The gun rights versus gun control battle has opened up with some political fireworks rivaling the thunderstorm that greeted gun owners to the northern Lone Star State Thursday, and anti-gunners have even pulled Russia out of their hats.
As the National Rifle Association begins its 147th annual meetings and exhibits in Dallas Friday, the gun prohibition lobbying group Everytown for Gun Safety is bragging that it “welcomed the NRA to Dallas with a bunch of billboard trucks rolling around with this image:”
In an email blast, Everytown declared, “We’re here on the ground in Dallas fighting the gun lobby’s dangerous rhetoric, and we’re also going big to make sure the public knows about the NRA’s connections to Russian money.”
But in Texas, where dead horses are buried rather than beaten, the message may not gather much traction among the tens of thousands of NRA members who began arriving Thursday for the annual convention. The “Russia collusion” meme has lost horsepower where President Donald Trump — who is scheduled to appear Friday for the NRA Leadership Conference — is concerned, but the Michael Bloomberg-backed Everytown group seems determined to continue milking the idea, even if the cow has gone dry.
There is a saying in Texas that might best sum this up: “All hat and no cattle.”
Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported, City Councilman Dwaine Caraway joined an anti-NRA demonstration at City Hall. Caraway had earlier urged the NRA to stay away; the “we don’t want your kind around here” message that doesn’t resonate very well in any other scenario, but seems to remain an acceptable form of social prejudice where gun owners are concerned.
The convention is being held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. The exhibit hall is huge with “acres of guns and gear.” The annual members’ meeting is scheduled Saturday, and there are several seminars and workshops on the agenda.
Meanwhile, Springfield Armory has announced that it is “severing ties with Dick’s Sporting Goods and its subsidiary, Field & Stream, in response to their hiring a group for anti-Second Amendment lobbying,” the Outdoor Wire is reporting.
Dick’s has been in the doghouse with gun owners since announcing a halt on sales of semi-auto modern sporting rifles to anyone under age 21, and then more recently deciding to destroy all such guns in their inventory. This is in reaction to the Feb. 14 high school shooting in Florida.
All of this may stay outside of the convention center as the crowds inside enjoy the opportunity to look at firearms, accessories and hunting equipment, and perhaps catch a glimpse of a celebrity.