America’s gun problem.  President Obama has brought this issue to the forefront and there is perhaps no bigger issue that divides people than this.  He has raged against Gun toting, 2nd Amendment supporters in virtually every public appearance he has made.  Meanwhile, on the other side of the fence, people are just as crazed at Obama and the Gun Control types.  In all of this?  The NRA.  In fact, you can’t talk about this issue without hearing about the evils of the NRA, the leaders of the gun rights movement.

I’ve used guns my entire life but was never a member of the NRA.  Because I love politics and debating, I have been in many conversations about gun control and gun rights and most have become heated, been filled with emotional outbursts and have lacked any semblance of logical clarity.  Many people on the side of Gun Rights ran out and joined the NRA.  Still I held out.  Frankly, they did seem to me to be a political organization that was on the extreme end of the discussion and I didn’t really want to identify with them.

However, I am an avid pistol shooter and recently decided to get my credentials to teach.  I searched for courses and found out that the NRA offered a course that was accredited by the State of TX and qualified as a prerequisite for my Concealed Carry (now LTC) teaching license.  I took the NRA Instructor course last weekend and in the course of it, I found out a lot about the NRA.

First of all, the gun control people are right.  The NRA is completely evil and instead of instructing me on how to teach firearms, I was subjected to 16 hours of brutal mind control and brainwashing.  By the time lunch came around I was chanting along with the rest of the drones, “Obama is coming to take your guns!  Join the NRA and stop the tyranny!”

Hopefully you figured out that this didn’t really happen….

The reality is that I took a 16 hour class over the course of 2 days.  It included 2 written tests and a practical shooting test that was difficult.  Above all else, we were told from the beginning of this class and throughout the class that a violation of any of the numerous safety procedures would result in immediate failure.  Here are some of the things I experienced in the class:

  • An extremely in-depth study of all types of pistols.
  • Constant lessons on safety, malfunctions and proper procedures for firearm use.
  • A huge variety of students, both men and women, young and old, military, law enforcement and civilians.
  • A rigorous devotion to education from the experienced, 30 year veteran NRA Master instructor.

Here are some things that I didn’t experience at all:

  • “Obama is coming to get your guns.”
  • Pressure to join the NRA
  • “No one should have to do background checks!”
  • Gun control is bad.
  • Background checks are bad.

In fact, I heard no political opinions at all and couldn’t tell you the political leanings or viewpoint of the instructor or one person in the class.  Frankly, it was a class, we were all there to learn, study and be evaluated and we rolled up our sleeves and worked hard.

I also learned a lot about the NRA and what it does, and then I followed up with some research of my own:

  • The NRA has three separate branches.  The NRA’s mission is one of training, education, and safety. The NRA-ILA is the lobbying arm of the organization.  Lastly, the NRA Foundation is the charitable arm of the organization.
  • The branch that is vilified in the news is the NRA-ILA.  Because you hear about it you assume that this is primarily what they do.
  • The NRA has over 100,000 instructors and educates close to 1,000,000 people each year.
  • They’ve been doing this since the 1870’s.
  • The NRA’s instruction is so comprehensive that it is used by military and law enforcement and is recognized as the standard in firearm instruction.
  • The NRA doesn’t believe in accidents.  They believe in ignorance and negligence.  People who go through their courses are drilled over and over again on safety.
  • The NRA has not always been against “gun control” and is not the extremist organization it has been portrayed as.
  • The NRA is about responsible education and safety and not about the government enacting more laws that will affect law-abiding citizens.
  • The NRA is more than doing their part by properly educating and training millions of people on responsible and safe firearms use.

By the way, I passed my class and I joined the NRA.