Today as we ring in a new decade, we know it will bring new cultural, political and demographic challenges to the future of hunters, hunting and wildlife conservation. Fortunately, we also know the more things change, the more some things remain the same as the ever-constant NRA remains on the front lines defending hunting and our all-American way of life.
As the 2020 elections approach, it is a blessing to know we can count on the NRA to stand with us as it always has. From past experience, we know we can rely on the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) to expand and protect our hunting rights as it maintains representatives in our nation’s capital and every state across America. We know that NRA-ILA, led by Executive Director Jason Ouimet, will defend us against anti-hunting ballot initiatives designed to erode hunting and destroy our hunting heritage. We know it will lead the charge to add Right to Hunt and Fish constitutional amendments in states that do not yet have them, providing permanent protections for hunters and science-based wildlife management from animal rights extremist groups trying to ban all hunting. We know it will fight anti-hunting laws and regulations by challenging them in court. And it is a given that NRA-ILA will grade elected officials and their challengers on their support for hunting and the Second Amendment so come Election Day on Nov. 3, we will know which candidates support hunting as we head to the polls.
President Donald J. Trump delivered his remarks at the NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits last year in Indianapolis. You can expect that NRA-ILA will continue to grade politicians on how strongly they support hunting and our Second Amendment. (Official White House image by Tia Dufour.)
On the safety and education front, it is also a given that NRA General Operations will continue to offer the hunter education and training programs that ensure hunters are skilled, responsible and ethical afield. For just two examples—thanks to NRA Hunter Services—70 years after spearheading hunter education in 1949, the NRA is the only organization to offer state-of-the-art, free, online hunter education and conducts the NRA Youth Hunter Education Challenge—the most comprehensive youth hunting program in all of North America.
And when it comes to NRA Publications, we NRA members and hunters will continue to count on receiving NRA’s American Hunter, the largest all-hunting publication worldwide, while offering this NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum website. Dedicated to monitoring and reporting on the news and issues impacting hunting’s future, NRAHLF.org is perhaps our most critical tool in remaining abreast of the issues and the actions of those who seek to destroy us.
In short, the NRA will continue to do what it has always done: fight for the future of legal, regulated hunting; promote our all-American hunting traditions; provide the tools to make hunters safe in the field; and celebrate and stand with hunters in 2020 and beyond.
About the Author: Karen Mehall Phillips is the director of communications for the NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum and senior editor of NRA’s American Hunter. An avid rifle and bow hunter, she has hunted for 30 years and in 29 states, Canada, Italy, Finland, Germany, Spain, New Zealand, Greenland and Africa, including for two of the Big Five.
Karen draws on her experience to educate non-hunters on the critical role that hunters play in wildlife conservation worldwide and to inform them of the dangers anti-hunting extremists present to the future of wildlife conservation. She is invested in fighting America's culture war on hunters and hunting and works to shed light on anti-hunters’ blatant attempts to tout emotion and misinformation over scientific facts.
An NRA Endowment member, Karen worked in the NRA public relations arena prior to joining NRA Publications in 1998. She is the founding editor of two NRA official journals: America's 1st Freedom and Woman's Outlook. National writing awards include being named the 2015 Carl Zeiss Sports Optics Writer of the Year. She actively promotes women and families in the outdoors. She is also a member of the Washington metropolitan area's Fairfax Rod & Gun Club, a founding member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association, a member of Safari Club International and a Life member of the Dallas Safari Club and the Mule Deer Foundation.