TTAG Welcomes Blogger John Boch

 

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Some of you have noticed the new guy posting at The Truth About Guns named John Boch. Yep, that’s me. I wanted to take an opportunity to introduce myself to the TTAG family.

Advocacy

My journey into the gun rights world began with Bill Clinton signing gun control into law in 1994, even though at the time I didn’t own any of the guns affected. I joined the NRA.

A year later, I found a group of men and women working to make a difference at the local level and they became my family. That group of people has grown into today’s Guns Save Life, an aggressive grassroots gun rights group with thousands of members spread across 40 states. Today, I’m proud to work as the Executive Director of GSL.

We’re famous to a lot of people for our Burma Shave-style highway sign program, seen by 600,000 people each day on Interstates and highways across Illinois. Like this:

DIALED 9-1-1
AND I’M ON HOLD
SURE WISH I HAD
THAT GUN I SOLD
GunsSaveLife.com

The signs plant little brush-fires of freedom in the minds of passersby to subtly help influence their thinking and bring them around to our side. Our monthly journal, GunNews Magazine has a circulation averaging about 20,000 in the past couple of years. And then there are our six successful, upbeat monthly grassroots meetings across Illinois from Charleston to Chicago.

ToddJohnShannontogetherasone

From left, Todd Vandermyde, the NRA-ILA’s contract lobbyist in Illinois, John Boch, Executive Director Guns Save Life and Shannon Alford, the NRA-ILA’s legislative liaison to Illinois. Together, we protect and defend Illinois gun owner rights like no other.

We work closely with the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. We work with the Illinois State Rifle Association to facilitate shared goals. We’re also eager to build bridges with other gun rights groups, and other like-minded organizations like Live Free USA – the nation’s oldest and most respected survival organization.  Ditto for other pro-family and pro-gun groups.

The People of The Gun outside of Illinois may remember us as the group who took a whole bunch of rusted, broken down junk up to Chicago in 2012 and sold them to the do-gooders there for $6240 that we used to help send kids to the nation’s longest-running NRA Youth Shooting Camp. We gained international publicity with that. Oh yeah, we bought some guns with that money that were given away to the kids at camp.

TTAG has certainly been a part of that growth of GSL, detailing some of our successes and helping to fill my quest for the latest news and information from The World of the Gun. And today I’m lucky enough to pay it forward helping to inform and influence others as Robert, Dan, Nick and others have done for me.

Empowering others

In my spare time, I’ve been a firearm trainer with GSL Defense Training, teaching thousands over the past almost twenty years.  While GSL Defense Training isn’t part of Guns Save Life, we bring the same excellence to firearms training that GSL brings to gun rights advocacy.

Oops

I’ve studied under a who’s who of nationally-known and respected trainers and regional schools, like most of our other instructors. I hold certifications from three national firearm training organizations not counting Appleseed as I’m only an “instructor in training” with them. I’m also a survival instructor with Live Free USA.

NRA Youth Shooting Camp Guns Save Life GSL Defense Training

GSL has two dozen instructors including everything from high school grads to PhDs on our team. Farmers, teachers, IT nerds, engineers, former FBI, law enforcement, lawyers, a physician, EMTs and a nurse, pilots, and a college professor or two – we all share the love of teaching others skills that may save their lives as they’ve done for others before them.

We teach because there’s nothing more satisfying than former students crediting us and our training for helping them successfully survive a deadly force encounter.  These include a home invasion, hot burglaries, domestic violence incidents, and an attempted armed robbery with a knife to date.

Personal life

Life’s more than about guns, even though I joke I’m married to guns. My lovely wife Wendy works in HR at a major Illinois university. I’ve got a pet ferret named Nipsey – aka Nippers. Wendy tolerates him.  She would probably like him better if he got a job and quit hiding things under the dresser.

My wife and I spend a lot of time helping others as well. One of our pet projects is the HOOAH Deer Hunt For Heroes – a local, 100% volunteer program that helps wounded servicemen heal outside of a hospital.  Some of these guys are dealing with life-changing physical injuries (those IEDs really tear men up) while others are fighting mental battles. HOOAH helps them forget about their problems and at the same time overcome their disabilities and worries for a time during outdoors – at no cost whatsoever to the soldiers.

Governor Rauner with HOOAH soldiers

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner welcomes some wounded warriors to Springfield at last year’s HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes Deer and Pheasant Hunt. The SCHEELS store outfitted the soldiers from head to toe at no charge.

I’ve personally seen guys who were suicidal turn their lives around and thrive. When they credit the support of their new-found HOOAH “family”, it moves you. And that’s where my wife comes in, planning and executing their northern golf outing and fundraising dinner. I help with publicity and promotions. We all have a role as the group has grown, sort of like how GSL has grown.

