In the wake of the horrific massacre that killed 19 children and two adults in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday afternoon, the National Rifle Association is ignoring calls to move its annual convention away from Houston, which is just a few hours away from Uvalde.
The summit is set to take place from May 27 to 29, starting just three days after the mass shooting that has devastated Texans and Americans nationwide. Many of Texas’s most prominent Republican elected officials, including Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Congressman Dan Crenshaw, and Senator Ted Cruz, are scheduled to speak this Friday during the NRA’s Annual Leadership Forum. Cruz in particular is no stranger to the event, having spoken at nearly every forum since 2013.
The controversy recalls the aftermath of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, a few days after which the NRA was scheduled to hold their convention a few miles away from the site of the slaughter. Though there was some talk within the organization about canceling the event, they still proceeded with the conference as they almost certainly will do now.
Without the appearance of empathy on the part of the NRA, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is being petitioned to cancel the annual event, which is being held at the city-owned George R. Brown Convention Center. Turner could shut down the event through the powers of executive order as he did for the 2020 Texas Republican Party convention, which would have been held at the same location. A vigil will be held Thursday afternoon to draw attention to Mayor Turner’s ability to stop the convention.
In the event that Mayor Turner does not take action, protests are already being organized in opposition to the convention and its blatant disregard for the recently massacred victims of Uvalde. This includes a Friday protest organized by BLM Houston, Indivisible Houston, FIEL, and the Harris County Democratic Party that will be held directly outside the convention center demanding those in attendance not ignore the carnage their policies have wrought.