2012 - The Year In Review

By Chad D. Baus

While there is far too much to cover in a single article, we reflect on some of the important events of 2012.

January:

The year begins with continued debate over whether or not Canton police officer Daniel Harless, who was caught on dash-cam video verbally assaulting and threatening to "execute" a concealed handgun licensee, deserved to be fired. Harless is terminated, and the police union immediately announces that he plans to appeal the decision.

President Obama announces that he plans to ignore parts of a spending bill that he has just signed - specifically a provision that prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars to fund lobbying for gun control and the National Institute of Health studies of gun control. Later in the month, news breaks that the Obama's administration is continuing to block the importation of some 600,000 historical, collectable M1 Carbines because "they come with a magazine that can carry multiple rounds."

One year after news of the scandal broke, the investigation into the Obama Justice Department's gun-running Operation known as "Fast & Furious" ratchets up another notch, with House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) announcing that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder would again be testifying before the committee.

February:

Buckeye Firearms Association announces grades and endorsements for a host of local, statewide and federal offices in the March 6, 2012 primaries.

Attorney General Holder testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee regarding his role in Operation "Fast and Furious." Holder continued to deny foreknowledge of the operation, but does tell committee members that the Obama administration fully supports renewing the failed 1994 Clinton Gun Ban.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine releases concealed handgun license (CHL) statistics for the fourth quarter of 2011. The report reveals Ohio sheriffs set a new record issuing almost 12,000 CHLs for the busiest fourth quarter in the program's eight year history. Demand was up 12% compared to the same period a year earlier. At the end of the year, we set another all-time record of approximately 265,083 Ohio residents licensed to carry concealed firearms.

Buckeye Firearms Association Minutemen Dan Allen and Aaron Kirkingburg ask sportsmen to ODNR open house meetings to help bring rifles into the toolkit for Ohio's deer hunters by asking for a change in hunting regulations to allow any cartridge currently legal to hunt with in a handgun to be legal in a rifle.

Canadian officials announce the end of its billion-dollar boondoggle - a gigantic database of Canadian long gun owners that did nothing to prevent crime.

The inevitable calls for gun control begin after a student enters a Chardon, OH high school and opens fire. Pointing out that the student's activities were already prevented by multiple laws, Buckeye Firearms Association suggests that police, military and law-abiding citizens with a concealed handgun license (including parents, teachers and administrators) be trained to carry concealed in our schools, and advises that schools currently have the authority to grant permission to arm any one they want as a layer of defense.

March:

President Obama's FY2013 budget proposal provides further evidence of his anti-gun agenda. Provisions contained in the previous year's budget that prohibit any future "Fast & Furious" style operations, prohibit a ban on the importation of shotguns deemed by the BATFE to be non-"sporting," and ban the use of tax dollars to lobby for new gun laws were all deleted from the President's latest budget proposal.

The New York Times reports that American Marines operating in war-time Afghanistan were ordered to disarm before being allowed to listen to a speech by President Obama's Secretary of Defense, Leon Panneta.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt sign an agreement permitting reciprocity between their states for citizens who have valid concealed carry permits.

U.S. Senators Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) introduce S. 2188, the "National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012." According to a press release, the bill is the Senate companion to H. R. 822, which was approved by the U. S. House in November 2011 by a vote of 272-154.

Representative Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) introduces HB495, a bill designed to reform Ohio concealed carry law to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and continue a trend toward making Ohio law similar to other states.

"Stand Your Ground" laws come under attack in the national media after a self-defense case in Florida gains national attention and cries of racism. President Obama injects himself into the debate, saying "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon." It is soon discovered that much about initial media reports were wrong, and the deceased teen-aged "victim," African-American Trayvon Martin, had apparently attacked Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, hit him in the face, slammed his head into the pavement and attempted to take his gun.

An Ohio blogger uncovers proof that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun group Mayors Against Illegal Guns had conspired with leftist political group ProgressOhio to take advantage of the tragic school shooting in Chardon, OH to grow their mailing list.

