Vice President’s Message
by Vincent Shuck
You may have been among the numerous Network members who stopped by our booth in Houston to say hello or those who joined the Network as a new member and thus may be seeing this eJournal for the first time. Thanks to both our current members and new members for being involved in the event!
The NRA meeting in Houston was a blockbuster, setting a new attendance record at over 87,000 Second Amendment supporters. Marty, Brady, and I were kept busy answering questions about the Network and signing up new members. Massad Ayoob joined us each day. Massad, a Network Advisory Board Member, signed photographs, posed for pictures, greeted many of his former students and recommended membership in the Network to those who had not yet become a member.
Walking the exhibit hall aisles was often a shoulder-to-shoulder experience. The mix of attendees was interesting, with a bunch of individual Second Amendment supporters, but many families, often with children in strollers. These family members would stop by, with even the youngest offspring who could comprehend the Network’s message, looking for parental approval to pick up a Network brochure for later reading. The family would then go off to the other exhibits where the older children could handle, with parental supervision, the many firearms on display or participate in the air gun range. What a great way to share information and explain firearm safety and responsible gun ownership!
We had another record-setting year of signing up new members. And helping us set a new record of new members were the numerous families joining as a group as well as individual women who came by and understood what the Network is about.
This comports with the information about gun sales and from instructors who tell us that more women than ever are purchasing firearms and learning self-defense skills, often for the first time. Good for all of us!
Some Network members who stopped by the booth just wanted to proudly exclaim their membership and then moved on; others wanted to spend a few minutes with us and Massad, thanking us for a job well done. We always turned the tables and thanked all of them for supporting the Network and for believing in us.
As noted, the meeting was a record crowd but we did have a few dissidents and anti-gunners who met across the street to protest. Protest what? Well, the 87,000 or so of us who were inside the exhibit hall were pretty happy; the handful (literally) of protestors, including the local Houston U.S. Congresswoman, probably felt like a rectal thermometer after trying but failing to make the point that legal gun owners are somehow bad people.
Finally, we made our plans to attend the 2014 NRA meeting where we will represent the Network and again support the NRA. You should consider attending next year’s meeting. You can see, touch and feel just about every firearm on the market as well as look at other shooting and hunting items. Put April 25-27, 2014 on your calendar and join us in Indianapolis next year.
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