Editor’s Notebook

by Gila Hayes

Recently, a listener to the popular GunTalk radio show called in to ask host Tom Gresham for his opinion of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network. Tom, who has been a member of the Network since the beginning, gave the strongest possible endorsement when he replied that he is a Network member. As a result, the Network enjoyed a nice little uptick in membership growth in October for which we thank Tom sincerely. After hearing from new members who reported learning about the Network on Tom’s radio show, it hit me how much power there is in one call that gets on the air. There are no shortage of cases in the news that provide fodder for “what if” discussions, as people worry about what would happen to THEM if they had to draw their gun in self defense. These are perfect openings for a Network member like you to call in and ask if the radio host has heard about the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network.

Don’t try to make your call a sales pitch, just ask if the host and listeners are aware of the Network and what it does for its members after they are involved in a self-defense incident. Give our website URL and leave it at that because how an armed citizen prepares for self defense and for aftermath issues is intensely personal, and each must make his or her own decision. We have packed the Network website with details and information to aid in deciding to join, but we never, ever use hard sell tactics in membership recruitment, since it is so critical that members are personally invested in Network participation based upon their own convictions.

In addition to acknowledging Tom’s recommendation, I also want to say thank you to the members who have purchased memberships for friends and family members, or who have recommended Network membership to their friends, shooting buddies and fellow students in classes that they are taking. These new members are swelling Network membership, and that makes us a powerful ally for the next member who is involved in a self-defense incident.

I also want to recognize the members who have gone to the Network’s NRA membership recruiter link http://www.armedcitizensnetwork.org/ and joined the NRA or renewed their NRA memberships through our website. The Network gets a percentage of those membership sales, which we deposit directly to the Legal Defense Fund so more money’s there to defend a Network member during the legal aftermath of a self-defense incident. If your NRA membership is coming due, I’d sure appreciate it if you ran your renewal through our recruiter link so that the Network’s Legal Defense Fund receives the commission on your membership.

I want to give a quick follow up on the Atlanta-area legal appeal that I wrote about in last month’s editorial. Recent new reports indicate that the Georgia Supreme Court has agreed to rule on whether McNeil’s jury received proper instructions before they found him guilty of murder. If you’re interested in how juries act on evidence and how they are reined in by the jury instructions, go to this link and read this good review of the John McNeil case. http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/was-it-self-defense-or-murder/nSpxR/

Much has been written about the upcoming election, and the second presidential debate really brought the gun rights issue out of the shadows. Not long thereafter, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stephens made some disturbing and really idiotic statements quoted in the Washington Times news website (see http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/oct/16/gun-owners-election/). Read his comments and tell me how anyone can believe that anti-gunners are only intent on removing machine guns from the hands of private citizens. In stating that there exists no Constitutional stumbling block to outlawing the kinds of “automatic weapons used in Virginia, Colorado and Arizona in recent years,” the former Justice showed how poorly informed he is about the firearms he favors restricting. As silly as the Stephens’ statements were, they illustrate just how willing many are to deny Americans firearms for self defense. We still have a long way to go.

Like the retired justice, a lot of American citizens cannot differentiate between semi-automatic and fully automatic firearms.

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