Member Responses/Comments. American Society of Arms Collectors Member Questionnaire

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1 Member Responses/Comments American Society of Arms Collectors Member Questionnaire November

2 Index A. Overview Page A.1. What makes Society membership attractive? 4 A.2. What would make it more attractive? 9 A.3. What is the ASAC future in 5-10 years? 15 B. Meetings 23 B.1.a. What things controlled by ASAC discourage attendance? 24 B.1.b.10. Other (specify) 28 B.2. c. Comments about meeting frequency 29 B.3. Meeting locations 32 B.3.k. How to improve city selection 33 B.3.l. Any specific city and would you be willing to host? 35 B.3.m. City you did not like and why 37 B.4. Suggestions to improve hotel selection 38 B.5.b. Suggestions to improve meeting format 40 B.6. Speaker presentations at meetings 43 B.6.f. Suggestions to improve speaker program 43 B.7. Business meeting agenda and execution 45 B.7.d. Suggestions to improve business meeting 46 B.8. Business meeting day and time 49 B.9. Off-site bus trips 50 B.9.g. Suggestions to improve bus trips 50 B.10. Meeting food and beverage service 52 B.10.h. Suggestions to improve food/beverage service 53 B.11. Gun room matters 55 B.11.f. Suggestions to improve judging 57 B.11.h. What discourages you from displaying? 59 B.11.i. Suggestions to improve displays 62 B.12.e. Suggestions to improve meeting registrations 64 B.13. Hosting meetings 66 B.13.c. Suggestions to improve meeting hosting 66 C, Communications 69 C.1. Bulletin 69 C.1.i. Suggestions to improve the Bulletin 70 C.1.l. Suggestions to encourage members to do talks/articles 72 C.2. Board member and officer performance 75 2

3 Index 2 C.3.g. Suggestions to improve communications 75 C.4.h. Suggestions to improve ASAC website 76 D.d. Suggestions to improve membership cost/benefits 82 E. & F. Collecting interests and aging membership 84 E.e. Improve ASAC support for varied collecting interests 84 F. Aging membership and recruiting of new members 86 F.1. Suggestions for recruiting new ASAC members 88 F.1.c. Name collector groups with potential ASAC members 89 F.1.f. Responses from prospective members 91 F.1.h. Suggestions to improve recruiting/nomination forms 95 F.2. Options for recruiting younger ASAC members 97 F.2.f. Suggestions to recruit new, younger members 100 G. Scholarship program 104 G.d. Suggestions to improve Scholarship Program 104 H. Public awareness of ASAC 106 H.f. Suggestions to improve public awareness 107 I. Potential revenue generating ideas 112 I.e. Suggestions to generate revenue for ASAC 112 J. Overall improvement of ASAC 115 General comments 122 3

4 ASAC Member Questionnaire Responses Overview: - Overview should have been at the end as when I finished the Questionnaire I changed my mind, therefore; I am glad that I did not fill out A section before I did the other sections as I changed what I was going to comment in A s questions A.1. In your opinion, what makes Society membership attractive to current or potential members? - The opportunity to learn more about areas of collecting that are outside my own interests and the opportunity to share info. - The chance to associate with and learn from the leaders in the field of arms collecting and explore the country in VIP style. - Eminence in the arms collecting field. Scholarship levels access to other arms scholars and exchange of information. - The collegial and social aspects as well as interesting presentations and meetings. - The honesty of members. - Opportunity to interact with top collectors and experts!!! - It has the elite of the North American arms collecting fraternity. - The knowledge that can be gotten from other members High class members with high class collections; 2. The work that Charlie Wheeler and his wife do; 3. Efforts to make the meetings very pleasant (i.e.- food, travel, displays, etc.). - Bringing people together to meet; get to know each other and encourage their common interest in history and collecting. - Friendship and common passions. - The vetting of new members tends to insure honest and knowledgeable persons will compromise the society. - Knowledge and fellowship. - See weapons they never see anywhere else and meet advanced collectors. - The knowledge, collections and experience and the willingness to share these. - Meeting with other gun collectors. - Meeting and sharing information with fellow collectors. - The members Great opportunity for social networking and information sharing; consultation/discussion opportunities; 2. Great continuing education; 3. Travel to places and experiencing attractions one would otherwise miss. - Being in the company of like-minded collectors with diverse knowledge and interests. - It s an organization of not only serious collectors but students as well. It adds a social element to collecting. - Meet members, prestige, enjoy trips, buy/sell, consult experts in various fields of collecting. - Educational benefit. Social interaction with individuals of common interest. - The sharing of information, the talks, and displays. - The opportunity to meet and converse with top people in all the areas of arms collecting. 4