Four years ago HOOAH took four soldiers. Last year, they helped about 100 at a dozen-plus events. The founders keep saying they’re going to hold the line, but the friendships formed, lives changed for the better and suicides avoided are all reasons they don’t say no when volunteers materialize to make new events come off successfully.

So that’s who I am. I look forward to serving all of you as part of the TTAG staff.

All the best,
John

comments

  1. avatar Ralph says:

    I really like that slogan – a lot.
    Except, I don’t sell guns.

  2. avatar Phil LA says:

    Nice marmot, man.

    1. avatar Uniform Whiskey says:

      The dude abides.

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    Outstanding! Welcome (officially) aboard, John.

    TTAG just keeps on getting better and better.

  4. avatar Geoff PR says:

    Welcome, and I look forward to more of your posts.

    Is it true .17 HMR is good for ferrets?

    I kid! I kid! Buddy of mine has one, affectionate little buggers…

    (Ferrets, the other white meat… 🙂 )

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Ferrets are nice, friendly, happy little creatures who happen to smell like a ripe sweat sock.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Yeah, they are. I was *trying* to be polite.

        They do love hanging out in tiny ferret hammocks…

      2. avatar barnbwt says:

        Filthy, disease carrying things…

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Some folks have that same attitude towards gun owners.

    2. avatar Sian says:

      “Is it true .17 HMR is good for ferrets?”

      They have a little trouble handling the recoil. .22 short is about their limit.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        ???

        Bench rest
        ?

    3. avatar gs650g says:

      Ferret.
      My kid wanted one until the smell was discovered.

    4. avatar BLoving says:

      Some folks will roll down the window and take a whiff while driving past a cow field.
      Ferret owners are kinda like that: you either love the smell or you don’t. Five in our house at the time of this writing, as many as seven once upon a time…

  5. avatar samuraichatter says:

    I am so glad you put the other pictures up. If I went by the first one alone I get a crouching psycho hidden creeper vibe. Kinda of like Mister Rogers but with hatchet behind his back. So, yeah glad to have ya.

    1. I think it was the George Zimmerman hair line.

    2. avatar Ing says:

      If Mr. Rogers didn’t have a hatchet hidden behind his back, what on Earth was he smiling for?

  6. avatar SteveInCO says:

    Any organization whose response to reports of people in Ferguson tripling their gun purchases is “More, please!” has the right attitude.

    Welcome, John.

  7. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Good to see your articles John. You are a busy guy!
    Keep up the good works.

  8. avatar NorincoJay says:

    We need more people like you John. Thank you, for all your hard work and commitment.

  9. avatar jwm says:

    Welcome.

  10. avatar 2Asux sucks says:

    I have been to a few of gsl meeting in effingham il. They are some damn good dudes. I can’t wait to read some stuff from someone close to home.?

  11. avatar 2Asux sucks says:

    Hey John I love your ” no guns no money”business cards that I can hand out to the gun free zone people.

  12. Thanks for the full profile. Now I won’t have to ferret out the information on John.

  13. avatar Tom in Georgia says:

    Welcome aboard, sir. I’ve seen your byline here, there and a few other places before. Mostly Facebook. It sounds like you do quite a bit. I do have a somewhat pedantic question of sorts to ask, though. Why is the group named “Guns Save LIFE” instead of the seemingly more grammatically correct phrase “Guns Save LIVES” instead? Is there a story behind this by any chance?

    Cute ferret, by the way. Friend of mine had one, very entertaining pets.

    Tom

    1. avatar John Boch says:

      Thanks everyone.

      To Tom’s question about why “Guns Save LIFE” instead of “Guns Save Lives”…

      When we started the sign program, we decided to make the fifth and final sign always be the “tagline” with our website. Our goal was to make that sign convey a message of its own, and ideally two messages. It had to be less than 20 characters, which is effectively the maximum number of characters that will fit on one of our sign panels.

      GunsSaveLives.com was unavailable, and at that time owned by an Ohio grassroots group.

      GunsSaveLIFE was available. We thought about it and the more we pondered it, the more we liked it.

      Life like “pro-life”.
      Life like people saved.
      Life including more than just people, but pets, etc.

      We are now incorporated under that name and continue to grow. In fact, in just this past month, we’ve helped launch a grassroots gun rights group in Fresno, California that has their first meeting tomorrow night. The may not become our first GSL chapter outside Illinois, but we’re still more than happy to give them a recipe for an effective meeting and plans for growth.

      John

      1. avatar Wiregrass says:

        It also works for Life, as in quality of such.

  14. avatar Mk10108 says:

    Signs on the side of the road are cute. Call me when you want piles of brass and dead democrats, until then it’s conversation.

    1. avatar Scoutino says:

      I could use some piles of brass, especially 5.56, .44 mag and .40 s&w. Have no use for democrats. Dead or otherwise.

