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Posted: 1/28/2002 10:25:04 PM EDT
A question for the masses: One of my friends is trying to gain support for a campus gun club. This is a private college, and we aren't trying to get them to let us keep our guns on campus or anything. We already keep them off campus at friends houses and apartments and the like. Our main goal is to have some type of orginization in order to have meets, events, shoots, and such. Our other goal is to no longer be "closet gun owners" and be shunned for who we are. We would like to be able to post notices around campus for events or discuss matters with others without being ostricized. We are trying to gather signatures to prove that we aren't a small group that can be ignored. So far we have about 30 signatures with probably 50 more or so that will probably sign. My question is this, do you think this is a good idea even worth consideration. Or are we inviting even closer scrutiny by the administration and campus security (i.e. once they see the list, random room and vehicle searches occur frequently)? Are there any suggestions for a charter, or club rule sheet that would be good (besides the obvious gun safety rules, and no on campus guns)? Lets hear your opinions.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 3:01:41 AM EDT
Have one or more become certified NRA instructors, and offer safety courses here and there for the public for a fee of course, or have a free safety orientation or something along those lines to show what you are doing for others as well. Of course organize your events. I do not know if you should be posting up on bulletin board shooting events though. Just my opinion. I would however, post up your meeting times. Oh yeah make sure you are all NRA members, perhaps they can be of some assitance as well, give them a call. Maybe they will supply some materials or videos that can be used?? Not sure, I am a member but do not know if they offer anything like that. Worth checking into. Good luck sounds like a good idea, being a private college you might not have so much resistance from others.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 3:20:41 AM EDT
During the 80's I attended a small private liberal arts college in the northeast (ie the Gulag University). I entered college with prior military service. While at college I enrolled in an ROTC program at a neighboring school, as my alma mater did not lower itself to offer such banal subject as "Military Science". I also joined the almost defunct school rifle club, was elected president and rebuilt the membership. Due to my grievous "militaristic" sins I paid dearly. So, be ready to field a lot of grief from the whacko 60's generation. However, it was ultimately worth all of the trouble. Whenever I attended a pro/contra 2nd Amendment debate I always offered an open invitation to those present to join us at the range. Some even accepted my offer and became small-bore three position competitors. Sure, I didn't "convert" hundreds. However we did manage to add around 20 new shooters to the shooting community. I say do it. In the long run it will be worth it.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 7:12:29 AM EDT
I like your idea about the certified instructor(s). I'll look into getting info or materials from the NRA, though I don't expect to get past the phone jockeys. We do have a couple of faculty members that are willing to sponsor the club (about 5 or so out of the 100 actually own guns and shoot) so it's not like we are totally blocked out. Good ideas so far, keep em coming.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 8:26:35 AM EDT
Btt
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 8:26:40 AM EDT
First off, Turock - You rock. This is an excellent idea - Schnert, you're an inspiration. I just completed NRA Instructor training a few weeks ago. I got Certified in Basic Pistol & Personal Protection. I also went through the Range Safety Officer training, which I found out, can be taken via long distance self study (whereas, Pistol, Rifle, and Shotgun Instructor training must be performed by a NRA Training Counselor in person). That'd be the route I'd take first (RSO) since finding a counselor holding the classes can be a pretty tricky thing to do. Hopefully, with a few RSO's in your club, you'd find more clubs and ranges willing to have you as guests (meaning FREE range time). NRA Certified Instructor training is great and all, but all you learn is how to teach "THE NRA WAY". Not having the Certified Instructor status ain't a big deal. Don't let it divert you from your goal. Keep ringing their phones, find out who the local NRA honcho is, call them personally. I would think they'd jump at the opportunity to get more young people involved with the shooting discipline.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 8:38:09 AM EDT
