Whether on the battlefield or in a political movement, the question always arises of who will pick up the flag if a leader should fall. Savvy organizations get out in front of this issue and start early on the hard work of identifying and training their next generation of leaders.
In order to ensure that freedom's next defenders are ready to step into the breach, NRA-ILA's Grassroots Division has been conducting NRA University events all across the country.
At these free, two-hour "NRA U" workshops, NRA staff presents students the truth about gun-related issues by covering the myths of gun control, the history of the Second Amendment, the use of guns for self-defense and our common-sense solutions to reducing crime and accidents. Our team promotes the various NRA programs in which students can participate, on and off campus. Students also learn about opportunities to work with like-minded activists in their areas. NRA U participants receive a complimentary one-year NRA membership, and free items such as NRA U hats, t-shirts and stickers. With scores of recent requests for workshops, NRA U has rapidly become one of NRA-ILA's most popular grassroots programs.
Besides preparing for the future, NRA U also has short-term benefits. Those of us who have dedicated our careers to this fight know that being an effective activist takes time and commitment. While it can be difficult balancing our dedication to the Second Amendment with all of life's other demands, we know it's a price worth paying.
Yet at the same time, our college campuses provide a ready supply of committed activists for every cause under the sun. And thankfully, the pro-Second Amendment movement is experiencing a huge growth of support among the very demographic that we need to lean on for our future.
Young Americans are more dialed-in to the election process than ever before in our nation's history, and have a more sophisticated understanding of how important it is to preserve our rights. This fact, coupled with their energy and enthusiasm, makes pro-gun college students the ideal future champions of our firearm freedom.
According to the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, an estimated 23 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 30 voted in the 2008 presidential election. That amounts to an increase of 5 percent from the 2004 election and an 11 percent increase from 2000. The youth vote was so strong in 2008 that the Obama campaign credited this voting bloc for its win. Now, more than ever, is the time for us to harness the political energy of our pro-NRA youth.
If you're a student, we hope you'll consider hosting an NRA U event on your campus. If you have children or grandchildren in college, we hope you'll encourage them to sponsor an NRA U workshop. It may be the best move you can make today to prepare the guardians of our Second Amendment rights for tomorrow.