"The NRA is blaming the Secret Service for the prohibition, but that didn't stop survivors of the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., who were quick to criticize the organization's apparent hypocrisy in giving in to demands for a gun-free area", it wrote.
But this year's appearance will be the first since Trump told lawmakers not to fear the NRA in the wake of the Parkland shooting and floated some responses opposed by the organization, including raising the legal age to buy certain firearms to 21. But when they put on a convention, the weapons are a concern?
In an ironic twist of ironic irony, the Parkland survivor hailed as "calling out the NRA", actually tweeted the real reason that guns are not permitted at the Leadership Conference featuring Secret Service protectee Vice President Mike Pence. And a "die in" is planned Friday outside the downtown convention center with some Parkland survivors and relatives expected to participate, organizers said.
The irony was not lost on some Parkland students and parents.
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He said Trump's decision to attend was a mistake.
"Obviously, even Republicans and so-called leaders don't trust the 'good guys.' I realize it's the VP, but still makes our whole argument look foolish, " a commenter who said he was an NRA member.
But Trump later backpedaled from those sweeping statements, offering a more limited plan. "This will be a real battleground". "This is really a reflection of the division in this country". Many survivors and families have become activists seeking stricter gun laws.
"He is a lifetime supporter of the Second Amendment and he has a long record of fighting to defend our freedoms". The largest to date, in Las Vegas previous year, killed 59 people.
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The Rev. Dominique Alexander, who helped organize that Black Lives Matter protest, is also organizing against the NRA convention. According to the NRA, we should want everyone to have weapons when we are in public.
"We're expecting in the thousands and we're expecting our numbers to go up with him coming to town", Alexander said of Trump. "The anti-gun crowd has felt more emboldened to push their agenda and the pro-gun crowd has pushed back even harder".
Cameron Kasky, one of the founding members of the student-led, gun reform movement "March for Our Lives", blasted the NRA over its fierce resistance to support any sort of safety considerations for children - but a measure it backed when it involved Mr. Pence, a gun rights advocate. "IN will always defend the right to keep and bear arms".
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