Parkland Shooting Survivor Shames NRA for Banning Guns at Convention

The National Rifle Associate will not allow attendees to carry guns at an upcoming convention, saying it's for the safety of Vice President Mike Pence, and several student activists from Parkland, Florida have called out the hypocrisy of this move.

The event is an NRA Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas. It will be held on May 4 at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center. Once Vice President Mike Pence was booked for the event, it fell under Secret Service jurisdiction, meaning that no firearms, ammunition or "weapons of any kind" were permitted inside.

"There will be no storage for firearms," the NRA said in a statement. However, a knife advocacy group called Knife Rights will provide "complimentary storage" for knives, so that members can drop them off on the way in and pick them up as they leave.

This clashes with the general philosophy of the NRA, a lobbying organization dedicated to protecting the Second Amendment. The organization has been at odds with the March For Our Lives organizers and other student activists, who are calling on lawmakers to stop taking their money and pass reasonable gun control laws to end gun violence.

After the Parkland, Florida school shooting on Feb. 14, the NRA pushed for programs to arm teachers rather than tighten gun laws, a measure which ultimately passed in the state, and which many of the survivors were outspoken against. After the NRA announced the tight restrictions on their convention, some of those survivors took to Twitter to puzzle out the illogical step.

"The NRA has evolved into such a hilarious parody of itself," tweeted student activist Cameron Kasky along with a screen shot of the announcement.

"Wait wait wait wait wait wait you're telling me to make the VP safe there aren't any weapons around but when it comes to children they want guns everywhere?" replied fellow activist Matt Deitsch. "Can someone explain this to me? Because it sounds like the NRA wants to protect people who help them sell guns, not kids."

Fred Guttenberg, father of the 14-year-old shooting victim Jaime Guttenberg, also addressed the ban.


"On so many levels, this is enlightening," he wrote. "According to the NRA, we should want everyone to have weapons when we are in public. But when they put on a convention, the weapons are a concern? I thought giving everyone a gun was to enhance safety. Am I missing something?"

More than two months after the shooting, many of the Parkland students are still working tirelessly toward gun reform. David Hogg attended the White House Correspondents' Dinner, according to his Twitter feed, where he says that he persuaded six more congressional representatives to sign a pledge not to take money from the NRA.