Across the nation and around the world: BFA brings facts to an extremely emotional nation following Connecticut killings

by Chad D. Baus

In the wake of the Auroro, CO "no-guns" theater shooting, Buckeye Firearms Association published an article entitled "How long is too long to wait to defend the Second Amendment?," in which we discussed the dilemma we face each time another deranged lunatic decides to murder as many people as they can in a "no-guns" zone. In the article, I outlined how the media and gun control extremists had begun trying to score political points within just hours after the event.

Each time there is another such attack, I explained, we are forced to weigh the dangers of responding too quickly against the dangers of waiting too long. While there was once a time when withholding comment out of respect for those affected was possible, given this media environment, we've reached a point where waiting several days to publish an article, as we did last summer and again this past week, is almost "too long," if we want to beat back the attacks.

Several years ago, we made the decision at Buckeye Firearms Association to respond when a response was necessary. Other pro-gun organizations and writers have also begun this practice. From discussing this issue with their "Facebook friends" to going on national television to speak truth to counter the deluge of anti-gun rights attacks, gun owners are no longer sitting back and letting their opponents rule the day in the media for days or weeks on end after such a terrible tragedy. That is what happened, to a large degree, in the aftermath of Columbine, and the effects are still felt to this day.

And so, several Buckeye Firearms Association leaders have been spending their time since the horrific events on Friday speaking with reporters, going on talk radio shows, seeking to get past the emotion in order to bring light to the facts about the challenges we face as a nation.

Following are some of the media articles or broadcasts that have included comments from Buckeye Firearms Association:

Columbus Dispatch - Few leap to call for gun controls

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said that attempts to prevent such mass killings will have to be comprehensive, including better examining mental health and teaching victims to fight back.

"Arming teachers is something we need to look at," he said, arguing that "we have a whole team of Secret Service agents protecting the president wherever he goes."

Dayton Daily News - Guns remain a talking point with Ohio lawmakers

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said preventing such mass killings will have to be comprehensive, including better examining mental health and teaching victims to fight back.

"Arming teachers is something we need to look at," he said, arguing that children deserve the same protections given the president, the speaker of the House and the governor. "Our kids are important enough, we can't afford to lose them," he said.

Dayton Daily News - Gun control debate takes center stage

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, also said he is not opposed to all gun control initiatives merely out of principle.

Gun control advocates, including Toby Hoover, the executive director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, have this week renewed calls for re-instituting a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that expired in 2004, 10 years after it was implemented.

But Irvine said those reforms didn't actually result in demonstrably fewer gun-related deaths.

"We can take a look at them. But if it's just to make somebody feel better, then we shouldn't do it. If they can show that it's effective, that's fine," Irvine said. “The problem is, they've never been able to show it in the past."

Rather, Irvine emphasized the need to increase security in schools.

That could include posting armed police officers and allowing trained school staff to carry guns. Irvine also said schools need to better reinforce their buildings and increase training for teachers and, when age-appropriate, students to deal with active shooters.

"We've got to change the mindset of teachers," Irvine said. "They've got to fight back."

Fox News - Gun sales surge after Connecticut massacre

In southwest Ohio, from dawn to dusk a Cincinnati gun show had a line of 400 waiting to get in, said Joe Eaton of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

"Sales were through the roof on Saturday," said Eaton. "People were buying everything they could out of fear the president would try to ban certain guns and high-capacity magazines."

Gannett News Service (published in several Central Ohio newspapers) - Gun lobby: Train, arm teachers for defense

Having responsible adults with guns in schools should be part of a comprehensive effort to protect children from tragedies, according to the chairman of the Ohio’s gun lobby.

Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, on Monday said if it makes sense to use armed adults to protect dignitaries or trucks of money, it also makes sense to use them to protect children. Hiding and waiting for law enforcement to arrive is simply not effective when a gunman is on a killing spree.

"What you really need is one person who is on the inside to stop it," Irvine said. "Guns are a piece of the safety puzzle."

...Irvine stressed that the defense of schools should not simply be about guns. He said it is about changing the culture to enable regular people to respond in such difficult situations. Instead of teaching children that violence is always wrong, he said young adults should learn that in dire situations, violence may be needed.

Training also should be made available for schools. From getting a janitor to swing a wrench to having teachers throw a chair, Irvine said disrupting the assailant is critical to save lives.

While putting an armed guard in each school would be ideal, the cost would be prohibitive, Irvine said. A commercial pilot, Irvine said the federal government armed pilots after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and it makes sense to give educators every chance to survive an attack.

"We've got to teach our teachers to fight back," he said.

News Talk 610 WTVN (Columbus) "The John Corby Show

Buckeye Firearms Association Central Ohio Chair Linda Walker was a guest on The John Corby Show. Linda discussed the horrific events in Newtown, CT and what should be done about it. A podcast is available here.

News Talk ZB Auckland (New Zealand) "The Mike Hosking Breakfast Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine was a guest on The Mike Hosking Breakfast Show. Jim discussed the horrific events in Newtown, CT and what should be done about it.

Record-Herald - Ohio senate adds to gun control debate

"I would argue with the terminology, with calling them 'safeguards'" said Joe Eaton, southwest Ohio chair for the Buckeye Firearms Association. "There are a lot of traps for the honest gun owners that still need to be cleared up in Ohio's gun laws, so I think it's a matter of perspective."

Legislators should have the right to store whatever they want in their automobile, and the ongoing debate is unduly focused on access to firearms, said Eaton.

"The firearms are not the cause," he said.

Eaton said that several lives were saved recently in Cincinnati when law-abiding citizens had access to guns to defend themselves from attackers.

