Feet on the ground

By Jim Irvine

Of the many praises of Buckeye Firearms Association and our volunteers this year, the one we are most proud of is, "While other groups sent money and made in-kind donations, yours was the only endorsement that brought volunteers to my campaign."

The significance of that compliment can not be understated. Volunteers are how a political race is won.

Jim Tressel might be a great football coach, but his talents would be wasted if there was not a team of players who were devoted to the work it takes to execute his game plan. Winning a game or a National Championship is a team effort. Many people must work together for a common cause, and do it better than every other team set on the same goal.

Campaigns are similar. While the media portrays politics as $10,000 per plate dinners and highly paid consultants, most campaigns are run by volunteers on a shoe string budget. Your $50/100 donation really helps. Working a four hour shift will bring many votes on Election Day.

Most races can be swayed by one person, dedicated to the candidate. Even in the Presidential race, there was no denying how crucial Karl Rove was to the Republicans strategy. Local races are similar. There were clear goals and organization with the campaigns of Statewide winners Ted Strickland, Mary Taylor, and Marc Dann.

State House and State Senate races generally do not have the money to distribute all their literature. They depend on volunteers to walk or drive the district stuffing paper boxes or doors. Even our PAC treasurer helped with tubing for Tom Patton.

Even giving one or two 4 hour shifts to a campaign will make a difference. This year we had many people working these shifts, and many of those worked numerous shifts for numerous candidates.

This was Buckeye Firearms Assoc. Region Leader Chris Chumita’s first year working directly for campaigns. He worked for gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell, Congressional Candidate Mike Dovilla, and State Representatives Josh Mandel, and Tom Patton. He went from not knowing a good candidate, to wishing he had more time to work for all the good candidates he met. His wife Rachel joined him and they enjoyed working together for good candidates.

Numerous other Buckeye Leaders assisted with two, three, four or more campaigns. We moved days off and vacation days to better help in the final week before the election. But there are too few of us to have a significant statewide presence. That is where you came in. Together, we are a team, and we made our presence felt in many ways. Local races, Ohio House, Ohio Senate, U.S. Congress, State Supreme Court and Governor campaigns were all shaped in some way by volunteers like you who care about freedoms and firearms rights. THANK YOU!

We preached for many months, that passing a good HB347 depended upon gun owners showing up not just to vote, but to work on campaigns. Today, the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice will introduce a substitute bill for HB347. You will see the results of your work unveiled.

Did the collective “we” do enough to earn the respect of the legislature? Today we will all see the answer.

We salute all those who helped us put feet on the ground in campaigns all over our state this year. You are the reason Buckeye Firearms can influence elections, and thus influence our laws. The whole state will be better for your sacrifice.

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Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots organization dedicated to defending and advancing the right of citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation. Read more.