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Houston, TX- The 2022 National Rifle Association convention kicked off Friday in Texas and some members of the gun advocacy group who attended the event voiced their opposition to calls for gun control while discussing ways to go forward.
The annual convention followed the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday that left 19 children and two adults dead.
The convention, held at the George R. Brown Convention Center amid nearby protests by gun control advocates, was attended by thousands of people who showed strong support for the preservation of the Second Amendment and the rights firearms.
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Franklin, a native of Newnan, Georgia, who preferred to give only his first name, traveled nearly 11 hours to show his support for the NRA. He said the convention showcased “the best America has to offer” when it comes to firearms and discussed how America should move forward after the recent tragedy in Texas.
“What happened to these children is horrible, it’s scary, it’s sad,” he said. “I send prayers to these families today and for the rest of my life.”
“While I grieve with these families and others who have lost children to school shootings, we need to have an honest conversation,” Franklin added. “The NRA didn’t do this. No one but the shooter did this. We can’t let those calling for gun restrictions get in the way of resolving this crisis. We must do what is necessary. to protect these schools, whether by improving security in schools, having armed officers work in schools, or making schools one-way entry zones.
“Taking away gun rights from Americans who could potentially prevent such a situation from happening is not the solution,” he said. “Politicians need to have real conversations, conversations that make sense and that will enact change for good. Again, it’s not the NRA’s fault and it’s not the gun’s fault. , it’s the shooter’s fault and God succeeded with him.”
Mark and Carol McElroy of New Braunfels, Texas, a small town near San Antonio, told Fox News Digital that they are both members of the NRA and said they came to the convention to “support the second amendment”.
Asked about school shootings and what can be done to prevent or deter future tragedies from happening in schools when it comes to gun violence, the couple insisted that a focus on about mental health and background checks.
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“There’s a big hole in the school system,” Mark said. “There is a mental health issue somewhere.”
“The country is certainly divided, obviously, there’s no doubt about that,” he added. “We would both like to see states implement background checks for minors.”
Carol said she believed teachers “should be armed” if they wanted to and “taught proper gun handling and gun safety.”
“I totally agree,” she said. “I think that would help a lot and schools would be a bit more aware that something like this is going on and they are armed.” She said it would send a strong message to those who think they are hurting school children not to “come to this school, that we are prepared for the wrong people”.
Pushing back on calls for gun control and other legislation, Carol said “Democrats are committed to stripping out whatever good Republicans want to do.”
“It’s a sad, sad situation,” she said, adding that those in elected office, especially President Biden and his party, “don’t think about people, they just think about themselves. “.
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Don Fauch, a U.S. Army veteran and longtime NRA member who traveled to Houston for the convention from Plano, Texas, insisted that the main reason so many people commit heinous crimes, whether against school children or individuals shopping in supermarkets, is because there is a lack of care for those who suffer mentally.
“We have a mental health crisis,” he said. “When people realize this and stand on street corners to address this issue, you can see a change. That, along with safety rules for schools, will be what will set this nation on the right path. I I know this because I found help after serving this beautiful country. I needed help and I found it. We need resources for others to find it too.
Referring to those who stood outside the convention to protest against the NRA, Fauch said: “I fought for them to have that right and I respect it, but I want them to realize that. they say when they yell at NRA members who would willingly put their lives on the line to defend them with a gun.”
“The people at this convention are good people. They are people who use their guns to help you when you need it most. Tragedy will strike us again somewhere and the people here know it. We know that changes are necessary, but taking away some rights from law-abiding people is not how we do it. Let’s make schools safer and hire trained and responsible officers in schools.