I’m slow or have to figure how to do this in a more timely manner. Our meeting ended Saturday night, not writing until Wednesday. September NRA Board meeting is routinely of less scale than the others. Some because of the annual schedule of competitions, training, hunting season and such, and some because of the legislative calendar. As an example, I kept the two committees from last year and now am on five committees – Military & Veterans Affairs, Outreach, Grassroots Development, Legislative Affairs, and Federal Legislative Affairs. Only Legislative Affairs met this week, though Grassroots held a meeting by conference call last Monday (I missed while on a plane out of Milwaukee Carry Guard Expo). I am often conflicted-out of committees because of my schedule, so this time I dropped in to Gun Collectors. Over the course of four days with some 10-11 committee meetings, we conclude with our thrice-annual Board meeting for the better part of a day. In between committees, and during some evenings, we have formal (scheduled) or informal (just us getting together) activities or explore on our own. I am not often in the mid-west (Springfield MO), so lots of explore-fun. I don’t take or post many meeting photos, and the full Board meeting does not allow for photos or recordings (nor any electronic devices). One event each meeting is the President’s reception. This was pretty special. Johnny Morris, of Bass Pro Shops, graciously hosted us to a sneak preview (opens later this month) of his Wonders of Nature 300,000 sf, 35,000 animal (mostly fish species) Aquarium. Amazing. One walks for a little over a mile to experience every nature environment (hmmm, I don’t now recall the arctic). It was neat. Bass Pro and NRA, both leaders in conservation, have a solid partnership. We, the NRA Board, in turn, invited the leaders of the Professional Bull Riders Association (in town on tour) to further our partnership with them.
Now for a little business before moving to the next blog post. President Pete Brownell recounted some of the many successes operationally and legislatively NRA enjoyed recently. He focused us on the future of Carry Guard and the need to work as a team (all our committees) as we move into 2018. 1st VP Richard Childress highlighted our on-line Hunter’s Education Program and the move by PETA and Humane Society to villianize our American culture of hunting. 2d VP Carolyn Meadows recapped NRAAM with 82,000 attending. Exec VP Wayne LaPierre gave an overview of the huge amount and span of NRA staff work, including working with Interior Secretary Zinke. NRA ‘brand’ is solid, people believe in and trust us. Details of General Operations (Josh Powell) and Institute for Legislative Affairs (Chris Cox) went next. Operationally: many new and good staff changes, Carry Guard is ahead of goals, basic firearms training and CCW training is increasing, and NRA is introducing a college version of Refuse to be a Victim. Legislatively: we got Gorsuch at SCOTUS, Attorney General Sessions, rolled back the Obama social security crap and ended Operation Choke Point (those affects are going to felt for a while), Reciprocity should come to a vote this fall, Sportsman package this week (just passed out of committee). Each committee chair reported, in turn. While a lot of updates, there were few action items for the full Board to consider. Bottom line for now – NRA is in “good” post-election financial and organizational shape going into 2018, and becoming better organized for myriad General Ops functions. “Good” is highlighted because we recovered better than we thought we could following a tough 2016-2017 (this is a good thing), nor are we in ‘great’ shape. There are a couple months until the next full Board meeting, though committees meet throughout the year. For more, go Like www.facebook.com/WillesLeeNRA.
No other organization does more across the 2A and firearms spectrum as NRA. Always under heat for not doing enough (Reciprocity vs Constitutional Carry), doing too much (Carry Guard), not doing it well-enough (blended training), I’ll add this note compiled from various sources. If not for NRA stepping up in the 70’s with ILA (sort of a result of the run up to the ’68 gun control legislation) then we don’t have ANY concealed carry. In fact, at the same time we were winning Florida conceal carry, it was debated whether to altogether ban handguns. If not for NRA continued defending of freedom, we don’t have many states now with conceal carry, and more than a dozen with constitutional carry. This is on top of our self-determined mission to conduct firearms training and safety. Put all that together, and arguments over whether NRA should be in the insurance business become moot. Without NRA, there is no firearms insurance business. With NRA as the gold-standard, there is no doubt that everything will be measured against NRA training and insurance protection. Instead, this is the time for all 2A-supporting organizations to work towards the same goals – national reciprocity (constitutional carry will come), hearing protection and bringing common sense to the NFA, Sportsman package, Second Amendment Guarantee, securing hunting in our American culture.
This week is the World Championships at Peacemaker. Yeah, NRA runs that, too.