5 - Fraternity of like-minded people with impressive knowledge and experience in the hobby and who are generally friendly. - The opportunity to belong to the top gun collectors fraternity. - Comaraderie; forum for sharing antique arms knowledge informal discussions, displays and scheduled speakers; visits to museums, forts, etc. with behind the scenes access. - The opportunity to meet with other serious collectors in your field and improve your knowledge. - Prestige, comraderie, shared interests, ethics, shared knowledge, educational talks and displays. Visit neat places with wives. - Scholarly collectors and bringing the best. - The expert s knowledge and great collections that are shown at the meetings. - The opportunity to meet and interact with top notch collectors and experts in their fields. - Interest in firearms. - I enjoy and benefit from associating with world class collectors, researchers and authors. The ASAC is the academic wing of arms collecting, and I continue to learn from it. - Quality of membership. - An opportunity to meet great people and learn about other areas of collecting antique arms. - Great gun collections owned by members and some of the trips we get to take. - Arms information and education, socializing with other members, visiting locations and sites would otherwise never get to. - Chance to discuss interests and learn from others with the same collections. - The members The antique arms that would never be seen in a private collection or gun show in a LIFETIME. - Knowledge and willingness to share info with fellow members. - The cumulative knowledge of its members. - The knowledge of our members and quality of their collections. - The opportunity to get to know fellow collectors better. - The unique quality of fine firearms and the camaraderie that is integral to our meetings. - Unique learning opportunities from the nation s foremost collectors, sharing information and research. Also, purchasing items from one another. - Great knowledge wonderful members. - This will probably be a universal response, but membership is attractive to current or potential members due to the comradarie of being with similar like-minded collectors and scholars. - Part of a select group of individuals who share a common interest. Share knowledge and materials with social activities. - Comfortable, focused association of collectors with varied interests and backgrounds. - (A) The exposure to the knowledge of dedicated collectors of arms. (B) Similarly, the exposure of the collections of advanced collectors. - The membership. 5

6 - Agreement with and support of the principles articulated in our society purpose statement and objectives in the constitution. The friendship and fellowship to be found within the organization. - Common interest in arms and social aspects. - The other members of the society and the vast amount of knowledge that they each have in their areas of interest. - Interaction with fellow collectors, especially those with similar interests. - Associating with knowledgeable collectors. - Information available from the members. New friends having similar interests. Professional collectors. - The opportunity to get to know leading collectors and authors. - Sharing of knowledge and collections. - The interaction between members and the exchange of ideas and information Keeping it an exclusive, invitation-only organization. 2. Keeping membership to Prestige chance to meet other collectors, share your collection and collecting interests share knowledge see other collections attend social activities learn. - The exchange of information, displays, and friendship. Every meeting is a learning experience. - It has members who have deep knowledge in their areas of interest and provides opportunities for others to learn and appreciate their accomplishments. - The society is a group of serious collectors and researchers. - Interaction with like minded collectors educational presentations at meetings and great displays. - Fellowship, common interest with wife (mutual friends, etc), travel, collecting interests. - Two reasons: 1. The academic tone for researchers and collectors. 2. Unfortunately, future political pressures may favor gun owners aligned with reputable, academic arms collecting societies. - Friendships, contacts in the arms collecting field, educational opportunity to learn more. - Fellowship, opportunity for purchases and sales, and scholarship. - Opportunities to meet like-minded collectors, learn, and visit new places. - Depth of knowledge of members and somewhat of an exclusive association due in part to an exclusive-by-invitation only membership. - Knowledge and prestige of the organization. The variety of collectors and knowledge is amazing. - Not much change for change sake so you can say you have dome something is counterproductive for ASAC. - A great opportunity to discuss and relate with fellow collectors, gain knowledge and insight about collecting. - The members and talks Reputation. 2. Knowledgeable members. 3. Important collections. 4. New discoveries/findings. - The breadth of its members interests and therefore, the potential to explore new avenues of collecting. 6

7 - Our members include the top tier of arms and related topics, and membership means one has been vetted and you can interact with others in confidence. Meetings include fantastic exhibits. - Opportunity to see great arms and meet with the top collectors. - A. Opportunities for research; B. Opportunities to buy and sell. - To gain knowledge of the arms I collect and improve my collection. To meet and socialize with other collectors. To improve my knowledge of general firearms history. To visit the historic places and collections available at meeting sites. - Socializing with serious arms collectors and seeing some great collections. - Exposure and association with serious arms collectors and thus the exchange of info. - A group of like minded individuals with similar collecting and intellectual interests. - Overall, there is a vast knowledge of antique and modern arms in our group. Primarily, it is also an educational organization! - Society membership is attractive because it promotes fellowship and the sharing of knowledge among people with common interests. - Knowledge, meeting other collectors. - The opportunity to exchange information and fellowship with other experts in the firearms collecting field, and to broaden own interests. - Social interaction, fellowship, sharing mutual interests - Fellowship/good communication with interest in antique firearms/cooperation with getting new items for one s collection. - There is very little, if anything, that makes this Society attractive to potential members, especially younger members. - Different collecting interests. Meet people from different parts of the US - Meeting knowledgeable collectors in other fields. - Access to very knowledgeable collectors and incredible collections. - Willingness of expert advanced collectors to share their knowledge and collections with everyone. - Interest in antique firearms. - Gathering of friends. Displays of nice weapons to look at. - Fellowship, knowledge gained and chance to see great collections - The ASAC is the best of the best! Also, the fact that we should be, and are, the premiere collecting organization in the world. - Fellowship, a feeling that one would have attained recognition as an advanced collector. - Camaraderie, new friendships, similar interests. - I like to be around and associate with collectors and to observe their collections. Of course, to buy and sell. - Association with wonderful like interested people. - Expertise of members, meetings, travel. - Fellowship with dedicated, educated, honest collectors of all areas. I learn every meeting and it may not be in my area of interest. - Members and the knowledge of the member. - The ability to associate with others in your field of interest. - We are a Brotherhood! - The opportunity to share knowledge. 7

