Editors Note: Esther Q. Schneider is running for re-election to the 2019 NRA Board of Directors.
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Esther Q. Schneider is a current NRA Board Member, first elected in 2016, and nominated by the NRA Selection Committee. She is a Benefactor Life Member and a Charlton Heston Society member in the NRA Ring of Freedom. Esther was one of the earliest members of the NRA Women’s Leadership Forum and is fast-approaching the Ruby Level. The NRA committees she serves on are Membership, Grassroots, and Youth Programs, and previously served on OutReach.
Fredy Riehl: Hello Esther. It is great to talk to you. Thanks for helping us get to know who is running for NRA board in 2019. You are a current board member, and I believe this is your first time running for re-election to the board? Tell our readers about your background some of your accomplishments unrelated to the NRA.
Esther Schneider: I was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV, to parents with deep Texas roots and a strong belief in self-reliance. In the 1960s, Vegas was a place where as a very young child, I could ride my pony to deliver the afternoon edition of The Review-Journal, and ride from sun-up until sundown, and my parents never had to worry. It was during that same period that my father decided his children were responsible enough to learn to shoot. Several times a month, he would load kids from the neighborhood in our station wagon and take us shooting at Red Rock Canyon. I was only five years old the first time my father took me, and I never outgrew the love of shooting or horses, and still relish any time spent on the gun range, especially if I am sharing the joys of shooting with ladies and children.
I have always tried to balance a generally high-profile career with G-d, family, shooting, horses, and non-profit volunteerism. At one time, it looked like my job would be that of an elected official, but I met my husband, Tom, while campaigning! He hadn’t shot much, but he took to shooting and bird-hunting like a duck to water, and he’s always been my biggest supporter, no matter the endeavor. I’ve always loved to work and have had my hand in helping non-profits and politics, either raising money for candidates, managing races or lobbying behind the scenes. I started teaching women more than 15 years ago, and the boy scouts and some girl scout troops, which lead to obtaining an FFL and SOT. After more than eight years of volunteering with BSA, I stepped down the end of December from serving on the Capitol Area Council BSA Board, and joined Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point, USA, hoping to raise awareness and money for the conservative souls of our young adults.
In addition to NRA and Turning Point, I shake the trees for Texas Parks and Wildlife conservation efforts and supplemental equipment for our Texas game wardens, and the Special Forces Charitable Trust, benefitting our Green Beret and Delta communities and their families. And somehow, I manage to find the time to make dinner four or five times a week and ride Dressage competitively. Needless to say, I don’t do “sit” very well!
Fredy Riehl: I think one thing that people don't realize is the NRA board is made up of a lot of dedicated people with different skill sets, many unrelated to current gun politics but crucial for running and financing` a large organization. I see that your focus has been on the fundraising efforts. How did you fall into that task and what does it involve and what the challenges have been?
Esther Schneider: When I graduated from Texas Tech, my first job didn’t pay much, but had time to volunteer and drove cancer patients to their chemotherapy appointments at lunchtime. It was evident that to be effective in the mission; a charity needed money. So I asked myself: If I believed so much in a particular cause to donate my time and talent, how hard could it be to ask for money to support that cause? It became a personal challenge to develop plans for raising money to benefit cancer patients, and soon, I discovered that it was fulfilling to raise funds for causes that helped people.
Word spread and, ultimately, that led to lucrative job offers, political campaigns, and the National Rifle Association. I’ve always loved meeting new people and firmly believe in the Second Amendment. Therefore, raising money for NRA comes naturally. One must continuously cultivate new donors at gun stores and ranges, on hunting trips, at youth shoots and other like-minded outings. It is natural for me to seek introductions to others that strongly support the Second Amendment and why it’s essential for our youth to share the mission of the NRA. Every person has the potential to share the passion for freedom, some greater than others! I share my family’s story and utilize the gifts that G-d gave me to engage them in meaningful conversations about the cost of freedom and the price of keeping our children and families safe. I share facts in easy to understand examples, educating them on the burning issue of the day, generally masked in false, ‘feel-good’ rhetoric, and then ask them to commit to the protection of our Second Amendment through giving to the NRA. That commitment can be time, talent or money. Simply put, my daily mission is to ask at least one person to support NRA because history repeats and American freedom must survive.
Fredy Riehl: You have also been very active in moving the NRA's efforts more into social media and web. I am guessing that is to help connect more with younger members or just anyone that gets their info from the internet rather than printed magazines? Why do you feel that is important and what would you like to see the NRA accomplish concerning that change?
