These days good customer service is hard to come by. Some companies still demand it of their employees–Chick-fil-A comes to mind–and they’re rewarded with business, and often, boycotted by the forces of wokeitude. Few organizations, however, are more reviled than the NRA.
Probably no voluntary association of citizens is more reviled–Donald Trump is, but he’s the President–and nowhere is that hatred more misdirected. “The NRA is responsible for school shootings!” “The NRA prevents gun safety laws!” “the NRA wants to kill all the children!” “The NRA__________________ (fill in your favorite strawman or bugbear)”!
None of this, of course, is remotely true. The NRA is successful because its primary purpose is defending a fundamental, unalienable, individual right, the right that secures every other constitutional right against tyranny. It is successful because its millions of members recognize and appreciate its primary purpose. Their support and membership makes it the most effective lobby in American history.No organization in history has done more for firearm safety. No organization does more to dramatically lower the rate of firearm accidents. No organization trains more Americans in safe firearm ownership and gun handling. No organization better informs law abiding gun owners and our representatives at every level of threats to the Second Amendment. Mrs. Manor and I are proud to be Life Members and NRA instructors.
From time to time, media organs seize upon any disagreement in the ranks. They attack out of fear because they know the NRA’s effectiveness, and they hate it, and every American that supports American constitutionalism. The NRA is doomed! I can’t easily recall how often I’ve read headlines like that in the last half century, yet the NRA persists because Americans persist in demanding the Constitution be obeyed. One thing is certain: in any story touching on the Second Amendment, the media does not deserve the benefit of the doubt. One can safely assume they’re lying.
Certainly, the organization isn’t perfect. Like every other human endeavor, they are limited to hiring from the human race. But part of the reason the NRA persists is good customer service, and therein lies today’s tale.
Mrs. Manor and I have been NRA instructors since 1998. We earned four separate ratings at the same time, and have been regularly renewing them every two years since. This year, when it was time to renew, we discovered Mrs. Manor’s certification was good until July of this year, but the NRA’s records showed mine expired in 2016!
This was, to say the least, odd. We’ve always renewed at the same time. They had Mrs. Manor’s renewal, but not mine. We’ve always received renewal reminders before our renewals were due, and we did renew, together, two years ago, using the same payment method. I tried to renew using the online page, but it wouldn’t allow it.
I called the training division and discovered the NRA had, for both of us, an e-mail address we hadn’t used in 15 years! How they sent us renewal notices all those years is beyond me, and also beyond them. Unfortunately, the gentleman to who I spoke told me I couldn’t renew, and would have to take one or two of my certification classes over. He also told me there was no one else to talk to about the matter, and even if I did, it wouldn’t change things.
Obviously, he was working within the parameters allowed him, and clearly, I wasn’t going to get any farther, so I politely thanked him and wrote a detailed letter to the training division. Only a few days later I received a phone call from Patricia Lewis of the training division. We quickly discovered a number of other odd things. Their records suggested my membership had lapsed at some time in the past, which is impossible since I’ve been a life member for some two decades.
To make a moderately long story short, it took only about ten minutes for her to sort things out. We corrected all of their contact information for both of us, and by the time our conversation ended, I was once again certified. Like the folks–mostly teenagers–who work at Chick-fil-A, Patricia Lewis is a credit to the NRA, and yet another reason Americans trust the organization to lead the never-ending battle for Second Amendment Freedoms: they know who they serve and why.
If you’re not an NRA member, gentle readers, you should be. Our liberties are never safe, though for the moment, attempts to eliminate them are not likely to succeed. One day, Democrats/Socialists will again be in a position to enact their entire anti-liberty agenda, and the NRA, backed by every one of its members, will continue to be vital. The membership page is here.
My thanks to Patricia Lewis who well represents the NRA and all of its members, and we’d all be wise to take Kurt’s advice.