April 11, 2021
By Robert Dunn
There are several reasons why I love moderating the GCA website. First and foremost are the GCA members themselves. Though we all seem to have different backgrounds and we are different ages from one another, all of the members of the Gunsmithing Club of America have in common our passion for gunsmithing and our love of firearms. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to go to a specific place on the Web that is all about gunsmithing. A place where like-minded folks can share ideas, trouble shoot and solve problems for one another.
When I started moderating the Gunsmithing Club of America’s website, I wasn’t even exactly sure what a moderator was supposed to do. Of course I had been to many other websites and had taken notice of the moderators, as they seemed to be fairly knowledgeable and they were good at diplomatically putting out the many little fires that can occur when people openly trade thoughts, suggestions and ideas. Over time I have tried to get better at helping our members with their questions and concerns. I try my best to answer as many questions on the Forums as I can, but the most important thing to me is to offer any good advice that I have and never do I intend on giving bad advice! The most satisfying thing about moderating the GCA Website for me is when I can actually help someone to repair or understand the design and function of their firearm. The most frustrating thing for me is not knowing the answer to everyone’s question, but I learn something new every day on the GCA Forums and I will continue to be better able to answer member questions as time moves forward. As a matter of fact, that is another one of the things that I like so much about moderating is that I really do learn something new every day!
There are many new GCA Members/AGI students that join the club each month and it’s really nice to see the warm welcome that they receive from other GCA Members! We all try to give tips on how to get the most out of the GCA Website and its many resources. New students really get an awakening to the vast amount of information that can be learned on the GCA site that will help them to understand the concepts that are taught in AGI’s Professional Course. Listening to the feedback from Alumni, the information available on the GCA website really helped them with the questions from the Pro Course. Gunsmithing is serious business and I believe we all respect that fact, but we also have some fun! The General Discussion Area Forum is where you can write about things that might be a little off topic. I have had many good laughs with fellow members there. It’s always nice to have a place that you don’t have to be so serious.
I have met quite a few interesting folks and have made some real friends by being a part of the Gunsmithing Club of America and moderating the website. Having attended several AGI/GCA shooting events over the years and meeting GCA members, AGI students and alumni in person at the various trade shows, I can confirm that I have surrounded myself with good people that have many of the same interests and values as I do. I find that to be comforting as I am witness the rapidly changing social climate within our country and society.
Another thing that I find rewarding as a Moderator on the GCA Website is being a carrier pigeon of sorts for some of the technical issues that we encounter on the website as the Club expands operations. In a perfect world, we would not experience technical difficulties on our website and in a perfect world, we would not have pot holes and repairs on our infrastructure either. I have learned a lot and have been happy to be part of the team that gets the kinks out of the website itself. I am appreciative of our members that have been both supportive and patient as we tackle the obstacles as we press forward and the input from our members has helped us to continue our forward momentum.
I believe that with the addition of Pam Simpson as the Gunsmithing Club of America’s Executive Director that we are going to see some great new additions to the GCA experience. I am already beginning to see positive exponential changes within the club.
I am proud of the contributions and accomplishments that I have provided for the GCA community. I have written articles for GunTech and Hot Brass for many years as well as filming numerous GunTech video segments and Disassembly/Reassembly videos. Filming the In the Classroom and Over the Gunsmith’s Shoulder videos with Ken Brooks are two things that I am pleased to have been a part of, as these videos are really excellent teaching tools that help to pass on gunsmithing knowledge and techniques. These skills once helped to build a strong country and gain its independence. Those same skill sets will be increasingly important to preserve our second amendment and other constitutional rights in the future.