2017 predictions for progress on gun rights revisited

At the beginning of the year, I made several predictions about how the year would go. At the end of the year I figure it’s fitting to see how I did. Look at what I got right, what I got wrong, and if we can learn from our failures.

What I got right

I said:

One would think that Republicans who tend to be pro-gun would seize this moment and repeal some of the failed gun control laws, but history shows they are normally afraid to do anything the media is apt to criticize.

Neither the state of Ohio, nor the Federal Government passed a law restoring firearms rights to law-abiding citizens. The state of Ohio did however include $200,000 in funding for the nation leading FASTER Saves Lives program to make our schools the safest in the country.

After eight years of attack at the Federal level, many gun owners will relax and cease to be politically active.

Sadly, right again. Membership and donations at the NRA and SAF reportedly decreased this year. While not a direct cause and effect to the above failure, they are related.

Guns will be discussed in several levels in Washington D.C. Trump will nominate a justice to replace Anthony Scalia on the Supreme Court. He will be hard pressed to find someone as strong on our issues, but I predict the new justice will be solid on our issue.

Right on the money there. From national reciprocity to bump stocks to weapons bans to removing suppressors from the NFA list, there has been a lot of talk, but not action. President Trump nominated and the Senate confirmed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States. It would be foolish to speculate on how justices will rule, or even what cases might come before them, but I’m comfortable that Justice Gorsuch will be a voice of reason on the bench, hopefully for several decades.

Demand for FASTER Saves Lives program will increase. Districts that already have authorized staff will expand a successful program, districts that have waited will authorize staff for the first time and several districts will announce they have armed staff and the media will barely mention it as it becomes “old news.” Ohio will be recognized as a leader by other states looking for better ways to keep their children safe. Trauma care will get more attention.

Got this one right too. We did our first out of state class in Colorado and are working with schools/legislators in several other states. CBS evening news and PBS New Hour both covered our program as did many other local, national, and several international news outlets.

By the end of this year we will see jockeying for the 2018 elections. Most notable is an open Governor’s race. Republicans Jon Husted, Mike DeWine and Mary Taylor as well as Democrat Richard Cordray have all indicated interest in that office.

The Governor’s race has really heated up in the past month with DeWine and Renacci announcing running mates, and Husted joining DeWine’s team. This will get heated next year, with a race that will be watched nationally. We simply must elect a good governor if we want to restore our rights.

What I got wrong

Regarding national reciprocity, I said:

With Presidential leadership, I think this passes this session, hopefully this year.

It didn’t happen, but hope remains for next year.

It has been decades since the federal government passed significant improvements to firearms laws. They should be looking at repealing the restriction to buying handguns across state lines and the prohibitions on carrying on federal land/buildings. With concealed carry now the law in all 50 states, there is no reason why the estimated 12,000,000+ license holders should be disarmed at the post office.

So far this is a pipe dream. I’m not impressed with national reciprocity alone; we should be getting a lot more for all the NRA “A” rated and endorsed Congressman and Senators. This should be done and they should be working on repealing the “safe school zone” disaster and the Lautenberg amendment that has put thousands of good people under a Federal disability, many without their knowledge and no method to correct this injustice.

Demand for Concealed Handgun Licenses (CHL) will remain strong. The threat of President Obama/Clinton have subsided, but active killers, terror threats and common sense will continue encouraging responsible people to obtain their CHL.

By historical standards, demand is still high and numbers are increasing, but demand did drop more than I expected. Complacency rears its head again.

Lessons Learned

Take nothing for granted, and nothing comes easy. The good things in life require effort, but they are working fighting for. Eternal vigilance really is the price for freedom, and we owe it to our children to hand leave them a world even better than the ones our parents left for us.

I ended my predictions with:

No matter what actually happens, you can stay informed by signing up for Buckeye Firearms Association’s free newsletter.

Even if I was wrong on everything else, I knew I had a winner with this prediction. The team we have at BFA is as reliable as the sun rising in the east. Good or bad, we will track it, influence it and report on it.

Thank you for your support of BFA and BFF. Like elections, it matters. You give us the ability to go win battles. As we conclude 2017, we are already looking forward to the possibilities and progress 2018 will bring.

Jim Irvine is Chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association Political Action Committee (BFA-PAC). He is also Board President of Buckeye Firearms Association, and recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award," the CCRKBA's 2012 "Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award," and the SAF's 2015 "Defender of Freedom Award."

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