Disgraced former Canton Police Officer Daniel Harless proceeds with the arbitration process in an attempt to regain his job, which he lost after being caught on his own police dash cam video verbally assaulting a concealed carry license holder and threatening to "execute" him.

April:

Ohioans mark the eight-year anniversary of legal concealed carry in Ohio. Notably absent from the festivities were blood in the streets, Wild West reenactments and an epidemic of accidental gun injuries, all of which were predicted by opponents of this incredibly successful law.

A spree killer tells students at "Get in line on the "no-guns" campus of Oikos University in the "no-guns" state of California to "Get in line and I'm going to kill you all." Seven students are killed, and three more injured. In an amazing twist of fate, the latest attack happens on the same day the group Students for Concealed Carry on Campus began a national protest to call attention to the fact that students are left helpless against such murderers.

Buckeye Firearms Association works with governor's office to protect gun owners on Senate Bill 305, introduced to combat hidden compartments in vehicles used to transport illegal drugs. What originally could have been an unintended threat to gun owners is modified to provide explicit protection to persons doing nothing more than securing their firearms in their vehicles.

Despite a year-long Congressional investigation into the BATFE gun-running operation known as Operation "Fast & Furious," which has uncovered proof that the Obama administration's Department of Justice was forcing American gun stores to sell hundreds of firearms to Mexican drug cartels operatives, media who attend a press conference between Barack Obama and Mexican president Felipe Calderon fail to ask a single question about the program.

Buckeye Firearms Association endorses Sharon Kennedy for Ohio Supreme Court Justice, for the November 6, 2012 general election.

Governor Mitt Romney, the "last man standing" the Republican primary field, addresses attendees at NRA Annual Meetings. Members express concerns about certain aspects of Romney's past record, but seem ready to support "anybody but Obama."

NRA Board of Directors member Ted Nugent states in an interview on NRANews.com that he will "either be dead or in jail by this time next year" if Obama is re-elected. Lost in all the media hub-bub that follows is a very detailed discussion of the conservative rocker's thoughts on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. "Mitt Romney is one of us now. He is a great man. He pledged to me 'no more gun laws...no more ammo restrictions...no more restrictions on our right to keep and bear arms.'

The U.S. House of Representatives passes a huge block of legislation known as the Sportsman's Heritage Act of 2012 by a 274 to 146 margin.

Rep. Michael DeBose (D), remembered for becoming pro-concealed carry after mugging, dies at age 58.

May:

Democrat Reps. Ted Celeste and Tracy Heard, along with the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence's Toby Hoover, launch an attack against fellow state Rep. Margy Conditt (R) after she announces a shooting sports fundraiser. In response to these attacks, Buckeye Firearms Association announces the fundraiser to their hundreds of thousands of supporters in Ohio and pledges to match any donations made to the event, up to a total of $1,000.00. BFA reaches that goal within four hours of the announcement. Subsequent donations poured in from gun owners in Ohio and 16 other states, including donations from as far away as California.

Senator Dick Lugar, who has been described as the most anti-gun Republican in the U.S. Senate, suffers a landslide defeat in the Indiana state Republican primary.

Hearings on Rep. Terry Johnson's (R-89) HB495, which will reform Ohio concealed carry law to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and continue a trend toward making Ohio law similar to other states, begin in the House.

U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), frustrated over U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's failure to hand over Justice Department documents that had been subpoenaed as part of an ongoing investigation into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives' now-infamous "Operation Fast and Furious" gun-walking operation, circulates a draft Contempt of Congress Order against Holder. CBS News reports that, after repeated refusals by Justice Department officials to grant interviews, the news agency has finally received a "partial response" to a Freedom of Information Act request made more than a year ago. The pages are mostly blank.

Buckeye Firearms Association reveals that a private campaign against freedom and the right of self-defense is being conducted from offices funded by the taxpayers of Columbus anti-gun Mayor Michael Coleman. As the Ohio chair of New York City Mayor Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns, has been busy sending letters to mayors across the state imploring them to join MAIG. Mayor Coleman's letters proudly carry the seal of his office and the Mayor's address and urges anyone interested to contact personnel within his office.

