The Future of NRA Instruction Will Be Largely Web-Based

The NRA gets a lot of heat from all directions for being a powerful political organization, but what many may not realize is that the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) is the focused political arm of the organization, while the core NRA is largely focused on training and education.

They sponsor numerous programs like the Eddie Eagle child safety initiative that spreads the message of gun safety, and it seems like it's having an impact.

So says this NRA blog, which also notes that with the number of privately owned guns in the U.S. at an all-time high of more than 300 million, the rate of accidental deaths from firearms has fallen to an all-time low, 0.2 per 100,000 of the population. That's down 94 percent since the all-time high in 1904. Since 1930, the annual number of accidental firearm deaths has decreased 81 percent, while the U.S. population has more than doubled and the number of firearms quintupled, the blog says. Among children, accidental deaths have decreased 89 percent since 1975. The blog says that today, the odds are more than a million to one against a child dying in a firearm accident.

The NRA has trained over 125,000 Certified Firearms Instructors that teach over a million students a year about gun safety and self-defense, and the organization is looking toward the future. Online learning formats can offer additional learning benefits, with courses that can be developed with instantaneous knowledge checkpoints in the form of periodic "quizzes" in a way that rewards learning and allows designers to monitor the effectiveness of the course delivery.

In 2016, the NRA will kick off what it's calling a blended learning initiative with its flagship NRA Basic Pistol Course. Currently, with live-class instruction, it reaches over 300,000 students each year. NEarly all the course's classroom-based instruction can be effectively delivered via online courses with multimedia and graphics to show people how guns work. Students would get on-demand online learning modules and will still include printed materials and the NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting book.

As the wrinkles are ironed out, [more online classes are expected to follow.