OUR MISSION OF EDUCATION
We continue to focus our efforts on the Network’s successful public educational program, with distribution of our 24-page booklet What Every Gun Owner Needs to Know About Self-Defense Law. It is one of our major tools for Network promotion. This publication provides a seriously needed resource by which armed citizens can better understand the legal system with which they will interact if they ever use a gun in self defense. In addition, it establishes the Network as THE reliable source of information about the legal aftermath that follows self defense, planting a positive image in the minds of those receiving the booklet. In 2011, more than 120,000 copies of the booklet were sent at no charge to Network members, Affiliated Instructors and Affiliated Gun Shops. The latter use the booklet to better educate their clientele and our members share it with friends, families and acquaintances they make at their gun clubs and shooting ranges. A big thank you to anyone who handed out a booklet last year. Your assistance makes this outreach and education initiative successful! Please let us know if you need more booklets!
In fact, the growing task of keeping affiliates supplied with copies of the booklet got so big that it began to interfere with daily Network operations, and early in 2011 we began contracting with Brady Wright (see his Networking column later in this journal) to work on special projects for the Network. Brady now serves as liaison with our affiliated gun shops and instructors, handles shipping booklets, as well as pursuing other promotional venues to increase awareness of the Network and its services to armed citizens.
The better educated American gun owners are, the fewer injudicious uses of firearms will occur. Our booklet makes new gun owners stop to ponder the power they’ve assumed. Those who are serious about their responsibility want to learn more and many join the Network because of our aggressive member education program. Network members receive three educational DVDs with their first year’s membership and additional educational programs on DVD each year thereafter. As of this writing, our sixth program, a lecture given by Massad Ayoob entitled Understanding and Explaining Altered Perceptions of Witnesses and Participants in Violent Encounters is at the replicators and will be mailed to renewing members around the first of February.
Expressing concern that the fourth and fifth programs in our series of DVDs contained information with which members may desperately need to be conversant before their second or third renewal rolls around, Network President Marty Hayes announced that starting this year, new members will initially receive five educational DVDs with their new membership. To keep mailing expenses affordable, we’ll send existing members copies of DVDs that they don’t yet have when they renew membership. We want to be sure all members receive training that may help explain why they took certain actions in defense of self and family. Of course, a court will not allow discussion of justifications for certain actions unless the defendant can show that he or she knew that information in advance of the incident, and it thus had a bearing on decisions made during that emergency. Be sure to write the date and your initials on the DVD label each time you review the program.
Our seventh educational DVD program is completely taped, and our new video editor is hard at work smoothing out any glitches, camera angle switches and “oops, let me say that over” incidents the camera’s unforgiving lens captured. We are very pleased with the new editor’s work on the sixth program, so can’t wait to get the seventh program ready in time for the next year’s renewals, which will begin mid-summer of 2012. In the production of our educational DVDs, high-tech, glitzy formatting has never been on our agenda. Instead, we seek out the subject matter experts, with the intent of creating a very well-prepared membership and thus a more defensible group of armed citizens.
For many, 2011 was a year of change, and the Network had its share of change, too. Detail-oriented members may have noted a very small change that came when the Network’s business structure changed from LLC to Inc. With mounting taxes nipping at our funds, we had spent several months conferring with the experts and subsequently restructured slightly. None of the changes have the least effect on members and their benefits, and I doubt many even noticed the small change in our name.