The Ohio Gun Collectors Association (OGCA) celebrates their 75th anniversary at their annual membership and award banquet.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Attorneys General of 21 other states and the territory of Guam write a letter to Congress of support for H.R. 822, the "National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011," urging the Senate to take action on the bill.

While while researching the repeal of some anti-gun ordinances, Florida Carry, Inc. founder and Executive Director Sean Caranna discovers that the City of Orlando had hired a "Mayors Against Illegal Guns Regional Coordinator," and was using tax payer money to cover 1/4 of the salary and benefits, paying for most of their operational costs, and financing all of their other resources! Caranna notes that these MAIG employees have also been embedded in other cities, including Columbus, OH.

June:

In a weekly column entitled "Whatever happened to . . .?", The Cleveland Plain Dealer discusses the question "Whatever happened to concerns about patrons carrying guns in bars after Ohio legislators adopted a new law last year?" The newspaper, whose editorial board is notoriously anti-gun, is forced to admit that, despite opponents of the law claiming bars would take on a "wild West" atmosphere if patrons could arm themselves, there has been no noticeable change since implementation of the law in September 2011.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine releases concealed handgun license (CHL) statistics for the first quarter of 2012. The report reveals Ohio sheriffs set a new record issuing 16,823 CHLs for the busiest first quarter in the program's eight year history. Demand was up 27% compared to the same period a year earlier.

A spree killer with a handgun kills one and injures seven in a "no-guns" Toronto shopping mall in the "no-guns" country of Canada.

HB495 (Reciprocity & Concealed Carry Modernization) receives two more hearings in the House Committee on State Government and Elections before being passed by a 59 - 28 margin on the House floor and sent to the Senate for consideration. Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) publicly announces his support for the bill at his annual Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social held at his home. DeWine is also gracious in recognizing BFA leaders who were able to attend.

Attorney General Eric Holder claims during congressional testimony that internal Justice Department emails that use the phrase "Fast and Furious" do not refer to the controversial gun-walking operation Fast and Furious. President Obama claims executive privilege over subpoenaed "Fast & Furious" documents, forcing Congress to move forward with contempt hearings. Holder is found to be in contempt of Congress - the first time a sitting member of a president's cabinet has been held in contempt of Congress.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole informs House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) via a letter, dated the same day as the vote, that he will not bring the congressional contempt citation against Holder to a federal grand jury and that his department will take no other action to prosecute the attorney general.

July:

The 2012 National Rifle and Pistol Championships begin at Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio.

The United Nations holds the final stages of negotiation on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The treaty marks the beginning of an international crusade to impose gun controls on the United States and repeal our Second Amendment rights. Hearings eventually break down, but the threat is far from over.

William Bartlett, an Ohio concealed handgun license (CHL)-holder, files a civil rights lawsuit in federal court against the City of Canton, the Canton police department, and against Daniel Harless and other officers involved in his arrest and prosecution for supposedly failing to promptly notify officers that he had a CHL. During the arresat, Harless was caught on tape verbally assaulting Bartlett and threatening to "execute" him.

The anti-gun media attempts to blame sport shooters for western wildfires, but environmental policies banning lead bullets are likely the real culprit - steel-jacketed bullets cause sparks when they contact rocks, whereas (banned) lead bullets to not.

A spree killer targets a "no-guns" movie theater in Aurora, CO during the opening of "The Dark Knight Rises." 12 are killed and 59 wounded by a heavily armed man in a "no-gun" zone. Anti-gun extremists take to the air to blame the Second Amendment within hours of the attack. President Obama announces he'll "leave no stone unturned" in seeking new measures to reduce gun violence, and promises to "evaluate" the nation's gun laws. Later investigation reveals the murderer drove out of his way to target this particular theater. Others closer to his home, however, did not have "no-guns" signs on the doors.

