Lone Trump protester battles rain, no opposition at NRA convention

Lone Trump protester battles rain, no opposition at NRA convention
Only one protester, Ryan Atkinson, turned out to greet Presidential candidate Donald Trump in his appearance at the NRA convention at the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center. (Source: Todd Hoyer/WAVE 3 News)
Only one protester, Ryan Atkinson, turned out to greet Presidential candidate Donald Trump in his appearance at the NRA convention at the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center. (Source: Todd Hoyer/WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Compared to the last visit Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump made to Louisville, Friday's visit went a whole lot smoother for Trump and his supporters.

The Louisville Metro Police Department had plenty of officers ready to keep the peace between supporters and protesters, but they really weren't needed for his address to the National Rifle Association convention.

When Trump came to town in March, the controversies surrounding him brought an onslaught of protesters to the Convention Center downtown. Shouts and even shoves were exchanged at times between Trump supporters and detractors.

WATCH: Connie Leonard's report

This time, however, police were ready with plenty of officers waiting hours before the event, in the rain, for protesters ready to greet NRA members on their drive into the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center. A huge section of greenspace was reserved for protesters next to the Expo Center's main gate.

Protester Ryan Atkinson told us why he came out, despite the weather.

"I felt I just wanted to express my voice," he said.

It was easy to hear Atkinson's voice. That's because the St. Matthews resident was the only person, with the only sign, who showed up to protest.

"I honestly, I expected more people," he said, shaking his head.

Atkinson rationalized that the problem was the time of the speech - in the middle of the work day - and Friday's steady rainfall.

Atkinson held a 7-Eleven sign as a humorous take on Trump's recent 9/11 flub he made in New York.

"As soon as it happened, it became kind of a joke," he said.

Atkinson said even though he was Friday's lone protester, he was still there to make his point.

"Trump's candidacy I do not respect," he said. "The fact that he's running for the highest office in the land, and the rhetoric he's using, and the direction he's taking his campaign, is very toxic to the country."

Atkinson also said that he did not have any problem with the people at the Fairgrounds for the NRA convention. His only objection was to Trump.

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