How elections matter

By Jim Irvine

Every year we hear how important elections are, and in spite of all the hype, the truth is that every election is important. In November, you are sure to hear someone say, “Why don’t we have a good candidate to choose from?” I’ll tell you why; because they didn’t show up to elect the good candidate in the primary. Ohio’s primary election is May 2 and Republican and Democratic candidates must win the primary to be on the ballot in the fall. We need to work together to ensure we have good candidates to in November. Every election matters.

This month, the Ohio House passed HB347 with a 76-19 vote. (Four Representatives were absent) Pro votes exceeded anti votes by a 4 to 1 ratio. 80% of votes cast were in favor of improving our firearms laws.

Two years ago, the House voted 69-28 to pass HB12. Four years ago HB274 passed the House but never made it to Governor Taft’s desk. Because we changed the makeup of the House and Senate, we changed the outcome of concealed carry and thus got our (flawed) law.

It's interesting to note that this happened even while the Democrats picked up 2 seats from Republicans. While the leaders of the DNC are vehemently anti-gun, the Ohio Democratic Party led by Representative Chris Redfern is not.

Last session, the 7th district (Cleveland) was occupied by Representative Ed Jerse. He led the fight against passing concealed carry in the House. He offered amendments in committee to try to kill the bill, and if he could not kill it, he aimed to change it into something terrible for gun owners. He spoke out against concealed carry on the House floor, and led a long debate before it finally passed. He gave the news media lots of inaccurate, but scary sound bites describing how there would be mass killings by people carrying guns.

In November 2004, Kenny Yuko(D) was elected to represent the 7th district.

Admittedly, we had some concerns about Representative Yuko. He came from the same urban district as the anti-gun champion, and did not return our survey. In February of 2005 we visited Yuko and others in Columbus. We were pleased that Yuko was not anti-gun. While he may not be a proponent of “Vermont” style laws, he is someone we could talk with, discuss with, and work with. He has legitimate concerns, and an honest desire to improve Ohio’s laws. I summarized the meeting with, “This district is moving in the right direction.”

Elections matter.

On March 7, Representative Yuko voted in committee to send HB347 to the House floor, where he was one of 18 Democrats voting in favor of reform. (19 Democrats voted against, and all 58 Republicans present voted for HB347) Last session only 13 Democrats voted for HB12.

Now the focus shifts to the Ohio Senate, where concealed carry reform has been delayed, injured or killed in the previous two sessions. Many are concerned, but there is reason for hope this time.

In 2004, our "most important" election was between Joy Padgett, a staunch supporter of firearms rights, and former hostage Terry Anderson, who was opposed to making needed improvements in CCW laws. You elected Senator Padgett (R-20) who is now a leader for our cause in the Senate.

In Senate district 14, you replaced President Doug White with Senator Tom Niehaus (R), a great friend to our cause, and in district 18 you replaced Senator Robert Gardner with another great friend, Senator Tim Grendell (R). Three senators who gave cover to Governor Taft have been replaced by three Senators who will stand up and fight for your rights. Elections matter.

With all the excitement of HB347's progress, it's easy to get wrapped up in the progress we are making, but May's elections are only 38 days away. These elections will shape the legislature that will serve under our next Governor. Campaign signs will start popping up in about a week. Have you volunteered to take one? Are you working on a campaign? Have you donated to a pro-gun PAC?

We need your help this election season. It may not be a presidential election, and many people say it's only a primary election, but this election is important to the future of Ohio's firearms laws.

Helping our endorsed candidates win their elections sends a strong message to all candidates – that the grassroots volunteers that make up the gun lobby matter at election time. Helping our friends like Senator’s Grendell, Dann, and Jordan, along with Representative Willamowski we can reward those who worked hard to make Ohio a shall issue, concealed carry state. They have all worked for you, and they all need our help with a contested primary election May 2. We have also endorsed several statewide candidates like Sandy O’Brien, who is in a primary fight with rabid anti-gunner (and former Lt Governor under Taft) Jennette Bradley. We need your help to make sure all your shooting friends vote for our friends May 2.

Check our endorsements page
for candidates that need your help right now, and volunteer
to help us make a difference this November. Together, we can make a difference. We must, because this election matters.

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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.