8 - Allows fellowship, sharing knowledge and visiting places of historical interest which we may never normally see. - Fellowship. Recognition. Interest in minutiae of pre-1870 arms. - It is unique in that the members are serious students of arms and armor in addition to being collectors. I know of no other collecting groups that can come up to this standard. - Opportunity to share info and expertise - Interaction with other advanced collectors, authors, etc. - We have a good, solid group of dedicated people who do care about and are active in the hobby. Most are excellent teachers and are open to sharing. - Contact with and friendship with the collectors who are active and contributing to our shared interest. - Networking with other collectors. As a military museum curator the benefits and donations to my museum have been invaluable (22 boxes of manuals, etc). - Opportunities to network with and learn from other collectors and to build personal relationships. - The opportunity to interact with other collectors on a social level. - Meeting advanced collectors. - Quality of exhibits and lectures/addresses. - Very prestigious club that allows one to meet fellow gun collectors and format for learning about antique guns. - Fellowship with other members and displays - Member friends, location - What makes ASAC membership attractive to me is camaraderie and education. I can pal around with some of the most knowledgeable arms collectors in the world; hence I can learn something and have fun in the process. I can t tell you how much I have benefitted from just seeing the displays and talking with fellow members. Also, it feels good to be part of a group that is invitation only, so I value my membership highly as a matter of personal and professional prestige. I am proud to be a part of ASAC; I have it on my professional resume and I have an ASAC endorsement on the back of my book. If asked to serve on a committee or help ASAC in any other way, I would do it. - The opportunity to meet and spend significant time with so many advanced collectors whose expertise far exceeds what you could ever find at a gun show, military show, etc. Plus you are at a 3-4 day setting so you can also socialize with folks who share the same collecting interests in a much quieter and relaxing setting. The ability to have a lunch, dinner with a group of collectors from other parts of the county that you normally do not get to see on a regular basis is priceless. Additionally, you have the ability to examine the very finest displays of exceptional quality weapons and accoutrements that far exceed what you would see at most gun/military shows, museums, historical societies, etc. The Society affords an almost equaled opportunity to gather, learn, and share from the very finest experts who collect arms and accoutrements in a very nice setting. The only real comparison might be for collectors who specialize in certain weapons of large manufacture where specialized collector associations exist, such as the Colt Collectors Association, Remington Collectors Association, Smith & Wesson Association, Thompson Machine Gun Association, etc. 8

9 - This is a difficult question as the club appeals to two types of members, expert and social. So, it depends on which type of potential member we are talking about. If you are talking about a more social member, costs and time are a minor issue. If you are talking about an expert member, then costs and time are important. - A great group of very knowledgeable people that have great collections they are will to share by putting up displays. - The ASAC membership is attractive to me because it provides a forum for the gathering of people interested in arms research and collecting. It exposes me to other collectors and interests beyond my own. It provides a venue to buy, sell or trade collectables. It provides a social experience. I think many of us initially assumed that at the ASAC meeting we would see and have a chance to buy or trade items to improve our collection far above the gun show offering. Also in the Presidents letter, Craig spoke of auctions being preferred to gun shows. For my own interest, I tallied all the arms collection transactions since I became a member in It shows the following: Purchased from ASAC members 23%; Purchased at ASAC meetings 5%; Sold to members at ASAC meetings 14% Purchased at Auction 16%; Purchased at Gun Shows 28%; Private individual purchase 16% This brief summery indicates that 41% of my collecting transactions since becoming a member are in some way associated directly with the ASAC. Almost 25% of the additions to my collection have been from ASAC members. Looking at the provenance of some arms they have been traded within the ASAC for decades. This certainly indicates to me that membership and associations with the ASAC increase my ability to find and add quality arms to my collection thus fulfilling one of the principals of the founders. - I joined the ASAC primarily due to the overall outstanding quality of its members (something we must continue) and the many ensuing friendships, and the opportunity to see and learn about arms and areas of arms collecting that I would not normally be exposed to. I have not been disappointed. A.2. In your opinion, what would make Society membership more attractive to current or potential members? - Constant emphasis on the best of the best! - Keep the quality of the talks, displays and items to be sold at a high level. Strive to always be selective and 1 st class. - The Baby-Boomers are our future! - Lower cost(s) - Avoid politics. While it is understandable that members are concerned about government policies about guns, member meetings sometimes sound like an NRA convention. - Some method of application for individuals unknown to ASAC members. 9

