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The story in Houston: turnout. Both the protesters outside the George R. Brown Convention Center where the NRA is holding it’s annual meeting and exhibits and the attendance inside on the convention floor and those bothering to sit in on the association’s annual meeting were far lighter today.

Outside, as with yesterday’s far larger crowd, police kept the protesters across the street from the convention center. The number who showed up to waive signs and chant slogans at NRA attendees today was down sharply.

On the NRA side of the street, some of the attendees hung out behind police lines watching the spectacle aimed at them from the park.

 

The protesters mostly shouted obscenities and alternated between three chants:

Shame, shame, shame…
Hey, hey, NRA, how many kids did you kill today?
What do we want? GUN CONTROL! When do we want it? NOW!

As for shame, very few on the NRA side of the street appeared to feel any responsibility — and therefore no shame — for the horrific shooting in Uvalde that prompted the large-than-usual number of protesters at this year’s confab.

The crowd on the east side of Avenida de las Americas was mostly bemused by those attempting to rain shame down on them from the park across the street. It’s safe to say that very few hearts or minds were changed by anything the protesters shouted are chanted.

Attendance at the NRA’s annual membership meeting was anemic at best…far less than in previous years. Only a few hundred people bothered to show up for this year’s tightly stage-managed, carefully choreographed ritual.

Bringing out the NRA’s officers to the thundering beat of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck was both out of place and wholly ineffective at getting the sparse crowd pumped up.

NRA EVP Wayne LaPierre delivered his traditional annual stem-winder, inveighing against the usual politicians, gun control orgs, Hollywood celebrities and media mouthpieces.

Those who were there were mostly true believers and applauded in all the right places. But those who’ve been to more than one of these things heard literally nothing new. At all.

Then a series of resolutions from the floor were dutifully proposed and voted on, including one supporting Wayne LaPierre himself. A number of the usual types, board members included, spoke in support of LaPierre and the resolution, including past president Marion Hammer. Some, however, rose to say that LaPierre has hurt the organization with the cascade of alleged mismanagement, malfeasance and scandal in recent years.

In the end, nothing of consequence happened, which is exactly as the NRA likes and intends it.

On the convention floor, the problem was how much of the floor could be seen.

A view of the NRA show floor Saturday afternoon.

In past years, the Saturday crowds were so thick that it’s it’s difficult to walk through the hall. That hasn’t been the case this year at all. Again, that’s due to a combination of factors including holding the event on Memorial Day weekend as well as the protests following Uvalde. You have to think that the sky-high cost of gasoline also had a negative effect on those deciding whether to travel to Houston this weekend.

We talked to a number of exhibitors who commented how light the crowd has been this year and how little booth traffic they’ve seen.

Those who are here, however, are doing what NRA attendees do, with no need to elbow others out of the way.

In the end, based on an eyeball guesstimate, I’d have to say that this year’s attendance is roughly half the usual crowd at NRAAMs of the past. MYbe less. That’s not good for an association beset by a range of challenges…legal, political, and financial.

 

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27 COMMENTS

  1. Well I watched Classic Firearms mug for the camera. About all I’ve seen. Dropped my NRA membership 2 years ago with no plans to rejoin. Have fun…

      • I don’t just throw money at organizations that will squander it and do nothing to advance the cause of freedom. The NRA might get more money from me when they ditch the top cronies for new blood and get back to work.

        • Hi, I’m dacian. I like margaritas, morning walks in the park, and trolling TTAG for attention and lolz. I’m 74 and I have Lupus. I am good at striking up conversations, and then redirecting them into bitter ends, and starting discussions with insults, because I love trolling. Favorite things I like to do include trolling, insulting people, talking about safe storage laws, universal background checks, complete and total gun bans except for my personal rifle, and my ultra match single shot $5000 22LR target rifle with ultra fancy scope. If this sounds good to you, and you think we might be a good match, give me call. XxOXoX -Dacian

  2. Yes indeed…Residue of the Jim Crow Gun Control military wing of the democRat Party known as the kkk is a hair short of forming a lynch mob. Jews probably stayed clear of the protests for fear of being beaten senseless by Gun Control Brown Shirts and thrown on trains headed to concentration caps.

    To witness such a display of stupidity in America is all the reason why Gun Control must be defined by its history of racism and genocide and buried deep alongside slave shacks, nooses, burning crosses, concentration camps, gas chambers, swastikas and the like.

    Had Wayne et al been replaced the crowd would be as usual. Hopefully POTUS DJT will be a draw.

