Second Amendment supporters gather at central Ohio events

by Aaron Kirkingburg & Chad D. Baus

The past two weekends have been busy ones for Second Amendment advocates in the central Ohio area.

On Sunday, January 13, Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA) held a central Ohio meet and greet at Stacy's Homestyle Buffet in Heath. Around 100 people attended the event, which kicked off at 4:00 p.m. with some good food and great conversation. In attendance were many BFA Firearms Forum members interested in meeting each other face to face, along with local Tea Party members, and Second Amendment supporters interested in finding out more about BFA. Richard Stobbs from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office was also in attendance.

Introductions were made of all Buckeye leadership in attendance: Two new members of BFA's Minuteman volunteer leaders group, Garret Kinderman (Volunteer Coordinator) and Austin Force (Treasurer in training); also present were Minutemen Jason Mihalick (OLC Liaison) and Aaron Kirkingburg (Youth Programs Coordinator); long time volunteers Dan Allen, Bob Maroldy, Rich Lipker, and Joel Sexton made it out as well.

We gave everyone time to make it up to the buffet a couple times, then began the speaking portion of our gathering. BFA Central Ohio Chair and NRA BOD Member Linda Walker started things out with a re-cap of the NRA board meeting she had just returned from. Linda assured everyone present that the NRA's stance on the current debacle is "NO" anti-Second Amendment laws or executive orders. Buckeye Firearms Foundation's new ATTP (Armed Teacher Training Program) was outlined. Attendees were given details on what is being done, how we are going about the change, financial requirements, etc. Linda was also asked by several individuals to explain WHAT and WHO the Buckeye Firearms Association is for those who were new to our organization.

Next to address the crowd was special guest speaker and Licking County Common Pleas Judge Craig Baldwin. He spoke of our Second Amendment heritage, the meaning of Liberty, what our Second Amendment freedom represents, and its impact on society. We would like to personally thank him for taking the time to come out and help remind us where we came from, how we got here, and what we ALL need to do moving forward! We appreciate your willingness to participate in this event, and look forward to working together in the future.

Finally, Minuteman Aaron Kirkingburg brought everyone up to speed on work being done with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Developments with the proposed pistol caliber rifle hunting provision for deer in Ohio were discussed. The crowd was informed that the Division of Wildlife believes public perception is the "final roadblock." A newly proposed endeavor within BFA was introduced: the Sportsman's Rights Fund, which will be developed to help with this and all future issues regarding sportsman's rights in Ohio. Henry Rifles has donated one of their lever action "Big Boy" rifles in .44 (which would be legal to hunt deer with under this proposal) to be auctioned off at this year's Buckeye Bash in March. If you, or anyone you know is willing to make donations for our new Sportsman's Rights Fund, you can contact Aaron at [email protected] to help out.

The Columbus Dispatch is also reporting on another Second Amendment event that was held in central Ohio the following weekend.

From the article:

Several hundred people took to the sidewalks around the Statehouse today to spread their message that responsible gun owners are nothing to fear and that sweeping gun-control proposals won’t get their support.

Organizers hoped to stage "Guns Across America" rallies at state capitals in all 50 states beginning at noon. National organizers said they wanted the rallies to be peaceful shows of support. The rallies come after President Barack Obama unveiled his proposals for gun control earlier this week.

Matt Smith, from Cincinnati, helped to organize the rally in Columbus today and said he was pleased with the crowd, estimated to be between 700 and 900.

"We wanted the message to be that gun owners are your neighbors, that we aren't too[sic] be feared," Smith said.

The article goes on to say that several hundred people in the crowd stood along High Street between Broad and State streets with signs and flags -- in some places the line between the lawn and the street was seven or eight deep -- spreading their message to passing motorists.

Others marched by the dozens around the block. The crowd was diverse, from men in Columbus Blue Jackets jerseys and young children in stocking caps and cartoon-characters coats to elderly women and businessmen in suits.

Luke Longshore came wearing his firefighters’ union jacket and carrying a sign that read, "I’m a firefighter, not a murderer."

The 23-year-old, who works for a private ambulance service in Columbus and lives in Delaware County, brought his pregnant wife and their two young children, too.

He carried his Remington 1911 handgun on his hip. He said he came to the rally because he believes in responsible gun ownership and the right to protect his family.

"America's gun owners are not a bunch of loners living the woods with our cameras and our hundreds of guns. We're firefighters and lawyers and shop owners and bag boys at Krogers," he said. "People needed to see us here today."

Columbus police reported no problems at the rally.

Authorities in other states where rallies were held also reported crowds of several hundred people.

Smith said organizers in Ohio accomplished what they set out to do.

"Everyone came with one goal," he said. "A lot of people made new friends who shared their common goal."

Aaron Kirkingburg a Buckeye Firearms Association Minuteman. Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.

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