We are at a pivotal time in our history as a country. Our gun rights are no exception. We are in a position, if done the way they plan we could lose everything that we enjoy as a 2A community. Here in Oregon and across the country the powers that be have a sick determination to render all of us defenseless. They ignore reason, facts, and the data that proves the valid claim that we need our firearms to be able to defend ourselves. There is no data that will support the fact that disarming the public will save lives. This is a myth. It’s cloaked in secrecy and as a way for those that believe in gun control to control their followers, so they can fundraise. There is a sick correlation between mass killings and how those who try to restrict our rights use fear and emotion to further their cause. It’s sad really. What people don’t realize is how close we are to having solutions, we all want to save lives. We all want people safe, but WE all have to have a seat at the table. As freedom-loving Americans, we will never accept disarmament.

As a Professional Firearms Instructor, President of a Nonprofit Organization, and a gun rights advocate. I have an interesting view of the state of affairs in our country. I carry a gun daily for my safety and the safety of my fellow humans. I have already made a conscious decision that I would give my life in defense of others. I hope that I am never put in a position of mass killing, but I train and prepare for it. It is part of the deal, there are so many in our society who are apathetic and quite frankly are living in denial. A majority of my professional experience has come from having difficult conversations with those who are legitimately living in fear. Most of them are in fear because they don’t understand what firearms are and how they function. They get their information from places that feel safe, that they trust, but have an agenda. This is where we continue to lose and lose big. We can make the moves that we need to make as a community if we can evolve our thought processes.

I like to relate staunch 2A supporters similarly to working with 5-year-olds. This isn’t meant to be offensive but, as a possible wake-up call. We as a community are on the ropes everywhere that we look. Those who seek to destroy our Constitutionally protected rights are on the move forward, united. We are too busy fighting amongst ourselves because we lack true leadership. I relate our side to 5-year-olds because we both use the small part of our brains. We think with our emotions. We cling to “Shall not be infringed!” Well, guess what, they are continuing to “Infringe,” every day!! My question for you is, What are you going to do to STOP it? Are you going to cling to the same tired talking points or are you going to EVOLVE your mind? We have to change our tactics, they are no longer working. Daily I see so much tough talk from keyboard commandos, they would rather talk tough from the privacy of their own homes. Then evolve the way they interact with others. This is a critical component to ensuring that we continue to exercise the freedoms that we enjoy today. We are not the problem our reactions are. This isn’t meant to be a lecture but a way for me to share my personal and professional experiences. As an Organization we have reached 21k kids in 4 states. This has given me the experience I needed to be in a position where I am.

My goal is to give you a few things to ponder about yourself and how YOU represent all of us in the 2A community. It’s really important to be self-aware, and humble, and to understand how your interactions online or in person are critical to our success. Sometimes a pause is important to take a moment on how best to proceed forward. It’s so easy to fire off a damaging response that is counterproductive to our 2A rights. Leadership, civility, and compassion are ways for us to reach those who are fearful or misdirected about the things that are truly a lifestyle to us. This is where we have to make gains. In a recent video I watched from “leaders” in the industry there was a comment that stuck with me. It was “Quality over Quantity.” This statement was regarding all of the new gun owners in 2020. There were an estimated 8.25 million new gun owners that were brought into the lane of gun ownership. Mostly because of fear because of the pandemic and social unrest. What stuck with me is how many of these new gun owners are willing to stand up to help support our 2A rights. We have a duty as advocates to nurture and grow their support for their newfound support for the 2A. One thing that we need to realize is just because they bought a gun doesn’t mean that they are going to stand up and fight. This is where we come in, if you can evolve your mind, and change fundamentally the way we represent OUR 2A rights we can stem the tide of further gun control. If we can make simple changes through practice we can be more effective leaders. More effective leadership will help unite for our cause. United for our cause, this is how we make gains.

So key takeaways. Learn how to scroll past and not engage with everything that you don’t agree with. This is sometimes challenging. Learn how to communicate effectively with those that disagree with you. Civil discourse is important and should just be that “civil.” Self-reflection, self-awareness, and the ability to “pause,” will help you lower your blood pressure. Calm, cool, and collected is the way to make an impact for the greater good. This will all take time to train yourself to implement. It will take practice and discipline to stay the course. It will hopefully help make a difference. Lastly, think about how your interactions with others affect all of us. Make us proud, no pressure just the future of our 2A rights hang in the balance. Until next time, Be safe!!