The Washington Times - December 20, 2012, 04:37PM

When National Rifle Association officials step forward Friday in the nation’s capital for a much anticipated press conference in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings, they’ll have company. Much company.l Noisy company. Their very vocal critics will also be at there at the Willard Hotel — site of the press event, and just a block from the White House — armed with petitions, placards and complaints.

“Get All Living Beings out of the Crosshairs: Ban Hunting,” reads the protest signs that will be brandished by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals folks, who say they will “converge outside” the conference to protest both firearms and hunting in general.

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“The NRA’s culture of cruelty instills violence in society by promoting the shooting of animals for fun, and this must be stopped,” says Ingrid E. Newkirk, the group’s president. “It’s time we face the fact that as we strive for a more peaceful world, we must tackle all forms of senseless killing—and that includes hunting.”

But what, there’s more.

CREDO Action, which organized an “emergency march” on NRA offices Monday, plans a visit as well. The progressive activist group plans to deliver a petition to the NRA that reads, “In the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the NRA must stand down and stop blocking Congress and the President from passing gun control legislation.”

The group says that 207,000 people have signed the petition.

“This is a rare moment where change is possible. We need to prove ourselves worthy of this moment,” the group is advising its members.