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by Gila Hayes

Over half of our crew, four of our seven staff and owners, traveled to Indianapolis in mid April to represent the Network at the NRA annual meeting. We enjoyed our time there, meeting new and long-time Network members, talking extensively about the Network’s efforts and our work to fulfill the mission that no Network member stands alone after legitimate use of force in self defense. It was a great three days. Now that the Network is in its 15th year, it should come as no surprise that a large number of visitors to our exhibit booth were existing members coming by to visit, with their numbers augmented by a handful of lapsed members returning to start their memberships back up. Of course, we met many wonderful new members, as well.

gila manny 400Our Indianapolis new members and the many others who joined in April are reading this online member journal for the first time. By way of explanation, let me observe that we enjoy presenting a variety of educational topics to provide continuing education for both new and long-standing members. Pulling in a good mix of topics to keep our monthly journal interesting is an ongoing challenge. It is effort well-invested, though, serving as one element in our larger education initiative, which also includes for-member-only video lessons and our Educational Foundation’s publicly available videos at Armed Citizens’ TV.

Above, right: After starting an interview in Indianapolis, Network Advisory Board member Emanuel Kapelsohn wrapped up our work via Zoom, giving extensive details about volunteer church safety teams. I’m excited to share the interview he gave, coming to these pages soon.

Our Advisory Board of prominent instructors and attorneys, our Network Affiliated Attorneys, and other trusted instructors and mentors who have shaped our thinking over the years generously contribute interviews and commentary to broaden our perspective and that of our members. While time consuming, compiling the online journal is one of the most satisfying parts of my efforts to keep the Network strong and vital.

Below: [L-R] Attorneys Alex Ooley and Mike Ooley answered questions about use of force in defense of animals while we were all together in our booth at the NRA Annual Meeting. Members for whom pets are beloved family members will want to watch for this interview when it is ready for publication. I learned a lot from them and look forward to sharing it with readers.

mike alexMembers tell us that the educational component is the part of Network membership that everyone is happy to receive, while none want to need our assistance after self defense. A favorite joke amongst renewing members is a closing quip that they hope they never have to call. With only 29 member involved cases since the Network was launched in 2008, we are convinced that in addition to providing an enjoyable way to stay in touch with our members, member education goes far toward keeping members out of situations that may end in use of force in self defense. While we do not shy away from throwing our strength behind a member who needs legal defense, it is very favorable for all of us when, as has been true for well over the past year, no member involved incidents happen. Education is a big contributing factor.

The Network’s time in Indianapolis let us start the work on several informative articles and discussions that we will share with members over the coming months. Watch for a mix of articles addressing legal issues, church safety teams, defending the family pet, home safety, and more. We are very blessed to be associated with experts and prominent influencers in the self defense field. Stay tuned in the months to come as we share these conversations and interviews. 

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