Rocky Marshall, a former NRA board member, said that although the tragedy in Uvalde “does put the meeting in a bad light,” that’s not a reason to cancel it. Marshall said gun-rights advocates and opponents can perhaps reduce gun violence if they focus on factors such as mental illness or school security. “Throwing rocks at the NRA, that doesn’t solve the next mass shooting,” he said. “Throwing rocks at the people that hate guns, that doesn’t solve the next mass shooting.”
The National Rifle Association begins its annual convention in Houston on Friday, and leaders of the powerful gun-rights lobbying group are gearing up to “reflect on” — and deflect any blame for — the deadly shooting earlier this week of 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, AP reports.
Former President Donald Trump and other leading Republicans are scheduled to address the three-day firearms marketing and advocacy event, which is expected to draw protesters fed up with gun violence.
Some scheduled speakers and performers have backed out, including two Texas lawmakers and “American Pie” singer Don McLean, who said “it would be disrespectful” to go ahead with his act in the aftermath of the country’s latest mass shooting.
While President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress have renewed calls for stricter gun laws, NRA board member Phil Journey said the focus should be on better mental health care and trying to prevent gun violence. He said he wouldn’t support banning or limiting access to firearms.
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