After turning a blind eye to Parkland shooting survivors’ demands to ban guns and arguing that owning firearms is every American’s right according to the Second Amendment, the National Riffle Association (NRA) has contradicted its own stance on gun ownership by supporting a gun ban during its pro-gun annual conference held on May 4 where Donald Trump and Mike Pence took the stage to speak in favor of owning firearms – could the hypocrisy be any more evident?
NRA’s Annual Conference
On Friday, May 4, Pro-gun advocates gathered in Dallas to be a part of NRA’s annual conference which was attended by a lineup of influential politicians including President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence who stepped on the stage to defend the Second Amendment and their rights to bear firearms. But one crucial element was missing from the all-important event attended by over 80,000 people: guns.
A few weeks before the conference, news began circulating that the National Riffle Association was considering banning attendees from bringing arms into the venue. Since the event was being attended and addressed by some of the most powerful members of the political community, the pro-gun association had started looking into ways to ensure that no gun violence occurs during President Trump and Vice President Pence’s speech.
The U.S. Secret Service urged NRA to place some form of a gun or weapon ban at the conference so that none of the attendees are in possession of guns, firearms accessories, knives or other dangerous objects.
No Guns at a Pro-Gun Event
According to the federal law, the Second Amendment can only be overruled by the Secret Service during a high-profile event like the NRA annual conference in order to protect the area and lives of key political figures involved. This isn’t the first time the secret service has overruled state gun laws during an event involving executive party leaders.
A similar gun ban was introduced at the NRA annual conference last year where Donald Trump took center stage to speak in favor of gun-ownership laws.
According to a statement made by NRA prior to the event, carrying firearms on the venue will only be considered unlawful while the political leaders are on the stage addressing the conference. Attendees will still be allowed to carry weapons at the host hotel and Kay Bailey Hutchison convention center.
This year’s conference marked the 147th annual meeting for National Rifle Association, the most powerful gun lobby in the country. The event also hosted more than 800 firearms exhibitors at the convention center.
Among the key speakers at the event was President Donald Trump, who was attending the annual NRA meeting for the fourth time. The President showed his fierce support for the gun lobby and the second amendment, while completely disregarding the tragic shooting incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February which left 17 innocent people dead.
While addressing the conference, Trump said that the self-defense is a sacred right given by God himself and it is his job as the nation’s leader to protect the Second Amendment.
Parkland Shooting Survivors Criticize the Ban
NRA’s support for banning firearms at its annual meeting was criticized by many gun-control activists including the survivors of Parkland shooting incident who pointed out the gun advocacy group’s hypocrisy in making special exemptions to the gun laws only for the powerful while ignoring the rest of the nation’s pleas to introduce firearm regulations after the mass school shooting incident.
17-year-old Cameron Kasky, a Parkland shooting survivor and founder of March for our Lives movement, tweeted a screenshot from NRA’s website, which announced the Secret Service gun ban during the annual conference, with a caption that read, “NRA has turned into a parody of itself.”
Another Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Matt Deitsch angrily remarked on social media that the elite politicians’ lives are not more important than the school children who were killed in the mass shooting incident. He added that the NRA would ban guns when it comes to the protection of those who ‘help them sell firearms but when it comes to the safety of children, the pro-gun activists suddenly cower behind the Second Amendment.
Even NRA supporters criticized the temporary gun ban and said that if the pro-gun activists really wanted to make a strong argument at the event, they shouldn’t have prevented the good guys from carrying firearms at the biggest convergence of 2A supporters.