Marty eJournal column pix

by Marty Hayes, J.D.

This month’s message morphed into the guest editorial in this edition of the eJournal and that was a pretty heavy piece to write. So, let’s have some fun here, okay?

First, as we all know, shooting guns is fun. So, if you haven’t had any fun lately, go do some shooting. A good place to start would be going to an IDPA match. In fact, if you want to come visit the Pacific Northwest, my school is hosting the 2018 Washington State IDPA Championship scheduled for August 11-12. If you are an IDPA member with a current classification, come join us. In fact, the Network is the match sponsor.

If you are not a competition junkie like I am, how about some serious training? I would recommend attending the RangeMaster Tactical Conference in March in Little Rock, AR, but the event is full, with a waiting list. You can still attend RangeMaster Tactical Conference if you travel to the Pacific Northwest, because the Firearms Academy of Seattle will host a RangeMaster Regional Tactical Conference July 27-29, 2018 and there is still room in this one.

At $389, RangeMaster Tactical Conferences are one of the very best values for the training dollar, and I am honored to host many of the instructors.

Okay, so you are not that much into shooting, but you are active in the gun rights movement. If that is the case, remember that the NRA Annual Meeting is right around the corner May 4-6, and the Network will again have its’ double booth at the 2018 meeting. Late Saturday afternoon, we’ll host a gathering of the Network clan at booth 7855 with snacks and beverages and our advisory board members John Farnam, Massad Ayoob, James Fleming in attendance, along with Vincent Shuck and myself. We are very much looking forward to this year’s meeting.

Since we are talking about the NRA Annual Meeting, you may ask what has happened to Network membership since the NRA introduced CarryGuard? Well, we have increased our numbers over 15%. In practical terms, that means another quarter million dollars in the Legal Defense Fund! Those numbers are fun to talk about.

I also recently finished up an expert witness case I was privileged to work on for the Second Amendment Foundation. Among many use of force cases, this counts as the first real gun-rights case I have done, except for my own when I joined SAF in a suit against my own WA Attorney General. That suit didn’t prevail, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t try. Alan Gottlieb and his team from the Second Amendment Foundation are doing some great work challenging bad laws in court.

Have you ever been to Gunsite Academy? I have reported here about my last two excursions, and this year I am planning to attend multiple courses. One reason, it is FUN, but also, as an instructor, I can never learn enough. I go to classes for two reasons, other than the fun part. The first reason I go to Gunsite is to keep my skills sharp. As I age, my own skills deteriorate, along with my vision. There’s not much I can do about the vision loss, which means to compensate I need to keep the other skills up to speed. I cannot do this by watching YouTube videos. I have to train.

The second reason is to learn new information, along with watching different teaching styles. This year, along with competing in the Gunsite Alumni Shoot, I plan on taking both the 499 course and Instructor Development. I’ll enjoy the 499 to keep the skills sharp and learn more tactics from their great cadre of instructors. I am taking the Instructor Development course to learn the material presented, to add to the knowledge and skill in my instructor role. It is Gunsite’s first Instructor Development course and I have also convinced several of the my Firearms Academy staff Instructors to take the course with me. It should be a good bonding time, and we all look forward to learning more about how to teach, including teaching the Gunsite doctrine. I might even stay for a week-long precision rifle course, but we will have to wait on that decision until time gets closer.

That will wrap up my President’s Message for this month. Great things are happening with the Network, and I am please to still be the head of it. 

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