FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2013
CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP NAMES NEW PRESIDENT, VICE PRESIDENT
Founders to remain board members
SAINT PAUL, MINN. – Andrew Rothman, a long-time civil rights advocate, has been named the new president of the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, the group announced November 30 in Maple Grove.
Rothman, who has served as GOCRA’s vice president since January of 2011, and who founded the nonprofit Minnesota Association of Defensive Firearm Instructors in 2005, replaces outgoing president Joseph E. Olson, a professor at Hamline University School of Law, who founded GOCRA in 1989 after years of service as an individual activist.
Olson, who will remain chairman of the all-volunteer nonprofit’s board of directors, praised Rothman’s results in building the organization: “Andrew has brought together the next-generation team,” he said. “They’re politically astute, energetic, media-savvy, and committed.”
David M. Gross, GOCRA’s treasurer since 1989, agreed. “Every organization needs new blood,” he said. “Andrew is a breath of fresh air, ideas, approaches, energy, wit, intelligence, ability, and courage.”
The group also named Rob Doar as its new vice president. Doar, an activist, lobbyist and speaker for the organization for almost three years, has been a constant fixture at the legislature for the last two sessions, and has represented GOCRA in the media and at speaking engagements around the state. In his new role, Doar will officially join Olson as a registered lobbyist for GOCRA.
Doar’s nonprofit experience includes six years on the boards of two community service organizations in Minnesota. Outgoing president Olson spoke highly of Doar’s interpersonal skills, as well as his stamina. “His energy is unbelievable,” Olson said. “My feet are tired, and he just keeps going.”
Treasurer Gross pointed to the Rothman and Doar’s success in flooding the capitol with maroon-shirted supporters during gun control hearings in the last legislative session. “This gang has done what Joe and I never even dreamed of: mobilizing people, giving them a framework within which to operate, and focusing their energy where it does the most good.”
High resolution photos of Doar, Gross, Olson, and Rothman can be downloaded at http://gocra.org/pub/press/
Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (GOCRA) is a 501(c)4 advocacy organization focused on supporting and defending the civil rights of Minnesota’s more than two million law-abiding gun owners. GOCRA lobbied successfully for the passage of the Minnesota Citizen’s Personal Protection Act, one of the most effective carry laws in the country. GOCRA was also instrumental in passing the Minnesota Range Protection Act, ensuring that current and future generations will be able to enjoy the shooting sports. GOCRA continues to monitor the Minnesota legislature and educate legislators on issues important to voting gun owners.
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A lot of people have asked us, lately, what we think of news reports that the federal government is buying enormous quantities of ammunition for various federal agencies, including Homeland Security. Some bloggers have suggested that this is evidence of a secret government plan to fight against its citizens.
While we believe that a healthy distrust of government is both quintessentially American and patriotic, the answer is much simpler, though still worthy of concern.
While almost half a billion rounds of .40-caliber, hollow-point ammunition seems like a lot, we need to look at a couple of things.
First, that 450 million rounds is a maximum — the most that the feds might buy — over the next five years. They may not buy that many, but the contract allows them to purchase up to that many.
Second, that ammunition is for 65,000 or more federal police officers (including immigration, border patrol, and others). Divide that out, and the worst case is still less than 1,500 rounds per officer per year, for training, qualifications, and for duty. That’s not an unreasonable number — most shooting enthusiast shoot much more.
So, no, there’s probably no covert conspiracy afoot.
On the other hand, 65,000 is a whole lot of federal cops.
Thanks to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the NRA, and the office of Georgia Congressman Lynn Westmoreland for getting the real story.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Civil Rights Group Calls on Schools to Better Protect Children, Offers Free Training
St. Paul, Minn. – In the wake of yet another massacre in a “gun-free” zone, Minnesota’s Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance is offering free defensive handgun training for any school staff member who receives legal written permission to carry at a public or private K-12 school.
“It is time to dismiss the fiction of ‘gun-free schools,’ said GOCRA President Joseph E. Olson. “These schools aren’t gun-free; they’re free-fire zones for criminals.” Mass shootings in this country overwhelmingly occur in so-called “gun-free zones” — schools, post offices, and commercial locations that ban the legal carry of defensive firearms. Minnesota law already allows any licensed permit holder to carry at a school with written permission from a principal, superintendent or other official.
Olson called on superintendents and principals to immediately authorize qualified staff and faculty to carry at schools. To further protect children, GOCRA vice president Andrew Rothman will be organizing free carry permit training for any school staff member with such permission. ”Over 112,000 Minnesotans have carry permits,” Rothman noted, “That’s more than one in every 35 adults. They are overwhelmingly law-abiding, they carry to protect human life, and they can be part of the solution.”
Currently, most public schools in Minnesota follow a “lockdown” procedure in case of a violent attack. In a lockdown, students take shelter in their classroom, lock and barricade the doors, turn off the lights, and remain quiet until the “all clear” is given.
Olson pointed out that the State of Israel faced a similar school violence threat after PLO terrorists targeted schoolchildren in the Ma’alot massacre 1974, killing 25 . The Israeli government started encouraging reservists keep their guns at home and carry them on the streets. Teachers armed themselves, and volunteer parents and grandparents in plain clothing patrolled the schools and accompanied every field trip. Israel went more than a quarter century with no further school attacks.
Waiting for the police simply takes too long, Olson said. “The Israelis have proven the importance of instantly available armed resistance,” Olson said. ”In every mass shooting incident, from the Texas Tower in 1966, to Luby’s Cafeteria in 1991, to Red Lake, to the present incident, as soon as the first counterfire occurs, whether by a ‘civilian’ or the police, the first return shot ends the murders.”
Educators and other school staff interested in attending the free training are asked to contact GOCRA at firstname.lastname@example.org
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