Here’s a chance to help the future of the shooting sports by focusing on NRA’s roots. Many Americans have simply never handled a firearm, let alone been introduced to the shooting sports by a friend, family member or colleague. Getting more people to the range in a safe, comfortable and controlled environment is something a lot of gun owners talk about, but we here at NRA Publications are taking steps to help you do something about it. Please take time to read the following letter from our executive director:
Dear Fellow Member:
One thing NRA members have in common is a lesson that changed their lives for the better. Somewhere along the line, virtually every one of us received an introduction to firearms and shooting. It was an empowering event that helped us to take responsibility for protecting family and friends. For millions, it was the first step on the trail to lifelong sporting pursuits like target competition and hunting.
Every American Rifleman reader can soon make a positive difference in someone’s life by taking part in the NRA Mentor Initiative sponsored by EAA Corp., Winchester Ammunition, Taurus and Walker’s Game Ear. In 2015, more than 20,000 NRA members became mentors, taking the initiative to help NRA grow and get stronger, to help folks in their communities and to register for a chance to win valuable prizes. And the only requirement was participating in one of their favorite activities.
During May 2016, we’re encouraging all 5 million NRA members to mentor beginning shooters. Talk to them about their shooting interests, and most importantly, make a date to take a beginner to the range. More than 40 million Americans have purchased their first guns in recent years: neighbors, co-workers and even family members, many of whom need qualified assistance. Along with providing a safe place to shoot, you can help them learn the basics of firearm safety, handling and range protocol. You can, as a new NRA program suggests, help someone Make A First, thereby changing their life. Learn more at makeafirst.org.
In this issue (p. 60) you’ll find details of the Mentor Initiative, including a free, detachable “Guide for New Shooters,” which supports mentors with helpful advice regarding how to get started, firearms safety, gear, and tips on shooting, gun cleaning and safe storage. The article also explains how to enter the Mentor Sweepstakes for a chance to win one of more than 50 prizes.
We believe every new shooter is a prime candidate to become a new NRA member, so we have included a membership application with promotional rates. Think how strong NRA could be going into the 2016 elections—elections we must win—if just a fraction of all those new gun owners joined our ranks.
NRA leads the nation in firearm safety and education, and at nrainstructors.org you can learn about the many courses offered by NRA Certified Instructors—or even how to become one yourself.
Given fair opportunity, nearly everyone discovers how enjoyable it is to shoot and how fulfilling it is to start learning such a practical, affirmative skill. By lending a hand, we can show, once again, that NRA members are the good guys.
Please join me in becoming an NRA mentor!
—Doug Hamlin, Executive Director, NRA Publications
Take time to read the “Guide for New Shooters” in the center of this magazine, and pass it on to someone you’d like to mentor before heading out to the range for your next session. You’ll not only be helping to promote one of America’s greatest pastimes, you’ll be helping to ensure the future of every American’s constitutional “right to keep and bear arms.”
Mark A. Keefe, IV