Tuesday night was the annual legislative meet-and-greet reception in Harrisburg sponsored by NRA-ILA, NSSF, and the Pennsylvania Flyers. This year’s event was very well attended by a number of folks from the PA House and Senate. NRA’s state lobbyist and Keystone member Darin Goens was very busy making the rounds. It was a very pleasant opportunity to sit with people and have fun discussions. A few of the topics discussed included:

  • Using Eddie Eagle, NRA’s highly successful youth firearm safety program as a terrific tool to combat anti-gun organizations who complain that we don’t have a youth firearm safety program. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s an incredibly stupid argument by the anti-gun people (like the Moms Against Everything), but the best way is to simply show up with Eddie Eagle materials and instantly disarm their talking points. I’ve used this myself in the Philadelphia area and watched a bunch of protestors quietly pick up their things and walk away.
  • One legislator wanted to buy his first gun. What should he buy? Apparently, he saw a used Smith & Wesson Governor, a .45 Colt/.410 shotgun pistol at a very good price. I let him know that was not a great idea, and to think about something like a 4″ barreled .22 or .38 Special revolver instead. This topic changed over to a discussion about lever action rifles. Now this House member knows a lot more about firearms and their uses and may show up in an NRA Basics of Pistol or Rifle Shooting course soon.
  • Another House member didn’t know about our Women on Target program. an avid wetlands hunter, his wife recently took her first pistol shots and he was proud to show me the video. When I mentioned the Women on Target program, he wanted to know more about it, and how to hold an event. I have a strong feeling I will be helping him put on an event in his hometown soon.

These types of discussions don’t happen unless we are out there in the trenches. Be available to sit down over a Diet Coke and just talk about things. You never know what wonderful outcomes can come from these opportunities.

Ronnie Barrett, the founder of Barrett Firearms and the inventor of the famed .50 caliber rifle (yes, THAT Ronnie Barrett) is a fellow NRA board member. I have had the distinct pleasure of having a number of meal-time discussions over the years with Ronnie about engineering, factory production, business ideas, and of course family. His lovely wife Donna is always at his side.

As a big part of the NRA family, Ronnie helped produce one of the most well-done video productions about the current state of NRA and why it’s time to renew or start your membership in America’s oldest civil rights organization. It’s stirring, patriotic, informative, and I’m proud to share it with our Keystone members here.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByFMo2aK3WU

Please tell your shooting buddies to make sure they are registered to vote in the General Election in November. As we found out in the last U.S. Senate race, every vote matters. If 150,000 gun owners voted for someone other than the now-junior Senator from our state, the election outcome would have been quite different.

Todd Ellis – President