My guess is that the administration will balk at the "storing guns at friends houses, apartments and other off-campus locations." Think about it. Even if your gun is locked up, do you really want it stored in a place you don't live? Too much bad shit happens in apartments and houses rented by college age men. Sorry if that sounds too general, but I lived through those years and would never want any gun of mine stored around my old "buddies," many of whom were stealing things, always getting into fights, and generally dishonest about everything in their lives. As far as a campus gun club goes, most universities had them in the 1950s, but they were on the way out by the 60s after the war in Viet Nam totally destroyed everyone's faith in the system. You guys bitch about how ROTC was so hated, yet you forget that the average life span on a 2nd Lieutenant in combat over there was pathetically short--like 2 weeks or something. The hated university "lefties" were tired of seeing so much death and destruction. Plus that time period was marked by a lot of violence on campuses (as well as everywhere else). Hence the backlash against ROTC and campus shooting clubs. I know that is a simplification, but it makes my point. If I were you, I'd join a local gun club that lets you store your firearms there or I would get campus public safety to store your guns for you. As far as getting a campus-recognized club started, it may be possible, but you're fighting city hall. Do you really want to waste your valuable free time doing that? Is it just to bug the lefties or is it your genuine goal to have a sports club in the tradition of amateur athletics (archery comes to mind)? If the latter is your goal, then start a real NCAA rifle team or air rifle team. No AKs or ARs though. You have to be clear in your purpose. There are still lots of schools with NCAA rifle teams. Go visit one--RPI in NY, Univ. of TN at Martin (not sure about other TN schools), U. Texas (Austin?), MIT, WVU, UNLV, NC State (has or had one), all the military academies. There are lots of others, these are the ones I'm familiar with. Good luck.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 8:58:06 AM EDT
As far as storage goes, My friend is a very trusted individual and not of the type you described, though I do know people of that type. About half or more people on the signature sheet live off campus so they don't have any problems. Trickshot: Our main goal is to have some form of organization so that we can have events and stuff, our other main goal is awareness/safety. If we can have several RSO's and a couple of instructors, then we can reach and expose those that haven't had any experience with firearms. There are several women that have shown slight interest in shooting in the past, so getting a few more informed on what guns are all about is something we will strive for also. How long does it take to get an instructor certification? Is it a week long course, 3-day? Great responses, lets hear more.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 9:31:12 AM EDT
Great responses, lets hear more.
View Quote
Research the gun clubs in your area. Who still has them? Are they active? Competing? Bringing recognition to their school? Look into the past history of your school, was there a gun club(s)? What notable alumin were part of these clubs? Then look into the part that will interest the administration....money. What alumni are currently active in the NRA? Active in a non-academic Gun Club? Would the local (non-academic)gun club help bring money back to the school through endowments, gifts, contributions, scholarships? Do your research, respect the pocketbook, and then go to the dean. TheRedGoat FWIW, you might be surprised by your administration. Don't go in with the expectation that the administration is Anti-Gun. Who knows? Maybe even some/most/many of the faculty are involved in the shooting sports? Lots of blue blood types are attracted to the sport of shooting. Email me the schools in your area, and I will help you search the web.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 9:42:54 AM EDT
TheRedGoat, email sent. There aren't really any local gun clubs (that I know of) there is a trap range out by the airport in Walla Walla, but the nearest actual range is in Waitsburg about 45 mins away, I will see about contacting them. Thanks for your interest guys.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 10:03:43 AM EDT
Yes, I think you should start a club. You might be able to get a little funding from your student government. The university that I graduated from imposed student activity fees on all students and used these fees to fund all different types of campus organizations including gay and lesbo clubs. So if the gays and lesbos can have their clubs funded from activity fees then you should be able to get some funding from the same source. Give it a shot.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 10:06:28 AM EDT
My friend, if you can get your hands on an NRA Training Counselor, the Certification, for example on Basic Pistol & Personal Protection in the Home, can be accomplished in a weekend. IIRC, the APPROXIMATE breakdown goes something like this: 6 hours - Learning how to run a NRA course (advertising, finance, logistics, etc). 4 hours - Basic Pistol Instructor certification 9 hours - Personal Protection for the Home Instructor certification. The modules for shotgun and rifle instructor certification are about 6 - 8 hours each. You can do these in seperate 2 hour modules, or you can buy a dozen cases of Mountain Dew Code Red and knock it out on a long Friday night - it's up to the NRA Counselor dude. You'll need a classroom and a range. It can't hurt to contact the NRA Foundation and explain to them you're interested in getting more young people into enjoying their 2nd Amm. right in a safe enviroment. That is part of the reason I send them money by the way!
