Marty eJournal column pix

by Marty Hayes, J.D.

Last month, I told you I would report on the NRA Annual Meeting. It was an interesting meeting for the non-profit organization known as the National Rifle Association, but if you were paying attention since then, there have been a lot of articles and social media commentaries regarding what has been happening with the leadership of the NRA. Lawsuits are being filed daily–well, that’s a joke, but there have been several–between the NRA and Ackerman McQueen, its ad agency.

While some have made much of it, frankly, I find it all pretty boring. However, I also have this little itch to say, “I told you so, NRA!” Okay, I said it, and my messages regarding the issues surrounding the introduction of Carry Guard are detailed in a series of articles at , , , and . My opinion has not changed, so I am happy to pronounce that Carry Guard is, for all intents and purposes, dead. Both the training aspect and the CCW insurance were ill conceived. It was a poor program when introduced, and it never got better.

2019Adv BdSo how did the Network do at the NRA Annual Meeting 2019? We had a very good meeting. Exhibiting at these Annual Meetings costs us a bunch of money to travel, buy the booth space, and put up four people in stupidly expensive hotels. We always hope to at least break even on costs v. income from new members. I am happy to report that we did this year, and in fact this year’s new member recruitment tied our best year. It put a smile on our faces, for sure.

But, for Vincent, Gila, William and me, working in the Network booth, the better thing that put bigger smiles on our faces was the way so many people came up to shake hands and say, “Thanks for starting the Network” or “Thanks for being there.” That means a lot to us. So, all in all we had a good meeting, and we look forward to seeing our Nashville, TN members next year.

You Can’t Save Them All

This sad tale falls into the above category. We received a call today from the widow of a member, who was responding after receiving a renewal notice. She told us that her husband was deceased so would not be renewing.

Now, we actually handle a sad number of calls and e-mails about members passing away, but the circumstances of this member’s death are what put me back. It seems that he was shot in his home after police came to his door in response to a fire alarm. The police watched him go back into the back of the house and come back with a gun in hand. He then opened the door and according to police pointed it at the officers, refused to drop the gun when commanded to do so, and was shot four times. He died at the scene.

I am really quite disturbed that this gentleman was not more responsible and that he pushed the officers into feeling like they needed to shoot. One contributing factor was alcohol; he had a .14 blood alcohol level. I have written before that I am not a tee-totaler, but I would not have that load of alcohol on board and have a gun available to me. Even more distressing, the deceased went and retrieved the gun. It seems like he was not thinking clearly, and absent more information it is hard to imagine the reason.

Please dear members, if you are having issues in your life which results in over-medicating with alcohol or other mood-altering drugs, put the guns away and don’t get them out under any circumstances. I cannot imagine the pain and likely guilt feelings the widow has endured. How sad.

And on that note, I will bid you a fond farewell for this month, and talk to you again in July.

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