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EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK: Closing Thoughts

GHayesby Gila  Hayes

I was wrong, and I’m really pleased that I was! In January of 2010, citing violent crime and a stagnant economy, I predicted that we were in for increased crime in 2010 and beyond. A few weeks ago, however, I read that CNN reports that for the first half of 2011 violent crime dropped, and even property crime declined a little. Who would have guessed? John Lott’s blog alerted me to the CNN report  that tells the good news. With more states legalizing concealed carry and more new gun owners, citizens–armed and unarmed alike–must seem poorer prospects to robbers and rapists.

It seems that I should offer our readers some deep thoughts in this January edition of the Network’s journal. What I have to say focuses on our gratitude to Network members for helping our organization grow.

I am touched by how many members add a contribution to their membership renewals when they renew online and am also pleased when a member simply goes to the website and sends in a contribution, or as one of our affiliate instructors does from time to time, spontaneously sends a check for the Legal Defense Fund with no prompting or requests from us whatsoever.

I think we’ve all experienced contributing to an organization because they work toward a goal we believe in only to later regret lending support after discarding pounds of unwanted junk mail or hitting the Delete key on hundreds of over-amped spam mailings from an organization you only wished to help grow. I’ve suffered donor’s remorse, and I’m determined that our Network will never create those sentiments. That’s why our Network’s contribution efforts are extremely low key–an option on the Network website, followed up by our personal thanks when a member or benefactor contributes. I promise we’ll never hound you with follow up requests for more!

To each member who joined the Network’s growing ranks in 2011 and to all of our many renewing Network members, thank you for taking the time to study and understand the issues you may face after defending yourself or your family. Thank you for choosing the Network as part of your solution. As outlined earlier in this journal, we have expanded our initial educational program for new members, knowing that if we can front-load the educational part of your preparations, you will be better prepared to avoid mistakes, errors or confusion that can really cause trouble after acting in self defense. Your membership in the Network is responsible for growth of the Network’s Legal Defense Fund and its increased ability to help defend Network members. Thanks to you, the Network is stronger and better prepared to come to the legal defense of members like you. The words “Thank You” don’t even come close to expressing my gratitude for your participation in the Network.

Some follow up to my December editorial, in which I commented that some of our members, active participants on a number of Internet forums and online chat groups, included a live link to the Network in their signature line. Since I’m  not a big participant in forums, I became aware of this practice when our website optimization service showed multiple visitors coming from certain Internet forums. Following the trail back, I’d find a post to a forum thread that while it had nothing to do with the Network, was read by someone who noticed the Network’s link in the signature line and visited our website to see what it was all about. What a great idea, I thought, so in December’s journal editorial I asked members to consider doing the same in their forum activities. Not long thereafter I visited by phone with a member who said he’d give it a try. Sure enough, soon the website visitor “came from” log showed visits tracking back to our member “Caribou” who had done as he said he would, and thus sent other gunowners to the Network’s website. Thank you, “Caribou,” “10th Mtn,” and “Craig_VA” and all the rest of you out there in Internet-land who are doing the same! I really appreciate it!

In closing, 2011 has been a great year for the Network! I thank each of you participating in this tremendous enterprise and for your role in the Network’s success. My enthusiasm for the unknown that lies ahead in the days and weeks of 2012 ahead is boundless and I look forward to sharing the Network’s fifth year with you.