NRA Protests

I’ve seen a lot of misinformation put out about the protests against NRA’s annual meeting during the last few days which is a little odd since there were only a few pro-gun people who actually attended the protest to find out what was happening. It wasn’t something you could watch from the windows of the convention center or see from the sidewalks anywhere near the main hall. The actual protest & rally took place about a mile from the convention center, and almost every person there marched all the way back to the Westin across the street from the convention center.

I’ve seen some people try to claim there were only 30 people, and that the media is lying when they say around 200 people marched against NRA. There were easily 200 people, and I might even say closer to 250 or more. And almost every single one of them not only came out for the rally, but they marched for a mile in the heat and bright sun. (Seriously, I got sunburned and I wasn’t out there that long on the warmest day of the convention.) I took video which I’m currently editing. I interviewed quite a few protest attendees during their march, and I have to say that it was a very enlightening experience.

Before I get into the details of why people told me they were out there marching against NRA, I just wanted to set the record straight on the numbers game and who was involved. We had 71,139 members come through those convention hall doors. We don’t need to lie about the other side to claim victory in this case. I also know that someone somewhere mentioned that Ceasefire wasn’t involved, something that could lead people to believe that they have basically given up. That’s absolutely not the case. They were decked out in their organization t-shirts, and their director even addressed the rally. They are still around and planning to fight.

We win because of larger numbers, passionate grassroots activists, and people who are willing to turn up to the polls to vote for freedom. Trust me, the other side knows this. One key theme in Saturday’s rally was that the NRA wins because we get involved and the politicians listen to us. If we try to belittle the other side & their efforts to motivate their base, we risk missing the point where they could become relevant if we become complacent.

(Photo credit: Adam Z. who, along with his friend who is new to the issue, hopped in a cab with me up to the rally & marched down taking photos while I interviewed protesters.)

14 thoughts on “NRA Protests”

  1. These protesters are blaming guns and the NRA because the real causes of violence in their community is not something they want t face or own up to: Fatherless children, high teen pregnancy rates, soaring school drop out rates, gangs, and drugs. These things make for a pretty bleak future for any kid who grows up in there. The feeling of living in a caste system with no real power drives them to pick up a gun to feel power and important.

    Until urban communities are willing to looks at some of the conditions they create, they are going to continue to bury their young men who are cut down over stupid street arguments and fights. This culture that accepts failure as the norm and does not push their kids to do better, is not doing anyone any good.

    They can continue to blame the NRA. There were 71,000+ people there in Pittsburgh who had nothing to do with what is going on in urban communities.

  2. I wouldn’t actually jump to conclusions about the people participating in the protest unless you personally spoke to one or more of them. The speakers would be more in line with what you’re asserting, but part of the reason I did video interviews is because you’d be shocked by what they actually believe and want.

  3. I spent 6 years working in the criminal justice system, specifically the PA court system. It’s amazing how how the cycle of violence goes unbroken in urban settings. It’s not a color or nationality issue either. It becomes this feeling of being trapped. Everyone around you is trapped, lack of education, lack of jobs, give rise to gangs and a street thug culture. It become easy to blame other and inanimate objects as to the reason these things continue on.

    To people that live hand to mouth, the idea of having $1000 in their pocket makes them feel rich, important, and powerful. A gun in the pocket is the ultimate symbol of power. They settle disputes with violence, in some cases to earn respect and in others it’s to make sure they’re feared. Fear and respect are two things that are often confused with one another.

  4. I think there were multiple protest groups. That does not look like the group we saw, because it’s larger and, uhm, more diverse.

  5. Professional Leftists. Social Justice Council, men in sandals, and gray pony tails.

    We have nothing to fear from people who cannot even fashion a peace sign (they are stupidly waving the Mercedes-Benz icon about).

  6. I wonder what the elderly woman carrying the “talk it out, don’t shoot it out” sign thinks about Obama having Osama bin Laden shot to death over the weekend?

  7. Yeah, i have to agree with SuyUncle. Both times i went out to 10th and Penn, the crowd was pretty small (i counted 25 with several small children) and not as … diverse.

  8. I was there and did get photos, will be posting over the next few days as time allows.

    I will say that I put the estimate at around 200-250. Had a chance to dialog with one individual. Hoping to remain in contact.

    That said, there were a few stupid comments said by both sides and surrounding people. But one of the conference center staff made the dumbest comment trying to encourage a fight to brew. He wanted to be entertained.

  9. There’s such a thing as being too sympathetic to the other side.

    Study ’em so you can more effectively counter their leaders’ nonsense — but don’t fret about winning over the rank and file; this is one of Their Causes, they go these rallies with all their pals; it’s a big social-bonding thing and once past the buzzwords and shibboleths, their reasons are rarely analyzed in any depth. You can’t win (most) of them over any more than you can teach a fish out of water to breathe.

    And why bother when there are so many more “amphibians” out there, the huge no-strong-opinion middle, who you can win over?

  10. I find it amusing to see the “Sister’s of St. Joseph” banner in one of the photographs. I attended a parochial school managed and staffed by the good sisters of the Congregation of St. Joseph, and recall with regret how while some tried their best, yet others practiced what today is regarded child abuse. The sisters must regard violence with a ruler or bare hands as appropriate but choosing a more effective tool for defense as somehow evil.

    I should not be surprised. Three priests assigned to the parish in the 60’s and 70’s were also determined to be pedophiles. The parish? Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, East Weymouth, Massachusetts.

    The parochial school was shut down in the 70’s.

  11. Ed, who went to Immaculate Conception school in Weymouth. Is there any way we can get in touch? I’m writing a book about that parish covering roughly that period. (Actually, you may have known some of my siblings who went to that school in the sixties.) Would love to confidentially discuss your experiences and impressions.

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