The New Year is usually associated with new beginnings. The most common New Year's resolutions relate to self-improvement that will result in a longer, healthier and happier life, whether it’s losing weight, joining a gym or quitting bad habits.
Oftentimes traditional resolutions like these can put you at more of a risk of becoming a victim, as they typically require making trips to public places. That is why adding a resolution of personal protection or self-defense can also help you reach your goal of living a longer and healthier life.
Here’s where membership in the NRA can help. Check out these 5 New Year’s Resolutions all NRA members can make to ensure they are able to continue provide for their own safety.
1. Upgrade Your NRA Membership
This is the easiest resolution to make. After all, your Second Amendment rights are protected by the vigilance of the NRA. It is one of the most important things the NRA does, not just for its members, but for every American.
Our rights are under constant attack, and fighting federal, state and local governments that are trying to restrict or even do away with your gun rights is one of NRA's most important missions. But it’s expensive to fend off these never-ending challenges. By upgrading your NRA membership, you are providing additional funds that are used for this continuous important fight.
Check out all of the options beyond an Annual NRA membership—including those for Juniors; Distinguished memberships for disabled veterans and patriots 65 and older; Endowment, Patron or Benefactor. Certain membership levels entitle members to vote in NRA elections, and receive special recognition at NRA events.
2. Become More Active in the NRA
This can be as simple as letting others know that you are the NRA, as well as explaining how NRA benefits all Americans. Discuss the imperative need to protect the Second Amendment and the rights it guarantees. Talk about everything the NRA offers, such as being the gold standard when it comes to firearm training.
You should also consider volunteering for the NRA in your community. Volunteers are the foundation to almost every non-profit organization. If you have ever been to any gun show or big sales promotion at a large sporting goods store, you have probably seen an NRA booth stationed with volunteers. The first step to this is getting to know your NRA regional recruiters, who can help you find ways to get the word out about the benefits of the NRA.
3. Enroll in NRA Firearms Training
Believe it or not, many NRA members have never taken an NRA Firearms Training class. There are countless reasons for this. The one reason I hear most often is, “I have been shooting all my life and I do not need an NRA Basic Pistol Course.” Most of the individuals that take my NRA Basic Pistol Course are experienced shooters. They are taking the Basic Course because it is a prerequisite to the NRA Instructor Pistol Course. After every Basic course, all the experienced shooters say that they learned something from the class and that it improved their marksmanship. Many experienced shooters were never taught the basics or fundamentals of shooting, but even if they were, this is a great refresher course to remind everyone that going back to the basics can help improve their skills.
In addition to NRA Basic and Instructor Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun Courses, the NRA offers other live fire courses such as Muzzleloading, Concealed Carry (CCW), Defensive Pistol, Personal Protection Inside the Home and Personal Protection Outside the Home. You can also sign up for an NRA Women on Target Instructional Shooting Clinic in the firearm discipline of your choice. There are also Pistol and Rifle Metallic Cartridge Reloading courses, as well as Shotgun Shell Reloading courses. There is a pathway to becoming an NRA Certified Rifle, Pistol or Shotgun Coach, which covers organizing a shooting team, coaching methodology, mental training and planning, etiquette and building a successful program. NRA non-live fire courses such as Range Safety Officer (RSO), Home Firearm Safety, Refuse to be a Victim and NRA Gun Safety Seminars will also go a long way toward advancing your knowledge.
4. Try Different Firearms
More than likely every NRA member has a favorite firearm for self-defense. Depending on the NRA member and his or her age, that favorite style of gun might be a 50-year-old model. There have been many advances in handgun design and function. Guns that may not have measured up to your standards many years ago may be very different today. By trying a variety of firearms (rent them at a range!), you may discover that a gun you never expected would better meet your needs and improve your accuracy.
Great resources for new handgun options are the NRA Official Journals and digital properties. Shooting Illustrated, American Hunter, American Rifleman and America’s 1st Freedom are tremendous resources for new handgun information. Additional online resources are NRAWomen.com, NRAFamily.org and Shooting Sports USA.
5. Shoot More!
This goes without saying. You can never practice too much. If you ask any shooter what they wished they had more time for, the answer is usually: shooting. Make a New Year’s resolution to spend more time at the range. If you typically go twice a year, go four times next year. If you go to the range once a month, vow to now go twice.
Shooting improves marksmanship, accuracy, confidence and knowledge of your firearm. The most common reasons to own a gun are self-defense or target shooting. Both could benefit from increased range time. Kick it up a notch with your 2022 resolution: Perfect Practice, and more of it, makes Perfect!