We've seen a lot of action this year at NRAblog. From California to Texas to Ohio to Pennsylvania and beyond, we've crisscrossed the country a time or two in our attempt to cover as much of the National Rifle Association's activities as possible. So what is our top story of year? Well ... that's definitely a subject that's up for discussion.
There's national competitions, celebrity sightings, big time events and more to choose from. How did we choose what made the list? That was a bit tough.
Kerrin already has her list all locked up, I'm working on a more of a seat of your pants-type concept and Kyle, oh Kyle. With Kyle you never know.
Starting tomorrow we'll count down from five to one. Stay tuned, stick tight and enjoy the ride.
- The second half of our twelve days of Christmas starts with number seven and the seven years of NRANews. As some of you might know, my NRA career started with a stint producing NRANews. With Cam spreading the word while Popp, Mike, Dennis, Dylan and Eric make the magic work, it's a great way to wrap up the day starting at 9pm eastern standard time.
For the eighth day of Christmas we bring you the eight Gatling Guns from the National Firearms Museum's Petersen Gallery. Add that to the other Gatlings inside the Museum's and you have the largest collection of Gatling Guns on public display.
Day number nine is for the nine states that make up the new Mid-American Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) expansion. That's dozens of new programs in Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, and Tennessee. What could be better then adding our ability to pass on our knowledge to the future of America's hunting.
On the tenth day of Christmas we give thanks to those who completed their tenth year of employment at the NRA this year. For those of you who missed it, that's Donald R. Sipes,
Arlene B. Borella,
Benjamin F. VanScoyoc,
Andrea K. Cerwinske,
Kory R. Enck,
Mark P. Arndt,
James V. Dove,
Ann Y. Smith,
Erik D. Eckberg,
Jeff H. Johnston,
Heidi L. Keesling,
David P. Kulivan,
Joseph C. Weldy,
Adrian L. Valdez,
Matthew H. Bower,
Michelle E. Kuntz and
Michael J. Erstling.
What could be more perfect for day number eleven then the 100 years of the 1911. One of the most perfect firearms ever created, the Colt Model 1911 continues to be a favorite of those who serve and those of us here at the NRA.
On the 12th and last day of Christmas the NRA takes you to St. Louis for the 2012 Annual Meetings and Exhibits. The 141st Annual Meeting, there under the Gateway Arch, side of ribs and a Cardinals game blaring in the background ... what a wonderful way to celebrate your support of the Second Amendment.
So there it is, one through twelve, all with our own little NRA twist to the festivities. And speaking of festivities ... get back to the wrapping paper. Finish putting it away, turn on the game and spend a little extra of your holiday time with the family. We'll be here when you get back.
There's a been a great deal of discussion around the office as to what actually constitutes the twelve days of Christmas. The primary point of contention is when you're supposed to start counting ... before Christmas or after. Internet research suggests the count start on the big day and run through the new year. A number of our colleagues, however, think it starts on the 13th and finishes on Christmas Day.
To avoid such contention, we decided to drop all twelve days of our NRA Christmas in today's post. With that being said ... here we go with the first few days:
On the first day of Christmas we recognize Captain Philip Hemphil (Ret.) of the Mississippi Highway Patrol for his first NRA National Pistol Championship at Camp Perry. Though he already had 10 National Police Shooting Championships under his belt, winning the big one at Camp Perry has been a long ventured quest that Captain Hemphill can finally mark off his list.
For the second day of Christmas, we celebrate the second season of the Friends of NRA show on the Outdoor Channel. Moving to 10pm Eastern on Wednesday nights, the show has received grand reviews and looks forward to an even stronger second go around.
The third is a double shot of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Robert Vadasz. Not only did Vadasz win his third National Police Shooting Championship, but he also added his third Bianchi Cup Metallic Division title to his resume. Now the only question is will he return for a double shot on day four next year.
On the fourth day of Christmas returns to the MidwayUSA/NRA Bianchi Cup and it's four stages or Events. There's the Moving Target, Barricade, Practical & Falling Place that must be mastered in order to call yourself champ and each is quite the humdinger.
There's another double dose of NRA fun on day number five as we look towards Competitions and Field Operations. For Competitions, we saw David Tubb walk away with his fifth Tompkins Trophy for the National Long Range High Power Championship. Now this is Tubb's sixth title, but only the fifth since we changed the awarded trophy to the Tompkins. For Field Operations, we give our thanks to the five regional directors (Eastern, Central, Southern, Mid West and Western Regions) who oversee the operation of Friends of NRA events in multiple states throughout the year.
