The National Rife Association has been an easy target in the aftermath of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. One Democrat is doing more than just criticize – he’s trying to ban the group from his city entirely. His comments, caught on video, are included below.
Dwaine Caraway is Mayor Pro Tem of Dallas, Texas, and he is none too happy with the NRA right now. The Democrat is pushing to have the annual NRA Convention, scheduled to be held in Dallas this May, kicked out of the city.
This wouldn’t be the first time Dallas has banned a convention it didn’t agree with. In past years, it banned a national porn convention from being held there. To force the NRA to move a convention less than three months before it is held would be unprecedented, however.
Caraway said that the NRA event, scheduled for May 3-6 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, is inappropriate for Dallas after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., last week. The NRA’s meeting will include firearms exhibits where attendees can buy guns, and the group’s national elected officials will participate in leadership meetings.
In a written statement, Caraway said that it’s “time to put the heat on the NRA.” He followed up his written comments with a news conference outside City Hall in which he decried high-powered civilian-owned weapons and gun violence in Dallas, referencing both the 1963 Kennedy assassination and the July 7, 2016, ambush on police.
Caraway said asking the NRA to reconsider was “a tough call” but would put the city’s residents first. He said the NRA’s political positions would lead to demonstrations that Dallas would be forced to handle and that the organization needs to “come to the table” and be part of a solution.
“I would hope they would be sensitively moral themselves at some point,” he said of the powerful interest group that has not bowed to past criticisms. “I would hope that the NRA would be watching, as I’m sure they are, around the country what has just taken place. They have children. They have families. At some point, they need to understand, and I think they do, that there will be opposition when they come here.”
NRA media representatives did not immediately respond to messages for comment Monday morning.
Caraway largely sidestepped questions about what the city of Dallas could actually do about a legal event that already has a contract with the convention center. Instead, he said, other council members should take positions and that the city’s attorneys could look into it.
It appears unlikely to go far. The city’s ban of the Exxxotica event, which is still in its own legal fight, was based on its sexually oriented business ordinance. The NRA’s meeting would appear more difficult to challenge.
Mayor Mike Rawlings said in an interview after the Sutherland Springs shooting last year that the city had its hands tied by the Constitution. At the time, Caraway was toying with the idea of taking some action regarding the NRA meeting.
Rawlings last week instead focused on national leaders, writing a letter to President Donald Trump and Texans in Congress urging them to “summon the courage” to look for solutions for mass killings.
Other City Council members have also weighed in after the Florida shooting. Kevin Felder, who represents South Dallas and Far East Dallas, tweeted his opposition to the NRA convention.
Council member Rickey Callahan also wrote a letter to the mayor last week urging some type of local action and calling mental health the “800-pound gorilla in the room.”
Here is video of Caraway’s comments on the NRA convention.