Executive Director Bryan Long delivered the following speech on Friday, April 28, during the NRA protest and “die-in” at Atlanta’s Woodruff Park.
I’m Bryan Long, the executive director of Better Georgia.
This morning, I want to admit something to you that I’ve never said in public before — I met Donald Trump.
Yeah, that’s right, I met Donald Trump right over there in the Georgia World Congress Center on May 7, 2006.
I don’t like to admit it now, but it’s true. And, sadly, that meeting 11 years ago is also relevant to why we’re gathered here this morning.
Back in 2006, I was a reporter with the business paper here in Atlanta and I broke the news that Donald Trump would build a high rise in Midtown.
Donald Trump confirmed this to me and said the deal was done and that it was going to be big.
But that was a lie.
Less than a month later, Trump’s story got even bigger. He promised me and promised Atlanta that he would build a bunch of high rises here. And, of course, that was a lie, too.
Just a few months ago, Trump was thinking of Atlanta again.
Donald Trump Tweeted that the 5th Congressional District — where we stand today — was “in horrible shape and falling apart.”
And, of course, that was a lie.
He said that our Honorable Congressman John Lewis was “All talk, talk, talk – no action or results.”
And, of course, that was a lie.
So Donald Trump is back in Atlanta today.
He’s back at the Georgia World Congress Center. And he’s brought with him his biggest, saddest and most desperate lies ever.
Donald Trump thinks we’re dumb enough to believe that the NRA wants to protect people like us.
But we all know that’s lie.
The NRA is a gun lobby and their allies in Congress oppose even modest, common-sense gun laws like universal background checks.
The NRA wants to put more guns on Georgia’s college campuses even though most Georgians oppose Campus Carry. The NRA is pushing for guns on campus even though most college presidents and most university police departments oppose Campus Carry. The NRA is pushing for guns on campus even though our Republican governor has said that “having college campuses free of weapons has great historical precedent” and that “‘gun free zones’ have deep roots in Georgia.”
But we expect this from the NRA because the gun lobby is built to spread hate and extremism by inciting fear and propagating misinformation.
So that makes us wonder: What would lead Donald Trump to shill for the NRA?
Other than his natural talent for telling lies, what could possibly motivate Donald Trump to fly into Atlanta — a city he seems to hate — and push the NRA’s extreme agenda?
The answer is 30 million dollars.
The NRA spent more than $30 million to elect Donald Trump and gain White House support for its dangerous agenda.
With Donald Trump, it’s always the same old story. Money and lies. Money and lies.
But we’ve followed the money and we’ve seen the lies for what they are.
The NRA does not represent the majority of Georgians. And, in fact, the NRA does not even represent the majority of responsible gun owners who support common sense laws proven to reduce violence.
Our time to fight back has arrived. Our time to fight back is now. Our time to fight back is here in Woodruff Park and all across this great state we call home and want to keep safe.