By Jim Henderson
Hello ORPA members, and what a great shooting season we had this year!
I hope everything is as good as it can be for all of you! Before I talk about the shooting season, I wanted to briefly touch on the NRA and all the news surrounding the organization. I've heard everything from they will all go to jail, to there is nothing wrong, everything is fine. Truthfully, I don't know what to think. I believe protecting the 2nd amendment and lobbying sides of the house will survive. More than likely continuing as they have through many different administration for decades. As far as the competitions side of things, that's where I have some trepidation as to the future of the competitive sports. In my opinion moving Pistol Nationals to Indiana was questionable....at best. With 10 months to go until Nationals 2020, and as far as I know at the time of this writing, construction has not started on any of the proposed ranges or buildings. To me, this doesn't bode well for completion of the advertised projects. It seems we as competitors are in a holding pattern on making decision on how best to use or vacation time next year.... yet again. All that being said, I'm hoping they get it done! Any new or updated range space is a plus for the shooting community as a whole . The more positive light we as hunters, competitors and even the newest of plinkers can shed on the shooting sports and firearms in general, the better off everyone will be! These are hard times for firearms owners and we need all the positive light on us we can get!
So as I said.... What a great shooting season we had here in Ohio!! It looks like Bill "Fletch" Knall and Cowboy Action shooting is doing very well! Check out his report later int eh issue. As most of you know, Dane Hogel has taken over as Pistol Director. Not only is he doing a great job maintaining the strong program he inherited from Jim Morman, but he has some very interesting and solid plans for growth of the Pistol sports in Ohio! Dane maybe we can get three NTT teams to the line next year!
Fred Totts and the Junior Pistol team had a great year of growth and success! I have hear some say "big deal, they got 2nd place"... Really? In my mind the biggest part of any junior program is not about the trophies they win, but more about the adults and responsible gun owners they can become! Sure, everyone wants a trophy, but than's no how real life works. As a parent of seven children, I wanted nothing but for all of my kids to be pro shooters and set the shooting world on its heels with what awesome people and champions they would become! Well life has a way of changing even the best laid plans. Three of the five boys are into guns, but only one is into the competitive side of things. Sam Henderson is an awesome SR shooter. If you haven't heard of him, you will. He is also a stand up citizen and Army Reservist. Do I attribute a lot of the life lessons he's learned to competitive shooting and conversations he and I have had after matches? No doubt in my mind? The highs and lows of the competition cycle, if you're truly being honest with yourself, are some of the most deeply remembered lessons of all!
So all that being said...... Coach Totts, you're doing a great job my friend!
ORPA Junior High Power was lucky enough to have Serena Juchnowski accepted the role as Director for that discipline. She has done a great job getting some legs under this junior program. All the while being a full time student and maintaining her own shooting skills! One of her Juniors even got a 4 point leg during SAFS! She even got anew Time shirts made! Again, great job and I personally thank you for doing what you're doing.
Lastly, I wanted to talk about member involvement in ORPA. Since I became President of ORPA I've been doing my best to increase membership and overall involvement by the different factions of the Ohio shooting community.
I feel like I have failed at doing either of those things.
Membership is not where I hoped it would be, and we have several Directors and Trustees that are completely inactive. There are many ranges across the state that see no reason to be part of ORPA. I've heard some say the get nothing out of membership. Why should they pa a fee if..... this, this and that. In reality, the fewer clubs and members that we have, the less ORPA can do for members. It just a bottom line dollars and cents decision. If I was filthy rich I'd give away awesome prizes and trophies to all the State Champions and every member club we be getting very lucrative donations. Sounds awesome right? Well I'm not rich and neither is ORPA. Over the last couple of years as President, I advocated some very much needed changes to the structure of the organization. In taking the position of President, I accepted the fiduciary responsibilities inherent in that role. I felt the changes I proposed would help keep the lights on and the doors open for the foreseeable future, and bring more revenue to the pot. While I believe we are operating more efficiently, we are not gaining ground.
ORPA needs your help. I'm not asking for more money from anyone. Although as far as state association fees go, ours is pretty low at just $30 a year. What I am asking for is you help with getting/being involved! The organization needs people to be involved with whatever it is that you shoot! I talked to a friend of mine who is President of her state association looking for some advice. Her state has some of the most strict gun laws in the country, yet they have hundreds of people attend their annual meeting, and they have a VERY involved shooting community. Their annual meeting is a coat and tie affair with some pretty good food and prizes from what I hear. At our last annual meeting ORPA had I believe five non-trustee members attend.
I really hope that the 2019 Annual Meeting at The Cardinal Shooting Center in November will be better attended. If for nothing else than to air your feelings on why you feel YOUR state association isn't worth joining.
I look forward to hearing your comments and concerns.
The Ohio Rifle and Pistol Association