Ken Blackwell shines in NW OH Clay Shoot

By Chad D. Baus

On Saturday, August 26, I had the opportunity to attend a Clay Shoot/ Cookout fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell.

The family event was an afternoon filled with the sounds of children laughing and splashing in the backyard pond, friends and neighbors sharing tales of their summer vacation adventures, and the sharp reports from a host of shotguns. About 20 shooters (probably four times that many were present for the cookout) took turns attempting to dust one of the more than 2,000 clay targets that were thrown over a bean field and into a nearby woods.

Secretary of State Blackwell and his wife Rosa broke out a pair of Beretta over-and-under shotguns immediately after arriving, and over the next hour or so both showed they are not only very accomplished trap shooters, but also a fun couple to be around. Blackwell seemed to take as much pleasure in cheering for a young boy, who broke his first target after receiving some instruction from his father, as he enjoyed his own success on the range.

As we leaned over the bed of my friend's pickup and watched others take their turn, I had an opportunity to talk with Mr. Blackwell.

I thanked Mr. Blackwell for his efforts to get Senate President Bill Harris to move HB347 before the November election (click on image at right). He informed me that he has since spoken with Harris about the issue, repeating his request that the bill be passed before the November election, and asking Harris not to give conservative gun owners a reason to stay home. I thanked Mr. Blackwell again, and told him that this is the kind of leadership gun owners can get excited about.

Other candidates who attended the event included U.S. Congressman Paul Gillmore, the Buckeye Firearms Association endorsee for Congressional District 5; Representative Steve Buehrer, a four-time Buckeye Firearms Association endorsee and candidate for state Senate in District 1 (count Buehrer among those who brought his shotgun); Bruce Goodwin, Buckeye Firearms Association endorsee for House District 74; and Judge Robert Cupp, Republican candidate for Ohio Supreme Court.

A spat of rain finally broke up the fun, and shooters retired to a large tent to partake in the cookout (which included grilled hotdogs and barbecue sandwiches; potato salad and baked beans; lemonade and iced tea; and enough homemade desert treats to suit any preference).

Ken took the microphone as the young ones finished their meals and headed back for more swimming in a backyard pond, and spoke about his vision for Ohio, including his proposal to privatize the Ohio turnpike, and to help Ohio wake up from its perpetual school funding nightmare. The event ended with a question and answer period.

I would encourage you, as a politically-involved gun owner, to make every effort to take advantage of opportunities to attend political events such as these when they occur in your area, and to work hard to get others to attend with you. You will find that candidates are much more able to listen to your thoughts and concerns in the relaxed atmosphere of these events, and you will get to know other active people in your area.

Chad Baus is the Vice Chairman and Northwest Ohio coordinator of Buckeye Firearms Association, and a member of the Fulton County Republican Central Committee.

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