Virginia Is For Pro Gun Activists
By Glen Caro line
Director of NRA-ILA Grassroots
Virginia - -(AmmoLand.com)- As I noted in last month’s column, the 2009 Virginia elections will be ground zero for our grassroots activities this year. Not only will these elections determine the future our of our gun rights in Virginia, but they will also be used as a barometer for the 2010 elections.
If two recent events I attended in Virginia Beach are any indication, we are well positioned this year in Virginia to remind politicians running in 2010 that those who oppose the Second Amendment do so at their own political peril!
On July 16, my Virginia Beach tour begin with a Volunteer Kick-Off meeting I conducted along with NRA-ILA Campaign Field Representative (CFR) Tom Garloch. (Tom is one of six CFRs we have hired and placed on the ground in strategic regions across the state to register pro-gun voters and ensure pro-freedom candidates have sufficient volunteer support. NRA Grassroots staff is also coordinating similar activities near NRA Headquarters.) The fact that 80 staunch pro-gun stalwarts came out on a beautiful summer weeknight shows that gun owners in the Commonwealth are fully engaged in this process and are demonstrating this fact through their actions. At the meeting, attendees learned what more they could do with NRAILA’s two primary missions this election season: 1) registering pro-gun voters; and 2) ensuring they actively support and turn out to vote for pro- Second Amendment candidates.
Those in attendance represented a good mix of long-time activists, as well as some new faces. We managed to sign up 62 new FrontLines volunteers, who will be fully engaged with Tom Garloch’s activities in the region. Nearly half the attendees took phone lists and corresponding scripts, agreeing to contact thousands of Second Amendment supporters to urge them to register to vote in the days immediately following the meeting. Further, more than 100 “I’m the NRA & I Vote” yard signs and hundreds more bumper and lapel stickers were distributed among the attendees for prominent display throughout the pro-gun Virginia Beach community. Not a bad start!
This meeting was the first of seven similar meetings we will conduct across Virginia to bolster the grassroots networks of Tom’s fellow CFRs that are living and working in targeted regions throughout the Old Dominion State.
My and Tom’s work didn’t end on Thursday, however, as early Saturday morning we met with approximately 100 Virginia Beach Republicans, who are already fully engaged in the 2009 campaign process. An informal survey showed more than half the attendees were current NRA Members, ranging from annual members to Benefactor members! I even managed to sign up a young woman as a new member on the spot.
Once again, as with our Thursday night volunteer meeting, we were able to recruit more volunteers, distribute call sheets and scripts, and provide attendees with yard signs and stickers.
Our efforts in Virginia Beach were heartening, as they demonstrated that many NRA members and pro-Second Amendment activists are already engaged in this year’s elections, and are willing to assist further. Our challenge now is to ensure that more gun owners, hunters, and Second Amendment supporters throughout Virginia are registered to vote and will active support those candidates who support our rights. While we can never expect everyone to do everything associated with a successful grassroots campaign, our efforts in Virginia to ensure everyone does something will continue in full force right through Election Day—November 3—and into 2010!NRA-ILA Grassroots Division
11250 Waples Mill Rd.
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: (800) 392 – VOTE (8683)
Fax: (703) 267 – 3918
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation’s leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.