President's Message: Who Are You Playing For?

Posted by Kenyon Gleason on 3/27/18 9:39 AM

Are you playing for the name on the front of the jersey, or the one on the back? There are probably thousands of coaches in the country who’ve asked this question of their players.

I suspect if you’ve played a sport of any kind, or were involved in any group activity, then you know someone who’s forgotten this important lesson. There’s always someone who thinks the name plastered on the back is far more important than the one on the front.

In fact, they’re so convinced of the importance of those back-panel letters, these individuals begin to treat the rest of the team as 2nd class citizens. Soon, they start to pass judgments about their teammates’ abilities and begin to think only they have the answers to all the team’s problems. Like a cancer, the mentality spreads and eventually the entire team is suffering from the disease.

Unfortunately, some of this mentality is creeping into the conversations taking place within our industry right now. I follow a variety of gun industry groups and individuals on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and what I’m hearing from many of them is disheartening. There have been an inordinate number of attacks back and forth within the shooting sport community, at a time when we can ill-afford to be divided. We need to be committed to the team and work together for the good of the industry. If anyone believes for one second that your 2nd Amendment rights are just fine since President Trump was elected over Hillary Clinton, well, I’ve got some ocean front property in South Dakota I’d like to sell you.If we’ve learned anything over the past few weeks, it’s that the 2nd Amendment, and your freedoms, are anything but safe no matter who’s in office. The anti-gun community has changed tactics, using the recent tragedy at Parkland High School in Florida to push their agenda forward. The volume of dollars being used to influence this agenda is also important to note. Follow the money here and you’ll find some of the biggest anti-gun advocates in America behind the “student” efforts to enact gun control. Never let a good tragedy go to waste apparently. And the saddest part… it appears to be having some serious impacts.Just look at what happened in Florida, with 18, 19 and 20-year-olds being stripped of their right to buy a firearm. It’s arguably unconstitutional, but now the courts are going to have to decide. You’ve also no doubt seen what’s happened at Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart, from pulling certain guns from the stores and arbitrarily raising the buying age to 21. Again, courts will be involved. And now the Kroger grocery store chain, which pulled AR’s from the shelves of the Fred Meyer stores it owns, is taking the next and maybe even more subversive position of pulling magazines from its store shelves because they contain content mentioning AR-style rifles. Apparently it’s not even ok to talk about AR’s or show pictures of them any longer.Gun bans and other age-related restrictions and legislative initiatives are popping up all over. Make no mistake, the challenge is real and the fight is a big one. The politics of the situation right now are of major importance. NASGW Chairman Brad Burney mentioned in our last issue that your personal involvement is imperative right now. He’s absolutely right!It’s time for everyone in our industry and every 2nd Amendment supporter in the nation, to decide which team you are on, and whether or not you’ll be fighting for the name on the front of the jersey, or the back.Until next time, 

Kenyon Gleason
NASGW President

Tags: Legislative

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