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Days after the Uvalde shooting, the NRA convention went ahead as planned

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The National Rifle Association’s annual convention ended on Sunday, taking place as scheduled in Houston, about 300 miles from Uvalde and days after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers there.

Thousands gathered inside the George R. Brown Convention Center for the NRA meeting while others gathered outside to protest, advocating for gun control legislation . Both groups discussed the shooting, but those inside understood it as a moral issue, an evil act that cannot be undone by any law and those outside saw it as a political issue and legislative.

/Toya Sarno Jordan for NPR

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Toya Sarno Jordan for NPR

(Top photo) A sales representative talks to two girls at the NRA’s annual meetings and exhibitions. (Middle left photo) A man is holding a gun. (Middle right photo) Policemen walk inside the conference. (Bottom photo) People watch a gun display.

The convention was the NRA’s first in three years. It had been canceled several times due to the ongoing pandemic. Former President Donald Trump and Republican Senator from Texas Ted Cruz were among the speakers.

Meanwhile, Beto O’Rourke, a Democratic candidate for Texas governor, was outside with protesters.

The conference was met with strong protests, with many signs hoisting.

O’Rourke told convention attendees that they were not enemies of those protesting outside.

“You are not our enemies, we are not yours,” O’Rourke said, according to Houston Public Media. “We stand with our hands open and unarmed in a gesture of peace and brotherhood to welcome you, to join us, to make sure this doesn’t happen again in this country. But now is the time for you to respond. and join us. We can’t wait for you any longer.”

/Toya Sarno Jordan for NPR

/

Toya Sarno Jordan for NPR

(Top photo) People look at the exhibits. (Bottom left) Bullets are displayed. (Bottom right) A woman holds an exposed firearm.

The NRA released a statement expressing “our deepest condolences … to the families and victims involved in this horrific and diabolical crime”, referring to the shooting in Uvalde. The NRA hailed first responders and school officials and called the shooting “an act of a lone, deranged felon.”

Many have raised concerns about how police reacted to the shooting.

“As we gather in Houston, we will reflect on these events, pray for the victims, recognize our patriotic members, and commit to redouble our commitment to securing our schools,” the NRA said.

/Toya Sarno Jordan for NPR

/

Toya Sarno Jordan for NPR

(Top photo) A sales representative works during the conference. (Middle left) A man looks through a rifle scope. (Middle right) Knives are on display at the conference. (Bottom photo) People move around the weapon displays during the conference.

At the conference, Trump pushed for increased security in American schools.

“There should be strong exterior fencing, metal detectors and the use of new technology to ensure that no unauthorized person can ever enter the school with a weapon,” he said. Friday.

Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott canceled a scheduled appearance at the conference, but addressed attendees in a pre-recorded message.

/Toya Sarno Jordan for NPR

/

Toya Sarno Jordan for NPR

(Top photo) A man points a rifle on display at the conference. (Pictured bottom left) A child looks at firearms on display. (Pictured bottom right) People look at the firearms on display.

“There are thousands of laws in effect across the country that restrict the possession or use of firearms, laws that have failed to stop madmen from committing evil acts on innocent people and peaceful communities. “, said Abbott.

Some had backed down before the conference, including musicians and politicians. Daniel Defense, the maker of the weapon used at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, also said he would not attend the conference, CNN reported.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To learn more, visit https://www.npr.org.

/Toya Sarno Jordan for NPR

/

Toya Sarno Jordan for NPR

People take part in a protest outside the NRA’s annual meetings and expos in Houston, Texas on Saturday.

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