My name is Mark Vanderberg (NRA Life Member).
A gun enthusiast. I had never voted in a presidential election before 1992. When I voted for Ross Perot. Yes, I admit it.
I held federal firearms license (FFL) until 1994. When I was forced to give up after Clinton made it more difficult to hold the license in a residential community.
In the early and late 90s. It had been quite popular in the media and in local government to bash gun owners. Here in South Bend Indiana, they started having so-called gun buybacks to get guns off the street and protect the community. I felt I could not sit back and watch the media exploit this gun buyback. So I decided to have a one-man protest in front of the medical center, where the gun buyback was to occur. After receiving some media attention from my protest the next gun buyback that was held approximately 6 months later, encouraged others to protest with me. I was encouraged by other gun owners in the community to start a group. In 1998 I founded, Michiana Second Amendment Advocates (MSAA). MSAA is a local gun rights group in the Michiana area (southwest Michigan & north-central Indiana = Michiana).
National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative (NRA-ILA) Action started the Election Volunteer Coordinator (EVC) program which I signed up to be, the coordinator at that time, the 3 rd District of Indiana, to help remove the extremely anti-gun Congressman Tim Roemer. We were not successful in our first attempt in removing the congressman. But two short years later, myself and other pro-Second Amendment volunteers helped elect our current Pro-Second Amendment Congressman Chris Chocola to office.
There are many many more things I could put here. I would like to save some for the podcast.