Guns will be banned from the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Dallas, where President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are slated to speak at Friday’s leadership forum.
The NRA posted a notice on its website saying that the arena will be under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Secret Service during the leadership forum. It’s standard for the Secret Service to bar firearms from being carried into places visited by the people they protect, regardless of state laws.
Other speakers include NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox, NRA Spokesperson Dana Loesch, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, and North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson but some of those slated to address the gun lobby are more peculiar.
The firearms advocacy group will hear from Mark Geist, a private contractor working as member of the security team that failed to save the lives of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans killed by terrorists in the September 2012 attacks on US diplomatic and CIA outposts in Benghazi, Libya.
Geist’s account of what happened during the attacks was the foundation for the 2014 book “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi,” which was later adapted in 2016 as a feature film directed by Michael Bay, which grossed $69 million worldwide,
NRA members are also to hear from Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, the pro-Trump black social media propagandists known as Diamond & Silk, who have accepted money from white nationalist Paul Nehlen, a neo-Nazi candidate running to replace Speaker Paul Ryan in the Wisconsin congressional election.
Also speaking is hate-advocate Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, a right-wing organization funded by arch-conservative billionaire Foster Friess. Kirk’s grp has listed about 200 college and university educators on the ‘Professor Watchlist’ website, described as a threat to academic freedom by Hans-Joerg Tiede, the associate secretary for the American Association of University Professors, among others.
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association was once a civil rights group dedicated to preserving the Second Amendment but in recent decades, it has devolved into an extreme right-wing organization that has opposed closing loopholes in background check laws and restrictions on the sale of firearms to suspected terrorists identified on the FBI’s ‘no fly’ list.
Some have accused the group of advocating the violent overthrow of the federal government. A virulent recruitment video by the NRA suggests joining the group is the best defense against political opponents such as Barack Obama, Hollywood actors, the news media, school teachers and liberals.
The FBI is investigating whether Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of the Bank of Russia, illegally funneled money to the NRA, of which he is a paid lifetime member, to assist the Trump campaign in 2016. The Russian politician’s ties to the NRA gave him access to Donald Trump.
President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, failed to disclose a backdoor overture and dinner invite from Torshin, a former senator and deputy head of Russia’s central bank who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and has been accused of links to Russian organized crime.
The NRA posted a notice on its website saying that during the leadership forum, the arena will be under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Secret Service which bars firearms from being carried into places visited by the people they protect, regardless of state laws.
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