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by Gila Hayes

Change is really difficult! At least we do not have it as bad as the Old Testament character Job, who is said to have lamented, “The thing which I greatly feared is come upon me.” For the past several years, I have been working so hard to hold off the need for a membership dues increase.  I’ve laid off staff and, along with Amie and Will picked up the extra work load to trim staffing costs. I am sure everyone is tired of hearing me ask, “How much will that cost? Do we really need it?” With our last dues increase announced in the fourth quarter of 2015 and implemented January 1st, 2016, I feel a little like Job, bewailing the arrival of an eventuality I’ve long worked to avoid.

Nonetheless, wiser minds have prevailed and we do have to face a moderate dues increase on May 1. Some in our Network family will find the $10 per year increase on renewal dues a hardship. I would like to remind you of the opportunity during 2023 to earn a $10 off renewal dues coupon by recruiting one new Network member and making sure the new member gives your full name (and if possible your member ID number) to identify you as the person referring them to the Network.

When the January accounts were all settled, I emailed a note of thanks and a $10 discount renewal coupon to 20 Network family members who were named by new members as the reason they joined the Network. February is still winding down as I write this message, but a rough estimate shows 25 Network members will be getting a coupon to take $10 off the cost of their next renewal.

I would love to see your name on my “send a coupon” list when I work the monthly tally (usually done over the first weekend of each new month)! Tell your friends at the shooting range, the gun store or family members and other associates who are also armed citizens why you have chosen to be a part of the Network (you may find some useful details to talk about at or email me for talking points, although nothing is stronger than your heart-felt recommendation, which can come only from you.

One element you will want to recommend to your friends is the Network’s member education program. The video lessons we used to send out on multiple DVD discs are now available for online streaming when members log in to but you can point your non-member friends to extensive previews at or if they are guests in your home and time allows, offer to watch one of our video lessons like the very timely title Recognizing and Responding to Pre-Attack Indicators at as a way to introduce your visitors to the Network as well as exposing them to life-saving knowledge about the ways that predators behave before they strike.

Now that I think about it, not all change is bad. Long-time members will share my memory of the bulky packages of fragile crystal-cased DVD discs that we used to have to send out in order to distribute the video lectures to members. Online streaming has changed all that, and provides the additions we’ve made beyond that original set of discs in a very accessible way. The world keeps changing; we have to, too.

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