The National Rifle Association is snubbing a request from Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway to find a new location for its annual meeting scheduled for May 3 through 6 at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center.
Caraway said in a statement today that holding the NRA meeting in Dallas in the wake of last week’s school shooting in Florida, and the 2016 ambush shootings of police in Dallas and the assassination of President Kennedy in the city in 1963 makes it an inappropriate location.
“It is a tough call when you ask the NRA to reconsider coming to Dallas,” stated Caraway. “But it is putting all citizens first and getting them to come to the table and elected officials to come to the table and to address this madness now.”
Caraway predicted that if the NRA comes to Dallas, it will be “met with opposition.”
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“There will be marches and demonstrations should they come to Dallas,” he added.
It is no small matter to cancel a huge convention this close to the event. More than 80,000 people are expected, and it will bring about $40 million to the city.
The event will bring all of the NRA leaders to Dallas for meetings, speeches, and events, and include gun-related exhibits and the legal sale of guns, according to the Dallas News.
While Caraway called on the NRA to pull out of Dallas anyway, he stopped short of calling for a vote by the city council on a resolution that would make it official city policy to call for the cancellation of the NRA event in the Texas city.
A spokesman for the NRA, Andrew Arulanandam, said the group still intends to return to Texas for the first time since its convention was held in Houston in 2013 despite the plea from Caraway.
“No politician anywhere can tell the NRA not to come to their city,” said Arulanandam. “We are already there.”
“Dallas, like every American city and community, is populated by NRA members,” added the NRA spokesman. “Our members work in fire stations and police departments. They save lives in local hospitals and own businesses in communities urban and rural throughout this country.”
It appears the NRA is right that it cannot be stopped at this late date from holding its convention in Dallas, but Caraway’s statements serve the purpose of putting the NRA and everyone else on notice that the mood has changed in America, and those who demand guns for all at any time are no longer taking the lead.