McCain receives warm reception at USSA's 12th Annual Save Our Heritage Rally

Several members of Buckeye Firearms Association joined hunters, anglers and trappers from across the state this past weekend at the United States Sportsman’s Alliance's 12th Annual "Save Our Heritage Rally" held in Columbus on September 27th.

The event, as always, was a well-organized flurry of activity, as guns, hunting trips and other outdoors accessories were auctioned off and given away throughout the evening. The grand prize was 20 acres of hunting ground in south-eastern Ohio!

The keynote speaker for the evening was Senator John McCain. Making good on his campaign motto, 'Country First', McCain chose not to attend the event in person, having stayed in Washington D.C. to work through the weekend on the ongoing issues with the Wall Street financial mess. The GOP presidential candidate addressed the more than 1,300 rally attendees via satellite feed.

Unlike the recent address President Bush delivered by satellite to the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, which came off as awkward due to the President's apparent inability to hear and react to applause in real-time, Sen. McCain was clearly able to hear the crowd react to his speech. And react they did, especially at an early mention of his choice for Vice President, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

In their coverage of the speech, CBS News notes that McCain invoked anti-gun Sen. Barack Obama's now infamous comments from last April when he said small-town Midwestern voters "get bitter and cling to guns or religion."

"You can also tell a lot about a man by how he speaks when you're not around," McCain said. "Earlier this year, Sen. Obama gave us all a little insight into his opinions of gun owners when he was among friends in San Francisco. He was in a room full of rich liberals, right at home. And he reported on some of his findings from his encounters with ordinary Americans. He said that in places like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and elsewhere, people are 'bitter.' And that is why, in his clinical opinion, you folks 'cling' to your guns and religion."

MSNBC's coverage of the event made note of how McCain went after Obama on his record on gun control and support for hunters and fishermen, and also McCain's reference to the debate Friday, in which he observed that Obama had not mentioned the word "victory" once as it pertained to the war on terror.

Closer to home, the Columbus Dispatch covered the speech as well:

Speaking by satellite from Washington last night, Republican Sen. John McCain told a friendly crowd of hunting and fishing enthusiasts in Columbus that they shouldn't trust Democrat Barack Obama when he says he supports gun rights.

"Let there be no misunderstanding," McCain told the 12th annual U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation's "Save Our Heritage" Rally. "If Sen. Obama is elected president, the rights of law-abiding gun owners will be at risk."

...McCain told a crowd of 1,300 at the rally on National Hunting and Fishing Day that he is a "committed conservationist" who, although a fisherman who doesn't hunt, "give(s) ground to no one in my defense of the Second Amendment."

He ridiculed Obama's comments at a fundraiser in San Francisco on April 6 that economic hardships have caused people in small towns in Ohio and Pennsylvania to "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them."

"My opponent's unguarded comments reflect the common Washington view that the Second Amendment is a quaint custom that must now yield to the judgment of modern enlightened opinion," McCain said, suggesting that Obama would support gun control.

The Dispatch reported that most of the sportsmen interviewed at the rally said they back McCain don't believe Obama's campaign claims of support for gun rights.

Buckeye Firearms Association enjoyed being a sponsor of this excellent organization's rally again this year, and congratulates USSA on a successful event.

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