Preparing for Indianapolis

As tens of thousands of gun owners prepare to head to Indianapolis in the coming days, let’s take a quick look at how the media coverage is shaping up.

In this story about the renovation at the Westin next to the Convention Center that is only finishing days before the NRA convention comes to town, the reporters include these little nuggets from the local tourism authorities:

VisitIndy told FOX59 News that the 7,100 downtown hotel rooms are experiencing a virtual sellout for the weekend, with many of the 33,000 hotel rooms in the metropolitan area filling up as well.

They say the expected economic impact is predicted to be about $55 million based on recent numbers.

The Washington Times does a glowing review of the event for Beltway insiders who often forget that NRA is a group with real grassroots.

The Indianapolis Star provides some tips on what NRA visitors should do in the area. Some of you might find it odd that a cemetery is on their list of things to see, but I can tell you that I was actually thinking of going to visit this cemetery if time allowed. First of all, there’s a president and vice president buried there. Secondly, it really does appear to be pretty stunning. I learned about it before this article because I have a distant family member buried there.

With the Illegal Mayors of Everytown Moms holding their own mini event, expect letters to the editor like this one to hit continually throughout the show. They learned last year that headlines about record breaking attendance and 80,000+ gun owners standing up for their rights at a convention was a bad thing for their cause. More than any direct protest, they are trying to make sure that every article about tens of thousands of politically-motivated gun owners showing up to prep for punishing anti-gun lawmakers at the polls this year includes a mention that gun control activists are also gathering. This is a PR game, and it’s one that has been successfully played before in other issues. (There was an event for conservative online activists that followed around the much bigger liberal version every year, and many media stories about the liberal convention would include mention of the conservative convention.)

13 thoughts on “Preparing for Indianapolis”

  1. Okay… I’ve been getting Everytown for Gun Safety ads on this site left and right. Aggravating.

    1. We can’t see them. (I’m getting ads for women’s clothing & NRA Annual Meeting since they are personalized to you and your surfing history. If you email Sebastian an exact link to the page the ad goes to, we can block them by URL.

    1. Is it formally a protest? They only describe it as speakers “on the sidelines.” That could be anything from a protest/speaker set up across a street or nearby, or it could be an event elsewhere in the city. Have you seen more specific information than that?

  2. Only called it a protest because I wasn’t so sure what to call it. There was also that Mom’s poster that went around a month or so ago that called for people to come, sounding like some kind of demonstration, not a meeting. But I can’t remember for sure.

    1. As Sebastian said in that post, “Whether they will protest directly, or just do their own event nearby to try to draw media attention away from the convention remains to be seen.”

  3. Here it is from the Star in a general article today:

    “A few of those rooms may be booked by protestors. There’s at least one public protest planned.
    On Saturday, Moms Demand Action for Guns Sense in America is holding a “Stroller Jam” protest at Veterans Memorial Plaza non East Michigan Street, according to a special-event notification filed with Indianapolis code enforcement officials. The protest will close the plaza from 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. The permit says it’s expected to draw no more than 250 people.
    The group’s founder, Shannon Watts, said her group, which advocates for universal background checks and other gun-control measures, has been using baby gear to corral state lawmakers when gun-control legislation came up in state, so it’s become a theme at public protests.

    “What we realized was that when we were in the halls of a statehouse our strollers and diaper bags made sort of a barrier,” Watts said, “and made it harder for lawmakers to get by us without listening to us and answering our questions.”
    So far, city officials don’t expect any other major protests or disruptions associated with the convention.
    And that’s been the case at previous NRA conventions in other cities.”

  4. If only there was a site that had been name-checking good Indy eateries and brewpubs for years now… I’m actively wondering if Twenty Tap is going to see any extra business this weekend. :D

  5. Leaving office at 3PM on Thursday to go down. Staying at the Omni. See everyone there!

    Welcome to Indianapolis, land of great food, outstanding beer and guns, lots and lots of guns.

  6. “The permit says it’s expected to draw no more than 250 people.” The projected impact of the NRA Convention to the local economy $55 million. The projected impact of the Moms Demand Action for Guns protest? Probably about $1,700. What a joke. See everyone there tomorrow and Saturday.

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