Two words: Stephen Willeford.
I joined the NRA on November 6, 2017, the morning after the Sutherland Springs church shooting in Texas. When I had learned that the man who stopped the shooter was an NRA firearms instructor, I knew I needed to step up off the sidelines and do something. For too long I yelled at the NRA from the bleachers about how they were too pro-gun control (I still think that) and refused to join. Other groups, like Gun Owners of America, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and the Firearms Policy Institute have far better records on standing up for our 2nd amendment rights, but they have, whether they’d admit it or not, not even a fraction of the lobbying power of the NRA.
I decided I wanted more tactical and defensive gun training and I wanted to support an organization that provided those things. I decided I wanted to join an organization dedicated to fighting for hunters and providing hunter education and gun safety training for kids. The NRA does those things. Sure, I disagree with some things they do still. A lot of people refuse to compromise on this, I understand, but I ask those people, “Do you disagree with your wife or husband about things? If so, why not divorce them, after all they’re not perfect and apparently that’s your standard for supporting something.” That maybe an extreme example, but all of us occasionally disagree with our pastor and don’t leave the church. And don’t get me started on political parties – I don’t know anyone who agrees with their party of choice lock-step, but they still vote for that party every two years.
I’m glad I joined the NRA and I plan on remaining a member for a long time. I have taken some tactical training in the last year and plan to take more. Having firearms in your home is good, having your concealed carry permit is better, but having tactical training in addition to firearm ownership is the best you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community. If you’re a gun owner, I highly recommend joining this organization and having your voice heard – both inside the NRA and in your community. There’s a lot of silent gun owners out there, especially in places like Boulder, Colorado near me. It’s time that we’re heard, it’s time we take our training seriously and it’s time we start being pro-active in our communities.