Houston’s light rail seemed the wisest way to get to downtown for Friday’s Black Lives Matter Houston, Fiel, Moms Demand Action rally for gun sense and protest of the National Rifle Association’s trade show.
On the train siting one row ahead of me were a woman and a man — she in her late 60s, he in his 70s. There ages became apparent over the course of their conversation. They were long-time acquaintances, Houston natives who happened to run into each other on the way to the event. Children, grandchildren, retirement, and milestone birthdays were among their topics for catching up.
It was also evident that they were both heading to the rally. At one point, the woman mentioned to the man that this was her first experience in activism. To this he responded that he had protested only one another time in his life… during the Vietnam war.
These first timers weren’t sure where they needed to get off the train. That’s when their fellow rider spoke up and assured them that Main Street Square was the right stop.
After I spent about an hour and a half at the main protest, I headed over to the protests across the street from the convention center where the NRA was holding the first day of its trade show. The two Houstonians who rode the light rail with me were already leaving. The sun was hot and they had arrived without water or a good hydration plan.
I hope they’ll come back the next time. Maybe with some extra water, sun screen, and some snacks this time (top provisions for activists).
Tracie and I have been protesting with Moms Demand Action for years now. We’ve also block-walked for candidates that support expanded gun restrictions. We were part of a historic wave of activists who flipped our historically GOP-controlled district after decades of a Republican rule that dates back to Bush senior who was once our district’s congressperson.
The only way we are going to affect change in our nation’s and state’s gun laws is by voting and raising voter awareness. We have already been active in the Beto campaign and you can bet that we will be out there block-walking for him as the campaign ratchets up.
People, if you care about reducing gun violence in our country, now is the time for action: please vote, mobilize, speak out, donate, support, and believe that change is possible. It may not come during this political cycle. But as a famous winemaker once said, sometimes the battles most important to fight are the ones you know you are going to lose.
If you live in Southeast Texas, please reach out to us to find out how to get involved. It’s going to be a long hot summer and we’ll bring the water, sunscreen, and snacks (for real).
Please don’t forget Uvalde. Please don’t forget Buffalo. Please don’t forget Pittsburgh. Please don’t forget Columbia. Please don’t forget the 1979 Cleveland School shooting, which happened in San Diego where I grew up (I was 12 at the time). The list goes on and on and on and on…
Tracie and I will be out there at the next rally for gun sense in this country. We hope you’ll join us.
Image via Wikipedia Creative Commons.