What happens when you stage a protest and no one shows up?
Calls for anti-gun activists to descend upon the 145th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Louisville, Ky., were inescapable in the days preceding the event.
Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action (MDA) scheduled a screening of Katie Couric’s anti-gun documentary, “Under the Gun,” at 11 a.m. Saturday at Spalding University. It was to be preceeded by a vigil and march led by a local pastor, and accompanied by an exhibit of quilts made by survivors of gun violence. And in case you hadn’t had enough, MDA’s Shannon Watts was to lead a panel discussion at 1 p.m. MDA cautioned, “Due to limited space, organizers are asking people to register in advance for free tickets.”
MDA-Kentucky’s Pam Mangas exhorted followers to flood Louisville, saying, “We need a big showing. We need to make sure the NRA knows we are here to stay to fight bad gun policy.”
Kentucky Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth called for “an enormous outpouring of opposition, both to the NRA and to [presidential candidate Donald Trump’s] brand of politics.”
Something called the Sowers of Justice Network planned to partner with other local groups to stage “art shows, demonstrations, film showings and marches.” One of their events was billed as “Hands Across Louisville,” a seven-hour event scheduled for Saturday that included “holding hands from 2 p.m.-3 p.m.” on Broadway Avenue. “Come and be one in a million holding hands together to stamp out gun violence in Louisville, KY,” the website pleaded.
At a related event, Festival of Faiths, a former youth pastor planned to fashion guns into gardening tools.
There are plenty of bridges over the Ohio River leading to Louisville, but this pic was taken on the Brooklyn Bridge—which leads to New York City.The protest efforts had plenty of help. The Courier-Journal provided Watts space for a guest column and promoted MDA’s Saturday Spectacular with editorial coverage on Friday, and stoked fervor with a steady stream of anti-NRA coverage. One of their cartoonists even posted a cartoon of children crucified on crosses labeled “2nd Amendment.”
The New York Times, USAToday and the Washington Post were joined by websites such as The Guardian, Huffington Post, MediaMatters, Mediaite and Slate in keeping “gun violence” on the front page.
MDA kept up a torrent on Twitter and on local news: “As the NRA prepares to come to Louisville, moms are demanding action.” And they had a billionaire on their side.
The whole world held its breath.
As the NRA Annual Meetings dawned Friday, the expansive green space reserved for demonstrations at the Kentucky Expo Center was filled with … one anti-Trump protestor. Wave3News interviewed the damp, forlorn sign-holder: “I honestly … I expected more people.”
Saturday morning’s march consisted of about 40 people. Couric’s documentary, sponsored by the seemingly powerful Moms Demand Action, backed by Everytown for Gun Safety, drew only 40 activists ... the same 40 activists. For a free screening.
There were not a million hands holding. Even dividing that number by two hands/person doesn’t help. In fact, there are exactly zero media reports of anyone holding hands.
However, we did hear a radio report about a man beating a gun into a rake—while we idled, along with tens of thousands of NRA members, in a line of cars miles long to get to the 2016 Annual Meetings.
The anti-gunners put a brave face on failure.Their moms don’t demand action; they demand inflation.
The Courier-Journal did not report on the number of moviegoers at Couric’s screening, but had the nerve to quote Watts as calling the 5 million NRA members “a very small group of vocal gun extremists.”
ThinkProgress.com’s Kira Lerner tweeted a pic of 12 of the marchers with the caption, “Kentuckians are marching across Louisville in the rain today to protest the NRA with a message of peace.”
MDA retweeted a Mother Jones image, showing a couple dozen moms marching over a bridge: “The NRA Annual Convention opens Friday in Louisville. These women are their worst nightmare.” Now, there are plenty of bridges over the Ohio River leading to Louisville, but this pic was taken on the Brooklyn bridge—which leads to New York City.
On Friday, Hollywoodlife.com (really?) posted a music video promotion for The Concert Across America To End Gun Violence, along with the copy, “This is so moving. Gun violence prevention activists released a video … shortly before the NRA convention started on May 20.” It then claimed the press release, featuring a slickly produced a capella performance of “Hallelujeh,” was in response to Trump’s address … which didn’t happen until May 20. C’mon, that’s not even trying.
There’s a pattern here. In Nashville in 2015, MDA could only muster about 150 attendees, but staged photos of the event to make them appear much larger. MDA releases expected attendance numbers before their events, in place of actual attendance. Watts and Everytown claim millions of members, but there is no paid membership structure, and they don’t provide any support to their claims.
Their moms don’t demand action; they demand inflation. They count labor unions and lobbyists as “medical groups” to claim doctors support them; they enlist appointed police chiefs in order to claim hundreds of thousands of rank-and-file cops are with them. They add suicides to homicides to create false “gun violence” totals; they define thousands of murdered teenage criminals as “children” to alarm us. They even counted a Boston Marathon bomber in their total of “victims of gun violence.”
Everytown and MDA aren’t grassroots; they’re astroturf. They’re not millions; they’re elites with millions. They weren’t created from the ground up; they were spawned top-down. Even the name Everytown is an illusion. But that’s the point, isn’t it? They believe they can achieve success by creating the appearance of millions.
In contrast, NRA announced Monday that attendance for the weekend was 80,452, the second-highest total of all time—all paid NRA members.
Let’s see who shows up in numbers at the voting booths in November.