  3. Wayne is a corrupt thief and belongs in jail. The NRA paid for his Mistress to live in a condo, plus her job at HQ. One staffer had NRA pay $20,000 for a wedding. Of course Wayne has his private security and flies all over on personal business on NRA paid private jets. Then there are the $100,000 for suits and other clothes for Wayne, as he needs to look good. Then the IRS rule violations, paying for the NRA members council members to go to the NRA Annual Meeting and pass out flyers campaigning for Wayne supported board members. This is just the stuff we know about, God knows what else he and his board cronies are stealing.

    I’ve been a Life Member since 1981 and I will continue to wait for reform. Wayne can’t live forever, none of us do, so maybe the NRA can sue his estate to recover all the money he and others have stolen. Although I would prefer to see him driven from office and stripped of all his assets, thrown in jail where he can rot while he awaits final judgement from his maker. Fingers crossed.

  4. I will never understand the idea about marching/walking, yelling, carrying weird signs, ect for whatever cause. Left or Right or whatever.
    Other than the media stirring the pot over and over what purpose does it serve? Do the elected leaders observe and say “I better do what the loudest wants” ? I think not, in fact I know not.
    It’s all a bit silly really and a waste of energy and time.
    As a species we really need to grow up and get out of the child phase. Becoming more serious.

    • If your case is not heard with TV coverage, it might as well not be seen. Until the Yippies protested the dem national convention, they got nothing on air. The police busting heads opened up a lot of eyes, even to those that supported Viet Nam. The people that marched to bann the bomb in the 50s and early 60s did not get coverage, either. It took the violence of the Civil Rights Movement to get people to see how repressive our government was.

      The sillier they look means they get on tv, and that gives them a platform. This is why they protest

      • Trump’s address was carried on Steve Bannon’s Warroom and I imagine various streaming services, so I heard the only part that is of interest to me. I attended an NRA Annual Meeting once and realized except for the expo they are cookie cutter events. I used to work in energy and have been involved in hosting meetings like this, so the Brown Convention Center and downtown Houston is nothing new. Since we can’t get at the books we can’t know for certain, but conventions and meetings like this are often profit centers for the host organization. They certainly were for those I was involved with. I’m not certain this is the case with NRA due to their fee structure, but this lack of attendance should have sent a message to ole Wayne. Thanks to thetruthaboutguns.com for the good information or, since I plan no involvement until Wayne is flushed, perhaps I should say intelligence.

  5. Light crowds at events in other parts of Texas too.

    Nobody except the upper 2% or so can afford the fuel to go out and play.

    • I live in a New England vacation destination and the tourist numbers are way up beyond pre-covid numbers and projected to stay there all summer.

      I expect when the weather turns and all these people running up their credit cards to pay for unnecessary vacays at 20%+ the costs they remember paying 3 years ago have to fill their oil tanks for the winter things are going to get pretty wild.

      Never underestimate people’s willingness to spend money they don’t have only to complain about the debt months later.

      • Interesting… it’s possible people in my part of TX don’t have a credit rating.

        I have however noticed that some well to do types here haven’t slowed down their spending one bit.

    • That’s a fact and I was going to post about the price of fuel.
      This economy is getting bad, so bad the only money you can afford to spend will be on gas to get to work and a sack of tators.
      Let’s Go Brandon

  6. Holding the event on Memorial Day weekend wasn’t the result of clueless NRA leaders, and event planners.

    And, if sponsors and industry leaders decide the annual meeting is not worth the expense, so much the better for NRA.

  7. I understand that the NRA makes tens of millions of dollars at these conventions. With much smaller crowds, hopefully it will be several tens of millions of dollars, under what they expected.

  8. Fuck Wayne LaPayMe.

    Not one more cent to the NRA while Wayne and his thieving crew remain in charge!

  9. Allen West was supposed to be challenging WLP for EVP.
    No mention of that. Did it occur or not?

  10. The NRA is just a shell of it’s former self, yet it remains the lightning rod all the statists point at. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. I can’t justify my own support for what I see as a bunch of FUDDs with corruption at the top. I know we shouldn’t let perfection be the enemy of the good enough, but there are arguably better options. I support GOA, NAGR, and 2AF and even CalGuns (from the east coast, no less). Besides being no-compronise, they all have better T-shirts and patches. It’s past time to immanentize the eschaton.

  11. It is unusual that NRA AM is on the Memorial day weekend, rescheduled and relocated because Louisville had bad cancellation policies and “covid” uncertainty (at the same time), and many large exhibitors have set their own shows for this summer. Bloomberg’s propaganda machine has been doing well and Biden’s use of the ATF gas been deliberately intimidating, just ask a recently audited gun shop or a manufacturer of legal, but just legal, products. Anyone would have expected a lower turnout, and then the mutant killers fired up the press and their democrat masters.

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