Editor’s Notebook


by Gila Hayes

A few days ago I started 2013’s targeted campaign to increase affiliated attorneys in states in which we had fewer than four affiliates. I guess I went a little crazy, because once those first inquiries were emailed, I went on to solicit recommendations in some other states in which I was concerned that although there are six or seven affiliated attorneys, some members have to drive two to three hundred miles to meet with one, as is a problem where affiliates are all clustered on one edge of the state.

Asking members for recommendations for gun friendly attorneys has been an interesting experience for several reasons. First, it brought to mind how relieved I was to recruit even one attorney per state during the Network’s first year or two. Now, with some states served by one or two attorneys, my worries are that those affiliated attorneys may retire, ascend to the judicial bench, or simply become too busy to help a Network member. In addition, sadly, the Grim Reaper claimed several of our affiliated attorneys during 2012, something none of us could have predicted.

Also, during 2012, at least two Network affiliated attorneys were appointed to judicial positions, closed their law practices and have thus become unable to assist our members. The most recent, and thus foremost in my memory, are Sheldon Boyce of Rochester, NY and Mark Lawson of Maquoketa, IA. Congratulations, Judge Boyce and Judge Lawson.

While it personally pains me to lose your participation as Network affiliated attorneys, in the larger picture, I find it deeply satisfying to know that the judicial branch of our criminal justice system will now benefit by your skill, knowledge and experience.


The Network is always on the search for gun-friendly defense attorneys we can invite to affiliate. Sometimes members suggest the name of an attorney of whom they are aware because the lawyer is continuously in the headlines or is famous for controversial cases. When asked if they know that the attorney recommended is friendly toward armed self defense, the response usually is, “I have no idea, but they seem aggressive. Isn’t that a good thing?” With respect to the members wishing to help swell the ranks of our affiliates, no, fame is not necessarily what we want.

The purpose of the Network’s list of attorneys recommended by gun owners for gun owners is to identify attorneys with whom the armed citizen can enjoy a comfortable pre-need conference, getting the attorneys’ agreement to be the one the armed citizen would call if, Heaven forbid, they have to use deadly force in self defense. This is not a comfortable request to make of a stranger, much less a stranger who asks in horror if you are planning to commit murder, clearly oblivious to the self-defense potential in use of deadly force.

As part of this ongoing campaign, I recently researched several attorneys who were put forward as prominent or famous defense lawyers from the member’s city, county or borough. One attorney’s website actually bragged that he was infamous for his hijinks when defending his clients. I need your understanding on this detail, folks: it will not be of much help to you or your fellow Network members if our affiliated attorney lists suggests that you establish contact with an attorney who is not “one of us,” who lacks the basic understanding of the armed citizen forced to defend him or herself against criminal assault.