The NRA conference is booked for two years and up to 80,000 participants are expected. Mayor Sylvester Turner stated there was nothing the city could do to force a cancellation that would not make it legally liable, although he wished organizers would consider postponing the event, especially after the massacre.
“You’re talking about 19 of our precious children, and I say that because you don’t have to be the biological father or mother,” Turner said during Friday afternoon’s briefing at City Hall. “They are our children. And you know what? They’re not democratic kids, right? They’re not Republican kids. They’re just kids.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee also supported the congressional cancellation.
“You should cancel it today, tomorrow and the next day. You should tell Donald Trump to stay home,” Jackson Lee said.
SEE ALSO: NRA Houston Convention Day 1: Who is attending? Who canceled? Where are the protests?
Former President Donald Trump confirmed in a statement that he will attend the convention and speak on Friday afternoon.
Survivors of the Parkland and Sandy Hook shootings were also at the press conference and stood in solidarity.
On February 14, 2018, a former student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 students and adults.
A survivor of that shooting, David Hogg, started March For Our Lives, a student-led demonstration in support of gun control legislation. The organization provides support and resources to people and communities affected by gun violence.
SEE RELATED STORY: Parkland school shooting 3 years later: remembering victims, from hero trainer to college student
“I did this work for four long years. Four more years than I should have done because this issue should have ended before I was born. I was born a year after Columbine, and now I’m speaking to you, the generation that honestly failed,” Hogg said.
The same gun used in the Parkland shooting was used in so many other shootings, Hogg noted.
“Our enemy in this fight are not gun owners. Our enemy in this fight aren’t even Republicans,” Hogg said.
The attorney pointed to gun violence as the enemy in this fight.
Hogg did not use this platform to try to vote a single person or governor out of office, but to ask for allies in gun owners, teachers and students.
“Even if you get rid of a governor, if you still have this system that allows someone to let our children die in their schools and communities, it doesn’t matter what the name is or what letter next to it. That system is still there,” he said.
Bishop James Dixon urged Governor Abbott to issue an executive order banning assault weapons. He also proposed that Texas and the United States introduce warning flag laws.
“Until we have a ban, our leaders should be held accountable. They don’t belong to the public,” Dixon said.
Third, Dixon urged lawmakers to raise the age of gun purchase to 21.
“If you can’t buy liquor or a can of beer at 18, why should you be able to buy a gun at 18?” asked Dixon.
Under the Gun Control Act, shotguns and rifles, and shotgun or rifle ammunition, may be sold to persons 18 years of age or older.
Finally, he pushed for universal, thorough background checks.
“This has to happen so that we can ensure that people who have guns deserve to have a gun, they can be trusted with a gun,” Dixon said.
“Let the lives of children and the lives of grandmothers be more important than gun issues,” said Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers Union, who alluded to the Uvalde shooting, who shot his own grandmother before the school shooting .
SEE RELATED STORY: Uvalde school shooting schedule: Salvador Ramos started buying guns a week after the massacre
A protest organized by several local groups began at Discovery Green on Friday. Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic nominee for Texas governor who interrupted a Uvalde press conference the day after the shooting, was there.
“We will never forget her. We will never forget Uvalde. The time we stopped Uvalde was right after Sandy Hook. The time we stopped Uvalde was right after Parkland. The time we Stopping Uvalde was the right thing to do.” to Santa Fe. The time for us to stop the next school mass shooting is now, here today, with each and every one of us,” O’Rourke said.
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https://abc13.com/nra-convention-protest-david-hogg-parkland-high-school-shooting-survivor/11901113/ Texas NRA Convention: Lawmakers and residents protest in Houston after deadly Uvalde school shooting