GHayesby Gila Hayes

Closing out 2017

I had the best of intentions: I’d decided to let our Network advertising taper down during the final quarter of 2017 to accommodate a staffing disruption that came up when Melissa, our team member in charge of new memberships, moved out of state to accompany her husband who has started a new job. We were very sad to lose her, but we figured we could cope.

We rearranged job duties to make best use of the great skills, talents and grit that Jennie, Josh, Belle and Linda bring to their roles on the Network operations team. Nowadays, when members and prospective members phone in, Josh or Belle answer their questions, address their concerns, assist with their membership orders and then, behind the scenes, Linda enters it all into membership records. Jennie expertly manages all the renewal work, and I fill in where gaps open up–as can happen when a team member lands in the hospital and is restricted to reduced work hours during recovery, suffers a bereavement, or simply spends a few days with school-aged children during the winter holidays. Unfortunately for me, all those disruptions hit simultaneously during the last two weeks of December, so it’s been pretty interesting. I’d have to say, 2017 is going out with a bang, certainly not with a whimper!

Even so, the work flow would have gone pretty well if I’d stuck by my idea of letting business taper off a little at the end of the year, but I got an offer from our friends at S.W.A.T. magazine for a great buy on “remnant” ad space that fit our preferred 2/3 page format perfectly, and I took advantage of the offer. Silly me. The ad performed very well indeed, and while our very short-handed team has kept up with membership growth, it has taken just about every ounce of our energy and ingenuity.

As we close out 2017, I’d like to give a big, “Good job!” and virtual pat on the back to each team member for all their hard work.

Not a License to Shoot

Recent discussions over the Network phone lines have been interesting, as members and potential members have been wondering if they shoot in self defense or to stop an active shooter or a church shooter (all three variations were asked about in December) but their shot missed or over penetrated and hit the figurative nun or pregnant mother with a three year old toddler in stroller, or other terrible misfortune, would the Network help pay off the expected and financially devastating award of damages a civil court judge is likely to order.

After listening to one of my staff struggle valiantly to help a caller understand that armed citizens are personally responsible for every shot fired, it occurred to me that as armed citizens struggle to come to grips with what they can, should and subsequently might do if using their gun to save innocent life, some have forgotten that no matter how horrible the scene playing out in front of our eyes, there are times when shooting is not the best solution. If the area beyond an attacker you’ve decided needs to be shot contains innocent people, shooting immediately may cause more mayhem than moving first to change the angle of your shot to mitigate the risk to innocents “downrange” from your position.

Despite the considerable time and effort we put into mastery of a handgun carried for self defense, we need to exercise great care not to start to consider the gun our first, best solution. If we let our thinking become clouded by the tool, we blind ourselves to risks we accept if we decide to shoot.

To read more of this month's journal, please click here.