NRA Conference 2022 in Texas: Protests continue into day two of NRA Annual Meeting in Houston
The annual meeting follows the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where a gunman opened fire earlier this week, killing 19 children and two teachers.
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James Russell is a Houstonian from Atlanta to protest the event.
“I lost my father to gun violence when I was 15 years old in Conroe,” Russell said. “I made a special trip to come here because I couldn’t go anymore.”
Andrew Nelson is an NRA member who traveled from Chicago to attend NRA meetings.
“It’s really like any other consumer trade show you’ve ever been to,” says Nelson. “You walk around, you check out new products.”
There were fewer protesters outside Discovery Green today than on Friday, but more verbal debates between those individuals and NRA members across the street at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
Individuals who are not authorized to attend an NRA event may not enter the convention center premises, including the sidewalk outside the facility.
“They have the right (to protest) as long as they don’t incite any form of violence or problems against those attending the convention,” said one NRA member.
The Houston Police Department and other agencies surrounded the area this weekend, but that hasn’t completely eliminated tensions between the two sides.
“Law enforcement kept people separate,” said Nelson. “It’s nerve-wracking to hear movement across the street, (but) that’s understandable.”
Protesters say their voices will not be silenced after this weekend’s congress.
August Medrano, who is opposing the NRA, says this is just the beginning.
“We are forming a close-knit community,” says Medrano. “(The protests won’t stop this weekend, they won’t stop this month, they won’t stop until we get something done.”
On Thursday, the artists Lee Greenwood, Don McLean and Larry Gatlinwho were prepared to perform at the meeting, were withdrawn after the massacre.
SEE RELATED STORY: ‘American Pie’ singer Don McLean pulls out of NRA convention in Houston after mass shooting in Uvalde
Two Republican legislators, US Representative Dan Crenshaw and US Senator John Cornyn, both withdrew a few days ago, before the shooting in Uvalde. Crenshaw is in Ukraine and Cornyn, who arrived in Uvalde after a scheduling conflict.
And just hours before the conference opens on Friday, Texas Governor Dan Patrick announced that “after prayerful deliberation and discussion with NRA officials,” he would not appear at the convention.
SEE MORE: Governor Dan Patrick refuses to speak to NRA: ‘I don’t want to bring more pain’
Former President Donald TrumpHe opened his speech on Friday by acknowledging the Uvalde tragedy and asking for a moment of silence as he read the names of the 21 victims.
Trump repeated Governor Abbott’s assertion that the gunman’s actions were a mental health issue, not a gun access issue.
The NRA’s annual meetings end on Sunday.
SEE MORE: NRA Conference in Houston Day 1: Who will attend? Who canceled? Where are the protests?
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