Protesters encircle NRA convention site
May 1, 1999
DENVER (CNN) -- Singing "We Shall Overcome" and carrying signs proclaiming "Shame on the NRA," about 3,000 people solemnly encircled the site of the National Rifle Association's annual convention Saturday.
The protesters objected to the meeting being held less than two weeks after Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot to death 12 classmates, a teacher and themselves at Columbine High School in the Denver suburb of Littleton.
"I'm here because I'm very worried about the future for my children," said Frances Aramovich of Denver. "I despair if guns are going to remain as readily available as they are now."
Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and others had urged the NRA to cancel the meeting in the wake of the April 20 massacre. The city even offered to pay the gun advocacy organization's expenses. The NRA refused to cancel, but did scale back the meeting from three days to one and dropped a planned gun show.
"This is our country," NRA President Charlton Heston said in opening remarks at the meeting. "We're free to travel wherever we want in our broad land."
Heston called the suggestion that the NRA stay away from Denver "offensive" and "absurd."
The protest began with a rally on the steps of the Colorado state Capitol a few blocks from the Adams-Mark Hotel, where the NRA was meeting.
Correspondent Charles Zewe contributed to this report.
NRA comes to town on heels of Colorado school massacre
National Rifle Association
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