Another one bites the dust: Astroturf gun control group ceases operations in Ohio
An astroturf group formed in 2017 to push for so-called "universal background check" rules for gun sales has announced that it is ceasing operations as of today.
For those looking to shift blame, the coronavirus pandemic has become a popular go-to, and it is no different for the misleadingly-named "Ohioans for Gun Safety" (the so-called "gun safety" group doesn't even contain one single mention of safe gun handling on their website). Organizers told reporters that the current climate Ohio made it just "too difficult."
"Prior to the pandemic we were on-track to submit our citizen-initiated statute for common sense background checks with the necessary signatures to state legislators. Ongoing health and safety concerns mean that large scale signature collection will not be feasible for the foreseeable future."
The truth, of course, is that the group began trying more than two years before the pandemic to get their gun control proposal on the ballot. They failed.
The phenomenon of gun ban extremists failing to convince the public on their gun control schemes, then rebranding in hopes that poll-tested language like "common sense" and "gun safety" will fool people into supporting the same rejected ideas, is nothing new.
In 2000, Monster.com billionaire Andrew McKelvey committed more than $12 million toward the creation of the "Americans for Gun Safety." McKelvey had always donated to Handgun Control Inc., but eventually decided that the gun control movement's best chance of success was going to come about by fooling Americans into thinking they were actually pro-gun.
"I told them that Handgun Control was the wrong name. I thought what they were doing was great but I thought it could be done differently," McKelvey once told Reuters News Service. (Handgun Control Inc. did eventually take McKelvey's advice, and changed its name to The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.)
McKelvey's AGS lasted just a few years, having failed in its mission to disguise its gun control agenda in poll-tested language.
But other gun control outfits decided to try McKelvey's strategy.
The anti-gun Joyce Foundation, which once counted Barack Obama among its board of directors, began funding the "Freedom States Alliance," a network of state level gun-control groups which promoted a blog under the equally misleading name "Gun Guys." The once active blog has gone from several posts a week to having not had even one post since 2010, and FSA itself has also disappeared.
Similarly, gun controllers masquerading as pro-Second Amendment rights advocates under the name of American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA) folded up shop in 2010, two years after having been used by the media to prop up the notion that then-presidential candidate Barack Obama was not a threat to gun rights.
"Ohioans for Gun Safety" was just the latest attempt to rebrand gun control, an idea that has been soundly rejected by voters in this state and across the country, again and again and again.
Chad D. Baus served as Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary from 2013-2019, and continues to serve on the Board of Directors. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website, and is also an NRA-certified firearms instructor.