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 10:23:32 AM EDT
I happen to be the advisor for a university rifle and pistol club. Our particular club has been in exestence for close to 30 years, with varying degrees of success. We used to have a nice range on campus. When that was open our membership ran close to 150 per year. That range closed in 1997 (lead issues were the official reason, real reason was somebody wanted the space, long story). We have since moved off campus and lost most of our membership in the process. Officially we are funded by the student government. However their funding rules are so byzantine that we usually don't bother with them. They wouldn't buy guns anyway. Our relationship with them runs hot and cold. Every so often an anti-gunner will assume power and rattle our cage a bit but for the most part they leave us alone. When we were on campus we had a large and diverse membership, including many foreign studetns who can't shoot in the home country. Now, for the most part we are a couple of hard core shooters and an assortment of folks wanting to get into law enforcement. I and two or three others are NRA certified instructors. We've accumulated a fair assortment of guns over the years but many of them are showing their age. Believe or not it is possble to wear out a Ruger Mk II after ten years and 50,000 rounds. We are not NRA affliated tho we are in their directory.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 6:33:49 PM EDT
Well, I did a bit of snooping today and came up with some disappointing results. An official college club has to go through so much red tape it's ridiculous. Just to have an "event" or "meeting" we must get prior administrative approval, have no conflicts with other school activities, have approved transportation, and carry our own insurance for off-campus events. In addition, we must have a faculty sponsor present as well as staying within the guidlines of the school policy handbook. This last proviso is an almost carte blanche ban of anything having to do with firearms. The handbook explicitly states x-nay on the boomsticks. As if it couldn't get any worse, one of a few pro-gun faculty members related to me that there was no chance of getting a gun club approved. His fellow faculty members would throw such an uproar that we could never get anywhere. All this has led us to conclude that we might choose a less formal solution. Namely, seeing what we can negotiate with the local range/club. If we come to them with a list of 50+ names (which we now have) and offer to join their club. They should conceed a reduced membership fee since we wouldn't be around for the full year or be using it every weekend. We would still try to get as many NRA certified instructors and RSO's as possible. As it is, most of us now know who the other pro-gun people on campus as a result of our petition. We think that an email list with events and meetings announced will have to do. Any suggestions on how to go about "propositioning" the local gun club? They only have about 50-60 members as it is, so we would effectively be doubling their membership. Sorry for the length.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 7:18:25 PM EDT
Turok, that's too bad that your school has it's head up its rear end. When I was at Georgia Tech I was the chairman of the school's gun club (http://www.cyberbuzz.gatech.edu/firearms/). We sponsored NRA safety and personal protection courses. We'd go to local ranges occasionaly. It was tough getting people to participate, come to meetings, etc. However, it was a lot of fun. We also had our own insurance. We were affiliated with the NRA so we somehow used that to get insurance. Our Chief LEO was cool, even allowing me to bring my MAK-90 to a public speaking class for a demonstration. Talk about an attention getter! He even agreed to store a club owned gun at the PD station, although when I was there we never purchased one and took him up on it. I don't know if I would let it go so easily. I would force them to reject me as a school group. I'd hint at legal action. Of course, that's at a public institution. At a private institution, however, you may be SOL. Your school handbook may not be a deal breaker. You don't necessarily have to bring guns to campus, etc. There certainly isn't anything in there against talking about them (or so I hope). Good luck!
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 7:24:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 8:28:40 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 8:56:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2002 9:05:03 PM EDT by SWIRE]
A lot depends on your presentation. Stop calling it a gun club. That immediately strikes fear into socialist liberals that control the college. How about, A self defense club? With a special emphasis on the safety of female students? Everyone wants to be safe and colleges love to have programs that focus on women. You have events covering general safety, such as common sense things to do(NRA Refuse to be a Victim class), then street self defense, then move on to active self defense by taking a trip to a gun range. Basically you have to sucker the liberals in by giving them what they want, then slowly pry open their minds, and finally take them to range and really open their eyes. Done in the right manner, this would work. Depending on how the college is setup, you might even be able to get funding from the school for activities. The college I went to had to spend X dollars on education events, X dollars on diversity, X dollars on social events. The events were approved by the other organization leaders. You will want to check into see who has control over the organizations and who controlls the funding. No matter what you will want to become good friends with the leaders of other campus clubs and the student council.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 11:04:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2002 11:24:02 PM EDT by e8ght]
Turok, you da man! :) I'm in the process of doing the exact same thing. Don't expect a ton of interest, don't expect positive help from outside, do expect tons of red tape specifically designed to discourage your efforts, but don't give up. The only reason such a club doesn't already exist is because you and your newfound shooter friends haven't built it yet. For this I've created a subdomain: [URL]http://umas.e8ght.com[/URL] so I can say more than a poster allows me to, if I can put an URL on the posters. Beta posters are on that page at the bottom - help yourself and feel free to adapt them. I recommend printing them on blaze orange paper - it attracts the eye of hunters in specific and the rest of the world in general. In light of the laws that have been passed up here during the past decade or so, obviously the contemporary Canadian campus attitude towards guns and their politics is a bit different. Decide what you want to do first, then include that in your constitution. Instead of using the term 'gun club' I went with 'arms society'. The idea being that we might attract a few that are into SCA swordplay, or fencing, or archaeology or bowhunting or something. (That, and the fact that the name ' ARMS SOCIETY' also gives a newspaper headline-style double entendre relating to the expected results of our activities) Due to the emphasis on other weapons as well, the club is not strictly speaking a 'gun' club, though your constitution should probably have language to the effect of providing education, fostering the development of character, and promoting all safe firearm activities. My own club is likely to center at first around political education and organization, introducing shooters to various shooting disciplines at very low costs, getting people licensed and trained, and the odd informal road trip to a range, shooting competition, or hunting trip. If we get big enough it would be nice to bring in a guest speaker or two. Our local students' union provides resources for 'approved' student groups that include funding for such events. Might not be a bad idea to get in the good books of folks in the campus political system or newspaper too. And don't knock the Greek system either - I happen to be one. :) [soapbox] It's important to have some sort of shooting related club on a campus - or each year, tens of thousands of educated decisionmakers will graduate ignorant of firearms and their positive uses. Information about any negative uses will then be supplied free of charge courtesy of the nightly news for the rest of their lives. Oh, and get insurance. It's cheap for most shooting activities - in Canada, it's less than five bucks per person per year for $5M liability insurance covering all legal shooting activities. Hey, if someone has a sample constitution or by laws for a university gun club, please email it to me. Address is on the URL listed in this post. Thanks!
