Buckeye Firearms Assoc. leaders attend Sportsmen for Romney/Ryan Rally in Cincinnati
by Larry S. Moore
Sportsmen for Romney/Ryan gathered at the Bass Pro Store at the Forest Park Shopping Center to show support for the Republican ticket in November. They heard from quite a group of sportsmen. National television show host and former CEO of the NWTF, Rob Keck, served as the emcee. Chris Cox, Executive Director of the NRA/ILA took the lead. He was followed by Former Division of Wildlife Chief Mike Budzik, who is leading the Ohio Sportsmen for Romney/Ryan effort; Josh Romney and then national comedian Jeff Foxworthy served as the anchor for the event. The speakers were passionate and clear in the message about the critical nature of the election.
Mike Budzik lead the invocation. Vietnam veteran, Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient Dick Stobbs lead the Pledge of Allegiance. It was interesting to note that at almost every sporting event where the Pledge is offered, the announcer will remind the men to remove their hats. There was no such reminder crowd today. None was needed, for the veterans and sportsmen, these rugged freedom loving individuals, knew the proper way to show respect.
Keck opened noting, "As Clint Eastwood said in Tampa, 'we own this country, we built it and we shed blood for it. We ain't giving it away.' Thank you for being here. I know why you are here. You are concerned about our country and our future. You are concerned about being able to own guns and go hunting. You are concerned about your children and grandchildren just like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are concerned. You are concerned about the future of our sport. You know what hunting and fishing means in terms of our economy. You are concerned about your quality of life. We are on track to elect Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to turn around the direction of this country." Keck introduced many of the sportsmen leaders at the event with a special thanks to Johnny Morris of Bass Pro Shops for allowing us to be at his store.
Chris Cox acknowledged the leaders in the crowd, including those representing Buckeye Firearms Association. He quickly moved to the urgent message.
"I had the honor of representing the members of the NRA in delivering the NRA endorsement to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan for President and Vice-President. Being here today I think of the economic impact hunters and gun owners have on our economy. Did you know that Ohio hunters generate over $800 million every year? There are over 300 firearms and ammunition manufacturers and over 2100 firearms dealers in Ohio. The numbers are staggering. Beyond the numbers they represent families. But to President Obama these numbers represent something entirely different. They represent bitter sportsmen clinging to your guns and religion. Obama doesn't care about hunters and shooters or the jobs we create. In fact before he was trying to kill jobs as a United States Senator voting against legislation to protect manufacturers. Obama and Biden both voted for that job killing bill. Look at this election and the Supreme Court, this election is not about the next four years, it's about the next forty years. Right now our individual God given right to own a gun hangs by a razor thin margin of one vote in the US Supreme Court. We have a President who has presided over and covered up one of the deadliest scandals in American history, Operation Fast and Furious. We have a President who would let the UN destroy the Second Amendment. This is the cold reality of what we face. Our President mocks our values, belittles our faith and is threatened by our freedom. We can change this! We can reclaim our country, reclaim our heritage and preserve our Second Amendment freedom by electing Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan!"
Budzik spoke directly to the issues facing sportsmen and our nation. He passionately addressed the crowd, "This is our time - the sportsmen time. Ohio sportsmen and women are key players in this election. We need to take the message to every county. Today our sportsmen heritage and our future is threatened by the hostile administration of Barrack Obama. Our future is tightly woven into the fabric of this country. The Romney/Ryan team recognize the great contributions we have made throughout America. The Romney/Ryan team is committed to our values. They believe in sound science to manage our natural resources. They believe in access to federal lands rather than trying to keep us out. They believe in the Second Amendment and fully protecting it! All you "All In"? Talk to at least three people about the Romney/Ryan team between now and the election. It will make a difference. The Romney/Ryan team is the only team that believes in America and believes in the America we know and love."
Keck, in introducing Josh Romney, noted that we have a broken economy, saying, "The father of our next guest knows how to fix broken things. He did it with the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City and as Governor of Massachusetts. Please make welcome the son of the next President of the United States, Mr. Josh Romney."
