Gun enthusiasts browsed some of the latest firearms that were on display at the National Rifle Association convention in Houston on Friday (May 27), days after an elementary school shooting in the city of Uvalde that left 21 dead, including 19 children.
Demonstrations erupted outside the convention with protesters holding signs and crosses with photos of the victims of the shooting.
Tuesday’s fatal shooting of 19 pupils and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, by an 18-year-old gunman equipped with an AR-15 style semi automatic rifle again focused attention on the NRA, the nation’s biggest gun lobby and a major donor to Congress members, mostly Republicans.
The NRA’s decision to proceed with its largest annual gathering is part of a decades-long strategy of standing up to pressure for gun control that dates to the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Colorado.
Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive director, addressed the school killings but said gun owners “love our nation, love our children and grandchildren. … That’s why we will always cherish and protect our fundamental right to defend ourselves and our communities.”
The weekend convention was the five million-member group’s first annual get together after two prior cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Production: Gavino Garay)