NRA to hold convention in Texas amid mounting opposition nationwide

After a victory against gun control legislation in the Senate last month, the National Rifle Association will hold its annual convention this weekend in Houston, according to the Associated Press:

Organizers anticipate a rollicking, Texas-sized party — one that celebrates the group’s recent victory while stressing the fight against gun control is far from over.

“If you are an NRA member, you deserve to be proud,” Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s brash, no-compromises chief executive wrote to the organization’s 5 million members last week, telling them they “exemplify everything that’s good and right about America.”

The NRA couldn’t have picked a friendlier place to refresh the troops. More than 70,000 people are expected to attend the three-day “Stand and Fight”-themed event, which includes a gun trade show, political rally and strategy meeting. (Read the rest of the story here .)

At The Fix, Sean Sullivan writes that after the filibuster in the Senate, the lobbying group has to demonstrate its influence with voters or risk being abandoned by legislators in the future:

When it comes to the senators who cast tough votes against gun control, most notably a bipartisan background check amendment, the NRA will need to prove itself a capable counterweight to the growing chorus of gun control groups, lest it lose its ability to pressure lawmakers to vote the way it wants . . .

The landscape of the battle over gun laws is changing, in a way that makes the NRA’s task more difficult than it used to be. The gun control movement now includes new players who have vowed to press ahead in the face of defeat and return to the debate enlightened by its failure last month to pass new restrictions.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) was one senator who voted not to bring the proposal to expand background checks to a vote, and she met with anger and coordinated opposition from constituents and activists when she returned home this week.

Many were especially enraged this week when a 5-year-old boy shot and killed his 2-year-old sister with a small-caliber rifle designed and marketed for children, as the Associated Press reports. Post opinion writer Erik Wemple wrote, “Civilization is incompatible with a toddler killed by a 5-year-old with his own rifle. It just is.”

Michael Rosenwald reports on swelling crowds at gun shows around the country:

Gun shows have long peddled gun-related goods alongside the weapons on display — ammunition, holsters, sights, targets, cleaning supplies. But in the past decade or so, as the number of gun shows has ballooned to more than 5,000 a year and the number of people attending them has soared to an estimated 25 million to 30 million, the weekend events have become traveling malls.

Max Ehrenfreund is a blogger on the Financial desk and writes for Know More and Wonkblog.
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