BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The National Rifle Association begins its annual convention in Houston today. It comes just days after 19 children and two teachers were killed at an elementary school less than 300 miles away.

Gun safety advocates who have called for new restrictions in response to mass shootings have renewed their criticism of the NRA for opposing repeated efforts to tighten firearm regulations to attempt to curb carnage around the country.

While the NRA’s power has taken a hit in recent years, financial filings and lobbying disclosures show the group still has the means to try to influence gun policy talks in the coming weeks — along with the midterm elections that will decide which party controls Congress next year.

We want to know: Does the NRA have too much influence on American politics?

A majority, 58 percent of respondents, believe the NRA has too much influence on American politics.

The NRA along with all major corporations, churches and rich individuals have far too much say in our government and it needs to stop.

Katie Avery, Facebook user

They don’t have any more political influence than any other company who makes contributions to political organizations!

Dominic Michael, Facebook user