Creating the next 2A supporter
September 23, 2019
by: Frank Tait
Education and Training programs that bring new people to firearm safety and marksmanship, particularly the youth are an underutilized tool to bring positive news about the second amendment to the general population. Rob Pincus and I agree that the NRA needs major reforms, but I believe that we need to keep funding the Friends of NRA programs and the NRA Foundation and the NRA basic firearm classes.
In the past few days, my home club, LPRGC has hosted a number of education and training events. First was the start of the fall session of our Junior Rifle program. This program, supported by grants from the NRA Foundation provide NRA Basic Rifle classes, firearms, shooting jackets, shooting mats, and all ammo to these youth - AT NO COST TO THEM other than their time. This session has 5 new students and 6 returning students. One of these returning students, now 17 years old, just yesterday came in as High Junior in the PA State NRA Hi-Power championship, for the third consecutive year! This outstanding teenager has brought girlfriends to Revere's Riders events so they could understand why he is so committed to firearm safety and education and competitive rifle shooting.
Speaking of Revere's Riders, we had 12 youth and 6 adult students supported by 6 volunteer NRA certified instructors for a Rifle 125 event on Saturday. Pictures of the event here. As the youth and adults were all Scouters, we provided this program AT NO COST TO THEM, other than their time. We provided rifles, lent by the instructors and other club members, shooting mats, and all of their ammo. Revere's Riders teaches the history of April 19, 1775 (The battles of Lexington and Concord) and how marksmanship made a difference in founding our country. We highlight how the Colonists lived under oppression that were part of the reason for the first 5 amendments to the constitution. We help them understand that what started the Revolutionary War was the government going out to confiscate the Colonists firearms in Concord. We connect firearm safety and marksmanship to our form of government, as sadly none of this is taught is schools anymore.
We also give the students a chance to shoot a reproduction Elliot pistol, that might have been the type of pistol that fired the first shot on Lexington Green. The NRA Total Participant Involvement (TPI) approach helps lock these stories into these youth. I have been approached years later by former students who thank me for what they learned in this and other similar programs like Appleseed.
The picture on the left are 2 of our loyal students. They have been coming to almost every class for 4 years. They are not old enough yet to become NRA apprentice instructors, but they are our "gumby's" physically demonstrating all of the safe firearm handling techniques and all of the variants of the standing, seated, kneeling and prone positions that may be physically challenging to some older instructors.
We send all of these youth out as ambassadors for firearm safety and our constitutional republic form of government. They are the future defenders of our firearm rights and we need to keep funding and running those programs.