  15. avatar PeterK says:

    Welcome. I look forward hearing more from you.

  16. avatar Bud Harton says:

    Hi, John!

    From deepest Ozarkia

    (where some people really wear Daisy Mae shorts, the better to see their tats)

    1. avatar John Boch says:

      Hey Bud! A true patriot!

      Glad to hear you’re alive and well. Sad that you moved out of IL but knowing where you were at, understand completely.

      John

  17. avatar MLee says:

    Don’t let that 12 year old girl from Utah anywhere near that Ferret. She’ll kill it, put her foot on it in a great achievement pose, take a picture and post it on Facebook where everyone is supposed to go ohhhhhh ahhhhhhh!

  18. avatar DbCO says:

    Boch is pronounced how?

    Botch
    Bock
    Boke
    Book
    Smith

    1. avatar John Boch says:

      Think “Johann Sebastian Bach”.

      1. Sounds like a case of pianist envy.

        1. avatar scott says:

          Cough, choke, gag, chuckle, laugh. You owe me a beer, and a lung, Michael. Funny stuff rat there.

        2. I’ll give you two beers. You’re on your own with the lung.

  19. avatar The Hildebeast says:

    Glad to have Illinois represented on the TTAG staff.

    I sent a dues check to GunsSaveLive when they sued the Chicago slime for their unconstitutional ammo tax.
    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/12/daniel-zimmerman/382285/

    Hey John, got an update on that suit?

    1. avatar John Boch says:

      It’s our first lawsuit. I’ve learned these things make the speed of smell seem like an SR-71 on afterburner at altitude.

      We’ve gone back and forth on a number of motions and more motions and counters. Initially they tried to toss the suit because we hadn’t paid the ammo tax yet, but they dragged it out long enough that we submitted proof we had.

      Too smart by half comes to mind.

      The judge wanted – as I understand it – a completely re-written suit and that’s where we are at now. I think this judge knows this is going up on appeal – potentially to the Illinois Supreme Court – and is making sure he does everything as close to perfect as he can.

      John

    2. avatar Otis McDonald's ghost says:

      How about an update on the lawsuit that John threatened against Mike and Valinda Rowe of Illinois Carry?

      John’s minions at GSL weren’t able to get their banner in front of the Illinois Carry banner at the IGOLD march at the Illinois state capitol in Springfield this March. Valinda Rowe goes through the rigamarole to get the street march permit for IGOLD, but that doesn’t matter to John. Product placement of the GSL banner is very important to him, it enhances the brand image, which in turn advances his financial position.

      Forget about John’s “let’s all work together in Illinois to advance gun rights” rap. Watch what he does, not what he says. No doubt he has erased all reference to his threats against the Rowe’s from the GSL website. Censorship for purposes of maintaining his control is his first response to everything, not free speech or democracy.

      If John wants to sue Mike and Valinda Rowe, let him use his own money, not money from GSL members. The GSL board has crowned him executive director, he should be able to afford it.

  20. avatar dlj95118 says:

    From the late great state of Kalifornia – welcome Sir!

  21. avatar Mobrules says:

    From one flat lander of Lincoln to another……. Welcome. I should learn more about your organization. Sounds like you do some good work. Welcome aboard.

  22. avatar Alan says:

    Sorry, you lost me at “pro-family”. That’s a cute name for taking away the rights of others (e.g. gays) who simply want to live their lives without bothering you.

    It’s rather hypocritical to advocate for gun rights on the basis of freedom, but then deny freedom to others, especially when those denied freedoms don’t affect you.

    In any case, welcome to TTAG.

    1. avatar Jhon says:

      So you didn’t actually bother to research their position, just made a half assed assumption based on a term used. Nice work. And newsflash, others are allowed to have their own opinions on gays, abortion, etc. Diversity and all, right?

    2. avatar doesky2 says:

      @Alan……There are a bunch of photographers, bakers, and florists that would like to question you about “not being bothered”. After that there are millions of parents who would like to be “not bothered” with trannys in their daughters grade school locker rooms.

      The gay mafia agenda over the past few years is a direct result of gay marriage aftermath. It was all predicted by a few folks and then scoffed at by the elitists and media. A perfect example of mass “first stage thinking”.

    3. avatar John Boch says:

      Alan:

      By pro-family, I mean the older, more conventional definition, not the modern twist given to it by leftists trying to change the meaning of our language.

      I’m sorry you’ve been conditioned to see “pro-family” as “anti-gay”. We as GSL (and me personally) welcome all people who share a belief in self-defense and gun rights into our family.

      John

  23. avatar Otis McDonald's ghost says:

    Is Guns Save Life an Illinois not for profit corporation?
    When did Guns Save Life create the position of “executive director” and when were you installed in this position?
    Are you paid by Guns Save Life in your position as “executive director?”

