So, we just finished our awesome annual meeting hosted by our Texas chapter. Lots of new faces, some press and some good vibes. I thought I’d highlight some of the successes over the year, and talk about the future. It’s been a fantastic year for the club, and I am excited to share it all with you. There is a lot to tell, so sit back, grab a glass of Chardonnay, and listen to my story 🙂
Earlier this year, an enterprising new member from Florida, Keith Ellis, asked why we didn’t have a podcast. Like all good volunteer orgs, this meant he wanted to produce one, obviously. Now at 4 episodes and counting, including the most recent which included an awesome interview with Dr. Charles Menifield, Dean of School of Public Affairs and Administration, Rutgers University, it seems to be a thing that will last a while.
Keith came to the Annual Meeting with his audio gear, interviewed members, and, interviewed the Politico reporter and his Photographer. It was meta. And it will be available in an upcoming podcast!
Also on iTunes!
If you have ideas for future episodes, drop by the forums and let us know!
Meet the Press!
We’ve been in the press a fair amount over the last year. The BBC ran a piece, The Trace (yes, that The Trace) ran a piece, Politico (yes, THAT Politico) showed up at our Annual Meeting, our Executive Director spent time with Boston Magazine, our National Spokesperson has been on NPR twice, Irish public radio and Australian Radio, as well as on a few industry podcasts, and just recently, Nightline (yes THAT Nightline) spent a whole day with our California chapter. Lots of little local pieces, lots of mentions in larger stories. Each required some time from someone at the club. Time we were happy to invest.
While the tone of the stories is still one of surprise at the existence of the unicorns that are Liberal Gun owners, the frequency AND prominence of the articles is driving new members to us every day. The more we talk to the press, the less we rant and rave, the more likely we can shift that dialog. Working with the press has become one of our most powerful outreach tools, and there is more to come!
The NPR of Gun Clubs
We decided to re-organize the paying membership levels, and have started to figure out perks. In addition to now being able to print your membership card directly from the portal after you join, we restructured the levels to actual look more like public radio (imitation and flattery, and all that). And of course, beyond the CMP benefits, we are bringing some exciting new membership perks online and they will be available to you folks soon, as a thanks for support.
The new levels are:
- Individual – Individual membership type Individual Every 1 year (starting from join date) $10.00 (USD)
- Contributor – Individual membership type Individual Every 1 year (starting from join date) $25.00 (USD)
- Individual Sustaining Member – Individual membership type Individual Monthly (starting from join date) $5.00 (USD)
- Premium Sustaining Member – Bundle membership type Bundle (up to 2 members) Monthly (starting from join date) $10.00 (USD)
- Elite Sustaining Member – Bundle membership type Bundle (up to 3 members) Monthly (starting from join date) $25.00 (USD)
Stay tuned for more benefits! If you have not joined, why not join now? You can even become an upper level Sustaining member and add a friend or family member!
All Politics is Local
Chapters are the core of the club, getting together with people you like spending time with, and can be yourself without hiding your politics (or lack thereof) is one of the real, tangible benefits to joining the club. After the Annual Meeting, we launched a concerted effort to help you guys organize. I’m absolutely stunned that we went from a handful of loosely organized groups, to 16 active chapters with the requisite number of members. If you have joined, hit us up on the forums or on Facebook and find a chapter near you!
SIXTEEN chapters and counting, to find one near you you have two choices after you become a paying member, you can hit up our forums and ask to join the local forum or, if you are on Facebook, you can join up there. Make sure you have your member number handy!
- The Liberal Gun Club – MA
- Liberal Gun Club: Oregon
- The Liberal Gun Club – Texas
- Liberal Gun Club- Rocky Mountain
- The Liberal Gun Club – NJ
- The Liberal Gun Club – Arizona
- The Liberal Gun Club MD/VA/DC
- The Liberal Gun Club – MO
- Liberal Gun Club – OK
- The Liberal Gun Club – Florida
- Liberal Gun Club-Arkansas
- Liberal Gun Club Group: North Carolina
- The Liberal Gun Club – TN
- The Liberal Gun Club – IL
- The Liberal Gun Club – MI
- LGC California
Each chapter has at least an interim president, and 5 paying members, reach out via either website and join up. On a related note, these chapter presidents will form our first official advisory council in a long time. We want the club direction to serve the members, and what better way than to make sure each chapter has the resources and advice they need to grow and prosper, and give us feedback on how we can help. Stay tuned for updates!
Education, education, education!
Some 20 total instructors in 11 states and counting! You can find out more and get in touch with them here, or reach to us to become one yourself!
Our Master Instructor and Assistant Director of Training programs, Daniel Postilnik has been cranking through the instructor candidates and getting people certified in our three course offerings, including our newest Intro to Defensive Shooting class designed by LGC friend, Grant Cunningham and launched last year!
More course offerings are in the works, and last I checked, we had some 30 Instructor candidates going through the process!
I can’t do it alone!
Finally, I am excited to announce we are expanding the board beyond just me, and are adding two new Vice Presidents. Their names are familiar, because they have been the face of the club in the press and behind the scenes, doing incredible work to support the membership growth and our public presence you’ve read about above.
Lara Smith is our National Spokesperson and the President of our largest local club – California, and will be overseeing our social media and press outreach. Lara has been spearheading the media push we have had this year and is working to get us even more visibility. Lara is a lawyer in California, and also does quite a bit of Second Amendment law and political outreach, going to both D.C. and Sacramento to meet with lawmakers and put a different face to gun owners and Second Amendment supporters. A prior anti-gunner, she became interested in Second Amendment advocacy after her USMC husband convinced her she didn’t have a solid basis for her anti-gun positions, and that she should at least learn the basics of shooting a gun. Three and a half years later, she is an avid rim-fire shooter, occasional competitor (when time allows) and a big fan of the frustration and skill-building that is Sporting Clays.
Eric Meyers doubles as our Director of Membership and Director of Training, (with huge amounts of help on the training side from Daniel, who every instructor in our organization knows). Eric brings over 20 years of sales and marketing experience to the table, and as a multiple time small business owner, helps with the clubs strategic planning, membership program development, and club marketing. He’s also been shooting rifles and pistols from an early age, is an avid reloader, and in the last couple of years developed a serious trap shooting problem.
Together, we will continue to make our voices loud and clear.
So that’s the year in review. Drop by the forums, the Facebook page, ping us on Twitter, or better yet, join the club and join the conversation. Let’s make 2018 the year of the liberal gun owner.