American Rifleman - July 2014 - 20

ILA STORY

Without the hard work of tens of thousands of NRA members,
NRA would not be as effective.
for help locating voting records). Many
candidates, incumbents and challengers
put issue information on their campaign
web sites. A quick search online will turn
up a lot of information.
And of course, use your local media.
Local newspapers often cover issues
and local politicians that the national
media ignore.
Finally, look for opportunities to
attend events where politicians are
speaking. Whether they are called "Town
Hall" meetings, or something else, it is a
chance to hear from your representatives
and to ask questions. Even if you do
not get a chance to ask the candidate
directly, take the initiative to talk to his
or her staff, they can often answer your
questions and hear your concerns.
And if you have not signed up for
NRA-ILA's email alerts, do that now at
www.nraila.org/get-involved-locally/
secure/stay-informed.aspx.

Start Close To Home

Once you are armed with the right
information, the first thing every
member should do is make sure their
family, friends and neighbors who
share the desire to save our rights
are registered to vote. If you're not
signed up, you can't make a difference.
The good news is that registering to
vote has never been easier. You can
register at any DMV office, many other
government offices and by mail. You
can also go to the NRA-ILA website and
get the process started. (www.nraila.
org/get-involved-locally/grassroots/
register-to-vote.aspx)
This may seem like an obvious
thing, but far too many potential voters
are not registered. Plus the act of
registering makes it more likely that on
(or before) Election Day a person will
cast their ballot.
And remember, voting is no longer
limited to Election Day. Early voting
has never been easier and as a result is
becoming more and more popular with
a significant portion of the vote being
cast weeks before the first Tuesday in
November. So we each need to know

20 J

ULY

2014

AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

what the laws are locally so that we
can give friends and family the right
information. Just as most campaigns
have done, we also need to begin our
efforts early in the election cycle. Gone
are the days when we could wait until
October before paying attention to the
coming election.

Volunteer

NRA is not a partisan organization.
Gun owners have allies on both sides
of the aisle. Once you know where the
candidates stand, you have a number of
choices. The parties have organizations
at the national, state and local levels.
They sign up volunteers at each level,
so look for the level that best represents
your interests in protecting the Second
Amendment. State and local party
organizations will also be able to help you
get in contact with specific candidates.
You can also look for advocacy groups
that are working in your area. These
groups are usually national, but often
have state or even local operations in
key areas. In this space next month, I will
tell you about what NRA has planned,
and how you can get directly involved
with our efforts. But don't wait to get
involved. Call NRA-ILA with questions
about other groups. We can let you know
if they stand with us.
Working for the parties can involve
many things. Walking precincts and
manning phone banks are traditional
efforts. But we are in a new age. The
parties are also using electronic and
social media to magnify the impact of
the effort, and volunteers can help in
those areas as well. For those of you who
are comfortable working in the party
structure, this is a very effective way to
advance our cause.

Get Active

As important as the parties are to the
operation of our elections, we do not
need to rely on them to be active.
As individuals we have a great
opportunity to make a huge difference.
To start with, we can impact the debate

by writing letters to the editor. Use the
local media to get the word out about
the importance of protecting our rights,
and to let others know who our allies
and opponents are. Encourage your
friends to do the same. The more letters
the media get on our issues, the better.
And don't ignore the online resources.
Just about every newspaper has an
online version and most have provisions
for comments or even guest writers. Use
this resource. But please remember it
is always important to keep the debate
civil and respectful.
It used to be said that freedom of
the press was really only for those who
owned one, but that no longer applies.
The cyber world has changed how we
debate and communicate, and gun
owners need to use this resource to its
maximum. Social media like Facebook
and Twitter are tools that every person
can use to advance our cause and help
inform others about the issues and
about the candidates. Online groups
are an important way to learn and pass
along information, and to increase our
numbers. And individual email lists
can be used to communicate directly
with allies about campaign events and
opportunities to get involved.
You do not need a political party or
a campaign to host a political event.
Having friends and neighbors to your
home for a political party is a great
way to share information. Often, if you
contact local candidates and work
with their schedules, the candidate will
make time to attend these events. This
level of personal commitment to an
issue and a candidate can have a big
impact on attendees. Don't hesitate to
invite those who are undecided on the
candidates. Those are the people we
most need to influence.
Next month, I will discuss the
importance of volunteering and working
for the individual candidates as well
as getting involved with NRA-ILA's
campaign operations.
This is a vital election, but with your
active support this can be the year that
we fortify our right to keep and bear
arms for years to come.


http://www.nraila.org/get-involved-locally/secure/stay-informed.aspx http://www.nraila.org/get-involved-locally/secure/stay-informed.aspx http://www.nraila.org/get-involved-locally/grassroots/register-to-vote.aspx http://www.nraila.org/get-involved-locally/grassroots/register-to-vote.aspx http://www.nraila.org/get-involved-locally/grassroots/register-to-vote.aspx http://www.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

American Rifleman - July 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - July 2014

Contents
American Rifleman - July 2014 - Cover1
American Rifleman - July 2014 - Cover2
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 1
American Rifleman - July 2014 - Contents
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 3
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