(HONDO, Texas) — Just days before people planned to protest this Saturday’s fundraiser hosted by an NRA-aligned group near the site of the May 24 elementary school massacre in southwest Texas, the city council in Hondo announced Monday that it revoked permission for the organization’s use of the space where they planned to host the event.
Jazmin Cazares, older sister to Jackie Cazares, who was killed at Robb Elementary School, said the planned event was “a slap in the face” to her community about 40 miles west of Hondo. She read the names and ages of every Uvalde mass shooting victim — 19 students and two teachers — to close her speech.
Polly Flores, who lost two nieces in the massacre, called the event an “insult,” saying the Uvalde community was ready to “boycott all of Hondo’s businesses” if action wasn’t taken.
Angel Garza, the father of Amerie Jo Garza, who was killed at Robb Elementary, made an emotional plea, saying, “My daughter died still calling me daddy… she wasn’t even old enough to call me dad.”
Nikki Cross, the aunt of Uziyah Rodriguez, who was also killed in the rampage, summed up the emotion of the gathering by saying, “What happened to love thy neighbor?”
Medina County Democratic Chairwoman Sandy Young told council members, “At best, the scheduling of this meeting is hopefully an oversight and omission, someone made a mistake. At worst, this is a deliberate disrespect for the grief, sorrow and pain of these families and an attempt to shut them up, put them in their place, saying that their sorrow should not get in the way of our fun.”
The weekend event was to be held by a group called Friends of NRA, a “charitable” and “nonpolitical” group that is separate from the National Rifle Association, according to Sandy Steubing, a volunteer organizer of the gathering.
Another supporter of the fundraising group described the firearm safety training the group funds, as well as other non-legislative programs. Other supporters of the group and the planned fundraiser also spoke.
After the council met in a closed session, the decision to rescind permission for the use of city space by the NRA fundraising group was announced. Some family members could be seen sobbing, while others cried out “thank you” and “Hallelujah.”
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