By Adam Kraut
AmmoLand Shooting Sports News supports and endorses Adam for NRA Board.
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Yesterday, I was asked about my platform. [Adam is running for 2017 NRA Board of Directors] The individual who asked said they went to my website but it didn't provide them with enough detail. So I penned a reply that I'd like to share with you.
It seems that most people, including the members of the NRA forget that the NRA itself is an educational institution, first and foremost. The NRA-ILA is obviously extremely important, but the NRA's purpose, which you can find on the “About the NRA” section of their website states “…the NRA has, since its inception, been the premier firearms education organization in the world.”
The NRA, among other things, has a huge branding problem amongst the public and even some of its members. In some circles, mentioning the NRA is almost akin to mentioning a terrorist organization.
People, on both sides, forget what the NRA actually is, that being an educational organization. I think the NRA needs to address this and start to change the public's perception.
There are two points to this.
- First, with the current “reputation” the NRA has amongst the general population, anything sponsored by the NRA relating to education is going to put a number of people off as they will view it as agenda driven.
- Second, it makes it extremely difficult for the NRA and/or clubs/individuals/etc. associated with the NRA to reach out to non-members and offer them an opportunity to learn about firearms safety and education with that sort of perception about the organization.
In my short time on this planet, it seems to me that most people who don't like guns or want to ban them, base that feeling and position not on actual experience but rather what they see in movies, on TV, read in papers (and now the internet) and what they are told by politicians who are equally clueless, rather than real life experiences.
How does that get fixed? Well, there are two things I'd like to see implemented.
The first being, I'd like to see the NRA work on having firearms education reintroduced to schools. I would like to see the Eddie Eagle Program become an educational standard for young children, so that if they come across a firearm, they know what to do. As children get older I'd like to see schools implement firearm safety classes, where children are shown proper gun handling skills (through the encouragement of the NRA and NRA programs). Lastly, I'd like to see the NRA work to bring school shooting sports back to schools so that kids can participate on a school sanctioned rifle team or trap team. These are obviously going to need to be implement in more rural areas first with a goal of building up a record and then moving towards more populated areas.
If we can involved children in the process, they are less likely to hold an openly hostile view towards firearms later in life. Further, we teach kids D.A.R.E., Sex Ed and Driver's Ed…why aren't we teaching them about guns?
The second being, I'd like to see NRA sponsored clubs, etc. have public outreach days, where they invite members of the community to the range to learn about proper gun handling and have the opportunity to shoot some firearms. With a positive experience, it very well may change someone's mind who is anti-gun or has no opinion to being pro-gun over time or someone who is not anti-gun. The other benefit is that the individual may see the NRA for what it really is, that being an educational institute.
Hopefully, that experience will drive those individuals to not vote for candidates who hold openly hostile positions towards firearms. But that's not a guarantee, just a hoped for side effect. But the rebranding of an organization which has been openly attacked by both the media and politicians is not going to happen overnight and it will require the involvement of members, such as yourself, to show that the NRA isn't an evil organization but in fact, just the opposite.
On the legislative side, I'd like to see the NRA help sponsor more pro-gun legislation (either by writing it or suggesting bills to legislators). I believe that the federal level is safe from any steps backwards on firearms rights, at least for the next four years. That doesn't mean we shouldn't push forward.
How to Vote for Adam:
While at the federal level it would be great to see the Hearing Protection Act and National Reciprocity be passed, there are a few other issues I'd like to see tackled. The push for Congress to reinstate funding for federal firearms relief determinations is a huge issue that most people have no idea about. If that were to be funded again, it would be the first time since the early 90's which means a number of individuals may be able to have their Second Amendment rights restored. I'd also like to see the NRA push for the sporting purposes exception in the law to be revisited. There are a number of legitimate sporting purposes that the current interpretation does not address.
The battles that are really going to affect individuals will be at the state level. The NRA will need to learn to work with some of the state-run organizations to help stop more gun control from being passed in states like California, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, etc. In states where gun rights are strong, I want to see the NRA push to expand those rights.
I hope that gives you a little insight into some of the ideas I have. I don't claim to have all the answers, I'd be lying if I said I did. I'm just potentially one voice of 74 others that would make up the board of directors and my direct influence will likely be limited. But I hope that if I am elected, I can earn the trust of other board members and start to move the ship in a direction that members want to see it go.
For more information, please visit adamkraut.com.