Josh Mandel - Working hard at the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Ohio Rally

by Larry S. Moore

State Treasurer and candidate for U.S. Senate Josh Mandel made a late evening stop at the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Ohio Rally in Columbus. Mandel had an earlier event in Greene County. While Mandel may not be wearing out another pair of shoes walking, he is certainly busy criss-crossing the state. His work ethic is still being applied to meeting voters. Mandel walked the floor of event stopping to chat and have photos taken. And even though it had been a long day with multiple stops, he appeared to be thoroughly enjoying the opportunity.

The auctioneers invited him on stage to introduce the auctioning of a Henry Rifle dedicated to the U.S. Armed Forces. Mandel later autographed the rifle for the buyers. Following the introduction he returned to the floor to visit more tables. He stopped at the Buckeye Firearms Association table. As our endorsed candidate, he received a very warm welcome. Mandel was all smiles. This provided the opportunity for me to ask for a short interview, to which he quickly agreed. We briefly discussed the Second Amendment and our right to hunt. Mandel's responses were direct to the subjects.

Regarding the Second Amendment, Mandel said, "I was at the Ohio Gun Collectors annual banquet in May. I was extremely honored to be on the stage with Wayne LaPierre. I do not believe the Second Amendment to the Constitution is gray. It is black and white. We as citizens should have the right to bear arms to protect our families, our property and to hunt. We should enjoy the freedoms to hunt, fish and trap in the United States."

Protecting our rights means protecting the ability to have access to our federal lands for shooting and hunting. Many times environmental and animal rights organizations use the courts to impose their will. Mandel replied, "I will do everything I can to combat organizations who are misusing the Endangered Species Act or the EPA to get between sportsmen and our right to hunt. I believe very strongly in our Constitutional freedoms. HSUS and other groups are abusing the courts to circumvent our Constitutional rights. As a legislator I've stood up to these groups when they attacked farming in Ohio. They are opposed to our way life. When the Obama Administration can't accomplish something legislatively they make an end run to get their goals through executive administration. I will defend the right of all sportsmen to have access to federal lands."

Mandel was certainly very relaxed with the gun owners and hunters at the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Rally. We thank him for taking the time in his busy schedule to stop at the event and to give Buckeye Firearms an exclusive interview that evening. We did cut the interview short at Mandel's request. It was late in the evening but he wasn't done. He wanted to be in the lobby as the crowd was leaving to shake hands, thank people for their support and ask for their help in making a difference in Washington. He was still there when I left even as the crowd was thinning. He may have been the last person in the building other than the cleaning crew. Such is his effort and dedication to the task of bringing change to Washington.

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.

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