Hoosiers Protest NRA Convention at the StatehousePosted on: April 30, 2019, by : Jeff Turner
By Jeff Turner
The NRA held its annual convention in Indianapolis over the weekend, prompting progressive Hoosier activists to hold a two day protest at the Indiana Statehouse. The event was sponsored by Refuse Fascism Indiana. A few dozen were in attendance on Friday and Saturday, namely on Friday when President Donald Trump delivered a speech for the convention at Lucas Oil Stadium. Protestors marched down to the stadium from the Statehouse where they publicly voiced their disapproval of the President and the NRA. Despite event organizers being unable to secure permission to fly the infamous orange “Baby Trump” balloon while the convention was underway, the protest still took place as planned. Miniature Baby Trump balloons were instead handed out to protestors.
“The NRA and Trump…is an unholy union that promotes and encourages white supremacy,” said protest organizer Kathleen Robertson, when asked what message she was hoping to send out by having this protest. “The mega lobbying NRA needs to get out of government. The NRA has blood on its hands for all mass shootings and suppresses any bill that means gun reform.”
Kim Saylor, an activist who helped plan the event, attended in a Hamburglar costume. When asked why she chose this particular costume, she said “Because of the Clemson thing, purely trolling Trump.” This is a reference to Trump inviting a championship college football team to the White House and having them served food from McDonalds, a move that was lampooned by many on the left and others as well.
The protest was largely peaceful, though according to Fox 59, one protester got into a minor altercation with a convention attendee outside of Lucas Oil Stadium. No arrests were made however.
This proved to be quite a tumultuous weekend for the NRA, though this didn’t appear related to the protest. According to multiple sources, including Business Insider, NRA Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre and current NRA President Oliver North are at odds. Infighting culminated to the point where LaPierre was nearly ousted from the organization onstage at the convention and current President Oliver North announced he would not be seeking a second term as NRA President. North is best known for his role in Iran-Contra during the 1980’s, prompting many on the left to take his presidency as a joke.
Nonetheless, the NRA remains a mega lobbying force to be reckoned with on Capitol Hill. When the NRA hosted their conference in Indianapolis in 20014, almost 75,000 attended according to several sources. This year’s event is expected to possibly draw even bigger crowds with Trump’s appearance.
What would protestors like to see done to combat the NRA? “Gun reform laws must be passed… I’m in favor of titling arms just like vehicles. It would be a much better way of controlling and tracking sales,” Robertson said, a sentiment that has been voiced by those on the left in favor of gun control. “Titling provides a trail to follow.”
Whether or not such changes will ever come about remains to be seen. The pro-gun lobby, namely the NRA, have nearly universal support from Congressional Republicans, and an ally in President Trump.
Because many contributed to an online fund to rent the large “Baby Trump” balloon that was cancelled shortly before the event, Robertson said that the cash difference would be donated to “local resistance groups.”