10 - Add some knowledgeable museum people such as S. Pryer, Pierre Terjenian and some more European members. - We are what we are sell what we have! - More displays large or small. - Collecting antique arms is expensive. This limits the potential membership pool. I think we are doing as good a job as possible to encourage membership. - Less stringent membership rules. Low member fees. Tier system? - Take steps to correct the image of the society as now comprised of old stuffy members, not friendly to new comers. - Shorter meetings. - Keep having meetings as they are now. - Current members I think it is about right. Potential new members more diversity with regards to more modern collectible firearms. - Hard to think of anything major that ASAC s missing. - The Society is attractive to many collectors, but has been exclusive in the past It is too expensive for some potential candidates; 2. Attract younger members; 3. Increase number of talks. - Simplify application process. - Shorter meetings. - A more friendly, less cheeky group with a full board interest in firearms. - A focus on the areas of arms collecting and the exchange of information on elements of collecting. - Creating friendships with potential new members. - I see no reason to do so! - Just carefully choosing meeting locations that have historical/antique arms related venues to visit. - Younger new members reflecting current collecting trends. - Covering all aspects of collecting; ctgs., accoutrements, uniforms; - Flexibility in attending for those still working! - Less demanding attendance requirements. A burden to some. - I would shorten the meetings by one day, as will be discussed later in this questionnaire. Also, greater opportunity for acquiring items in the gun room. Presently the commercial tables are sparce. - Reducing the financial expense of attending. - I have no changes to recommend for attracting new members. - Shorter 3 day meetings. - More substantive discussions on artifacts, having meetings close to new display exhibits. - See F.1-f & F.2-f & H. - A more active friendship with younger collectors make membership attend only 2 in every 5 meetings. - A more enjoyable banquet and activities. - Educate collectors that we re not a bunch of snobs. - Freedom from rules and regulations. - I would not like to see the meetings shortened or diluted. The talks, the 4 full days make a great meeting. 10

11 - It is ok to re-visit venues/locations, especially those where your spouse can enjoy some time away. Also, perhaps a Baltimore meeting each year? - Better locations do joint show every now and then like the upcoming Denver show. - Perhaps occasional shorter meetings of members in a regional locale of the country in addition to regular meetings. - (Most frequent issue is costs but not easy to solve.) Access to private museum quality collections/ and ability to expand contacts and knowledge. Networking and fun. - As a member for less than a year, I simply have no opinion on this. It is certainly attractive to me. - We must break down the exclusive barrier. While most of our members are readily able to meet and discuss, overall I sometimes think the majority of collectors view us as stuffy. - The membership and what is learned. - No suggestions. - Possibly 1 meeting per year with mandatory attendance of 1 out of 3. - Maintain/improve quality of membership, publication information, and meeting presentations. - A wide variety of collectors. - Better publication of what ASAC is and why membership matters. - We need to continue to add members and increase attendance at meetings. - Seek out advanced collectors in their 40 s and 50 s. - Very expensive reduce costs by cutting one day off less walking for older or physically limited members on tours, etc. Have an alternative for older or physically limited members to walking around forts, etc. - No opinion yet. - Pretty good as it is. - More sales material, hard to evaluate because happy with current format. - A more diverse temporal, historical, and item based acceptance. This is a Catch-22, and ultimately depends on the collecting and research interests of new members. The Society needs a higher profile at gun shows, on the internet, and at local collectors clubs, etc. Reach out to similar international organizations. Also, streamline the application procedure for those who have much less experience. - Costs across the board, flexibility by adapting new technologies for next generation. - Lower dues to $200 or $250/year, making governance more transparent and eliminating all but past president, also reducing other costs. - Connections with major arms and armor museums (e.g., Met. Museum of Art in NY) with associated trips, speakers, etc. - For current members, reduce length of meetings by a day. For potential members, offer some category of associate membership: a. age group 21 to 30 years of age; b. Reduced membership fees for this younger group. - Friendlier to new and prospective members. Few go out of their way to introduce themselves to new faces. - Cost, less needless expenditure, a more open BOD who really has members at heart. - Especially trying to attract younger members is less time and cost commitments to being a member. Promote the benefits of becoming a member collecting fellowship, collecting education, improve collection 11

