Before winning Top Shot Season 4 on the History Channel, I was a recreational shooter who shot simply for the fun and joy of it all. Gun politics and policy weren’t things I remotely paid attention to. However, after my Top Shot win I quit my job at Google back in 2012 to pursue a full time career in the firearms industry. Second Amendment grassroots advocacy is now a core focus of my work. I want to tell you why it’s a core focus of mine, and why it should be for you.
I support our California Rifle & Pistol Association because they are on the front lines advocating for our rights. The CRPA is one of our primary gun rights groups here in California which focuses exclusively on our state’s gun issues. Lord knows we are constantly under attack by anti-gun politicians who want to restrict our Second Amendment rights. It’s the CRPA who’s pushing back, and our support is what keeps the pro-gun movement strong. Will our shooting heritage be as strong in the next generation? Our CRPA leaders are fighting for our rights in the legal courts as well as the court of public opinion. This is why I support the CRPA.
One thing I’ve seen in the past three years is that the gun community has become more unified. I initially saw “the over/under and bolt action guys” flip their noses at the rapid rise of the AR-15, America’s most popular modern sporting rifle. But many of these old schoolers now have their own AR-15s and even hunt with them. The CRPA represents sport shooters of all stripes whether you own a Perazzi, an AR-15, or a Glock. This unifying approach has brought California gun owners together. This is why I support the CRPA.
When I trained for Top Shot, I knew that you have to put the hard work in to get the result you want. You have to fight. You have to want it. On top of working 50 hours a week at Google, for five months I also spent 25 hours a week studying guns and marksmanship. I sacrificed my social life and sidelined all other hobbies during this time. I told my friends that I would see them in seven months after completing Top Shot, and that I was sorry in advance for not seeing them for so long. I wanted to win Top Shot so bad that I was willing to make these sacrifices. If we want to win the cultural pro-gun battle, we need to make sacrifices. This can be in the form of sacrificing your time, money, in-kind donations, volunteering, or coming to one of the many statewide CRPA events. The CRPA puts our money and time to good use where we see a great return. This is why I support the CRPA.
So how can you support the CRPA? Here are a number of ideas:
1) Attend the next CRPA event. Calendar is at http://www.crpa.org/calendar-upcoming-events/
2) Upgrade your CRPA membership to Lifetime Member.
3) Gift a CRPA membership for a friend or a loved one. It makes a great birthday present!
4) Volunteer at the next CRPA event – Email [email protected]
5) Donate to the CRPA to help protect our Second Amendment rights: https://goo.gl/pWqB6q
As a new member of the CRPA Board of Advisors, I look forward to our future progress. With the upcoming 2016 Presidential election, we need your support more than ever to get a pro-gun President in the White House. More immediately, here in California we continue to see anti-gun legislation come through the woodworks, and we need the CRPA there to push back. Working in conjunction with the CRPA and the Board of Advisors, I’m confident that we have a fantastic team in place to do great things.
As I reflect back on my first three years in the firearms industry, I’m continually thankful for the opportunities our country has provided me. There is no other country in the world where my story could have happened: A self-taught amateur who beat the seasoned pros in an international televised shooting competition, and who won $100,000 and a pro shooting contract. It was a life altering experience, and I thank you and our CRPA for creating the pro-gun environment for my success.
Since Top Shot, I am sponsored by Bass Pro Shops, Leupold, Salient Arms, and Houlding Precision Firearms who have enabled me to keep the fun going. The shooting sports survive only because of sponsors like mine who cover my costs for guns, gear, and travel. I always wanted to be an author, but I never thought it would materialize in “Shoot to Win,” a training guide for the new shooter. It’s my way of giving back to our community. I want “Shoot to Win” to ultimately become the training book for new shooters. I’ve had the pleasure of working with the National Shooting Sports Foundation to make a bunch of free instructional videos to complement my books. These videos are available at www.NSSF.org/Videos.
In conclusion, when I travel around the country to talk about my love for the shooting sports and the people in our community, I often hear folks tell me “Chris, when are you gonna move to a free state?” If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I don’t shy away from a fight. If those of us who support our rights flee the state, then who will be left to fight for our rights? We don’t cut and run, we stand and fight. Support our CRPA.