Parkland survivors and the families of the victims are expressing outrage online after the National Rifle Association revealed they will not allow guns when Vice President Mike Pence speaks at their conference in Dallas next month.
Pence is scheduled to speak at the NRA Institute for Legislative Action Leadership Forum on Friday – and before and during his speech, ‘firearms and firearm accessories, knives or weapons of any kind,’ will be banned from the event.
Many have taken issue with the gun lobby’s decision to ban weapons, calling it hypocritical because the organization notoriously advocates for the idea that guns make places safer, and have argued that they should even be allowed in schools, a move president Donald Trump has supported.
Weapons of any kind will be banned before and during Vice President Mike Pence’s speech at the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action Leadership Forum on Friday
Parkland survivors, such as Cameron Kasky, and the victims’ families have suggested the NRA’s move is hypocritical
Fred Guttenberg, whose his 14-year-old daughter Jaime was one of the massacre’s 17 victims, said on Twitter: ‘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?’
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Cameron Kasky also weighed in on the matter, writing: ‘The NRA has evolved into such a hilarious parody of itself.’
Fellow survivor Matt Deitsch said: ‘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?
Fred Guttenberg, whose his 14-year-old daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting on Valentine’s Day, and survivor Mat Deitsch suggested the NRA’s decision was hypocritical
‘Can someone explain this to me? Because it sounds like the NRA wants to protect people who help them sell guns, not kids.’
Vocal Parkland survivor and gun control activist David Hogg, on his part, has promoted a petition to demand that Pence cancels his speech at the convention on May 4.
The petition, which has more than 40,000 signatures, calls Pence’s decision to attend the event ‘a slap in the face to Americans’.
It adds: ‘It’s also a signal to young people organizing historic actions that the NRA’s extremist agenda and donations are more valuable to Mike Pence than the lives lost.’
The NRA has said the decision to ban weapons from the event was made by the Secret Service, which is handling security because of Pence’s presence.
The gun lobby also banned weapons from their annual convention last year when president Trump gave a speech.
Weapons were also banned during president Donald Trump’s speech at the event last year