HYPOCRISY: NRA conference makes a special rule change for Trump speech
What’s good for the goose apparently won’t be allowed for the gander as it was revealed that attendees at Donald Trump’s speech to the NRA’s Annual Leadership Forum in Houston on Friday will be prohibited from carrying weapons into the venue during his address.
The National Rifle Association conference is already quite ill-timed, coming just days after an 18-year-old gunman killed at least 21 people in Uvalde, Texas and after calls for stricter gun regulations have raised their perennial head in the aftermath of the preventable tragedy.
Yet, despite the deadly massacre by a gunman armed with both a pistol and an AR-15 rifle, the NRA is proceeding with its leadership conference featuring an array of Republican luminaries who would rather support the gun lobbying organization’s mission of promoting the sales of more firearms than do anything to protect American citizens from the scourge of gun violence.
Besides Donald Trump, top GOP politicians expected to genuflect to the disgraced NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and the rest of the NRA leadership include Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Soth Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), and Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX).
It’s highly ironic that the NRA which has been instrumental in lobbying Texas Republicans to pass some of the laxest gun regulations in the country, including a controversial permitless open carry law that allows Texans to carry unconcealed handguns in public without going through the slightest bit of training or even needing to apply for a permit.
The NRA had no role in the decision to ban weapons from their conference, however. That decision was made by the Secret Service which is tasked with protecting the former president from exactly the weapons that the conference lionizes.
In addition to the ban on firearms, the Secret Service is also prohibiting firearms accessories, knives, ammunition, laser pointers, pepper spray, toy guns, backpacks, and other items from entering the venue during Trump’s speech and will subject attendees to a search with magnetometers before they enter the hall.
A spokesperson for the Secret Service told NPR that the agency has the “authority to preclude firearms from entering sites visited by our protectees, including those located in open-carry states.”
The entire situation proves that both the NRA and Texas can live with restrictions on guns when it serves their own interests, but refuse to do anything to accommodate the safety of the general public, including the innocent schoolchildren being massacred in school shootings that have become. a regular fixture in our society in the absence of meaningful gun regulation reform.
What’s good enough for protecting Donald Trump from the threat of gun violence should be the rule for the rest of us as well. It’s time to defeat the NRA and pass new laws that protect our schoolchildren and the rest of us too.
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Original reporting by Joe Hernandez at NPR.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.