“The NRA is coming to my hometown of Indianapolis for their annual convention this weekend. And, frankly, I’m furious,” wrote Shannon Watts, the co-founder of Everytown for Gun Safety, in an open letter earlier this week.
Watts was referring to the National Rifle Association’s 143rd Annual Meetings and Exhibits at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis, which is taking place Friday through Sunday.
Along with a coalition of pro-gun control activists, including moms, mayors, and victims, Watts is holding a counter protest to challenge the “extreme policies that benefit the gun industry at the expense of our basic safety.”
On Friday, Everytown will release a detailed report on the NRA and reveal a new television ad featuring victims of gun violence. The ad is scheduled to air all weekend in the D.C. and Indianapolis markets.
A “stroller jam” will kick off Saturday’s demonstration in which 100 plus moms and 20 gun-violence survivors will rally at the Indiana War Memorial followed by a “Quilting bee” on Sunday for the “Mothers Dream Project,” which is a collection of quilts constructed from pieces of fabric donated by victims and their families.
“Moms all across the country are coming to Indianapolis to stand up to the NRA’s misguided and threatening leadership,” Watts continued. “They’re going to hear our voices whether they like it or not!”
Beyond confronting the NRA, Watts’s political agenda includes expanding background checks to cover gun transfers and sales made between private parties, enhancing measures related to gun storage and safety, and keeping firearms away from individuals who are at-risk for domestic abuse.
Sporting a new name — Everytown was formerly a collective of two entities, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America — and backed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s bankroll, the former NYC mayor just injected $50 million into the organization, it’ll be interesting to see how much of an impact the Everytown protesters have on the NRA event, which is expected to draw a crowd of 70,000 people, including supporters, gun manufacturers, celebrities and politicians.