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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

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by Marty Hayes

I hope you enjoyed the lead article of this eJournal. As you could see, shooting competition and teaching armed self defense has been a major part of my life. I hope I communicated both the advantages and pitfalls of competition for the self-defense crowd, along with some ideas to mitigate the downside. But, one thing I left out was the social aspect of shooting competition. Over the years, I have met many, many good men and women who became close friends through the matches we went to together. And understand this: I am not a very outgoing, gregarious person. It takes a lot to get to know me (must be that cop side of me). In fact, I would do just about anything to avoid crowds of people and having to put up with simple patter from folks I hardly know. On the other hand, shooters tend to be a different class of folks, and I love going to matches and being a part of the group. We all have a common goal, working on our shooting skills, either to get better or to retain what we have.

I would like to submit a formal challenge to each of our members: attend a shooting match this year! Seek out the type of competition you think you might enjoy and attend. Most matches allow spectators, and so while planning to shoot would be a good thing, if you are a little too timid, just show up and watch. I think you will quickly decide if shooting competition is good for you.

If you haven’t already decided on a venue, I recommend looking for your local IDPA club, and getting started there. If you have a 9mm or larger handgun, and safe carry gear, you are good to go. Don't get too worried about all the rules (except the safety rules). If you get procedural penalties and misses, don’t worry about it. All new shooters go through a steep learning curve, and you will be no different. For more information about IDPA, go to www.IDPA.com. There are links to your local clubs and more. When you attend your first match, write us a little note; we would like to hear about your experience.

RANGEMASTER TACTICAL CONFERENCE

For those of you who have read in the eJournal about previous RangeMaster Tactical Conferences and thought that you might like to attend one, well there is one coming up in February. Tom Givens has scheduled the 2012 conference at his home range in Memphis, TN on Feb. 24, 25 and 26. Tom blends instruction from some of the top trainers in the country with a street-relevant pistol match. It is absolutely the best event going for the money and if you are anywhere near the Mid South, you should try to attend. Enrollment is limited, so don’t delay if you want to participate.

GROWTH GOAL NOT MET

Last year, I set a healthy goal for membership, that being to double our membership, and to reach 5,000 members by this time. Well, we have come up about 400 members short. That’s the bad news. The good news, and what needs to be taken away from this, is that this past year we almost doubled our membership again, and we continue to grow every day. So, let me set a new goal for this time next year. Let’s top the 7,500 mark in 2012, okay? If we can do that, we should have a quarter of a million dollars in the Legal Defense Fund, so we’ll be stronger financially and better able to cover any additional expenses of growing pains.

To do this, we need your help though. If each current member actively recruits ½ a person to join the Network, we will be there! Our gun shop affiliates are doing their jobs, as are our affiliated instructors, but we also need the members’ help. Please, please, please consider recruiting at least one additional person (we can’t actually only recruit a half a person). And one more thing: we are seeing a little higher rate of non-renewals than in past years. Not sure why, as we don’t really bug people who fail to renew. Membership becomes more valuable as the Legal Defense Fund grows, so please renew your membership in the Network, okay? For lapsed members who are reading this, please give us a call and renew. We’ll get you caught up on all the DVDs you missed; you’ll even keep your original membership number. You joined up once, understanding that this was a good idea, and we would like to continue providing Network services to you!

[End of this article.
Please enjoy the next article in this eJournal.]