12 - OK as is Reduce number of meetings. 2. Shorten meetings. 3. Central US locations. - An out-reach program that is interactive with other organizations. - Keeping the costs of membership under control. Changing the perception that membership is unattainable, either because it is too expensive or one s collection isn t good enough to be a member. - Lower cost meetings and lower dues. - We must become more internet based see attached comments. - More opportunities and attractions for younger people and children. - We have seen the best years of arms collecting organizations, but there always will be a need for them so we have to keep doing the best we can. - Costs, meeting locations, length of meetings and expansion of core purposes. - Younger leadership (Craig Bell a definite step in the right direction!) Older guys need to slowly and quietly head into an Emeritus status. - Perhaps, a little more informality in Wednesday evening cocktail and dinner party. - The Society should continue to promote the goals and objectives of the Society with an emphasis on how weaponry has shaped American history. -? - 1. More modern content. 2. Lower cost. 3. An influx of younger members with more contemporary interests. - Less long distance travel, reduced costs - The Society promoting assistance of helping the collector [to] get new pieces at reasonable prices without dealer greed involved! - Times and people have changed. (The Society has not.) Open it up to broader fields of collecting, not just old men with flint locks and bags of money in pocket. Make the meeting more affordable, less formal and enable a working person to become a member. - Better quality awards maybe $ awards - $2500 each? Quality bronze award like TGCA silver cast award of the ASAC logo? Silver and gold belt buckle awards - More presentations of better quality and how do you get long term members to display again? Displays tend to be from newer members - Continue above, show interest/acceptance of varied collections/interests welcome everyone - ASAC is focused on historic/antique firearms. The Society s name does not reflect this. Also, membership is by invitation only. Who is inviting new members when current membership is aging and dwindling? - More young members - Need to concentrate more on presentations by members and displays by more members. - More equitable distribution of meeting locations. - In many cases potential members feel the dues are excessive, i.e., KRA is only $50 per year. Also, others feel they cannot afford to travel to the meetings. - Seems well as is. - Return the dues to $200 or less. - The meetings need to be more friendly to the members who cannot spend 4 days at meeting. - Reduce meetings to one per year. 12

13 - To younger potential members be less restrictive as to vintage that they can afford to collect. - I think the Society is great and I have trouble determining what could make the Society even more attractive! - Active recruiting of active collectors, writers, etc., in a wider range of interests. - Please maintain the status quo. It doesn t need any fixing. - More effort to invite guest collectors to experience meetings and camaraderie - No idea - 1. Let the collecting fraternity know we exist. 2. Promote ourselves as the best allaround organization to be part of. 3. Getting our newsletters and other publications in front of people. 4. Being more public to some degree in communicating what we do for the arms collecting fraternity. - Increased emphasis on sales tables and displays. Get people to bring something show something or sell something! - Encouraging, ever so gently, to be more welcoming to new members. - A way to encourage members to include newer members in social events like private dinners. Most members were rather stand-offish to me when I first joined. There are many cliques in ASAC and in the early years I did not feel as welcome as I do now. - Relax membership attendance requirements. - OK as is. - Keep our standards high. - ASAC should admit and recognize modern guns are desirable and worthy. - One meeting per year and only have to attend 1 of every 3 meetings and more meetings W. of Mississippi - Perhaps having themes for meetings would work or having everyone bring similar weapons to compare. - Location, too many repeat new or repeat a place not been to in decades - I think what makes ASAC attractive to me also makes it attractive to other members and potential members. Part of the appeal of membership is that you have to be asked to join. But obviously that s also a problem for keeping the organization going. See remarks below on new members. One thing that would make the meetings more attractive to me is to have more speakers on more topics perhaps with concurrent sessions. You can write an article for the bulletin without giving a talk, but can you also give a talk without writing an article? What discourages me from offering talks is that I also have to devote time to writing the article (though I understand the importance of making your work accessible) and display the items discussed. I suggest another more informal level of sessions not requiring a paper (e.g., latest research on a particular topic, news on proposed legislation affecting collectors, identifying variants or fakes, a how-to seminar). These could include workshops at the display tables as we have had in the past. We could record these sessions and make them available on the website not the same level of prestige as an article, but still accessible and of interest for members (assuming we get enough interest to do it). Also, the slots for talks fill up so fast because there are so few of them for each meeting. Apparently, all you have to do to get on the schedule is ask someone from the programs 13

