault weapon ban and other stepped-up gun control measures.

The demonstrators included children who wore photos of the slain students at Robb Elementary School around their necks. One boy also wore a sign that read, “am I next?”

“They have the audacity not to cancel in respect of these families,” said protestor Johnny Mata, who called on the NRA to “quit being a part of the assassination of children in American schools.”

HOUSTON, TX - Just days after a school shooting left 19 children and two teachers dead, the annual National Rifle Association (NRA) convention returns to Houston. Trump speaks at NRA-ILA Leadership forum.
NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre gives remarks on opening day of its convention in Houston on May 27, 2022.
Reuters
A child looks at a pistol conversion kit during the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual convention in Houston, Texas. Attendees were greeted by booths with various weapons.
A child looks at a pistol conversion kit during the NRA annual convention in Houston, where attendees were greeted by booths showcasing various weapons.
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a Democrat, had said Wednesday that the convention could not be canceled, noting it had been scheduled more than two years ago.

“We cannot cancel a conference or convention because we may not agree with the subject matter,” he said. “We simply can’t do that. That would subject the city to a number of lawsuits.”

Some protesters singled out Texas politicians, with one sign reading “Uvalde is on you, [Gov. Gregg] Abbott,” and another saying simply, “eat s–t, Ted Cruz.”

Protesters gathered behind police fencing outside Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center, chanting, "NRA, shame on you!" and obscenities at NRA-backed politicians.
Protesters gathered behind police fencing outside Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center, chanting, “NRA, shame on you!” and obscenities at NRA-backed politicians.
REUTERS/Daniel Kramer
Gun rights activists and supporters protest outside the National Rifle Association Annual Meeting at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The National Rifle Association kicked off a major convention in Houston Friday, days after the horrific massacre of children at a Texas elementary school.
Gun rights activists and supporters protest outside the NRA convention in Houston Friday, held just days after 19 kids and two teachers were killed in Uvalde, Texas.
Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott spoke at the convention just days after 19 elementary schoolers were shot in the state he represents.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott spoke at the convention just days after 19 elementary schoolers were shot in the state he represents.
Reuters

Abbott announced Thursday he would not be attending the event in person, though he would make a recorded address. Cruz and former President Donald Trump were both still expected to speak at the conference later Friday.

Inside the hall, NRA members and other attendees were greeted by booths and backlit display cases showing off the wares of several weapons manufacturers.

The demonstrators included children who hung photos of the slain students at Robb Elementary School around their necks.
The demonstrators included children who hung photos of the slain students at Robb Elementary School around their necks.
AFP via Getty Images
Claudia Blakemore and Ira Dember protest against gun laws outside the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual convention in Houston, Texas.
Claudia Blakemore and Ira Dember protest against gun laws outside the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual convention in Houston, Texas.
REUTERS/Daniel Kramer
Mounted police officers tell protesters to move back across the street from the National Rifle Association annual meeting at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.
Mounted police officers tell protesters to move back across the street from the National Rifle Association annual meeting at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

The organization said attendees could carry personal firearms in the convention center, but guns were not allowed in the hall where Trump was due to speak.

With Post wires

Source link