Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun prohibition lobbying organization backed by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg, sent an email fund raising blast Monday with a promise to be “be there, on the ground in Dallas, ready to counter” the National Rifle Association’s “dangerous rhetoric” during their 147th annual convention this coming weekend.
Everytown is especially miffed that President Donald Trump will be visiting the NRA for a Friday appearance. Trump is, after all, an NRA life member, so where else would he be?
Vice President Mike Spence is also supposed to appear at a Friday leadership conference, and already, David Hogg – the Parkland, Florida teen who has become a media darling because of his anti-gun-rights rants since the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School – has reportedly demanded via Twitter that Pence not attend.
“This is the third year in a row that he (Trump) will take the stage,” Everytown lamented in its fund-raiser, “and after the NRA poured $30 million into Trump’s 2016 campaign — and despite the country’s overwhelming call for common sense gun laws — we know that he’ll be reiterating his support for their extremist ‘guns everywhere’ agenda.”
Everytown further complains that the “NRA has doubled down on their extreme agenda.”
But gun rights activists from Seattle to Savannah counter that it is Everytown’s agenda that is extremist in nature. They want to ban an entire class of modern sporting rifles. They want to raise the age to purchase rifles or shotguns to 21. They want “enhanced” background checks, waiting periods and other restrictions while they oppose concealed carry reciprocity and national hearing protection legislation. In short, in the opinion of gun owners, Everytown wants to reduce the right to keep and bear arms to a heavily-regulated government privilege.
Anti-gun protests are nothing new at an NRA gathering. Such demonstrations normally amount to a handful of protesters, though there have been some larger efforts.
NPR reported on the flap over a gun prohibition inside the hall where Trump and Pence will appear, with anti-gunners criticizing the NRA for what appears to be hypocrisy. The prohibition was ordered by the Secret Service, not the NRA. When the president and vice president are in a building, the Secret Service takes over. Elsewhere in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, according to the NRA’s convention website, “During the 2018 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, lawfully carried firearms will be permitted in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and the Omni Dallas Hotel in accordance with Texas law. When carrying your firearm remember to follow all federal, state, and local laws.”
Even if there was no prohibition, the president and vice president would be in the safest place in the country.
This weekend’s convention opens Friday with the exhibit hall open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.