By Jacob Carver
A speaker from the National Rifle Association made a presentation on Monday, Oct. 16 hosted by Western’s chapter of the Young Americans for Liberty. Roughly 20 people came to listen to the presentation and gain the free membership that came with it.
Daniel Shepard, Grassroots Coordinator for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), spoke on a number of topics to explain the NRA. These topics included the history of the NRA, current programs and current legislative initiatives.
As well as the political side of the NRA, Shepard talked of programs intended to teach gun safety. These programs are targeted at all age ranges, including an in-the-works program for college-aged people.
Western senior Sean Rita, president of Western’s chapter of Young Americans for Liberty, believes that campus could benefit from these types of programs, but with only one style at a time.
“I don’t think it should be limited to saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to an NRA organization,” Rita said. “But I think we should have a pro-gun single issue club.”
Shepard also explained the NRA’s campus activism, which includes the NRA Collegiate Coalition. The Coalition is a group that acts as a club and provides a lot of services that the NRA offers, like training and information on current legislative issues.
Those that attended liked the idea of having a club that could start this kind of dialogue. Western sophomore Beau Kahla feels that there is a lack of dialogue regarding this topic on campus.
“I hear a lot of pro and against, but I don’t hear a lot of discussions on how we can fix things without altering our rights,” Kahla said.
Western senior Jackson Winner, vice president of Western’s chapter of Young Americans for Liberty, agreed that a club that brought up issues presented by the NRA would be beneficial, with the added hope of more discussion.
“I think having that presence here would open up discussion that would either reaffirm people’s beliefs in being anti-gun or sway some people’s minds to being pro-gun,” Winner said. “But, I think it can’t be detrimental.”