GOAL’s Annual Breakfast and Meeting of the Membership has a tradition of being a snow magnet, and looking at the forecast this year we were wondering if this year would follow tradition. Luckily the snow gods decided they liked other parts of the country and left us alone until well after the meeting had adjourned.
GOAL would like to thank all of our members who took the time to attend. The meeting, required by our bylaws is important in that we share with our membership our yearly report which covers financials and other important information.
The day began with a delicious buffet style breakfast, amazingly the staff at the Carriage House almost managed to keep the serving tray of bacon full. Keep this in mind for next year folks, for the price of admission you get all you can eat bacon!
Once the eating and greeting was done, it was time for business. GOAL Executive Director Jim Wallace started off the day with a quick intro and greeting to all, with special mention of Al Prescott of WestfordPro2A. They had just won round 1 of a fight with an anti-civil rights selectman who wishes to initiate a state wide semi automatic and magazine fed gun ban. Al took the podium and spoke about the victory and the fight to come, with a thanks to GOAL for the support and a reminder to support our organization and the need to always remain vigilant.
Jim followed Al with a quick note that Westford2A will receive GOALs Presidents award for their hard work. This was warmly received by all in attendance; once again GOAL congratulates everyone in Westford who worked so diligently towards the first round K.O.
GOAL’s Corporate Attorney Ed George spoke next about the legal a climate in MA. He talked about an ongoing suitable person case which was recently heard by the MA SJC in which a 31 year old man was denied an LTC because of a juvenile firearms possession charge at 14. The case centered on the definition of reasonable restriction and trying to re-define that. Ed argued the case on February fourth, the judges wanted to know why the plaintiff needed a handgun. Ed argued that the 2A extends outside the home, and doesn't apply only to long guns in the home. Ed went on to discuss other cases and how there are many firearms related cases winding up at the Supreme Court because the laws are so difficult to understand. Attorney George concluded by stating that he is convinced that change in MA will come through legislation because of the track history of MA judges being anti 2A.
Jim Wallace followed, introducing the staff and discussing how busy we have been over the last 8 weeks in keeping up with member services, media requests, education opportunities, public outreach and everything else the staff does on a daily basis.
GOAL President of the Board Jay Beard followed. Jay spoke about GOAL’s focus going forward and what we would like to accomplish. He also discussed the current board and how happy he is to have such great people working with him. The members of the board who were in attendance joined Jay at the podium and introduced themselves, each taking a turn speaking.
As a group the members all have a passion for our freedom and the mission to restore it in Massachusetts, it’s great to have such focused, dedicated individuals on board!
After they finished, Jay continued, discussing GOAL’s new direction, the new GOAL News – Print Edition newspaper and how that has saved goal a great deal of money while giving us more editorial control. He went on to discuss the end of year balance sheet and how much better GOAL’s revenue stream is due in part to the influx of funds from training which now go to GOAL. He also went on to discuss GOAL’s new facility and plans going forward there.
Some other GOAL expectations for 2013: More training, GOAL trains the trainers, more positive media exposure, better communication via electronic media with encouragement to send stories and info, and of course vigilant attention to the mission of freedom restoration. He went on to discuss how GOAL is the only organization in MA with a full time lobbyist and how great a job Jim Wallace does, working with our legislators approximately 150 days a year. He went on to encourage those in attendance to encourage others to join us in the fight with a challenge of hitting 25k members before year end!
Jim Wallace followed Jay, with a tongue in cheek “water toast” to Marco Rubio. He then went on to discuss the fight at hand, calling it not a slippery slope but an inverted cliff, noting how fast those that oppose freedom were to file bills in the wake of Sandy Hook. Making a point of notice that of all the proposals not a single one will address the problems at hand, but instead are aimed at disarming the law abiding and taking down the NRA.
He went on to discuss another issue which we will need to be wary of; the many gun control forums at universities. Initiated by President Obama, these forums work at promoting gun control via spinning it as a health issue. With a focus on using the new mandatory insurance angle as an end around to do what the legislature hasn't been able to, namely disarming Americans via costly insurance schemes and an entire new set of hoops which will be designed for failure. Jim continued discussing how busy the GOAL staff has been since sandy hook, how we've handled the multitude of media requests from all over the world and how proud he was of the way we reacted. Jim discussed GOAL’s marketing strategy going forward, going after the "fence sitters" with a slightly softer message, and educating the public via new marketing strategies including "street teams" and a continued social media presence. Jim concluded by thanking everyone and with a quick question and answer session.
A short question and answer session followed, then unfortunately we were short on time and had to adjourn.
The GOAL staff and Board would like to thank our membership for all of the generous support, with a very big thank you to those that took the time to attend, it was great seeing everyone!
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GOAL is the Official State Association of the National Rifle Association