Happy Thanksgiving from Buckeye Firearms Association President Jim Irvine

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. Even as a teenager, I recognized that it might be even more enjoyable than Christmas. I would see family I had not seen in 11 months and there was no pressure about gifts. People were not all stressed out and the time was spent catching up on the year’s stories over lots of good food.

As I pondered all that I have to be thankful for, I thought it might be worth sharing some of it with others who may have similar thoughts.

This year has been crazy busy for me, but a life full of good things is a great place to be. I'm thankful for my family and a supportive wife who loses considerable family time with me because of Buckeye Firearms Association and all that I'm involved in.

I'm thankful for Representatives Terry Johnson and Ron Maag who spend countless hours working on their sponsored legislation and helping guide it through the legislative process. Committee Chairman Mike Dovilla and Jim Butler vet the testimony and work with interested parties as they refine bills and get them ready for floor votes. I'm thankful for supportive leadership that helps their caucus understand the legislation that we are asking for votes on.

I'm thankful for former Representative Jim Aslanides and former Senators Joy Padget and Steve Buehrer, all of whom have left the legislature, but who championed changes to the law we enjoy today. They paved the way for today's successes.

I'm thankful for the team of people that make up Buckeye Firearms Association and our Foundation. They have given of their time and talents to make the organization and our state better.

I'm thankful for all the grassroots support for what we do; for the monetary gifts; for the handshakes and compliments and ideas that come from people engaged in the quest to restore freedom and make the laws function better for the lawful.

I'm thankful for all the teachers and school board members and administrators who have stepped up to make our schools safer. Out of the great tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, has come a renewed determination to keep our kids safe. Many people have reached well beyond their comfort zone in looking for answers to difficult problems. Their willingness to do so underscores their deep love for our children.

I'm thankful for John Benner, Ron Borsch, Chris Cerino, Phil Chamlers, Dave Grossman, John Giduck and many others who have been studying and working on solutions for many years, so that when schools asked "what can we do?" they had well-thought-out answers and have helped us to help schools and parents understand horrific events and deal with them.

I'm thankful for our veterans who fought to make our world a better place. Without their victories in many really big battles over the centuries, the opportunities to fight the battles we fight today would not exist. So much of what we enjoy comes from the gift of freedom our veterans secured for us.

I'm thankful for Appleseed, Lakes and Trails, Boy Scouts and others who work with our youth. Their work teaching kids about responsibility and shooting safely is critical, because if the youth fails to grasp the importance of what we have, all those things we are thankful for will no longer matter. They can be lost in a generation unless we teach kids from an early age the truth, and let them experience shooting so they have something tangible in their souls to guide them through the lies and imperialistic anti-freedom lobby.

Indeed, I have much to be thankful for this year. I hope you do too.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Association President, BFA PAC Chairman and recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award" and the CCRKBA's 2012 "Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award."

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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.