It's been a great week adorned with early signs of spring. The bluebirds are fixing their nests, and colts are romping around the lots and pastures with their ears pricked and tails up. The grass is starting to show a touch of green.
My son, who will turn 17 later this month, mailed off an application for the NRA Foundation's YES program Monday. The program, funded in part by Friends of the NRA, is certainly one out of many ways NRA members "teach freedom". Every July since 1996, 40 high school students are selected to spend a full week in the District of Columbia developing and honing their debate and public relations skills. They also spend time on the range and visit the Marines at Quantico.
I took it as a good sign to quit waiting for the ideal time to upgrade my NRA membership. I upgraded briefly, painlessly and securely via the NRA membership services web portal. Too, it saved me from ingesting envelope flap sealant and worrying about whether I put the 42-cent flag stamp upside down or not. While I was logged in, I signed my son up for a junior life membership using the EPL, or easy-pay life, plan.
I couldn't help but remember sister and brother NRA members who taught me skills that later kept me alive. With NRA instruction programs and resources aiding me, I taught others as a police firearms instructor. The NRA does more to support rank-and-file law enforcement officers than any government-funded agency or program--I know this from personal experience. Studying the art of marksmanship has also brought me great joy and has filled so many hours that would have been duller without that pursuit.
I've never bitched about the numerous NRA fundraising requests I've received. I'd never dream of snapping at a NRA member who volunteered to work a match where things didn't go the way I expected. I don't believe NRA programs are a service owed me simply because I've paid my dues. If I could put $1,000 in every one of those reply envelopes Wayne LaPierre sends me for the rest of my life, I'd still be in debt to the NRA upon interment.
I'm not a sexist. I plan to give a gift life membership to my 14-year-old daughter sometime in the next couple of years. And maybe I'll get back to working on a range or doing some teaching when I get these damnable cataracts removed later this year.