Editor’s Notebook

by Gila Hayes

The Network growth continues strong, with an extra heavy membership renewal phase currently underway. We are so grateful for the continued participation of our members, some of whom came to the Network over the past several years, and others who joined earlier when the Network was a fledging organization. To all, we say a heart-felt, “Thank You!” What a tremendous community of armed citizens has come together to make the Network the solid, supportive, multi-faceted organization into which it has grown.

During our five years of operation, we’ve seen look-alike organizations introduced then quietly disappear. Sometimes folks call and ask if we know how to contact “Firm X and Z” or wonder what we can tell them about “the competition,” apparently expecting us to provide the “cons” for a “pros” and “cons” list they may be constructing as they try to decide how to protect themselves in the aftermath if ever they must use a gun in self defense. When the caller is receptive, we offer instead a brief synopsis of how the Network provides for member needs after self defense, and most promise to read our website or let us send them additional information.

Another frequent but unanswerable question comes, oddly enough, from policy holders in the several self-defense insurance products on the market. These policy holders wonder if we know what they can expect from their insurance, and we have to politely advise them that their question can really only be answered by the organization to which they wrote the check.

If pending legislation in several states to require firearms owners to buy liability insurance prevails, we’ll brace for even more calls about insurance. Of course, this wave of legislation may look like a rich payday for insurance companies and their sales agents, but even so, given that liability insurance generally applies after an accidental occurrence, it is hard to understand how conventional insurance intended to restore damages after accidents could be accessed after an intentional act of self defense with a firearm.

Is this the ultimate in criminals’ rights legislation? Sue to access the mandatory insurance policy held by the intended victim who shot you as you were knocking them down and were beating their head into the sidewalk?

The idea is so ethically bankrupt that it is hard for me to believe the legislators’ sales pitches aren’t being laughed down. “I believe that if we get the private sector and insurance companies involved in gun safety, we can help prevent a number of gun tragedies every year,” comes from a MA state representative, who apparently has not seen or does not believe the statistics showing that accidental injury with firearms is at its lowest point ever. What a twit.

It is surprising how many people buy an insurance policy and even sometimes buy a Network membership without first forming any clear idea what their money has purchased. At the Network, we have radically changed our membership packet, replacing the friendly “Welcome!” or “Welcome Back!” letter with a double-sided sheet outlining in considerable detail what the Network member receives during membership. We hope this will prove helpful to you, since it just does not make any sense to pay to participate in an organization without knowing exactly what you get.

Dispelling Ignorance

As members know, the Network does not rely on conventional advertising to recruit members. We work hard to educate armed citizens about justifiable use of deadly force and about self-defense aftermath issues, with the side-effect of establishing the Network as the go-to organization for post-incident services and bringing in as new members armed citizens who already have a rudimentary understanding of the serious issues involved in acting in self defense.

Over the past few months, requests for the Network’s 24-page booklet, What Every Gun Owner Needs to Know About Self-Defense Law have increased as the Network Affiliated Instructors, who give booklets and Network brochures to all of their students, have enjoyed a big growth in attendance at their classes and at gun shows in which they participate. We are proud to be part of these grass-roots level instructors’ efforts to help gun owners learn about legitimate self defense, use of force, and what to expect after acting in self defense.

[End of March 2013 eJournal.
Please return next month for our April edition.]