The National Rifle Association just wrapped up its annual meeting in Houston back in the Lone Star State. Some highlights: Texas Governor Rick Perry fired a big gun for funsies, a bleeding Obama zombie target was banned, and Sarah Palin recieved a standing ovation for her speech.
This is the same speech in which she represented her 4.5 million “brothers and sisters” of the NRA by wagging her finger at the “lamestream media,” a “poodle-skirted cheerleader for the president” and giving her audience the wink and nudge of the elbow with names in her family like “Trigg” and “Remington.”
Palin’s speech and the NRA’s annual meeting were unfortunately scheduled within the same week as the Profile in Courage award ceremony in Boston. So just a few days after Palin performed her schtick, former U.S. Rep. and gunshot victim Gabrielle Giffords’ took the stage at the JFK Library to accept her award.
“I wish there was more courage in Congress,” Giffords said. “Sometimes, it’s hard to express it. I know. It’s been a hard two years for me, but I want to make the world a better place more than ever.”
Back in the heartland, there were still plenty of people headed down to Houston for the NRA’s meeting. The number of atendees, at a staggering estimate of 80,000 gun owners, topped last year’s 73,000, which is odd, considering that its not an election year. Republican presidential candidates are expected to make campaign stops at the annual meeting, and the GOP star-power tends to draw in a crowd. The cause for the uptick in attendees? Why, you can thank the resurgence of gun lobbying on the main stage after this last year’s violent series of mass shootings.
So what’s Texa$ getting from the Congregation of the .45 Caliber Carriers? Rick Perry has been in talks with gun companies for months to try and bring some new business to Texas. During the NRA’s annual meeting, Rick Perry told press that manufacturers moving out of states imposing harsher gun laws “wouldn’t move an inch if the legislature was friendly to them.”
The only national gun control legislation on the table are two amendments to the Water Resources Development Act, proposed by Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). One amendment would “protect the rights of to bear arms at water resource development projects administered by the Secretary of the Army.” The other amendment would “require agencies to report annually on owned, purchased and lost guns and ammunition.”
But what about trying instate gun control laws on civilian gun owners? Joe Biden and most of the Democrats are still hoping for universal background checks, but the Republican party won’t seem to budge.
Now, I understand that Texans at NYU get a pretty bad rap around here when it comes to guns. But from one ex-pat of the Republic of Texas to the entire NYU community: Please remember that not every one of us is a gun-slinging cowboy. In fact, the land of Tejas is #30 on the list of states ranked in order of highest percentage of gun owners. Also, remember that Austin exists, which is basically the San Francisco of the South.
Oh yeah, lastly–remember the Alamo.