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 1:15:17 AM EDT
There's a group of about ten of us who are trying to do the same thing in Berkeley. Luckily, the school rules for starting a club are so easy that we'll have little trouble. Now, as for whether we can get school funding without a hassle, we'll see. Also, on range visits and other events, you can have them be "informal", as in "a few of us are going to the range this weekend, anyone who wants to join is welcome", and generally avoid any mention of it being a club-sponsered activity. We've got a rough draft constitution that will be refined next week. I like these suggestions, especially the one about getting an NRA certified instructor. And insurance might not be such a bad idea...
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 6:24:14 AM EDT
Turok, I don't have much to add here, other my strongest encouragement for what you are doing, and to let everyone know that it is possible to set up a gun club ON campus, even in an anti-gun state such as Massachusetts. I call everyone's attention to MIT (Massachusetts Institute for Technology) which has a strong and thriving shooters' club, as well as a good-sized ROTC program, the latter which is, it would ironically seem, full of Harvard students, denied yet another freedom of choice at that institution of "academic freedom" in Cambridge, MA....[rolleyes] Me? I went to UMass. A shooters' club at a state college or university? Huh... If there was one back when I was there in the 1980s, I never heard about it. Must have been, ummm... "in the closet" [:D] Of course, I was pretty liberal then, so guns never entered on to my radar back then, BUT, had there been an active shooters' club, that advertised, I might have looked into it. Take what most everybody says here as good advice, and trickshot's post is spot on about why the 60's types, who now run the show on most campuses worldwide, are so anti-gun and anti-self-defence. You may have to keep this organisation off-campus for a while until you get more support. Nonetheless, there may be a lot of people like you and me on your campus, who want to get in on this, but don't know where to turn to- you won't know until you try. .......................... Forty one years ago, Fidel Castro asked "Armas para qué" (What do you need weapons for) to the Cuban People, and confiscated all weapons. Do I have to continue? ---SANTIAGO DE JUAN
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 6:24:30 AM EDT
Well, we haven't exactly given up on a club yet. But we are taking a step back and reevaluating what path we wish to take. I like the idea about having the range visits be "informal" and concentrate on "official" club activities being limited to training and meeting and such. This would circumvent a large portion of the red tape, which has mainly to do with off campus events. The other stuff is mainly drafting a "constitution" and bylaws, etc. I still haven't looked into what the insurance would cost per say. What does one do, call up the local insurance company and request a student gun club policy? Or is that bound to end up with a high quote? I had no idea that this many of you had experience in this area. Thanks a lot for your ideas, it has helped us with deciding what we might try and do. I'll keep you guys aware of our progress. Thanks
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 10:18:02 AM EDT
95thFoot, We actually do have quite a number of interested students, and even a few faculty. Of the 1800 or so students, we have about 40-50 right now. And we also have 3 faculty who like the idea but really can't officially support us because they are younger guys with no tenure and therefore would rather not piss off administration. Our main battle is going to be getting approval with all the red tape involved (see above post). It will be an uphill battle for sure, but we don't intend to run at the first sign of trouble. They are, however, the ones with the final say. If it comes to it, we will go with an entirely off-campus, or informal contact list type of solution. But it is my hope to establish an organization that will persist after we have graduated.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 12:37:17 PM EDT
I must be lucky- I go to a very conservative college. We have a gun club, which actually owns upwards of 20 firearms. The school funds most of the on-campus clubs, and the gun club has the second largest budget, if I remember. One thing that helps our gun club is that the "shooting days" are open to everyone (students and faculty), and the ammo is provided by the school (reloaded by gun club members in many cases). Every shoot is preceded by a short safety lesson for all involved. We also have a nice benefit of being able to have our personal firearms locked into the campus security safes.
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