Developing more female NRA Certified Instructors has been a major goal of the Women's Programs Department these last few years. Many women want to learn to shoot and are looking for another woman to show them the ropes - that's where NRA's cadre of female instructors comes into play. Arizona's Amber Kunau recently joined that group, earning her certification as an NRA Certified Instructor. Amber shared her experience with NRAblog and explained what led her to get her certification and how she's using it to train others.

NRA Certified Instructor Amber Kunau Becoming an NRA Certified Instructor was something I had thought about frequently so when I saw classes listed at my local range (Rio Salado Sportsman’s Club) it seemed like the perfect time to jump in and get to work. I started with the Range Safety Officer (RSO) class done by Jim Neff of Generations Firearms in Mesa, Arizona. The RSO class taught by Jim was interactive, informative and fun. After the great experience I had in the RSO class, I knew that getting my instructor certification with Jim was going to be nothing less than a great experience and the knowledge I would take away would be invaluable to me as a firearms instructor. In fact, I enjoyed that class so much I signed up for several more and went on to get my instructor level training in Pistol, Personal Protection Inside The Home, and Personal Protection Outside The Home and still have upcoming instructor classes in my calendar for Rifle and Shotgun.

The biggest thing that I took away from these classes is that students learn by doing. A great instructor doesn’t just stand in front of the class and just talk. Instead, a great instructor gets the class involved in mock “real life” scenarios and great discussions which gets everyone thinking on their own and working hard for their certification. I also learned that a good attitude is an absolute necessity.

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Sun Devil Stadium in Phoenix from a plane on the way to NRA's Club University Phoenix, Arizona - To the right you see the Sun Devil Stadium ... home to Arizona State University's football team. Settled in the midst of downtown Phoenix, Arizona, it's one of the several sites of interest that came into view as we landed late yesterday afternoon. We settled in, found the hotel, prepared our presentations, and are rearing to go.

Today we embark upon the first NRA Club University of 2011. Throughout the day we'll be discussing how ranges, clubs, and anyone involved in the shooting sports can increase membership, qualify for grants, build a better relationship with the media, make sure your outfit has the right insurance, and more.

We'll be here all day, so make sure to keep checking back. It might be tough as Kerrin promised to give us an update on her work at the Ohio Deer & Turkey Expo, Kyle reports live from the NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Championships in Ft. Benning, Georgia, and I share some of the highlights from Club University here in Phoenix. Needless to say, it's going to be a busy Saturday.

Beth Terry at the ASRPA centenary celebration

Phoenix, Arizona - The Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association celebrated its 100th birthday this past week. The association has spent the past century promoting shooting sports across the state of Arizona.

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Nemesis displays .308 rifle that breaks down in 15 second to NRA Convention

David Ives from Nemsis Arms and his .308 rifle at NRA Convention in Phoenix, Arizona Phoenix, Arizona - David Ives (above), owner of California-based Nemesis Arms, used the occasion of the 2009 NRA Annual Meeting & Convention to unveil his Windrunner Model 06 rifle. The rifle is remarkably dynamic, capable of firing a .243 caliber round, a .308 caliber round and a .338 Federal round.

“They are all interchangeable using the same action and the same magazine,” Ives told us.

The rifle can be disassembled and fit in a 21-inch briefcase. Without the optic attachments, the rifle weighs 11.5 pounds.

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Victors filled with joy at NRA Gun Collectors Committee Awards

Award winning gun collectors at the 2009 NRA Convention in Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona - Phil Schreier and Jim Supica are two of the NRA&rsuo;s firearms experts, but they certainly weren’t the only experts on hand at the 138th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits. Thanks to Phil for the following:

The NRA Gun Collectors Committee hosted the 49th annual affiliate display competition this past weekend at the NRA's 138th Annual Meetings & Exhibits. Of NRA's 120 affiliated gun collector clubs, 25 of them participated in the competition for the venerable Gun Collectors Committee Trophy.

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Andrea Cerwinske shows off a Whittington Center t-shirt at NRA Convention in Phoenix Phoenix, Arizona - NRAblog was promised an exclusive interview with NRA Whittington Center Director Wayne Armacost. We will get that interview, but for now we have to settle for a piece of fine Whittington Center merchandise. Deputy Executive Director Andrea Cerwinske is holding up a light pink T-shirt that was a hot seller during the NRA Annual Meeting.

Titled “9 Reasons a Handgun is Better Than a Man,” the comical shirt was flying off the shelves at the Whittington Center’s display area on the Exhibit Hall floor. “This is the last one left, actually,” Robbie told us.

NRAblog is making its Whittington Center debut at the second annual Women’s Wilderness Escape this fall. Leading up to that event, we will be bringing you exclusive NRA Whittington Center coverage.

Phoenix, Arizona - The hall was abustle a few moments ago, but it is slowly making its way back to the cavernous empty space it was one week ago. Rather than dwell on the farewells of friends who see one another only once a year, or the sheer impossibility to do all one wants to do during the three Kayne Robinson, William and Pamela Johnson, and Kyle Weaver days of exhibits, NRAblog is pleased to bring you a story of what it means to be a believer in the NRA.

William and Pamela Johnson came to Phoenix by way of Palestine, Texas. “It’s so small we don’t have a bank, or a school, or a post office,” Mrs. Johnson told NRAblog. “The two gas stations have a grill, and that’s it for local restaurants.”

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American Hero Oliver North signs book on Iraq/Afghanistan War heroism

Oliver North signs books at the NRA Convention in Phoenix Phoenix, Arizona - During every annual meeting, a number of celebrities show up to share their latest project with the crowd.

Maybe it’s a live, in-person seminar like the one Uncle Ted held today, or it’s a book signing like the one held by Lt. Col. Oliver North.

His latest work, titled American Heroes, takes a look at the current war against radical Islam as well as Col. North’s experience as an embedded reporter in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Like the Colonel said, the book might end, but tales of American heroism in this fight do not.

Phoenix, Arizona - The NRA’s Annual Meeting air gun range is always a hit, and this year was no exception. Take it from an authority on the subject.

“We’ve stayued really busy,” NRA Air Gun Coordinator Jessica McClain told NRAblog.

McClain was more then encouraged by seeing even more in attendance than last year's NRA Convention. In fact, more than five hundred shooters plinked and plunked on the lanes this Sunday alone.

“It’s been a good time for the volunteers and participants alike,” McClain said, noting that NRA volunteers make the range possible by donating their time to help new shooters.

Check out the slideshow above for an idea of what the range looked like at the Phoenix Convention Center.

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