Houston Mayor: "There is a strong possibility I will be out there as well" in protests of NRA convention

Houston Mayor: "There is a strong possibility I will be out there as well" in protests of NRA convention
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

The NRA convention kicks off its annual convention today in Houston. All the people that blame guns and not people for committing murder are outraged that the convention will continue as planned before the horrendous mass shooting in Uvalde on Tuesday. The Mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, says he just might join in the protest.


The Democrat mayor is an activist, not a leader. He participated in pressuring local business leaders reluctant to get involved in protesting election reform legislation and when they refused to play his game, he refused to participate in some annual events. Turner governs as an unabashed hyper-partisan. He marched in Black Lives Matter protests during the Summer of Love. So, it really isn’t a surprise that he will likely grab some camera time on local news (and maybe cable news) by joining in a protest.

Barricades are going up in anticipation of protests.

The protests are being organized by the usual suspects.

Friday’s protest at noon on Discovery Green — across from the George R. Brown Convention Center where the NRA Convention will be held — is being organized by Black Lives Matter Houston, Indivisible Houston, Moms Demand Action and the Harris County Democratic Party.

Ashton Woods, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Houston, said that the organizers will make space for survivors of gun violence to speak to the supporters and convention attendees. He said elected officials will likely make remarks as well. He also hopes to turn the event into a “mass voter registration event.”

“There’s some audacity to be having that convention in the City of Houston, and it’s a slap in the face to Texans not just because of what happened (Monday) but because once upon a time, Harris County was deeply conservative, and that’s not the case anymore,” Woods said.

FIEL Houston, an immigrant advocacy group, will join the protest and is planning an action for 1 p.m. directly in front of the convention center, at 1001 Avenida De Las Americas. Previous demonstrations, however, such as the Indigenous protest against the World Petrol Congress, have been moved to fenced off areas on the sidewalk between Discovery Green and the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Cesar Espinosa, executive director of FIEL, said he has informed the Houston Police Department of the planned protest. He said the mobilization is critical because of the group’s solidarity with the majority population of Uvalde.

“We want to do a direct action right in front of the convention center. We want to be seen,” said Espinosa. “This was a highly Latino community, and we want to make sure their voices are heard and our community gets to express that frustration that we’ve felt for so long.”


The Houston Police Department will be at full capacity and ready to handle whatever crowds show up during the weekend convention, according to Houston Police Chief Troy Finner. Protesters will be cordoned into zones. Guess who is planning to show up when former President Trump speaks? Perpetual loser Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke. His polling numbers against Governor Abbott are in the dumper so all he has left at this point is opportunist dramatic appearances interrupting someone else’s events. He’s got nothing going on.

The NRA annual convention was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic. This year’s convention promised to have lots of entertainment and plenty of politicians, besides Trump. Governor Abbott, and Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn are on the list of those expected to attend. However, on Thursday, word came that Governor Abbott will send a videotaped greeting to the convention-goers and he will be in Uvalde. That’s a good decision. He should be where he is needed most. Both Cruz and Cornyn, like many Republican lawmakers, receive thousands of dollars in campaign donations from the NRA. Cruz leads with the most dollars in donations.

An estimated 55,000 NRA members will attend the event. The NRA is not to blame for school shootings but they are the first to be blamed by leftists who don’t agree with the Second Amendment and wish, like O’Rourke, the government would send out people to go door to door confiscating guns from law-abiding citizens. Because we all know that banning guns for law-abiding citizens is the answer to criminal behavior and gun violence, right Chicago? The NRA sponsors gun safety training and promotes legal gun ownership. The group is as entitled as any other to gather and meet in an annual convention.


Some of the entertainment line-up is cancelling in light of the Uvalde mass shooting. The original line-up included a Saturday Grand Ole Night of Freedom Concert with Don McLean and Larry Gatlin. Also on the list is Lee Greenwood, Restless Heart’s Larry Stewart, T. Graham Brown, “NRA Life member” Jacob Bryant and Danielle Peck. McLean, Gatlin, Larry Stewart, and Danielle Peck have cancelled.

A statement from Don McLean:

“In light of the recent events in Texas, I have decided it would be disrespectful and hurtful for me to perform for the NRA at their convention in Houston this week. I’m sure all the folks planning to attend this event are shocked and sickened by these events as well. After all, we are all Americans. I share the sorrow for this terrible, cruel loss with the rest of the nation.

Larry Gatlin released a statement, too, and added some politics into the mix. It’s a take.

“To my fellow sad Americans — I cannot, in good conscience, perform at the NRA convention in Houston this weekend. While I agree with most of the positions held by the NRA, I have come to believe that, while background checks would not stop every madman with a gun, it is at the very least a step in the right direction toward trying to prevent the kind of tragedy we saw this week in Uvalde— in my beloved, weeping TEXAS. It is not a perfect world and the ‘if only crowd’s’ policies will never make it one. I am a ‘what if guy’ and I can’t help but ask the question, ‘What if the teachers had been proficient in the use of firearms and had, in fact been armed this week? My answer is that there would not be 21 freshly dug graves for 21 of GOD’s precious children. My prayers and thoughts go to all who are suffering, and I pray that the NRA will rethink some of its outdated and ill-thought-out positions regarding firearms in AMERICA. I’m a 2nd Amendment guy, but the 2nd amendment should not apply to everyone. It’s that simple. GOD HELP US PLEASE”


Lee Greenwood announced he would not be appearing at the convention Thursday evening.

“I was scheduled to perform at NRA’s private event on Saturday with my band,” Greenwood said, according to Good Morning America. “After thoughtful consideration, we have decided to cancel the appearance out of respect for those mourning the loss of those innocent children and teachers in Uvalde.”

As far as I know, Trump is still on the schedule to appear.

The mayor’s job is to welcome convention guests to the city and encourage them to stay and spend their money while they are in town. That’s why cities court large conventions. Turner was silent until this week. Now he is bending to the demands coming for those who want to lump law-abiding gun owners with mentally ill killers and criminals.

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Jazz Shaw 5:31 PM on October 01, 2023