Thousands of angry protesters gathered in Texas on Friday as US gun laws come under pressure in the wake of Tuesday's primary school massacre.
Protestors stormed the streets of Houston outside the annual National Rifle Association (NRA) convention, with calls for stricter firearm control as the nation grapples with another deadly shooting.
While many people were pictured holding signs and placards with anti-gun slogans, one image in particular shows the grim reality of what gun legislation currently means for America.
The haunting photo is of an open casket placed firmly on the grass outside the convention.
In it are several wooden crosses bearing pictures and names of some of the 19 children killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.
Footage has also captured some members of the crowd shouting "NRA go away" and "Shame, it could be your kids today", AAP reports.
The school shooting — which also left two teachers dead — was just one of 216 mass shootings in the US so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
In 2022 alone, 144 children under the age of 11 have been killed as a result of being shot, and a further 516 teenagers aged between 12 and 17 have died, the archive states.
Tuesday's massacre comes just weeks after a teen shot dead 10 people at a New York state supermarket in what authorities say was a "racially motivated" attack.
Yeah this time is gonna be different. This is in front of the NRA convention in Houston. pic.twitter.com/3BLhKK1St9
— David Hogg 🌻 (@davidhogg111) May 27, 2022
'Protect our fundamental right to defend'
The NRA is America's biggest gun lobby and a major donor to Congress members, mostly Republicans.
Despite the protests, former President Donald Trump took the convention stage late Friday afternoon, along with other Republicans who urged attendees not to back down in their fight against gun control.
"The existence of evil in our world is not a reason to disarm law-abiding citizens," Mr Trump said.
While South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, said: "Now would be the worst time to quit. Now is when we double down."
Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive director, addressed the school killings but said gun owners "love our nation, love our children and grandchildren. That's why we will always cherish and protect our fundamental right to defend ourselves and our communities."
But Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association, the nation's largest teachers' union, rejected suggestions teachers be armed to thwart future shootings.
"More guns equal more violence," she said. "Assault weapons should be banned."
Several other speakers and elected officials, including Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, were supposed to speak at the NRA convention, but they pulled out for various reasons, according to reports.
Mr Patrick said he withdrew so as not to "bring any additional pain or grief to the families and all the suffering in Uvalde". While Mr Abbott chose to deliver a re-recorded video instead.
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