Secret service? Local laws? Insurance? What Excuse Will the NRA Use For Allowing Gun-Free Zones At Their Next Annual Meeting? Perhaps the Same One They Use At Their Office

Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council

 

May 9, 2018

 

The media have been buzzing about the gun-free zones that were provided for President Trump and Vice President Pence when they spoke at the recent NRA annual meeting in Dallas.

 

Many have pointed out the hypocrisy of deeming the President and the Veep only safe in a gun-free zone while wanting schools with young children to be full of guns––as well as public buildings, workplace offices and retail establishments. Even some pro-gun advocates say a large gathering of unvetted, armed people––as many as 40 percent who never went through a background check to determine their mental state or whether they’re a felon––is a recipe for disaster. Banning “good guys” from carrying guns also undercuts the entire pro-gun credo, say gun activists.

 

Yet, the NRA claims that gun-free zones are the reasons mass shootings occur so they must be eliminated. (We observe that mass shootings always occur in areas surrounded by trees so to stop mass shootings perhaps there should be tree-free zones.) But the Secret Service does not agree with the NRA and mandates gun-free zones when the President or Vice President speak. The NRA is only too happy to blame the Secret Service for the gun-free zone requirement but a quick look at other NRA annual meetings shows the gun rights organization is surprisingly tolerant of gun-free zones even though they say such zones are the most dangerous place of all and the prime reason for mass shootings.

 

 

 

For the NRA’s 2012 annual meeting in St. Louis, the NRA warned attendees in a post, “Note: The city of St. Louis [not mindful of the dangers of gun-free zones] prohibits the carrying of firearms at the America’s Center Convention Complex.”

 

Despite the NRA’s conviction about the risk of gun-free zones, Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for NRA headquarters in Fairfax, VA, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch “the NRA will honor the city ban.”

 

At the NRA’s 2015 meeting in Nashville, the NRA was okay with the Bridgestone Arena, which hosted an NRA performance by country music artist Alan Jackson and comedian Jeff Foxworthy, being a gun-free zone. “Bridgestone Arena prohibits the possession of firearms, and always has,” wrote the editor of BearingArms.com about the gun-free concert venue, sounding a little defensive. “Is it really news that the NRA asks members to follow laws?” (It would seem to “really be news” that the NRA was okay with exposing its members to the gun-free zones.)

 

The NRA was also okay with gun-free eating areas at its 2017 annual meeting in Atlanta. “Firearms will be permitted in the Georgia World Congress Center and the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center. However, be mindful that no guns are allowed in other areas of the CNN [Center] including the food court and retail shops,” explained the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. But won’t diners be sitting ducks?

 

The CNN Center has its own history of gun violence, reported the Toronto Sun. “In 2007, a gunman shot and killed his ex-girlfriend who worked in an adjoining hotel.

 

In Atlanta, as in Dallas, the Secret Service said those attending the speeches of President Trump and Vice President Pence must leave their guns outside the auditorium, exposing both the President and Vice President to the grave danger of a gun-free zone.

 

Whether “honoring” local laws in St. Louis or asking members to “follow laws” in Nashville keeping its performers safe, the NRA can’t hide its gun-free zone hypocrisy. If they really believed gun-free zones are so dangerous, why would they hold their venues in them?

 

Knowing that guns in an environment make that environment high risk and less safe, the NRA bans guns in its corporate office but wants all other places to allow guns. This will not stand and, in my book to be published at the end of June, you will see how we can stop their hypocritical, vile agenda from moving forward.

 

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