Even before the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic panic, when people began rushing to gun stores—many for the first time—gun prohibition lobbying groups have been preaching against allowing such businesses to operate, and against buying firearms, while the National Rifle Association has taken a different, and decidedly proactive approach.
This NRA email says it all: “In response to the growing number of first-time gun buyers during the coronavirus outbreak, the National Rifle Association’s Education & Training Division is pleased to announce the launch of four new online gun safety courses.”
According to the NRA message, the courses include:
- Gun Safety Seminar
- NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course – Distance Learning
- NRA Basic Rifle Shooting Course – Distance Learning
- NRA Basic Personal Protection In The Home Course – Distance Learning
Each course, lasting from one to eight hours, is available at NRAInstructors.org.
In a recent statement, Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, welcomed all the new gun owners to the shooting fraternity.
“We encourage all new gun owners to seek competent training,” Gottlieb said. “Learn to handle your new firearms safely, and remember it’s up to all of you to protect your rights. It’s sad and at the same time uplifting that so many Americans will no longer be fence-sitters. They’re joining the ranks of gun owners and will soon understand, if they don’t already, why so many of their friends, neighbors and even family members have remained so zealous in their efforts to protect the rights you now hope to exercise and enjoy.”
Likewise, Joe DeBergalis, executive director of NRA General Operations, says in the NRA email, “The NRA recommends that all new gun owners seek professional training at the range, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a head start on learning the basics of firearm safety at home. New gun owners, old gun owners, it doesn’t really matter. Taking one of these classes moderated by a certified NRA instructor can only make you safer, and that’s our primary goal.”
“These courses will provide an option for first-time gun owners who don’t have the ability to take an NRA certified instructor-led class at their local shooting range at this time,” DeBergalis, continued. “While there is no replacement for in-person, instructor-led training, our new online classes do provide the basics of firearm safety training for those self-isolating at home.”
By contrast, the Michael Bloomberg-supported Everytown for Gun Safety lobbying group has been urging people to pressure the Trump administration and Department of Homeland Security to reverse course and declare gun stores “non-essential.” This, even after admitting in an email blast, “It has been reported that gun sales have been going way up…A flood of guns at this precarious moment compounds the risks of death and serious injury during this incredibly stressful time.”
But the NRA is doing something about that, and CCRKBA has counseled all of these new gun owners to take advantage of available safety training.
Second Amendment activists have frequently argued “If you’re not teaching gun safety, you’ve got no business preaching about gun safety.” Translation: Firearms instructors provide genuine gun safety training, while so-called “gun safety” organizations are gun prohibition lobbying groups in disguise.
There is a considerable difference between just telling people to lock up their firearms and support a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” and actually providing competent instruction on the safe handling of firearms, whether they are handguns, shotguns or semi-auto modern sporting rifles.
It is important for new gun owners to be able to tell the difference between the two.