All politicians are NOT the same
By Jim Irvine
Many times I’ve heard people say that, “all politicians are the same.” Nothing could be further from the truth. All politicians are all different.
Sure they have some similarities, just like members of any other group, but they are all unique people with unique thoughts.
Recently, U.S. Congresswoman Jean Schmidt and State Representatives Joe Uecker and Danny Bubp joined fellow shooters for a day of fun at the Buckeye Blast. They were there for the same reasons as all the other participants. They care deeply about our personal freedoms, and they support groups that work to protect those freedoms. Of course they were there for the fun and comradery too – just like the rest of us. Have you been shooting with one of your legislators yet?
But that is only the beginning. Many of our elected officials care more about our gun rights than the apathetic gun owner complaining that “they are all the same.” We have some truly great friends working at the Statehouse.
Representative Jim Aslanides has been working on concealed carry legislation since he entered the legislature. He was the primary sponsor of HB12 which made Ohio a “shall issue” state and HB347 which improved car carry and established preemption of Ohio firearms laws. These bills were preceded by HB274 which failed to become law.
We all know our law has many flaws. In many ways, Ohio has the worst concealed carry law in the county. What many don’t understand is that Jim Aslanides didn’t want any of the junk added to his good bill. Imagine working hard for years on your project. Imagine that it’s about guns and freedom and self-defense, and you are passionate about it. Now imagine the feeling as others taint your good work by adding provisions like “plain sight” to your bill. That is how Jim Aslanides feels. He has worked tirelessly to pass good legislation for the gun owner and just like you would, he takes it personally when others soil his good work. He is a tireless supporter of your rights.
Senator Tim Grendell is one of the smartest people in the legislature. He is an intellectual who understands the United States and Ohio constitution and why they read the way they do. As a principled person, he knows right from wrong. He understands that your “rights” are not “privileges” granted to you at the discretion of government.
Representative Jennifer Garrison works for her constituents. She routinely fields questions from constituents that require her to do some digging. After finding the correct answer, she forwards that information to her constituent. She is always willing to help solve problems like getting Ohio CHL’s recognized by West Virginia.
Senator Joy Padgett is also passionate about a reciprocity agreement with West Virginia. Padgett, like many of us grew up with the knowledge and respect that accompanies gun ownership. She was working on concealed carry legislation long before most of the current legislature has served their first day. She understands us, because she is one of us.
Governor Ted Strickland likewise believes in our God given rights. He learned to hunt as a child and even tried to enlighten Presidential candidate John Kerry by taking him goose hunting during the 2004 presidential campaign. Everyone knows that it was a political move. Strickland is after all a politician, but what better way to convert such a rabid anti-gunner as Kerry than to show him the challenges, discipline and fun of a day in the field. (Have you taken a gun-hater shooting lately?) The bottom line is that as a freshmen U.S. Congressmen, Ted Strickland went against his party, and even his own President Bill Clinton when he voted against the 1994 “assault weapon ban.” How many politicians do you know that have stood up to the media and their party’s President and voted to protect your rights? Governor Strickland has walked that road.
Several of our strongest friends in the legislature are not even gun owners. They understand what is right. They understand that it is good for people to be able to defend their own life and that concealed carry is an effective crime fighting tool. They know that the Second Amendment has nothing to do with duck hunting and that you are “the people” who have “the right to keep and bear arms.”
Attorney General Marc Dann has strong convictions. He will listen to the concerns of those that disagree with him, and he is willing to change his mind when conditions merit, but he will not waiver in his efforts to do what he knows is right. Dann was also one of two state legislators to join activists in an “open carry” walk before concealed carry became law.
Representative Josh Mandel served our country as a U.S. Marine carrying weapons in Iraq. He knows first hand the importance of firearms to protect life and liberty. In the right hands, all weapons are safe. In the wrong hands, even every-day objects can cause grave harm.
Representative John Adams is one of us. He sees the same problems you see with Ohio’s laws and wants to fix them. He knows that Ohio has lagged behind the rest of the country for 20 years on firearms reform and is not satisfied to take another decade to pass the laws that should have been enacted in the 1980’s.
Representative John Widowfield voted against Ohio’s concealed carry law - not because he was against concealed carry, but because he was against all the ridiculous restrictions that had become part of that bill. He was not satisfied with a bill that Governor Taft would sign, but wanted a clean bill that gun owners would be overjoyed with.
Of course there are many other friends to gun owners serving the public. Though most share all of the attributes listed above, they are all different. Like us, they share a passion for our cause. They are not satisfied to preach to the choir. They work to change our flawed and confusing laws.
Then there are those arrogant, condescending, either lying or shamelessly ignorant politicians that blame gun owners for the acts of criminals. They make excuses for murderers while blaming tools owned by law-abiding citizens for the evil acts of deranged killers.
One mission of Buckeye Firearms Association is to help you understand the differences between our friends and our enemies. If all politicians were the same, there would be no need for Buckeye Firearms.
Politicians are all different. It is our job to make sure we know each politician well enough to help you understand those differences. It’s your job to help spread the word. Knowledge is power. By working together, we will have the knowledge and power to improve our legislature, and thus our laws.