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Protesters encircle NRA convention site

protest
Protesters gather on the steps of the state Capitol in Denver  

May 1, 1999
Web posted at: 1:57 p.m. EDT (1757 GMT)

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.



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Gun industry caught in image bind after school massacre
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RELATED SITES:
National Rifle Association
Swedish Hospital (patient conditions)
Littleton Adventist Hospital - Important Phone Numbers
Denver Health Medical Center - Home
Mile High United Way - The Healing Fund
DonorNet
APA HelpCenter
Violence Policy Center
  • Fact Sheet on Littleton, Colorado School Shooting
Columbine High School
Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
Jefferson County Public Schools
KUSA
  • Breaking News
KMGH Denver
School violence
GUN-FREE SCHOOLS ACT OF 1994
CDC: Facts About Violence Among Youth and Violence in Schools
Violence and Discipline Problems in U.S. Public Schools: 1996-97 / 98-030
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
The Denver Post Online
Chatfield High School
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