Texas Anti-Gunner Has a Problem With the First Amendment Too

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

The National Rifle Association is predicting about 75,000 attendees for its Annual Meeting, which kicks off today in Dallas, Texas. While I won't be at this year's gathering, based on my past experiences I'm confident that many of the NRA members who'll be wandering the aisles, attending the Members Meeting, taking in the speeches by Donald Trump and Greg Abbott, voting for the 76th Board Member, and enjoying all there is to see and do will be accompanied by their sons and daughters. The NRA Annual Meetings have always been a family-friendly affair, and I don't think this year will be any different. 

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Guess who has a problem with that?

NRA deputy director, Jennifer Briemann, says adults and kids of all ages are welcome to attend the free event. 

"It's such a large gathering 75,000 people, which is an enormous turnout. So, you can feel the energy building," she said.

However for Miriam Sharma, who is a member of the Dallas chapter of Moms Demand Action, says she is concerned about kids being able to attend the event.

"It is interesting that the City of Dallas is allowing them to come in and obviously advertise openly that children are welcome to come to the event, when we know that firearms are the leading cause of death in children and teens," she told CBS News Texas. 

I'm well aware of Sharma's hostility towards the Second Amendment, but I didn't realize she was so opposed to the First Amendment as well. Does she honestly believe that the city government in Dallas could bar minors from entering the Annual Meetings without being sued into compliance for violating the freedom of association of NRA members? 

My colleague Tom Knighton has repeatedly pointed out the fuzzy math that's used to come up with the finding that firearms are the leading cause of death in children and teens. Even the Washington Post says it's inaccurate to claim that guns are the leading cause of death for children, which is why anti-gun activists like Sharma toss in "and teens"... which encompasses those who are adults and can legally purchase and possess firearms. 

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By including 18- and 19-year-olds, excluding infants under age 1 and comparing firearm deaths with only vehicle crashes, Johns Hopkins reports that in 2021, there were 4,733 firearm deaths of “children and teens” compared with 4,048 deaths from motor vehicle crashes.

But by counting only children 17 and under, including infants under the age of 1, and comparing with all motor vehicle deaths, the CDC data shows that in 2021, there were 2,590 firearm deaths of children, compared with 2,687 motor vehicle deaths.

Excluding infants under 1 from the data narrows the gap to a near tie — 2,580 deaths from motor vehicles compared with 2,571 from firearms. If one focuses just on vehicle crashes, as Johns Hopkins does, then starting in 2020, firearm deaths exceeded motor vehicle deaths of children ages 1 to 17.

Were Moms Demand Action protesting outside the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center back in February when the North Texas Auto Expo was held? Of course not. They're intent on destroying the right to keep and bear arms, not the ability to buy a fast car. And they know that one way to do that is to target the next generation; filling their tiny heads with anti-2A talking points and doing everything in their power to keep them from learning about our fundamental civil liberties and the importance of protecting them. 

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Thankfully, while Sharma's contempt for the Bill of Rights may have gotten her a few seconds on the evening news, it won't stop NRA members from bringing their kids with them to the Annual Meetings this weekend. Her comments are still an important reminder for Second Amendment supporters, however. They don't just want us disarmed. They want us silenced as well. 

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