Gun ownership in the US might be on the decline, but the upcoming National Rifle Association (NRA) convention promises to be “one of the largest” in its history and “a safe and fun atmosphere the whole family can enjoy.”
The lobbying group just released the lineup for its annual convention, which takes place May 3-5 in Houston—the first after the deadly school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. Despite days of silence from the NRA in the massacre’s aftermath, today’s press release shows it’s back to business as usual. Three items of note:
The politicians are lining up again. Few surprises here: “Confirmed speakers include [Texas] Governor Rick Perry, former Congressman Asa Hutchinson, Governor Bobby Jindal, Senator Ted Cruz, former Senator Rick Santorum, and more.” Political commentator Glenn Beck will be the featured speaker at the “Stand and Fight” rally.
Bring Junior along. “The ever-popular air gun range is a top attraction – both for participants and observers. NRA offers diverse seminars throughout the three-day convention, including methods of concealed carry; hunting; Firearms Law; the Grassroots Workshop; and Refuse to Be a Victim®.”
And Dixie too. The Eli Young Band will headline several country music acts at the NRACountry Jam III.
Last year’s attendance of 73,000 at the NRA’s convention in St. Louis, Missouri, set a record; more than 65,000 delegates are expected this year, according to the organization. A recent report from the General Social Survey showed that American gun ownership has been roughly stable for the last 15 years, fluctuating at around one-third of households after having fallen from 50% in the 1970s. “There are all these claims that gun ownership is going through the roof,” Daniel Webster of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research told the New York Times. “But I suspect the increase in gun sales has been limited mostly to current gun owners.”