Gunning for Those Against Guns

Apparently, the National Rifle Association and other rabid gun enthusiasts value the right to bear arms considerably more than the right of free speech. Woe to those who dare inject some common sense into the debate over the use and ownership of firearms. Consider what has recently happened to one of their own who took exception to the use of military-style assault rifles for hunting, as reported by the Washington Post:

‘Terrorist’ Remark Puts Outdoorsman’s Career in Jeopardy

SEATTLE — Modern hunters rarely become more famous than Jim Zumbo. A mustachioed, barrel-chested outdoors entrepreneur who lives in a log cabin near Yellowstone National Park, he has spent much of his life writing for prominent outdoors magazines, delivering lectures across the country and starring in cable TV shows about big-game hunting in the West.

Zumbo’s fame, however, has turned to black-bordered infamy within America’s gun culture — and his multimedia success has come undone. It all happened in the past week, after he publicly criticized the use of military-style assault rifles by hunters, especially those gunning for prairie dogs.

“Excuse me, maybe I’m a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity,” Zumbo wrote in his blog on the Outdoor Life Web site. The Feb. 16 posting has since been taken down. “As hunters, we don’t need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them. . . . I’ll go so far as to call them ‘terrorist’ rifles.”

The reaction — from tens of thousands of owners of assault rifles across the country, from media and manufacturers rooted in the gun business, and from the National Rifle Association — has been swift, severe and unforgiving. Despite a profuse public apology and a vow to go hunting soon with an assault weapon, Zumbo’s career appears to be over.

His top-rated weekly TV program on the Outdoor Channel, his longtime career with Outdoor Life magazine and his corporate ties to the biggest names in gunmaking, including Remington Arms Co., have been terminated or are on the ropes.

The NRA on Thursday pointed to the collapse of Zumbo’s career as an example of what can happen to anyone, including a “fellow gun owner,” who challenges the right of Americans to own or hunt with assault-style firearms. [full text]

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8 responses

  1. Had you done a lick of original research instead of regurgitating the swill that was spoon-fed to you by the WaPo you would have realized that this was a grassroots response to Zimbo’s post. Thousands of posts per day we posted on Jim’s blog before that blog was pulled off line. Then Jim resigned his position. That all went down before the NRA issued their first press release.

    The groundswell of people that voiced their opinion about Jim to his ex-sponsors care deeply about their right to keep and bear arms, and don’t take kindly to the thought that the only legitimate purpose to keep their “Liberty’s Teeth” is so they can go hunting.

    The vast majority of responders cherish the right to free speech, just as we are doing now, but having the freedom of speech is not the same as having freedom from responsibility for that speech.

    “On Friday evening, a gunwriter who was apparently tired of his 42-year career put his word processor in his mouth and pulled the trigger.� -Tam

  2. No, Dave we value our 1st ammendment rights just as much as our 2nd, we also understand that both have to be used responsibly.

    How exactly is it common sense to call an entire group of gun owners ‘Terrorists’ based on the cosmetic features of their firearms?

  3. You know what, Standard Mischief? I am really, really tired of “disagreements” that consist soley of personal attacks. Perhaps many people did disagree with Zumbo; but that is not the point.

    The point is that he had the courage to take a stand, and the immediate response by those disagreeing with that stand was to shout him down and intimidate him into recanting and resigning. Your last sentence amply demonstrates that sort of mentality.

    Couldn’t be bothered to discuss the merits of the situation. Oh no. Might lose that debate. And that’s not democracy, or free speech. That’s simply mob rule. How dare he express an opinion that deviates from the extremist orthodoxy? We’ll shout him down.

    What do assault rifles have to do with hunting? Answer that, please. Going to take an AK-47 out deer hunting? Right. Very manly. What–is the idea to kill it and eviscerate with a single clip?

    Trying equate assault rifles with hunting is an insult to the 2nd Amendment. What happens if a couple of people go to a gun show, buy three or four of these, and then cut loose in a mall? Or a school?

    These things are not designed for hunting; they are designed to kill a lot of people very, very, quickly. They can do a lot more damage than your standard five-shell shotgun. Or a bolt-action 30.06.

    Do you even know what an assualt rifle is? Was he talking about automatics? Semi-automatics? Do you know the difference? Would it make a difference to you which type he’s talking about?

    So, if you’ve got a real point, make it. And knock off the personal disparagement. “Regurtitating…swill” is not a phrase belonging in reasoned debate. It’s nothing but a personal attack made by someone who is terrified of arguing on merit. Grow up, and maybe we can discuss this like adults.

    Can you do that? Go ahead: prove me wrong. Make my day.

  4. It seems to me that an assault rifle is to hunting as a Hummer is to city driving. If,on the other hand, you want to use your assault rifle to attack the US government you might be at risk of being called a terrorist. But like the Hummer owner, it’s a lot safer to flash your hardware in the US than to go somewhere like Iraq where people shoot at you. Our president has kept his promise to give the NRA an office in the White House and the gun lobby’s special priviliges are safe for now.

  5. What do assault rifles have to do with hunting? Answer that, please. Going to take an AK-47 out deer hunting? Right. Very manly. What–is the idea to kill it and eviscerate with a single clip?

    1.The 2nd amendment hasn’t a thing to do with hunting.

    2. The rights of the people to keep and bear arms is not dependent on if or how often or the suitability of taking said firearm afield.

    3. If, by “assault rifles” you mean cosmetically-challenged self-loading rifles, then they are no more or less powerful than any other semi-auto firearm, including many that hunters carry afield. How much do you know about firearms? Would it seem fair to you to judge a firearm purely on cosmetic looks?

    4. The 7.62×39 round, the one that most of the semi-auto copies of the full auto AK-47 is a round very close (slightly less power) to the old blackpowder .30-30. This is one of the most popular deer cartridges out there.

    5. AK-47 rifles, even the full auto ones, don’t take “clips”.

  6. Let me see now . . . this thing has a trigger (firing mechanism), a barrel, a stock/grip and it fires projectiles . . . so it is called a “gun” which includes everything from a missle launcher to a BB gun, be it a pistol, revolver or rifle. It could be mounted on an airplane, tank, water vessel or inside your pocket.

    The gun banners only focus on “civilian” weapons. But it is perfectly OK for these same gun banners to sanction weapons of mass destruction! Why? They are either stupid as this non-brain human is or they want your freedom on a silver platter! Beware of both!

    Bumper Guy!

  7. Any reader of crime reports has to concede that among the few benefits of AR’s are that drug dealers regularly and efficiently kill each other off with them. Unfortunately, all too frequently, innocent bystanders are caught in the line of fire.

  8. 90% of all stats by Rasputin...

    …(rifles of any type are involved in three to four percent of all homicides)…

    Link, for fact checking:

    guncite.com/gun_control_gcassaul.html

    Check on that page for stats on how many of the “evil black rifles” are used in crimes, rather than all rifles.

    Oh, and my rights under the 2nd amendment do not change depending on the homicide rate, just like my 1st amendment rights do not change depending on the libel statistics.

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