14 committee. Is there any sort of submission or vetting process other than that? If not, I would suggest a little more structure here so that everybody gets a fair chance to submit a proposal for a paper or talk. (I did not see any of this covered in the ASAC Statement of Policy am I missing something?). - The objectives of the Society go far beyond what a collector might achieve from more traditional arms collector organizations. First, the requirement that a member is either an advanced collector or someone of prominence in an arms education or curation profession such as a museum or similar institution sets the Society apart from all other arms collecting organizations. Second, the Society s code of ethics regarding sales to others, sharing of knowledge/research with Society members and others in the arms collecting areas I find to be a very attractive element of being a Society member. The quality of exhibits regularly appearing at our display room at the bi-annual meetings far surpasses what you might encounter at any arms show, including the Baltimore Show, plus the willingness of the members to talk at length about their display, etc. I would think should be a very attractive feature for new or potential members. - Need to get costs under control. If you look at what it costs to see the gun room and hear the lectures, the meeting is not cost effective. It is hundreds of dollars per lecture and throw in a couple of hundred to walk around the gun room and it does not take long for a prospective member to say it is not worth it. This is a judgment that is independent of whether or not they can afford the cost. The amount of time for the meetings was also a factor with the last person I discussed membership with. This was a retired person who could afford both the present time and cost. - For me personally, I'd like to see more talks and the opportunity to have "round table" like discussions in the gun room at some of the displays (this would not only reduce the number of time the person putting on the display would have to repeat information, but also provide the opportunity for others to share their knowledge). We had a smaller get together around the 1808 North pistols at Sturbridge that I thought was great and we are planning another one for 1811 pistols. I'd love to sit in on one covering wheel locks, Kentucky rifles, armor,... - The ASAC is built on a foundation of principals and requirements for membership. These principals demand a level of commitment that, while forming the very fabric of the organization, also inhibit those who cannot or do not wish to accept the commitment. Cost, meeting attendance, and research articles and talks are some of these commitments that inhibit membership. Removing or lessening these requirements tugs against the very foundation of the ASAC. While a more open membership perhaps makes it attractive to others it reduces the attractiveness of membership for the current members willing and able to make the commitments. You either have an advanced collector membership or you do not. - If we want to attract new members we must find ways to make 1) costs reasonable for the value received, 2) attendance (and attendance requirements) achievable, 3) demonstrate that we are truly open to differing collecting interests and areas (a direction in which the ASAC 14

15 is making progress albeit slowly), and 4) most importantly, make the ASAC known as the premier arms collecting organization that collectors WANT to be invited to join. A.3. What do you see as the future of ASAC in 5-10 years? - Should be strong as ever. There will be an increasing need for a venue for collectors to come together. - I believe the ASAC will always be a small group and an older group. If we accept only the best, the best are few in number and are generally, by definition, not young. - A narrower focus in collecting as dictated by rising arms costs. Dispersal of the old great collections as early members die off - More difficulty in finding members as our generation passes. We really need to do a better job of recruiting. Judging from the auction prices there must be serious collectors out there somewhere. - So long as ASAC holds to its standards of membership and stays apolitical, it will be fine. - Need to include newer and current arms. - Focused on member recommitment, especially younger collectors and museum people. - About the same. We have not changed much for last 40+ years. Same discussion about young members back then. - We need several younger members or we are going to die off. More and more members do not bring a display even a small one is better than nothing I can t bring a large one when we fly but I do try to bring a small one when we don t drive. - We are swimming against the tide. Guns get more expensive each year. Possession and transfer of guns get more restrictive each year. The pool of potential members does not appear to be growing. We may have to accept a smaller, more exclusive group in future years. - Bleak!!! Too much grey. - If we can get the general membership to start going to the trouble to talk it up and do the paperwork we will survive. - If we are successful in gaining younger members, we ll be just fine. If we are not, our aging membership will dwindle, especially 10 years from now. - Shrinking unless we can get more younger members. - We are getting older and less able to attend meetings for health reasons younger members are a must! - Get more younger members - I hope positives will continue (see #1). I think main future trend will be shrinking membership, through probably will take more than a decade to be felt. - The ASAC will retain its current authority, but there will be less interested potential members. Our generation was raised with guns, hunting and target shooting. People, generally, are frightened of firearms. - Mixed, in the face of a general decline in interest in collecting. Part is probably the economy and would be expected to improve. - Struggle to maintain at least 1 meeting/year. - If arms collecting cannot attract younger people in significant numbers, then ASAC will inevitably whither. 15

16 - From my contacts with firearms owners and collectors I see a moving away from antiques into post-1900 firearms. This could lead to less collectors interest in ASAC. - Hopefully, an increase in younger members and a more diverse acceptance of a wider range of arms collectors. - Pretty much as is unless we can evolve on a higher cultural plane so our interests become more relevant on a broader scale. - If we can replenish lost members by a concerted effort by all of us, I am optimistic, but possibly (hopefully not) we may slowly have a decrease in membership. - I do not think the future is bright. Collecting is changing or dying from lack of serious interest. - Declining membership of older members. Smaller meetings. - I think it will do well. Its an adventure for collectors to get to know each other and exchange knowledge. - Stable membership. - Larger number of edged weapon collectors. - I hope I ll be there! - Not good, as few current members will be present. A youth movement is necessary, as discussed later. - More of a society of professional curators and historians. - I think we are ok for the next 5-10 years. I am optimistic for our future years. Too much anti-gun culture to overcome long term. - Reduced membership and unprofitable meetings. - Should be sizable as long as we include all types and time frames of arms collecting. - As older members die off it will be difficult to maintain the same level of experience. - Younger members Some program. If I would have been sponsored or knew about the ASAC 35 years ago I would have been a member. - Too many old members die off membership decline. - Little change. - I would hope that it would still be a quality group of collectors, but we need younger members. - Not clear. May become a smaller, more elite club or become a subsidiary of the NRA. - I am concerned about the increasing age of the membership. We need to attract younger collectors, but advanced collectors usually come with age. - The membership makes the group strong. I am worried there are simply fewer young people collecting. Look at American furniture. This kind of group will thrive if we can encourage new collectors. But they need three things: inclination, aptitude, wherewithal (desire, knowledge, finances). - Better acquire younger members. - I would see it as still strong as younger members with similar interests are constantly surfacing. - Education that is negative about arms, restrictive laws, fewer individuals with military experience and a population not interested in collecting (anything) makes a future rather difficult to determine. - If we can appeal to younger folks, ASAC should prosper. Our values and motives are good. - I think we will continue to represent leadership in the field of collecting. 16

