As millions continue to mourn the loss of 21 people killed at an elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, thousands gathered on Friday outside the National Rifle Association (NRA)’s annual meeting in Houston.
Protesting the NRA’s extensive lobbying against gun-control measures, as well as endless political inaction by politicians, people from all over Texas converged on the George R. Brown Convention Center to demand change in the wake of yet another mass shooting.
Social media platforms were flooded with powerful images and videos of the gatherings. Despite the soaring heat, the growing energy was evident as protestors of all ages and backgrounds displayed posters and signs calling for change. Many called out Texas politicians by name, including Republican Governor Greg Abbott and Senator Ted Cruz.
Photos from a friend who’s at the protest in Houston in front of the NRA convention where the NRA doesn’t allow guns during part of the convention
— Μ (Μέλι) (@malikacoexist54) May 27, 2022
Others called for assault-rifle bans and questioned when public figures “will love their kids more than they love their guns?” Activists decried the violence that has become all too commonplace in America, declaring that “arms are for hugs.” One protestor’s sign put it bluntly: “Eat Shit, Ted Cruz.”
In another heart-wrenching plea, children stood in silence with the images of the victims hanging from their necks.
Across the street from the NRA convention: “Am I next?” pic.twitter.com/bEl9vLY6gG
— Mike Hixenbaugh (@Mike_Hixenbaugh) May 27, 2022
Gun control activist David Hogg, founder of March for Our Lives and himself a survivor of another school shooting (in Parkland, Florida, 2018), shared a video of the Friday protests, adding that “this time is gonna be different.”
Yeah this time is gonna be different. This is in front of the NRA convention in Houston. pic.twitter.com/3BLhKK1St9
— David Hogg ???? (@davidhogg111) May 27, 2022
Perhaps this time will be different in that common-sense gun legislation might eventually make it out of state houses and Congress—and effectuate the type of change that would prevent another Uvalde massacre.
Policy solutions, such as universal background checks, increased waiting periods for firearm purchases, and red flag laws, remain broadly popular with American voters. However, progress on these issues stalls time and again, eventually succumbing to the influence of the powerful gun lobby.