Esther Schneider: Serving on the NRA Board of Directors means one should be willing to give their time, talent and finances to ensure that the NRA grows not only in membership, but political might that comes with being strong financially. I asked to serve on Membership and Youth Programs committees because I see two crucial challenges to overcome when it comes to increasing NRA membership.
Minorities and women 35 years of age and younger are the largest segments of today’s gun-buyers, yet they aren’t buying memberships.
The second challenge (and ties into the first challenge) is that our young adults and children are no longer taught that throughout America’s history, millions of Americans have given ‘life and limb’ for the protection of the Constitution, so they have no concept of American patriotism. Until recently, most have never had their lives threatened for holding Judeo-Christian beliefs or speaking their minds on life and liberty. If history is no longer taught and the media continues to bludgeon ‘American Exceptionalism’ and refuses to report daily infringements across the US, how can we expect them to be American patriots and understand why it is vital to join the NRA?
Recruitment is the lynchpin in turning the tide for freedom! In my youth, I supported more than two dozen organizations if I felt their mission was worthy. Today, and for the last 20 years, I only support youth organizations that effectively foster our children to be contributing citizens that love and respect the American way of life. A big reason why I teach children to shoot is to balance the negatives they hear in school.
How does this translate into an action plan?
To use a simple analogy, the NRA must go ‘fishing’ where there is ‘fish’ and use a bait that appeals to those ‘fish.’ That means we need to bring in younger members to help develop messages that convey ‘why’ those 35 years old and younger must join the NRA, using their peers to deliver that message, and push those messages in mediums such as Twitter and Instagram. Charlie Kirk and Candace Owen of Turning Point, USA, have done an incredible job in helping to educate high school and college kids about the most powerful tool in their quiver: The United States Constitution. Today’s youth relate to Candace and Charlie because they are their peers and speak to them in a language they understand. More and more youth realize that they need to own a firearm to protect themselves against a growing violent society, and are becoming enlightened that the Second Amendment protects that right. This is why they comprise the largest growing segment of new gun owners. Now the NRA needs to communicate the importance, and value, of joining the NRA through peer-to-peer messages on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. To survive, NRA must focus on building the next generation of 2A supporters.
Fredy Riehl: Esther, thank you for your feedback and your insights and good luck on your re-election to the 2019 NRA Board of Directors.
Voting-eligible members, please consider casting your vote for Esther Q. Schneider when you receive your 2019 ballots.
More on Esther Q. Schneider. When she lived in Indianapolis, she was an Indiana EVC, a sponsor and committee member for many FNRA dinners, and a very effective Ring of Freedom recruiter and fundraiser. Esther served as the 2014 Indianapolis WLF Ladies’ luncheon and auction chair, raising $1.3M with 700+ ladies. Within months of moving to the Austin, TX area in 2015, she had planned and chaired the first Austin NRA-ILA Defend America event, and recently co-chaired the 2018 Houston Defend America event, raising more than $118,000. As an NRA certified pistol and rifle instructor, she has taught hundreds of women and children to shoot properly and effectively. Esther has continued to be an FNRA sponsor, and committee member when time permits. To date, she has raised more than $580k+ for 2A federal and state candidates. Having always been a successful business executive, Esther opened Strategic Alliance Arms, LLC (an FFL and Class 3/SOT dealer) that specializes in selling firearms to women. A native of Las Vegas, she learned to shoot at age 5 and earned her first LTC/CHL in Nevada, and has since earned LTCs/CHLs in Indiana and Texas. Having been assaulted as a young woman, she strongly encourages other women to be trained and armed. Esther is a Life Member TRSA, ISRPA and ATA and a member of NSSF, CSF Chairman’s Club, DSC, and Capitol City Gun Club. She’s an avid wing shooter, but does enjoy deer-hunting and recently started bow hunting to cull excessive whitetail from their property. In 2017, she graduated from the Texas Game Warden Citizens’ Academy and now serves as the Co-Chair for TPW Foundation’s Gear Up for Game Wardens, Special Operations division, raising funds to purchase equipment not funded through the legislature. For more than eight years, Esther served on many BSA committees, chaired two Distinguished Eagle dinners in Indianapolis and served on the Crossroads Council Board three years and the Capitol Area Council Board for three years, and remains on the Shooting Sports Committee. Esther’s family are all Texans, and she is a graduate of Texas Tech University, holding a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Public Relations, and minors in English and journalism, and short only a few hours for minors in chemistry and biology. At age 33, Esther ran for the U.S. House of Representatives (NV-CD 1), finishing second in a 9-way primary. Shortly after that, she met her soon-to-be husband, Tom, and moved to Indiana, where they resided until Tom’s retirement from Simon Property Group. In her spare time, Esther rides Dressage and recently started competing again.