When the National Rifle Association gathers for its 147th annual meetings in Dallas this weekend, protests are expected from gun prohibitionists who blame the organization for mass shootings, and police are warning everybody to behave themselves, according to Reuters.
Dallas Assistant Police Chief Paul Stokes was firm on the subject of decorum, the news agency reported.
“We will not tolerate property destruction,” Stokes said. “We will not tolerate violent behavior.”
Anti-gunners almost always demonstrate outside an NRA annual meeting, but this year the protests have taken on a higher level of anger in the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Student demonstrators have ramped up the rhetoric with support from national gun prohibition lobbying groups.
Earlier this week, pro-Second Amendment student walkouts were staged at a number of high schools around the country.
But for this weekend, the action is in Dallas. Friday is expected to be especially busy as President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at the NRA’s Leadership event, as is Vice President Mike Pence. Security for that event will be tight.
The convention is expected to draw some 80,000 NRA members. They may be in no mood for confrontation politics over Second Amendment rights.
According to NRA publicity, this weekend’s exhibition features “acres” of guns and gear. The annual members’ meeting is Saturday with reports and speeches from NRA officials.
Dallas had some stormy weather Thursday, but the “storm” coming this weekend could be lots of thunder but no lightning strikes.
Still, gun control proponents appear convinced they can capitalize on the event to spread their message. USA Today noted that, “The event also falls days after the funeral of a Dallas police officer who was fatally shot by a shoplifting suspect and less than two years after the shooting death of four Dallas police officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer at a Black Lives Matter rally.”
But were any of those criminals NRA members? As protests in Dallas loom, that’s a question that seems irrelevant, to everyone but NRA members. Why is this organization being made the scapegoat for crimes, which law-abiding gun owners condemn?
Anti-gunners continually talk about having a “constructive dialogue” about guns. Part of that dialogue will have to be an acknowledgement that the NRA, from its officers to the newest annual member, are not the culprits in these crimes.