Are gun owners as dumb as Mike DeWine thinks?
By Chad D. Baus
Mention the name "Mike Dewine" to most gun owners, and the reaction is a visceral one.
They remember all too well how DeWine (whom Ohio voters ousted from his U.S. Senate seat in 2006, and who is now seeking the Republican nomination for Ohio Attorney General) ran around sporting a Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (formerly Handgun Control Inc.) endorsement because "his record really wowed the group."
They know all too well DeWine had a strong-enough record of opposition to their right to bear arms that Human Events Online named among the Top 10 anti-gun U.S. Senators, noting that he was "consistently the only Republican to speak in favor of anti-2nd Amendment legislation on the Senate floor."
They recall his vote for a ban on private transfers of firearms at gun shows, and that shortly before his defeat in 2006, he took a position in opposition to legislation which barred gun manufacturers, distributors, dealers or importers from frivolous lawsuits designed to put them out of business.
And yet despite the memory of a long history of consistently casting his votes on the side of the most rabid anti-gun Democrats in the Senate, and judging by a recent fundraiser email, Mike DeWine seems convinced that gun owners are either extremely stupid, or have extremely short memories.
Either way, gun owners should be deeply, deeply offended.
From an Oct. 14 email from the DeWine campaign, entitled "Mike DeWine Campaigning Across Ohio"
In the three short months since announcing my candidacy, Fran and I have been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from Ohioans all over the state.
...I also recently attended the U.S. Sportsmen Alliance Banquet and the 51st Annual Buckeye Buck Club Awards and Show. At both events, I talked to folks about my strong support for our 2nd Amendment rights and how, as Attorney General, I intend to negotiate concealed carry reciprocity agreements with as many states as possible.
Any time Mike DeWine talks to "folks" about his supposed "strong support for our 2nd Amendment rights," it must be a very short conversation.
And since our past three (truly pro-gun) attorneys general have already negotiated every possible reciprocity agreement, most concealed handgun license-holders will recognize that DeWine is promising to do exactly nothing.
But before we pass this all off as nothing more than the impotent lies of a has-been politician, gun voters should remember that there is a segment of the gun-owning population that has proven to be susceptible to such claims during a campaign.
For instance, in the last Presidential election, too many gun owners fell for Barack Obama's claims to be a Second Amendment supporter, thanks in part to faux gun groups like the American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA). Only after the election did those voters bother to start doing homework for themselves on Obama's record, and what they learned triggered a guns and ammo buying frenzy that has yet to abate.
Mike DeWine seems to be playing on a simlar strategy, hoping that many conservation-minded sportsmen will follow the advice the AHSA gave Obama voters, to put conservation ahead of gun rights.
The lesson learned in 2008 is that despite how familiar most gun owners are with Mike DeWine's anti-gun record, we cannot assume every hunter, gun owner and gun-rights supporter we know is as familiar with his treachery. We must accept that some will be open to buying into his line, and do everything in our power to help them see the truth before they get suckered in by an anti-gun politician with Obama-esque rhetoric yet again.
To that end, Buckeye Firearms Association has created a fact sheet to counter Mike DeWine's lies, and we need your help to circulate it far and wide. Don't assume everyone knows his record - do your part to make certain they do.
Chad Baus is a Member of the Fulton County, OH Republican Central Committee and the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.