It's our six Youth Shooting Sports Ambassadors we all hail to on day number six. Sponsored by Brownells, they come from the Boy Scouts of America, National High School Rodeo Association, USA Shooting, Royal Rangers, BSA Venturing and the National Rifle Association. And if you're at SHOT next January, you'll get a chance to meet them live and in person.
The list is growing awful long so we'll take a quick break and give you the final six in a couple of hours ... hope you're enjoying the day!
I was able to sneak out a little early from my usual weekend duties here at the National Rifle Association. Like many of you, there were still a number of names left on my Christmas list (both naughty and nice) that require a tad bit of tending before the night was through. But before stepping out the front door, I decided to take a quick sweep through the building to bring you a taste of the NRA's Christmas Spirit.
Hopefully, by the time this post goes live, I'll have all my packages picked and will be well on my way to my brother's place in Richmond, Virginia. So here's to stuffed stockings, empty roadways and a fun filled family weekend for all.
When the folks from the National Firearms Museum
put together the layout for the Petersen Gallery, an instant eye catcher was the Gatling Gun display case. Eight models, six big and two small, in grand view for all to see. Thinking that my position here at the NRA might allow a little in–person access to these beauties, I approached Museum Director Jim Supica with such a request. I was rebuffed. Until, that is, a camera crew for The History Channel
Technically they aren't a camera crew for the History Channel — they are a crew from a production company shooting a show for the History Channel. But saying that they're from the History Channel is still well within bounds and let's be honest ... the story flows better without the explanation.
As soon as the crew arrived with their mics, lights and cameras, opened popped the doors of the Gatling Gun case. First into the brink was Supica followed closely by producer/director Mark Finkelpearl. They picked a Gatling to highlight & Supica started to do his thing; history of the gun, rounds per second, effective range, etc ... I have to tell you, it's darn impressive to see the museum guys unleash their passion and knowledge about some of these pieces.
The crew from NRA's Competitive Shooting Division has been hard at work all year keeping up with thousands of NRA sanctioned shooting tournaments and all of the National Championships that are held across the country each year. But a few weeks ago, they stopped just long enough for me to take their photo as a group for their annual Christmas picture. So to all of our readers, Director Mike Krei and his staff wish you a very Merry Christmas!
The National Firearms Museum received a great deal of recognition during the NRA's 2011 Service Awards Ceremony — but none greater then Wendy Cunningham. Do due all the hard work she's been putting in over the past year, Museum Director Jim Supica nominated Cunningham for an Outstanding Achievement Award.
Here's a piece of the presentation:
Do you understand your health insurance? If you're anything like me, you understand that there's a co-pay, a deductible, something about a network or a cable station or something ... it's confusing. Bottom line is, you have insurance, you just don't know what you can do with it. That's why they came up with the benefits fair.
By bringing the companies that set up the systems here, we're able to learn first hand how the system works. Do you have your choice of doctors or not? Are there better rates on car loans or mortgages if I bank with your bank? And a special option this year ... getting the right insurance for you pets. Not for me, but there are a few around here who jumped at the chance.
I admit that I was hesitant to bother, but a coworker explained how he purchased his first cell phone at one of these events a few years ago. Lesson is, you never know what's going to be offered and how you can benefit. Plus, you can always wrap up the day with a trip to Tom's Tropical Breeze for bagel chips and smoothies!
Last week we told you about the NRA's Service Awards Ceremony here at the National Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia. Along with recognizing those who've reached their five, ten, fifteen, etc ... anniversary working for the National Rifle Association, a few individuals were singled out for an Outstanding Achievement Award. One of the five recognized was Tom Rickwalder from our Publications Division.
Here's the text from the award presentation:
Tom filmed and edited approximately 100 original videos from SHOT Show and NRA Annual Meetings. These were used on Publications’ websites which resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in savings on production costs. Rickwalder also oversaw development of mobile sites for AmericanRifleman.org and AmericanHunter.org.
Tom designed the new look for those sites as well as the new ShootingIllustrated.com website. Finally, he designed and developed an iPad application which is currently being used by our advertising sales force, making it easier and faster for them to perform their duties.
Congrats Tom – and thanks for bringing your son Jack to the "Triggers" screening Monday night – we hope he had a good time.
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