August:

Emails obtained by Media Trackers Ohio through a public records request reveal that Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman's office was conspiring to use the deaths of three high school students to limit Second Amendment rights within hours of the February 2012 shootings at Chardon High School. Other emails reveal that Coleman's office worked with staffers of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to leverage the shooting of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords for new federal gun restrictions. Coleman serves as the Ohio chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), a gun-control lobbying group co-founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Buckeye Firearms Foundation Inc., a 501(C)(3) Foundation supporting all legal uses of firearms, files an Amicus Brief in Woollard et al v. Gallagher et al., a Maryland case that may well end up being the next U.S. Supreme Court case on gun rights. The case weighs the constitutionality of the state's "may issue" licensing system - a District Court has already ruled it to be unconstitutional.

In an appearance on MSNBC, Time Magazine editor-at-large Mark Halperin confesses a broad media consensus to curtail gun rights: "If you walk the halls of most major news organizations or of the OEOB at the White House or West Wing, I think you'd find overwhelming sentiment that there should be stricter gun control laws in the United States."

Clay shooter Kim Rhode achieves the unthinkable by individually medaling in five straight Olympic Games. Three other Americans distinguished themselves by standing on the award-winners' podium.

Mitt Romney's choice of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate lifts the spirits of gun owners who had been less than enthused to have another "so-so" Republican nominee to face the vehemently anti-gun Barack Obama.

The House of Representatives files suit in effort to force Attorney General Eric Holder to release documents related to the "Fast and Furious" gun-walking operation. A U.S. government report discloses that Mexican drug cartel operatives used a firearm from the infamous scheme in a failed attempt to assassinate a high-ranking Mexican law enforcement official.

Buckeye Firearms Association congratulates Nikki Goeser of Nashville, TN as the latest recipient of the NRA's "Sybil Ludington Women's Freedom Award."

September:

Buckeye Firearms Association announces 2012 general election candidate grades and endorsements. BFA volunteers work to ship more than 100,000 voter guides

Delegates at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa approve "the most pro-gun platform ever," staking out support for national concealed carry reciprocity and opposing domestic restrictions on ammunition and United Nations interference in gun sales. At the Democrats' convention, on the other hand, delegates call for "reinstating the assault weapons ban and closing the gun show loophole."

Media Trackers Ohio reveals that emails obtained through a public records request prove Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman's office worked with liberal activists and employees of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to block a gun rights bill in the Ohio General Assembly. Media Trackers has previously reported on the groups' coordination to use shooting deaths for political gain.

The National Rifle Association announces that Buckeye Firearms Foundation is among the top 10 NRA membership recruiters in the "club" category with 569 members to its credit for 2011.

Buckeye Firearms Association leadership team and supporters congratulate our Chairman, Jim Irvine, on being chosen as the recipient of the very prestigous NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award." This is the highest award given by NRA-ILA to individuals who have dedicated themselves to the preservation of the Second Amendment, for advocacy and volunteerism.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine releases concealed handgun license (CHL) statistics for the second quarter of 2012. The report reveals Ohio sheriffs set a new record issuing 18,199 CHLs for the busiest first quarter since the initial surge in 2004. Demand was up 25% compared to the same period a year earlier, and the number of licensees now tops 300,000.

The Department of Justice Inspector General's report on the "Fast and Furious" scandal is released, and while it found 14 officials from the department and its Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives responsible for the reckless program, it failed, unfortunately, to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. responsible for the actions of those under his supervision.

VP candidate and Congressman Paul Ryan stops at an Outdoor World store in Ohio to buy hunting clothes for his 10-year old daughter.

2012 Republican Vice Presidential Nominee and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan headlines the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance 16th Annual "Save Our Heritage" Rally in Columbus, Ohio.

October:

Two Ohio Democrat State Representatives, Bill Patmon and Ted Celeste, introduce a bill which would, if passed, effectively kill concealed carry in Ohio.

Media around the state publish articles pointing out that, one year after passage of Ohio's Restaurant Carry law, anti-gun rights extremists' predictions were wrong.

Congressman and Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan addresses the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance 16th Annual "Save Our Heritage" Rally in Columbus, and makes national news when he tells attendees that he "shudder(s)" to think what President Obama would do "if he never has to face the voters ever again." At the same rally, Ohio Governor John Kasich pledges to protect hunting and fishing license dollars as the state continues to work through the tough economy.

