Article Index

Another branch of the IRS took the application, processed it and within about another month, we had the approval.

Now, I doubt if we will ever know exactly what happened behind the scenes, but we do want to publically thank our local Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler for the assistance her office contributed to the success of our foundation request. We hope to do some really good work with the Foundation, and are excited about seeing it grow and become a viable part of the industry.

The State of the Network

At each year's end it has been customary for us to share with our members just how the Network is doing, both in human resources, programs and of course, the status of the Legal Defense Fund and how we have helped some of our members. So, to end this column, I will give the report.

Legal Defense Fund

We have over $320,000 in the Fund. Each time a member renews or a new member joins, the Fund grows. So, as long as we have members, we have a Fund. This is an asset that is at the core of our member benefits. This Fund is used to pay for a member’s attorney to represent him or her in the legal system immediately following a self-defense incident. Then, if we need to help pay to defend a member at trial, the money will also come out of the Fund. Otherwise, the money sits there awaiting a large trial. I can remember when we hit the $50,000 mark and we thought that was a big deal, so I am smugly pleased at our reserves.

Network Affiliated Attorneys

We have over 345 attorneys in the Network, who have pledged to assist our members after an incident, along with being a resource for them for other legal matters. I don’t know of any other organization that can make the claim of having this large of a legal resource. We very much appreciate the help we have received this last year in finding attorneys in the nooks and crannies of America. We will of course, keep working to grow this list.

Educational Materials

One of the keys to your defense is the DVDs that we send out to each member. We are pleased to have eight DVDs so far, and we have plans for more in the works. Each DVD discusses particular aspects of armed self defense, and we know we have not covered all the topics we need to cover. Still, eight is a pretty good start.

Human Resources

So far, the staff of the Network consists of Vincent, Gila and me, along with utilizing the skills of Jennie and Brady. We have been able to grow the Network to over 7,500 members based on the work of this crew, which answers the phones, processes the membership applications and renewals, and satisfies the requests for booklets and brochures.

But I believe that our biggest human resource is our collective membership. To have 7,500 educated, pro-gun and pro-self defense people willing and ready to help out a member in need is truly amazing to me. This is an aspect of membership that has not been fully explored or discussed, but part of my preparedness mindset is having a circle of friends and associates on whom I could rely for help if truly needed.

In the same vein, we really appreciate our Advisory Board’s commitment to be there to help sort out a self-defense case and make decisions on the level of support we can give any individual member. James Fleming, Massad Ayoob, Tom Givens, Manny Kapelsohn, John Farnam and Dennis Tueller make up the Advisory Board, along with Vincent and me as ex-officio members. The Advisory Board will be gathering together this month, as we do each year, to discuss the future of the Network and swap a few legal war stories. I’ll try to get some pics this year to share in my next journal column.

So folks, that’s about it for the State of the Network summary. Bottom line: there’s nothing earth shattering to report, just good, solid progress on most aspects of the Network. Perhaps the year 2014 is the year we will break the 10,000-member mark. How cool would that be?

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