by Rev. Eric ‘Bear’ St. Pierre
President, Guns Save Life
We can proudly proclaim that the Guns Save Life organization ended 2014 with a Bang! No pun intended.
My experience at the helm of Guns Save Life has been exciting so far and I believe we are moving in the right direction. I’m pleased report the Board of Directors ended 2014 by completing some house cleaning and we’re focusing on new and direct goals in for the future.
Some updates from 2014
We officially changed our name from Champaign County Rifle Association to Guns Save Life, Inc. We have adopted We Defend Your Right To Defend Yourself as our official Mission Statement. Feel free to share that with your friends.
Moreover, we are starting this New Year off with hiring the first two outstanding staff members of GSL: Executive Director John Boch and Executive Secretary Tammy Williams. I can say with confidence we have two winners on our team. They are experienced and then some, and are both already going above and beyond to get the “job” done here at GSL.
Goals for 2015
First up, we’re going to strengthen our current satellite meetings and add new locations. Our dream location for a new meeting site?Chicagoland, of course! Who wouldn’t like to see a GSL meeting supporting and energizing our brothers and sisters in the fight in Chicago? There are many who crave freedom as much as we do in the Chicagoland area and would love to attend a local GSL meeting. I also have a personal goal to bring the GSL recipe for success to other states as well.
One more goal: to grow our philanthropy in the years to come. Our members can be proud for what GSL has done in past years to facilitate gun ownership and the love of shooting among those with little or no exposure to guns. We’ve helped introduce kids (and parents) to gun safety and responsible firearms use and we’ve helped support our nation’s wounded warriors in their recovery from wartime injuries through hunting and shooting programs. Your Board of Directors team is working on a best practices solution that will benefit everyone involved and allow us to help better educate those seeking to share with others how to responsibly have fun with firearms through shooting sports and educate them in other uses of firearms and promote firearms safety.
Perhaps most importantly, as we grow as a community of gun owners we need to make sure that we are dedicated to working together. As a Christian, I often relate what happens in my life to what I have experienced in scripture. And I feel as we grow as an organization we can end up on one of two paths.
The first path is one that is described in the Gospels by Jesus. When Jesus began to cast out demons, the established religious leaders didn’t like these changes and started to grumble that He was casting out the demons using Satan’s power. Jesus then explains to them that if Satanwere to cast himself out then Satan’s kingdom would be divided and his kingdom would come to an end.
Believe it or not GSL has the potential to follow this path! As we grow, things will change and some of us will focus on the changes rather than the mission. We may begin to grumble to our friends at the table during our meeting and then it will spill over to the next table until we have a room divided over puzzle pieces rather than united for the big picture cause.
On the other hand, we can follow the advice laid out in Romans 12:3-8. Here Paul is explaining to the Roman Christians that they shouldn’t think of themselves to be more important than their counterparts (other Roman Christians). Paul shares with them that like a body they each have their part to do and that each part in itself is important, but that each part cannot function on its own but in turn needs the whole body to reach its full potential. We all have a purpose working together, albeit with different roles. We reach the same goals much more quickly by working together, rather than individually.
I hope as members of GSL you will feel the need to follow the second path I have laid out before you rather then the first. Also if you feel you start to have tendency to skip over to the divided path know that my door is always open and that I am just an email or phone call away.
I look forward to having a great 2015 with you all and hope we can continue to work together in harmony.