Josh Romney said, "I do love the sportsmen. It's a vital part of who we are. I own guns and enjoy them. I love being on the campaign trail meeting real Americans all across the country. We've got a countdown to election day. We hear people concerned about the economy, jobs and the deficit. We called the WWII generation the greatest generation. They left us a great legacy. Now think about the legacy we are leaving under President Obama. We are 16 trillion in debt. Look at the economy limping along. Look at my Dad, he knows how the private sector works. It helps to have that life experience in the private sector. Compare that with President Obama who has no experience in the private sector. He's trying to learn how to create jobs while he's learning how to be President. This is not the place to be learning how our economy works. My Dad loves to talk about the Founding Fathers. Fast forward 200-years and see what the country has become. We don't need to look to Europe for inspiration. We have inspiration right here at home and we know how to do it. We need to allow the American people to do what they do best. The thing that impresses me the most is the people who are praying for this country. That has a lot of power. I know God has blessed America and will bless America. I'm optimistic that we will win in Ohio on November 6. We've got to win this state. The future of our country is at stake. Four more years of President Obama and we will be looking like Greece. We are genuinely loosing the American dream. We've got to win and restore America."
Keck introducing the next speaker said, "You know him as a comedian, from the outdoor channel and I can assure you he is smarter than a fifth grader! He is the centerpiece of the blue collar comedy tour. He loves this country. He told me something last year at Salt Lake City that is powerful. He told me 'Rob I've entertained for five Presidents. Recently I got a call from President Obama to entertain at the White House. Guess what? I politely told him no.' Please make welcome Mr. Jeff Foxworthy!"
Foxworthy, who was primed for this appearance, immediately observed, "If you've ever used the front deck of a bass boat at Bass Pro for a stage, you might be a redneck! I've been on some interesting stages but this is the first time I've spoken from a bass boat. Thank you for being here. It's great being here but it is colder in Ohio than when I left Atlanta early this morning without my jacket. People ask me why do this. It's funny when you step up for conservative issues. I've learned from traveling to all fifty states that the accent may change but people are people. We may get called rednecks. But we get up and go to work, we get up and go to church and we go to war when our country calls us. I'm really proud to be part of this. I can tell you this is the greatest nation on earth. I've been all over the world. It's the greatest place because of what people did before me. I don't particularly like politics. But when I see people trying to fundamentally change the things that make our country the greatest place on earth, I cannot stand that. Sportsmen understand leaving something for the next generation. The reason I am standing here today is because I want to leave something for my children and my grandchildren who are not even born yet. The path we are heading scares me to death. take a look at what is happening in Spain and Greece. That's where we are heading. Get out and vote. We are headed towards a disaster. We owe it to our children to get off this path because it is not working. This is the land of opportunity. That's all people want. Get on the phone and talk to people. The election will be won by the side that has the most passion about what they believe."
The sportsmen and women who gathered to hear the speakers and rally for the Romney/Ryan ticket understand what's at stake. Bumper stickers and yard signs disappeared as fast as they were hauled out. This group has passion. The NRA campaign slogan is "All In". That's what it takes to win this election and protect our Second Amendment rights. Some of the sportsmen drove from Logan or Guernsey County to Hamilton County. They are used to getting up at "O Dark Thirty" to go hunting. Today we were all hunting for votes and to protect our way of life. I hope that every gun owner joins me and the NRA in giving all they can in the effort to prevent a second Obama presidency.
Outdoor writer and hunter education instructor Larry S. Moore is a long-time volunteer leader for Buckeye Firearms Foundation and winner of the 2005 USSA Patriot Award, the 2007 League of Ohio Sportsmen/Ohio Wildlife Federation Hunter Educator of the Year and the 2010 National Wild Turkey Federation/ Women in the Outdoors Hunter Education Instructor of the Year.