Dallas’ acting mayor owns five guns but says the NRA should not host its annual convention in his city until leaders do more to end gun violence in wake of the Florida school shooting.
Dwaine R. Caraway, who works under mayor Mike Rawlings, made the unexpected comments at a press conference on Monday.
He implored the association to ‘step up to the plate’ to ban assault rifles and semi-automatics like the AR-15 used by gunman Nikolas Cruz, and said it was time they lead the conversation about safer gun laws.
‘It is a tough call when you ask the NRA to reconsider coming to Dallas, 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,’ he said.
Dallas’s Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine R. Caraway asked the NRA to take its annual convention which is scheduled for May somewhere else
Caraway, 65, insisted he was pro-arms but said it was time to make changes to current laws.
‘I have five guns, one in my car, one in every room of my house,’ he said.
‘I am saddened the fact that every time that we turn around is some type of gun violence.’
Caraway, who is a Democrat, said it was time for the NRA to ‘end the madness’ now before more children were shot.
‘I am all for the protection of the 2nd Amendment, but I am also for protecting the children and a safer Dallas.
‘Who needs an AR-15 to go hunting? Who needs an AR-15 to protect their house?
‘They talk about mental illness. Yes, mental illness is an issue, but it’s not just an issue that should only be associated with guns.
‘At the end of the day, we need to connect the dots.
‘The NRA needs to step up to the plate and show leadership.
‘Elected officials are receiving dollars from the NRA, and they’re afraid to set policy and to set necessary gun rules.’
The NRA’s annual convention draws thousands of firearms enthusiasts of all ages. Above, attendees at last year’s event in Atlanta, Georgia
A boy holds an enormous assault rifle at the event in Atlanta, Georgia, last year
President Trump was among the speakers at last year’s event
Who needs an AR-15 to go hunting? Who needs an AR-15 to protect their house? They talk about mental illness. Yes, mental illness is an issue, but it’s not just an issue that should only be associated with guns
Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine R. Caraway
Dallas is a standalone blue city in the sea of Republican districts in the center and north of the state.
The state is largely pro-2nd amendment and has the 18th highest gun ownership per capita in the country.
Caraway’s comments, however confronting, fell on deaf ears and were of little consequence to the NRA which is set to hold its national convention at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center on May 3-6
NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said neither Caraway nor any other politician in the country had the right to tell them where to take the convention.
‘No politician anywhere can tell the NRA not to come to their city,’ he said.
‘We are already there. Dallas, like every American city and community, is populated by NRA members.
Gunman Nikolas Cruz, 19, (above in court on Monday in Fort Lauderdale) killed 17 people on February 14 with an AR-15 he bought legally
The body of Alaina Petty, 14, one of Cruz’s 17 victims, is carried out of her funeral service on Monday
‘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,’ he told local ABC affiliate WFAA.
Rawlings said he was ‘frustrated’ by the lack of action on gun laws but did not share Caraway’s opinion that the NRA should take its event elsewhere.
No politician anywhere can tell the NRA not to come to their city.
NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam
The NRA’s convention draws thousands of firearms enthusiasts every year.
President Trump was among speakers at last year’s event in Atlanta, Georgia which White House Senior Adviser Kellyanne Conway also attended.
Since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas school in Parkland last week, focus has turned to Congress and what it will do to prevent such atrocities happening again.
It was the second deadliest school shooting in US history, claiming 17 lives and inflicting injuries on another 15 people.
Angry teenager protesters skipped school on Monday to stage a ‘lie in’ outside the White House in the name of tighter gun laws
Gunman Nikolas Cruz, 19, remains behind bars on 17 murder charges.
Despite having a history of mental health problems and being so troublesome he was not even allowed to bring a book bag to school, Cruz legally purchased the AR-15 rifle he used and six other rifles in the last year alone.
Police had been called to the home he lived in with his adoptive mother Lynda and his brother more than 36 times but, when he went to buy the guns, his background check came up clean.
Since the shooting on February 14, the NRA itself has given no public comment on the atrocity but its advocates have been vocal in their assessment.
They say it was the fault of the FBI, which had been alerted to Cruz’s instability and, in particular a YouTube comment saying he wanted to be a ‘professional school shooter’ but that they dropped the ball.
‘I hope that people are marching to the FBI Offices. This is a question that I’ve not seen the Main Stream Media cover: why is it that this individual was reported over 30 times…why is it that none of these questions are being brought up?’ radio host Dana Loesch told NRATV last week.
She also complained about receiving abhorrent comments from trolls who said they hoped her children were the next to be killed.