Earlier this week, Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway told the media that if the NRA continues its plans to host its annual convention in Dallas in May, then the organization would be “met with opposition.”
Now, it’s not surprising to hear a liberal politician like Caraway attack the NRA. This is especially true in light of the recent school shooting in Florida that left 17 dead. In these tragic times, some look for someone to blame, and the NRA is often the target of these accusations. So, again, the misguided idea by Caraway is not newsworthy.
However, there is a coalition whose silence has been deafening. Supposedly pro-business groups such as the Texas Association of Business and Texas Competes have not said a single word on the matter. Why is this significant? Because during the entirety of the 85th Legislative Session (both regular and special) these groups were incredibly loud and vocal on similar issues.
If you will recall, there was a lot of attention paid to various privacy bills filed during the session. Some of these bills would have restricted use of public facilities to the birth gender of those entering the facilities. Other measures would have kept the status quo and not allowed local governments to make decisions concerning public facilities. The Texas Association of Business (TAB) and Texas Competes came out against all these proposals. After all, according to Twitter, Texas Competes exists to, “Businesses are standing together to keep Texas competitive and open for business to everyone.” The mission statement of TAB is, “The Texas Association of Business works in a bi-partisan manner to protect and enhance the Texas business climate and make the state’s economy strong.” These groups argued that any potential privacy bill could negatively impact the Texas economy because the policies would show a hostility to certain populations within Texas.
As part of their argument, they pointed out that Texas could lose numerous conventions which would entail losing out on millions of dollars of economic activity. One study they relied on to come to these conclusions was riddled with errors and easily debunked. Nevertheless, they persisted in their narrative that we should not promote any social policy that could hurt Texas’ economic climate.
That’s why it is so strange there has been a complete silence from these groups when it comes to the NRA Convention. If these groups were truly concerned about protecting Texas’ economic activity, they would be speaking out and condemning Caraway’s words because of the potential adverse economic effects that could come from his statements. After all, the city of Louisville estimated the 2016 NRA Convention generated about $53 Million in revenue. The four day weekend drew a little over 80,000 attendees. That is a lot of expected economic activity for the city of Dallas and the surrounding areas when it hosts the convention in May.
Again, Caraway’s words are not the issue. It’s the seeming hypocrisy of so-called economic groups who have argued for months that the state should not take social stands that could hinder the Texas economy. It seems that their words were only couched in economic terms, not truly rooted in them. If it was a principled stand, we would have heard from them by now. But their silence on this issue has shown their arguments to be “full of sound and fury, yet signifying nothing.”

Matt Krause

Matt Krause is the state representative for House District 93. Matt feels that Tarrant County embodies all the values, beliefs, and traditions that make Texas the greatest state in the United States. He looks forward to taking his hard work ethic, discipline, and good old-fashioned Texas values to Austin to make Texas families stronger, happier, and more secure in their property, jobs, and God-given rights.

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