NRA Board meeting, January 2018

The January 2018 meeting of the NRA Board of Directors was held in Northern Virginia.  This is my one-year anniversary of being on the Board, moving up last January to fill a vacancy.  Don’t announce much in advance and post very little, if any, during, for security reasons.  Many friends today as I post this are in Las Vegas for SHOT.   I’m missing SHOT this year because of work here, and a wicked two weeks in 4 cities coming up.  Had to be a grown up.  A week passed so I could gather info, and cull what was important enough to stick in my memory.  Board member Jay Printz’s post-meeting FB post “Headed back to my winter home after a productive NRA Board meeting.  I sure hope my friends understand how vitally important the 2018 midterm elections are to our freedoms.  If we lose the House or the Senate, or, GOD help us, both……..we will deserve what we will surely get.  Do not be apathetic!!!!” And, that’s it.  Especially the US Senate e.g. losing the Senate changes everything about SCOTUS & federal judges, and the courts is what it is ALL about.  Lot of State, local, municipal actions to infringe our 2A, lots of work to accomplish.

All five of the committees I’m on met (noted here with *).  Made for busy.  I’ll continue my FB and IG series “NRA Factoids” branded by the Life member log on my NRA jacket to give more info.  Because I could, I also sat in on as many other committee meetings to hear the work and background of whatever they’d report out during the Saturday meeting of the full board.  Sat in on Clubs and Associations, then Publications, afternoon was a full session of *Grassroots Development*.  Important here were actions to build 2A voter base to GOTV 2018.  Dinner with leadership and new Board members, opportunity to meet and know our team.  Morning of *Federal Affairs* for review and 2018 plan for action, and afternoon of full committee of *Legislative Policy* with focus on 2018 mid-term elections, #reciprocity remains the #1 legislative priority.  Nest morning was Education and Training to hear details of training programs, meet new committee members, and hear status of CG.  I didn’t know, should have, that we have 118k NRA certified instructors and safety officers nationwide.  Straight into *Military and Veterans Affairs* with Col North concluding with a reso for the full board.  Direct to a lunch meeting to discuss next meeting, then an afternoon of *Outreach* to prepare plans for Dallas NRAAM.  This is cool, I sat between Col Allen West and, with David Clarke missing this one, Chris Cheng.  President’s reception this evening w sweetheart (she is usually just too busy to make many events) and my guest (next para).  Dinner with many young committee members and old(er) board members, and our guests.  Board meeting Saturday AM, had some but not much fireworks.  Home in time for the Duke Basketball game.  Couldn’t attend all that I would because it was important to ….

I asked Maj Toure, charismatic 2A leader taking our civil (gun) rights message into inner cities.  Met him at the Second Amendment Foundation GRPC in Dallas in September, we agreed to work to get him to a board meeting.  It was a lengthy process to get him cleared (not unusual, just my first time hosting a guest) to attend.  He did a great job presenting in Outreach Committee, made the rounds at the President’s reception, we had a group dinner.  In his suit, looks just as good as he does in his Black Guns Matter hoodie.  Spent morning of NRA Board meeting watching process and listening to leadership and committee reports.  Will continue our relationship to further 2A.  Maj goes places I can’t go.  Hope to assist his 50-state tour.  It WAS a lift to make it happen, and I appreciate Maj joining me for this meeting.  THIS is outreach, grassroots, changing minds about firearms ownership and groups that promote it, like us.  Google Maj Toure, you’ll see why bringing him was a risk, why Maj and I took the risk, and why there is so much to gain from it.

At the Saturday Board meeting, leadership presents and each committee chair reports.  Normal meeting stuff, accepting minutes, and such.  In the winter meeting, we present annual awards for the past year to, for example, Activist of the Year, Club or affiliate, LEO, membership, youth, and more.  That’s fun.  The most Board action (votes) was about changes to competition rules for several disciplines.

Before Board meeting I asked on FB what folks wanted to know coming out of the meeting.  Wrapping several topics into: 1. California, please help.  Everything from ammo, to elections, to taxes.  NRA is there, and other 2A orgs, including a lead by CRPA.  Want to change the laws?  Change the people who make the laws.  We can (and do) fight in the courts as a stopgap, but legislation makes the difference.  If you want to help, contact CRPA and join the effort.  2. NRA Board meeting attendance.  I don’t track, I just do my work.  Attendance is being raised as an issue for this (and last) NRA election.  Not that attending a meeting isn’t important, it is.  But, a meeting alone is does not define Board membership.  Ofttimes meetings prevent me from doing the work I do for 2A.   I’ll add, I cannot raise $4M at a crack for NRA, other members can (and do).  Today, I am not qualified to run a national shooting championship (maybe tomorrow), others can.  There’s more, but the point is every member has their strengths.  Oh, and back to elections, we (you) elected these folks to be on the Board.  So, if Board attendance is how you judge Board members (whatever is fine with me), vote accordingly.  It’s on the list, but not high on my list.  Add that, it is important to attend a Board meeting, at least one, to see the operation.  Difficult to credibly criticize if you’ve never been (I know, doesn’t stop me from criticizing pro point guards).   The work occurs in the 38 (+ special) committees.  There is so much NRA does, to have every member be an expert on every discipline and activity is nonsensical.  Committees do the work, we research to be proficient and ask our questions, then the body takes action.  You should attend, then, develop a strategy to change what you don’t like.  Just saying.  3. Carry Guard status. CG program is ahead of schedule.  Training is tweaked to introduce a basic course, and make what was the course until now, into an intermediate course of instruction.  CG is a new, massive program, coming on board.  If you want to bet that it isn’t GOING TO BE the gold-standard, I’ll take that bet.  Well, like dinner, or a dollar, something I can afford.  Bottom line, it’s getting better (and bigger) every day.

Are there glitches at NRA?  Yup.  Do we appreciate your assistance?  Absolutely.  Am I going to bitch to you?  No, I am going to work to fix them as they rise.  There is a lot of great work being done at all levels, by many, many folks.  Thank you.  Being engaged is absolutely essential to face the constant and continuing threats to our civil (gun) rights.  Is there more to report?  Of course, and I’ll roll out stuff in posts as we go.  Finally, NRA Board elections for 2018 are kicking in. Vote. Bullet vote, but vote.  Next Board meeting is at NRAAM, then the fall meeting.  Dropping a few photos of the peeps at the meeting. 

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