By Rob Morse
California – -(Ammoland.com)- Gun owners talk about inviting more people into the shooting sports and the self-defense community.
That is fine and good, but let’s not forget the 110 million gun owners we already have. They do a lot in their communities already. How can we move the needle and support the human right of self-defense with the shooters we already have?
Here is a painless ladder of activism.
Take a look and see how high you’ve climbed already. It is how movements and leaders are made. Step at a time.
Why does activism matter? I can’t ask you to run for office to defend our right of self-defense. Not yet. Most of us are not prepared for that commitment. I understand that. Running for office is simply too much to ask of most of us.. Today. Even though you are not in political office yet, there is always something you and your family could do to support the human right of self-defense. Activism is not only easy, it is fun.
Some of these activities cost money. Others only take time. The good news is that you can spend whichever you have. Let’s start at the beginning with someone who isn’t a gun person and see what they can contribute.
- Suppose you’re a single mom or dad. You don’t really like guns, but your friends and relatives have firearms in their homes and offices. You want to be responsible parent so you take a firearms safety class. Now you know how to make a home safe for children if a gun is in the house. You also teach your children to be safe around guns.
- You have some old guns collecting dust. You take out your favorite one and go shooting. Why did you wait so long?
- You have gun’s you have not shot in years. You give that small 22 to a young relative. Might as well give them the old cleaning kit too.
- You inherited your grandfather’s guns. You’re interested and a little intimidated by them. You join a gun club to get both instruction and a safe place to shoot.
- You are a gun owner, but your roommates don’t know about firearms. You arrange a basic firearms safety class for your roommates as well as their boyfriends/girlfriends. Now they can tell if a firearm is loaded and how to handle it safely.
- You take a friend shooting. That is how everyone starts.
- You promised to take your nieces and nephews shooting again. First, you sign them up for a junior safety course at your local range. That is a great first step.
- Volunteer at your local gun club for an event that teaches kids about safety and shooting.
- Now that you’ve been around kids and guns, how about helping teach firearms safety to a boy scout or girl scout troop? Don’t let your experience go to waste.
- A BB gun or pellet gun makes a great gift for the youngsters in your life. What about a bow and arrow once they are stronger? Those are great ways to teach any new shooter if they are intimidated by firearms.
- Admit it. It has been too long since you took a class. It is time you took some firearms self-defense training again.
- Join human-rights organizations like the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, the Second Amendment Foundation, and Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. Become a life member if you are already a member. All these organizations need our support.
- You’ve run out of excuses. Go get your permit to carry a concealed weapon. If you already have your state concealed carry license, go get a non-resident permit from another state so you can carry as you travel.
- Don’t keep the fun of firearms ownership a secret. Volunteer to recruit new NRA/ GOA/ SAF/ JPFO members at your local gun show. Don’t forget your county fair or your local political party meetings too.
- Have you been to the NRA convention and Gun Rights Policy Conference yet? Make plans to go. You will love it.
- Volunteer on a local political campaign. Wear your NRA shirt while you’re making phone calls.
- Now you have a reputation as a gun person. Friends ask you to take them shooting and shopping for a new gun. You want to be sure you are giving them consistent advise. Get your NRA basic pistol instructor certificate.
- Listen to your state firearms groups as they monitor self-defense bills in the legislature. Speak to your elected officials about those bills. Sometimes it starts with your local school board and town council.
- Advocate for the right of self-defense. Speak at your business group and social clubs. You know far more than the average club member.
- Has your church youth group had a firearms safety class recently? I bet other families want to be safe around guns too. You’re probably the best qualified person to organize that event.
- Get involved with the PTA, the local school board, and attend your city council meetings.
- You’ve been attending local government meetings as a civilian observer for several months. Now you write about each meeting and send your observations to the local news sites.
- The local news organizations come to you for your write ups and your comments on local events. History is written by those who show up to take notes.
- Now you’ve decided to run for local office. It might only be for a seat on the local water board or as an officer in your church. Thank you for your service!
There is always something for you to do if you want to advance the right of self-defense. Each of these small steps builds on what came before. It may not seem like much at the time, but each step is a significant accomplishment. Let me be one of the first to thank you for all you do.
What have you done that we could add to the list?
About Rob Morse: By day, Rob Morse works as a mild mannered engineer for a Southern California defense contractor. By night he writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily and on his SlowFacts blog. He is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.