    1. avatar John Boch says:

      Use your real name and email and I’ll be happy to answer away. Your earlier drive-by attack calling GSL members “Rubes” and “illiterate” good old boys, and attacking me personally has you with one foot in the blacklist grave and the other on a banana peel.

      John

      1. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

        He’s a troll John Boch- AKA DemoMan. He hates IL rifle assoc. and Todd Vandamyde,central IL and white folks. And Chatsworth. And I guess he hates you too. You have to do a helluva’ lot more than that to be “blacklisted” on TTAG. I guarantee you’ll never get a real name…

      2. avatar Otis McDonald's ghost says:

        So Guns Save Life members pay dues, the GSL board appoints John “executive director” but he won’t answer any questions about how he spends membership money because someone dared to question him? First the ad hominem attack, then the snitching. Still stuck in debate team mode from your days at University of Illinois?

        Don’t toss out words like “grave” and don’t make threats. You never took the oath, you wouldn’t have lasted three days in basic training, and you never wore the uniform. Police Explorers with Lt. Joe Gliniewicz in Fox Lake doesn’t count.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      You know, demo man, you’re the only one making these negative comments about John and Todd. No one else says these things.

      So, do you get paid by mda or kapo bloomberg directly?

  24. avatar Crowbar says:

    Welcome John. Thank you for all of your 2A work and helping our veterans.

  25. avatar Lee Williams says:

    AWESOME news! Well deserved, John!

    1. avatar John Boch says:

      Thanks Lee. You’re doing God’s work down there in Florida, by the way!

      J

  26. avatar Wiregrass says:

    Have always enjoyed reading your “buy back” stories. Looking forward to reading your articles.

  27. avatar Ebby123 says:

    JBOCH! Glad to see you come to the dark side!
    I’ve followed your work on GSL intently, and I’ve always appreciated your thorough investigation.

    You do what journalists used to do.

  28. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    He’s got crazy eyes. That’s good.

  29. avatar HellofromIllinois says:

    So he’s from the same group “survival” group that peddles this fear mongering nonsense?:

    “The eventual result of these combined and multiplying manmade and natural disasters MUST BE A GENERAL WORLD COLLAPSE some time in the next twenty to one-hundred-years.” (emphasis added)

    Those dudes have some amazing predicting powers that no one else has apparently and a very dismal view of the ability of human beings to better our situation.

  30. avatar Pwinky says:

    I’ve enjoyed your contributions so far, welcome aboard! You’re doing important work and I commend you for that.

    Suggestion: Just because you work in the political/training side doesn’t mean we wouldn’t like to hear your firearm reviews as well. Letting us know about your favorite weapons would help us get to know you better too!

  31. avatar Otis McDonald's ghost says:

    Are you a Freemason? If so, what rite do you belong to, and where is your current lodge?

    1. avatar Jhon says:

      Otis my man, are you a wingnut conspiracy theorist living in his mom’s basement, or is all that tinfoil on your head to keep your hair dry?

      1. avatar Otis McDonald's ghost says:

        Actually John is a Freemason, which is relevant to the way he runs Guns Save Life. Pay your dues, shut up, don’t ask questions regarding my new from scratch position of executive director, etc., ad nauseum. He has a master plan for gun rights in Illinois, but you little people can’t be let in on it right now. Trust John Boch and only John Boch, and thou shalt have no false gods before thee!

        In the central Illinois small town corn belt where John hails from, a majority of cops, lawyers and judges are Freemasons. It’s a remnant of the good old boys who used to run America, for our own good of course. Richard Pearson of IL State Rifle Association is a Freemason also. He and Boch have more than the self-anointed title of executive director and a Masonic ring in common. They both have failed to do a thing to improve Illinois’ terrible concealed carry bill even one little bit.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          And what have you done to improve Illinois?

        2. avatar John Boch says:

          I am? LOL.

          I have considered joining the Freemasons, but am not a member. I’ve considered joining because the Freemasons I know are good people.

          You know, OMG, if you devoted your energy at the other side instead of at pro-gun folks, you might actually be an asset.

          John

  32. avatar Accur81 says:

    Welcome, sir!

    I’ve got a busted air rifle I hope to “turn in” for ammo money and a donation to a gun rights group.

  33. avatar LHW says:

    Welcome sir!

  34. avatar anaxis says:

    I had a range buddy who had a ferret and a cat. The cat thought he was a ferret, and the ferret acted like a cat.
    His wife also wore the pants in their relationship, while he was the stay-at-home partner. She regularly told him what guns he should buy…. which is why he bought a 9mm Korth semiauto, despite being more interested in collecting handmade boots & hats. That house was an excercise in opposite day, every day.

  35. avatar Chris Bowen says:

    Dook dook dook! Fellow ferret owning gun guy here, and welcome.

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