17 - I see the organization as declining in membership to the point where the reduced membership is unable to support the total range of our current activities (scholarships, publication assistance, displays at other venues, meeting frequency, etc.). In 15 to 20 years I am afraid the society will cease to exist without a dramatic increase in a younger, equally committed membership. - Same. - I think it will remain as it is now. Younger members will be hard to get since cost of membership and attendance eliminate younger collectors that are still raising a family. - It should be the central social organization of advanced collectors and arms students. - A haven for professional/senior collectors who will follow the increasing laws [and] who continue to help and support each other. - Needs updating on recruitment and how/when meetings are held. - Collecting arms has changed already. ASAC will have to adjust accordingly to continue to be valid. - Declining membership unless measures are taken. - We may need wheel chairs at meetings. - No real changes. - If the average age is increasing it will be necessary to include collections that younger people currently favor, for example: WWI and WWII, western arms. - I am not sure of the ability of the society or arms collector associations to survive in the future. We as a group grow older every year. There are not enough younger people to replace us. - Probably about the same as now as long as we get younger members. - Changing collecting interests. - From discussions with other members, we are in agreement that the vitality of the organization will diminish without new/younger members. - Unless we address generational based membership requirements we won t exist. - ASAC must accept younger collectors and collectors in the knife, cartridge and accoutrements fields (bayonets, anyone, or pocket knives?) in order to increase membership and attendance. - Hopefully, a somewhat younger age group with a greater diversity of interests. - Probably a continued reduction of members and offering only one (1) meeting per year. - I see it getting smaller and less active. We should have a waiting list of people, not open slots. - Nowhere, unless you really evaluate what ASAC was formed for; it has become a good old rich boys club and entertainment trip. - A more well-known and publically recognized organization, promoting arms collecting - Without fundamental changes, it will cease to exist. - If it continues on its present course, a steady decline in membership. - Demographics will work against us and it will be difficult to replace members who die or resign. We very well may be smaller (<200 members) and more diverse in interests. - Higher costs = less members. Unless we remove all costs that do not return directly to the membership. - Much fewer meetings much more online collaboration. - As things are going now extinction. 17

18 - Today it is harder for young people to get away, so new members in the ASAC will be older. - Change or die!! - If changes aren t made there won t be much of a quality ASAC remaining in 10 years or sooner! - I see that it is imperative to have a slightly younger or younger (if possible) members, so as to perpetuate the ASAC, as it is obvious that we are a generational group of people. Otherwise, the organization may shrink. P.S. I hope that I will be here to see that time span!!! - Hopefully, the ASAC will grow in membership and promote the collection of arms for future generations. - Not good. - The Society will not survive on its current trajectory. It will literally die off if drastic changes are not made quickly. - Loss of many aging members, younger members not feeling that their collecting interests are appreciated. - Slow, steady qualitative growth with emphasis on true antiques pre 1890 s. - Unless things change, it will be nothing but a memory. - Need to change the way we attract younger members - We desperately need the next generation of collectors since our membership is dying off. - I hope we grow, become more involved at national shows. - Not observed. - We need attract good, younger members; we are an aging group. - I think the future can be bright if we all work to recruit younger members they re out there. - I hope it remains strong and viable. It makes (and has made) a great contribution to the gun collecting community. - Continued success. - Aging membership, reduced membership. - Aging and shrinking without younger members joining. - Same as today but with more members. - We need to marry up again with NRA. - Good especially if a bit more aware to being less restrictive of the vintage of arms collected. - I see the need that the Society attracts younger members and perhaps a shorter meeting may meet the needs of those still working and raising families. Although I enjoy the current format this change even every other meeting may accomplish this. - I m afraid it will wither and fade. I hope it will be rejuvenated, refreshed, and refocused. - Hopefully, very bright unless the liberals can pass more restrictive legislation on firearms ownership. We need to be more discerning on who we vote for. - More of the same. We have a problem with new collectors but there will still be some serious collectors. - Decline in membership and all that goes with it. if we don t attract/recruit new members who will participate. If we can reverse that, I believe the future can be bright and I m optimistic of that!!! 18

