The survivors of last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., have been outspoken in their criticism of the National Rifle Association, railing against the gun lobby and lawmakers who have resisted the post-massacre calls to change U.S. gun laws.
“This isn’t about the GOP. This isn’t about the Democrats,” Cameron Kasky, a junior at Stoneman Douglas, said on CNN over the weekend. “This is about us creating a badge of shame for any politicians who are accepting money from the NRA and using us as collateral.”
The NRA’s national spokeswoman, Dana Loesch, will come face to face with some of those survivors on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET during a live town hall hosted by CNN. According to the network, the organization accepted its invitation to participate in the town hall and Loesch will attend the event, titled “Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action.”
Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., have also accepted the network’s invites to appear at the town hall, while Florida Gov. Rick Scott and President Trump declined. Trump is scheduled to host a “listening session” with members of communities touched by school gun violence at the White House on Wednesday afternoon.
The NRA, which has not formally responded to last week’s shooting in Parkland, was quick to condemn a billboard tagged with the message “Kill The NRA” after it was spotted in Louisville, Ky., earlier this week.
“Here’s an image from Kentucky, this morning,” the NRA wrote in a message posted to Facebook. “To all American gun owners, this is a wakeup call. They’re coming after us. Like and share to spread the word.”
Everytown, the gun safety group led by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense took out a two-page ad in the New York Times on Wednesday, listing members of Congress who have received donations from the NRA, along with the phone numbers of their offices.
“If they won’t act,” the ad read, “it’s up to us to elect leaders who will.”
On Feb. 16, more than 100 protesters gathered outside the NRA’s headquarters in Virginia to hold a vigil for the 17 people killed in the massacre in Parkland.
Meanwhile, the organization is facing pressure from officials in Dallas to move its annual convention, scheduled for early May, to another city.
“I am saying to the NRA, reconsider yourselves coming to Dallas,” Dallas City Council Member Dwaine Caraway, who serves as mayor pro tem, said at a news conference on Monday. “There will be marches and demonstrations should they come to Dallas and we, Dallas, will be the ones that have to bear the cost and the responsibility and to protect the citizens.”
In a statement, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said that while he disagreed with the NRA’s viewpoints and tactics, it has every right to hold an event in the city.
“Hopefully we will take the opportunity in Dallas to engage in meaningful dialogue about how we work together to end mass killings in America,” Rawlings said.
Last year, Loesch, a conservative radio host, appeared in a controversial NRA commercial calling on its members to “fight” those on the left who oppose pro-gun laws.
“The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth,” Loesch said in the ad.
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