Buckeye Firearms Association publishes an exclusive, one-on-one interview with Mr. Ryan, conducted by BFA Region Leader Larry S. Moore.

The Spanish language television news network Univision unleashes a bombshell investigative report on Operation Fast and Furious, finding that in January 2010 drug cartel hit men slaughtered students with weapons the United States government allowed to flow to them across the Mexican border.

In a town hall-style Presidential debate, President Obama pledges to renew his push to ban certain semi-automatic sporting rifles, should he win a second term.

Media Trackers Ohio uncovers proof that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun group Mayors Against Illegal Guns had conspired with leftist political group ProgressOhio to take advantage of the tragic school shooting in Chardon, OH to grow their mailing list.

Media Trackers Ohio reveals that emails obtained through a public records request prove Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman's office worked with liberal activists and employees of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to pressure Ohio Gov. John Kasich to veto Ohio's Restaurant Carry bill. Media Trackers has previously reported on the groups' coordination to prevent the bill's passage, and to use shooting deaths for political gain.

November:

Fox News interviews Buckeye Firearms Association Southwest Ohio Region Leader Joe Eaton as he investigates the question of whether or not Obama's debate admission that he plans to push for a ban on modern sporting rifles in a second term will hurt him in the election.

Despite the best efforts of pro-gun rights grassroots activists, Barack Obama is re-elected to a second term. Within hours, the United States backs a U.N. committee's call to renew debate on the proposed United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, confirming the worst fears of the American gun rights community. At the state level, the prospects for Ohio gun owners look much better, as Buckeye Firearms Association endorsees will again dominate both chambers of the General Assembly.

Buckeye Firearms Association reports that House Bill 495, an important pro-gun reform bill that would address several problems with current Ohio gun laws, remains stalled in the Ohio Senate. Less than two weeks later, hearings finally begin in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

An arbitrator hearing notorious Canton Police Officer Daniel Harless' appeal, which came after Harless was fired after being caught on his own police dash cam video in June 2011 verbally assaulting a concealed carry license holder and threatening to "execute" him, rules that the officer's "conduct was defensible" and clears the way for Harless to return to his job should he get medical clearance.

A new single-day record for point-of-sale background checks is established on Black Friday, when 154,873 are conducted by the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). That total was nearly 20 percent more than the previous high of 129,166 set on Black Friday last year.

December:

House Bill 495, an important pro-gun reform bill that would address several problems with current Ohio gun laws, receives several hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee. To ensure passage during the lame duck session, the bill is amended to eliminate proposed changes to Ohio's reciprocity laws, with promises to readdress the issue early in the next session, The bill is receives bi-partisan support and signed into law by Governor Kasich.

NBC sportscaster Bob Costas shamelessly tries to capitalize on the recent and tragic murder-suicide involving the NFL's Jovan Belcher to score personal political points against law-abiding gun owners.

Newly-elected Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy credits hard work and support from Second Amendment advocates for her victory.

Media Trackers Ohio reports that the "bipartisan" support claimed by Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) is slim and dwindling in Ohio. In fact, between 2009 and May 2012, Republican membership in the Ohio contingent of MAIG – which includes more than 100 mayors across the state – fell from 5 mayors to 2 mayors. The two remaining Republican members, according to MAIG's list, are Wyoming mayor Barry Porter and Bratenahl mayor John Licastro.

Yet another horrific mass murder occurs in a place where guns are banned. Images from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT and news of 20 children being ruthlessly murdered grip the country and dominate the 24 hour news cycle for weeks. Unwilling to allow the anti-gun rights extremists go unanswered, Buckeye Firearms Association responds, participating in extensive media interviews throughout the state, across the country and around the world, suggesting that the way to protect our children is to allow willing school employees to carry firearms in our schools.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announces that he believes Ohio schools should consider arming at least one staffer in their building in case of a shooting.

Buckeye Firearms Foundation announces the launch of an Armed Teacher Training Program to provide firearm training to teachers free of charge. Media coverage immediately goes national, including reports from USA Today, ABC World News Tonight and Fox News.

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