On Protests at NRA Events

I’ve been to almost every single NRA meeting since Pittsburgh in 2004, so I feel like I’m a bit of a veteran. Though, I do know that there are folks who have attended every year since at least the early 90s, so I know that I’ve still seen nothing compared to them.

Last year, there was a rather sizable crowd of protesters who rallied about a mile away from the convention center and then marched down the streets to finish with a shorter rally outside the convention hall. I didn’t find that surprising because there was a protest in 2004, albet, much, much smaller in size. Regardless of size, it showed that there are enough legitimate true believers in gun control in Pittsburgh that they would venture into the downtown traffic nightmare just to oppose NRA and its members.

This year, despite a national controversy that the media wants to draw us into before facts are even known and drumming up a protest for weeks by anti-gun groups, nothing happened. That doesn’t surprise me one bit. In 2007, the only “opposition” was from a handful of guys who were paid by Bloomberg to stand outside the convention hall before the event started for a few minutes.

Some have mentioned the possibility of more interest in protesting NRA because of Occupy groups and the like. I never really thought that was an issue. Both before and after the Martin case drew attention to the gun issue, I was checking out typically left-wing groups here in St. Louis online. Not a single one ever mentioned opposition or concern about the NRA convention coming to town. Sure, there were a couple of lawmakers willing to condemn our members, but there has never been any true grassroots support for it in this city.

Next year is Houston, which is the city I had to skip in 2005. I honestly have no idea what the expect there. It once housed a MAIG mayor, but one who promptly quit when he realized that being allied with Michael Bloomberg on pretty much anything would be a quick path to losing all future campaigns outside of the city.

The following year is a new (to me) city, so we’ll see what Indianapolis holds in 2014. Nashville is 2015, another new (to me) city. I also noticed that we return to Louisville in 2016, and that city didn’t manage to turn up any protests. So as much as people want to write off all urban areas as being completely anti-gun, the vast majority of cities we visit don’t have enough concern about the gun issue to turn out for anything.

10 thoughts on “On Protests at NRA Events”

  1. Future protests may hinge on the outcome of the election this year more than the demographics of any particular city. If Romney wins the focus will be on economics. If the winner is Obama, then gun control will be center stage.

    To be honest, I trust neither candidate. Obama for obvious reasons, and Romney because he signed an “assault weapons” ban when he was governor. I don’t think we will have problems with Romney unless he sees some political advantage in cutting our throats. But with Obama, it’s ideological.

    Protests are only backdrop for the media spin anyway. Nobody cares very much if a few people decide to show the world how much they dislike a new law unless media takes sides, because nobody will even know unless media takes sides. Media controls the debate. That is why it is so important that we control media.

    1. I only see that happening if Obama decides he wants to quietly ask MoveOn to take up the issue of gun control just around the time of an NRA meeting. Otherwise, I don’t think the election results going one way or another will likely cause the development for a grassroots effort for gun control outside of an NRA meeting.

    2. I trust neither candidate, too: Romney, because he’s a politician, and Obama, because he’s a [long-tirade-of-near-obscenities] Communist politician.

  2. These groups are fighting for relevancy. They have been for decades. Even people who supported them in the past are coming to the realization that attacking those who wish to be law abiding does not have impact on those who disregard the laws.

    Decades of handgun bans in Chicago , DC, New York…..have gotten us nowhere and made law abiding citizens defenseless victims.

    Even those who dont own guns and dont care about guns and whose only plan for a violent encounter is to call 911 are starting to realize this and have for sometime now. Several people that I know who were once strongly antigun , have basically told me that their beliefs don’t seem as if they will every have an impact. NOTE: They didnt say that they support gun ownership…they just came to the conclusion that gun control doesn’t work. A small step for them, but better than these nut-jobs in MAIG.

  3. As a St Louis resident, Nra Life Member, and active Tea Partier, I will admit I was somewhat surprised to see no protest actions by our local leftist radicals/Occupiers, but happy they chose not to attend.
    Some of that could have been spurred by local politics: The only event our City has hosted of this size was the ’07 NRA convention…before that, the biggest was the World’s Fair over a century ago. With dollar signs that big in their eyes ($32+ million expected economic impact!!!), city leadership would have protected even a NAMBLA meeting if it brings in the 10’s of Million$ our local economy DESPERATELY needs.
    While St Louis is a somewhat gun-unfriendly City, our State of Missouri openly welcomes the largest gun show on Earth,(the city even cleared out all the homeless downtown on Wednesday before the Convention) and I seriously, seriously hope they decide to Three-peat and have the Convention in STL again!

  4. “I also noticed that we return to Louisville in 2016, and that city didn’t manage to turn up any protests…”

    My brother and I remarked yesterday on our drive back from St. Louis as we passed through Louisville what a nice convention that was in 2008. I liked the fact their convention center is not stuck in the middle of a downtown. Parking is cheap and easy and you can commute in just 10 minutes to any number of hotels and restaurants.

    Looking at the calendar, I don’t think I will make Houston next year–that is my company’s fiscal year end week. But as close as I am to Indianapolis and Louisville–both less than 4 hour drives–there is no reason I shouldn’t be able to make those.

  5. Brownells sent 3 bus-loads of our folks down to see the NRA show. Someone who was on an informal protester watch stopped by the booth tell me that they got worried when 3 buses pulled up, until they saw the matching shirts and the logo.

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