"Unfortunately, now we turn around this week and have the opposite," he said. "We had people in a situation where they did not have the tools to protect themselves, and we ended up with too many dead children and teachers."

Toledo Blade - Ohio, Michigan gun bills in crosshairs

Guns are off limits in Ohio’s schools, and Ohio House Bill 495 on its way to Mr. Kasich’s desk would not change that.

"There's nothing in (House Bill) 495 that has to do with schools or school zones, but I understand that the anti-gun people will use this," said Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association. "It's their MO, connecting things that shouldn't be connected, to make emotional arguments.

"They will use this tragedy for political gain," he said. "It's not that they don't care about kids. That's not what I’m saying... It's just that, for whatever reason, they’ll get caught up in the emotion and try to use that, while we want to look at facts."

Gun rights advocates have argued that having a gun in the hands of a trained person in a school could stop a gunman and reduce the number of lost lives.

WBNS (CBS Columbus) - Kasich Will Not Delay Signing Of New Gun Bill

Linda Walker from the Buckeyes Firearms Association said Connecticut has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, and they failed to prevent Friday's shooting.

"Criminals don't pay attention to the laws,” said Walker. "If the teacher or principal in Connecticut had been armed, we wouldn't be looking at 28 dead people today."

Walker advocates more guns in public places, like schools, would be a deterrent to violence.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown disagrees and said there should be fewer guns on the streets, not more.

"I don't think the idea of more guns in school houses is a good thing. I think that's a bad thing," said Brown. "At least we need to ban assault weapons again as we did 15 years ago. There's just not a reason why people need an automatic or semiautomatic to spray bullets like that."

Brown said besides the assault weapons ban, a gun control bill could include a longer waiting period for gun applicants, a restriction on the number of guns that can be purchased per month, and a mandatory mental health background check.

"I think some of my friends, particularly on the other side of the aisle but in both parties who have gotten a lot of money from the National Rifle Association, need to stand up to them," added Brown.

But Walker said the debate comes down to citizens' second amendment rights. She is on the national board of the National Rifle Association, which has not yet made an official statement on the Connecticut shooting.

When asked if there's any room for compromise between gun advocates and opponents, she said, "No."

WBNS (CBS Columbus) - Dick's Sporting Goods Stifles Rifle Sales In Wake Of Conn. Shootings

Linda Walker, from the Buckeye Firearms Association, said that stricter gun control is not the answer.

"One, you can't legislate morality and two, the only people who pay attention to gun control are the law abiding citizens," Walker said. "These aren't the people going out and doing these mass murders."

WCMH (NBC Columbus) - Gun Violence Debated After School Shooting

Linda Walker, Central Ohio Chairwoman for the Buckeye Firearms Association says the answer to gun violence is not gun control. “Putting more restrictions on the law abiding is not going to stop all these mass murders,” Walker said.

Walker believes more guns will actually result in less violence.

"If it comes down to arming our teachers and administrators - it will stop it in its tracks and we will not have one more mass murder in our schools," Walker said.

WCPN 90.3 FM (Cleveland) "The Sound of Ideas"

Buckeye Firearms Association volunteer Jim Reese was a studio guest on WCPN's The Sound of Ideas. Jim discussed gun rights, the Newtown, CT spree killing and defending the Second Amendment. In addition being aired on WCPN 90.3 FM in Cleveland, the show is also webcast, transmitted over the Ohio Channel, and made available on some cable systems. Click here to listen to the podcast or watch the video.

WHIO (CBS Dayton) - Local gun sales surging in wake of CT shooting

"The honest people out there are seeing that their rights to own firearms and accessories might be restricted, so they're looking to purchase what they can," said Joe Eaton, southwest Ohio chair for the Buckeye Firearms Association.

That included, Eaton said, some retailers sold out of their available stock at last weekend's Bill Goodman’s Gun and Knife Show event in Sharonville.

"(One retailer) told me the attitude was anything they could purchase, they would purchase," Eaton said. "He had several hundred (weapons), and every one of them sold by the end of the weekend.

"One shop said they sold out of rifles they had in stock and were looking to get more, but the distributors said anything they had in the warehouse had already been sold."

WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Mark Amazon Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Southwest Ohio Region Leader Joe Eaton was a guest on The Mark Amazon Show to discuss the horrific events in Newtown, CT and what should be done about it.

WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Scott Sloan Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Southwest Ohio Region Leader Joe Eaton was a guest on The Scott Sloan Show to discuss the horrific events in Newtown, CT and what should be done about it A podcast is available here.

WLW 700 AM (Cincinnati) "The Eddie & Tracy Show"

Buckeye Firearms Association Southwest Ohio Region Leader Joe Eaton was a guest on The Eddie & Tracy Show to discuss the horrific events in Newtown, CT and what should be done about it.

WKBN (CBS Youngstown) - Guns Sales Increase In Wake Of Conn. Shooting
and WYFX (Fox Youngstown) - Guns Sales Increase In Wake Of Conn. Shooting

Local gun dealers said on Thursday they've seen a recent increase in gun sales.

...last week's tragic shooting involving children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. is making an impact on sales in addition to fueling the debate over gun rights.

"Those sorts of things usually spring people's attention that ultimately the individual is responsible for their own personal safety," said Buckeye Firearms Association spokesman Rick Kaleda.

WSYX (ABC Columbus) & WRGT (Fox Dayton) - NEWTOWN TRAGEDY: Gun Control Debate

Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board of Directors member Gerard Valentino was a interviewed by WSYX. Gerard discussed the horrific events in Newtown, CT and what should be done about it.

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