Polls show that a majority of Americans support background checks and other gun safety measures.
This happened when the National Rifle Association held its convention in Houston.
Thousands of protesters demonstrated against gun violence in front of the convention center.
Among the speakers was Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke.
“Let’s immediately commit to doing the hardest things we can imagine because nothing about it will be easy,” he said.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said organizers should have considered postponing the event. He held an event emphasizing that laws needed to be changed.
“This is a situation and a problem that is not going away, I just wish it would go away,” Turner said. “It will only go away if we step up and take definitive action.”
Also among the speakers was David Hogg, who survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 dead.
“Even if it’s a law that saves a life, whether it’s here in Texas or in Washington DC, we have to focus on where we can find common ground,” he said.
A number of people have resigned from Congress, including musician Don McLean and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who withdrew at the last minute. He appeared via video message.
Another speaker was Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson of North Carolina.
“The time for fooling around is over, folks, and the time for blaming law-abiding citizens should never have begun,” Robinson said. “It’s time to put the blame where it belongs, which is at the feet of the shooters.”
But all eyes were on former President Donald Trump, who delivered Tuesday’s keynote address.
“Even more repulsive is their eagerness to shift the blame away from the bad guys who commit acts of mass violence and to put that blame on the shoulders of millions of peaceful, law-abiding citizens who belong to organizations like our wonderful NRA,” Trump said.
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