The National Rifle Association’s national convention drew a counter-demonstration in Indianapolis this weekend, as advocates for gun control pressed their own agenda near the convention center hosting the event, NPR reports. An NRA official says the group has plenty of support. The NRA event drew tens of thousands of people, along with keynote speakers such as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Saturday night’s events featured retired Lt. Col. Oliver North and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
On Friday, at what the NRA billed as “a critical campaign stop for any serious contenders for the White House,” Indiana Gov. Mike Pence shared the same stage Jindal, Rubio, and U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. The Indianapolis Star said most speakers slammed the media and “liberal elites.” They attacked the Obama administration and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for efforts to enact gun control. They pledged to fight tooth and nail against any new restrictions on the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Pence took a more subdued approach. While he expressed his support for gun rights, he focused primarily on broader themes of freedom and state rights. Rubio said, “Take comfort because in just 32 months we will have a new president. And our current president should take comfort because in 32 months he can return home to live in the anti-gun utopia that is Chicago.”