How to Be an Effective Gun Rights Volunteer
Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots organization edicated to one issue: gun rights in Ohio. We defend and advance the rights of citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation.
Volunteers like you are the muscle behind our work. We need YOU to help us hand out literature, write legislators, put up posters, run special events, and more. Volunteering can be fun and rewarding. But it carries some responsibility as well.
When you are a volunteer, your words and actions reflect on Buckeye Firearms Association. If you want to be a totally free agent, that's fine. But if you want to be a volunteer, you need to realize that you are part of a successful team.
Here is what we expect from ALL of our volunteers:
- Act in the best interests of gun owners. As a volunteer, you are on the front lines of the fight between gun rights and gun control. Everything you say or do should be directed toward helping the cause and aiding Buckeye Firearms Association. Think before you speak. Keep in mind that what you do affects all of us.
- Pitch in. We need a lot of help with a lot of things. If we need help with something specific, we'll ask. But you don’t have to wait for an invitation. If you have a special skill or a good idea, let us know. If you want to put up posters or hand out our wallet cards or give brochures to someone, contact us. This is the sort of initiative that we love.
- Show up. This is probably more important than anything. There are more than enough people who talk about gun rights. But what we need are people who DO things. About 10 percent of our success is great ideas. But 90 percent is the result of people just SHOWING UP!
- Be patient. There's no quick fix and no magic bullet. Changing the laws takes lots of work and lots of time. We're effective because we never give up. If you're looking for a quick resolution to every problem, you're going to find this sort of work frustrating. But if you stand firm and keep working with us, it will eventually pay dividends.
- Keep up-to-date on the issues. You don't need to be an expert on politics or the law, but it helps when you are reasonably familiar with your legislators and the laws we are either fighting or supporting. The best way to keep up is to subscribe to Buckeye Firearms News and visit BuckeyeFirearms.org frequently. Our website is Ohio's most complete source for up-to-the-minute news on progun laws, candidates, and events.
- Be courteous at all times. There is no excuse for treating anyone in a rude or disrespectful way. That includes those who hold different ideas on the gun rights issue. How you act is far more important than what you say when dealing with people. Don’t get angry. Keep your cool.
- Dress neatly and be well groomed. You should be clean and dressed in a presentable way at all times. If you show up at the Statehouse, you should wear business attire. For informal events, neat casual clothing is fine. We are in the public eye, so we want to present a professional appearance. When in doubt, ask.
- Don't badmouth other gun groups. We all have a different approach or different areas of focus, but ultimately we're all on the same side. When you run down any gun organization, you do harm to all of us. If you don't have something good to say, don't say anything at all.
- Don't bash politicians on our side of the issue. No one is perfect. And you will inevitably be disappointed with politicians from time to time. But we can't afford to alienate a candidate or representative who supports us. They are professional and personal friends. We need their help.
- Never represent yourself as a spokesman. You are part of our family, but unless you have express permission, you are NOT to speak for Buckeye Firearms Association. This includes personal conversations, statements to the press, chat rooms, blogs, and communications with candidates or lawmakers.We need to stay "on message," and you may not know what that message is. If you say the wrong thing, it could be used against us. Simply refer people to one of our Leaders.
- Never, ever be under the influence. What you do on your own time is your own business. But you cannot be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs at any time while acting as a volunteer.
- Have fun! Yes, being a volunteer can be a lot of work sometimes. But it's also rewarding. It's something you can be proud of. If you show up regularly, you will have an opportunity to socialize with like-minded gun owners and make life-long friends. And not everything is difficult. Even if you just do a few small jobs now and then, you can make an important contribution to the cause and have a blast!