19 - It is likely to look the same as it is today unless we really work to increase the percentage of younger collectors. Collectors generally aren t recognized until they earn and spend disposable income. And that generally means gray hair. - Declining membership (Hope I m wrong). - If we do not aggressively seek younger members to carry on the tradition, the Society will slowly diminish in terms of both membership and influence. - Don t know. - It s a different organization now than when I joined earlier there was more emphasis on antique arms. - We need to attract younger collectors who will widen the scope of displays Not everyone can afford to collect museum pieces. - Decreased membership unless we attract younger and middle aged people. - Tough to say social media could make the organization difficult to support in the future. We need to bring more value to potential members. - Hopefully, it continues. - The future of ASAC lies in achieving our full membership level of 250 (a waiting list would be a great problem to have), establishing a greater public presence for the organization as an educational resource, and building a reputation as a growing, vibrant, and relevant organization. We can t afford to be perceived as an organization that is out of touch or out of reach. You get interpersonal squabbling in any volunteer organization. Some people may simply be averse to change. The changes I have noticed have all been in the right direction like more reliance on the website/ s, on-line registration, and sending out this questionnaire. - I am hopeful that the Society will be a thriving and active leading organization for the advanced collector of arms 5-10 years down the road. Making a collective effort to recruit 20 members per year, realizing a reduction of 10 members per year due to illness or death is very likely, should let the Society to strive to maintain its membership levels at around members. I would also focus on institutions (i.e., Smithsonian, NY Met, Colonial Williamsburg, Museum of the Confederacy, Atlanta History Center, and I am sure there are many other national institutions with high quality arms collections) to generate professional arms expertise to be critical to this goal. I do not think we should lessen our standards. I do not think we should create a junior membership category. I DO think we need to make sure we seek to identify a wide or broader range of collecting interests in our efforts to identify and solicit new qualified members (i.e., WWI, WWII are popular areas of late and perhaps a concentrated effort to look for significant collectors of these time periods would be helpful). - This is a question for all antique gun collector groups that has been a source of conversation for the last 15 or 20 years. When I was President of the Texas Gun Collectors Association I was 27 years old and most of our members were in their 40s and 50s (some younger, some older and that was 1973). No one even gave a thought that the TGCA had an age problem or that the future of antique gun collecting was anything less than vibrant with a solid future. The second time I was TGCA President was in 2003 and I was 57 years old. The conversation had shifted to the fact that the show had changed and venerable old TGCA now 19

20 allowed modern guns (just short of allowing current production guns) and our membership had aged and most were in their 50s and 60s and many of our old guard members had passed away. I went to a TGCA show in Fort Worth last month and noticed that we had many younger members (probably due to relaxing the rules relating to the age and collectability of guns). Our older established members had their antique guns but now there was a mixture of old and collectable modern guns on their tables as well. I asked about their table mix and the older members commented that their collecting interest was basically the same but that they had also discovered other more modern interests. The younger, newer members said they could not afford to collect antiques on the same level as our older members but were happy to collect more affordable modern guns. You can see this manifested in the current gun shows all over America. The aisles are packed with young people and not many gray hairs. I am not suggesting that ASAC make radical changes but some change. I think it is necessary to encourage newer members. Section F1 of the questionnaire is directed at how to recruit new members. The existing antique gun organizations are there for the picking of good prospective new members. Take the Pennsylvania Arms Collectors, Texas Gun Collectors and the Maryland Arms Collectors. Many of our members are also members of these organizations and they know many good prospects if only they were asked (The ASAC vetting process would have to be complied with of course). - Having been a member for only six years I am a relatively new one, and in many ways still learning the culture of ASAC. Indeed, it took a number of years of evaluation before I agreed to let my sponsors submit my application. I worried about the commitments I would be taking on, including my ability to be a member able to contribute something meaningful to the organization. It seemed such an august organization and I did not want to be just a dues contributor. Fortunately, I was able to meet and talk with a number of members before the time of my decision. I was even given the significant privileges of both making a presentation and being allowed access to the Gun Room before becoming a member. This access helped confirm what I perceived would be benefits to membership, and ally concerns about being a second class member. This is in preparation for my comments about membership and the future of ASAC (section A.3 in the questionnaire). In some respects I feel the offer of membership to me was a harbinger of our future. I was concerned that significantly shallower pockets than what I perceived many members were blessed with might be a deterrent to meaningful participation. What I found has been that many members value my membership for the fact that I have interests besides what are often perceived to be those of traditional members (see F.1.a). Even a long time member who was a fellow accoutrement collector at one time, counseled against joining. Some members have a new interest in the bayonets that should accompany the many small arms they already have collected. And the abilities I have shown to conduct original, archival research have proved to be of interest to members. What I thought might be limitations have just helped me gravitate more to members who have need of my expertise. That is not necessarily different from what likely occurred in the past. It is different in that, in 20