Protesters chanted ‘Shame!’ at event-goers and held signs bearing the names of children killed in school mass shootings; group says its not affiliated with political arm of the pro-gun group.

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YAKIMA (AP) — More than two dozen people — some holding pieces of paper with the names of school children killed by gun violence and others chanting “Shame” — protested outside a Friends of the NRA fundraiser Saturday at the Yakima Convention Center.

“I’m here because what presumably started as a benign hobby organization turned into a vile, violent, paranoid, racist, right-wing, conspiracy group that’s somehow managed to scare and pay people off to keep sensible regulations from being imposed on guns,” said Sidney Dolquist, a local business owner who was among some 30 protesters.

“I want everyone who walks into the center to know that for every one of them, there’s one of us and more.”

At the protest, 150 pieces of paper bearing the names of children slain in school shootings across the country were held by some protesters or taped on light posts.

Other protesters held signs reading, “The Second Amendment does not guarantee the right to hunt children” or “Children’s lives are more important than your guns.” Some stood near the center’s parking lot and yelled, “Shame” at patrons entering the fundraiser.

The protest and fundraiser came 10 days after a gunman killed 17 people and wounded 14 others at a Parkland, Fla., high school.

Dave Douglas, a fundraiser coordinator, said the protestors made a mistake by choosing a Friends of the NRA event since the program has no affiliation with the political body of the NRA.

“If they’re protesting the letters ‘NRA,’ then they’re barking up the wrong tree,” Douglas said, “We’re not making political statements.”

Friends of the NRA is a program sponsored by the NRA Foundation, a charity that supports shooting sports such as bullseye and field shooting. Saturday’s event was a banquet and auction meant to raise money for Washington state shooting sports.

One protest coordinator, Rochelle Dunmore with ACT Yakima — a nonprofit progressive organization — said her group was asked by students from local schools to set up the protest.

“(We came here) because they’re here,” she said. “We want them to help us come up with a solution. We’re not being confrontational, we’re just trying to prevent more violence.”