Saturday, February 24, 2007

Not about Zumbo

It's time for the discussion to turn from Jim Zumbo, the person. Short of excommunicating him from humanity, he's been brought about as low as possible, and perhaps lower than necessary. Claire Wolfe has an excellent post on this subject, and I suggest you take the time to go read it. Then take some time and think about it.

Zumbo himself said "Maybe in a roundabout way we can bring something good out of this." It's time for the gun culture to stop beating Zumbo and start talking--and listening--to each other. Zumbo may have been wrong on ARs and AKs, but he was right about one thing--something good needs to come from this.

You may have noted that last night's post was far less about Zumbo and what happened to him than it was about a fairly obvious difference in how hunters, as opposed to shooters, understand the history and meaning of the Second Amendment.

We can't tolerate further Zumbo Affairs. Not just because so many of us see it as a betrayal of a brother in arms, but because in the end, we're playing right into the hands of the gun grabbers. If we continue fighting among ourselves, we'll have no energy to fight our real enemy--the people who want to take our guns. And make no mistake, they want them all.

It's time for the same grassroots activism that has cost Zumbo his career to turn to more constructive pursuits. Start by writing or emailing your Congressional Representative and ask them to work against the pass of HR 1022. Join the NRA, GOA, JFPO or your local Second Amendment group. Write letters to the editor of your local old media rag. Go to the range, buy a gun, and buy ammo. Go shoot. Take your friends and family to shoot.

Do something constructive with all that anger, folks.

(Edit 2/28/2007 1949: edited to remove the phrase "eating our own". I didn't realize just how stupid that sounded until I heard it on the 2/18 podcast of Tom Gresham's Gun Talk and he used it. We weren't eating one of our own--Jim Zumbo was never one of us "gunnies". He's a hunter, and the only reason he owned any guns is because he needed them for hunting. The Second Amendment means bupkis to him.

I'm sorry for that poor turn of phrase. Please accept my apology.)

Friday, February 23, 2007

And that's how it works

(Via Timebomb 2000)

Another take on Zumbo. It makes the point about the difference between the old media and the new better than I have. Worth your time.

That pesky little Second Amendment

(Via Kim du Toit)

Dave Kopel has an excellent National Review piece on "how to read the Second Amendment"--literally. It's probably the best short work on the subject I've read. I'd suggest bookmarking it against future need.

Kim also pointed the Kopel piece out because he's noticing that there are a number of people, apparently from the hunting end of the gun world, claiming that there was a rush to judgment in the Jim Zumbo affair.

Well, those people are wrong. In a post from the Daily Pundit (also noted in Kim's post), Bill Quick has this to say:

I know little or nothing about hunters, hunting magazines, or hunting columnists, but I have to say the level of ignorance displayed about the Second Amendment, its history, purpose, and role, as well as the arguments for and against it, and the history of recent efforts to ignore it and confiscate or otherwise limit the weapons we all have a right to keep and bear is, well, shocking.

If this ignorance is widespread, that is, and frankly, I don’t know. I know a hell of a lot about the Second and the issues and history surrounding it, but apparently that sort of knowledge isn’t considered valuable among hunters, not even among the opinion leaders who write about the issues of concern to hunters.

As I noted in one of my earlier posts on the Zimbo affair, I've met too many hunters who are perfectly willing to throw the owners of "those guns" to the wolves. They apparently have some notion that in doing so, they will appease the gun grabbers, who will then leave them alone with their hunting riffles.

If you're a hunter and you believe this, gun owners in Australia want to talk to you.

Some professional gun writers are not too happy with what happened to their brother of the keyboard. (I suspect it's a case of "There, but for the grace of God, go I.") While they're correct in noting that a lot of the invective directed toward him was over the top, and they're also correct in noting that he was a passionate defender of hunting rights, they're missing the point. Allow me to make it clear for you, professional gun writers:

The Second Amendment isn't about hunting.

Got that? Hunting, while fun, is a sideshow when it comes to the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment came about because our Founding Fathers has just completed a years-long war that had nearly bankrupted the country before it ever got off the ground. One of the first battles, the Battle of Lexington and Concord, was fought because the British troops were trying to confiscate the arms of the American militia.

The Red Coats were not taking the colonials' hunting guns--they were after their militia weapons and supplies. The colonists thought this was reason enough to take up those very arms to defend themselves.

Years later, after much blood was shed and treasure spent, the Second Amendment (along with 9 others) was added to the newly written Constitution. Acknowledgment of the right to keep and bear arms, along with freedom of speech, freedom of religion and all the rest, was deemed important enough by some of the former colonies that they would not sign onto the new Constitution unless those rights were specifically enumerated.

Those colonies weren't worried about hunting. Their concern was that, mere years after over-throwing an overbearing central government, a new central government was being created--and they wanted to make sure that if it tried any shenanigans, We the People could put a quick halt to them.

Now this view isn't popular, especially it seems, in the hunting community. They seem to believe that we have miraculously have improved the human race to the point that no central government would ever become over-bearing in its attempts to control the lives of its population.

The dead of Europe, Asia and Africa, quite a few million of them, are calling out from their graves. Listen carefully, and you can hear what they're saying:

Bullshit.

Bullshit.

BULLSHIT!

In the last century, we've seen the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Cambodia, Rwanda and a number of other countries severely restrict or completely outlaw the private possession of firearms. And after that, when those in power had nothing to fear from their unarmed populace, the genocides began.

In the United States, the Second Amendment is our way of saying "Not here. Not ever."

I also suspect that the gun writers are, like most of the old media, taken aback by the power of the Internet. David Petzal, a writer for Field and Stream, is quite uncomplimentary about the Internet and blogs:

For the last several days I’ve been visiting all manner of blogs and chatrooms, which has reminded me of when I used to deliver used clothing to the local mental hospital.

To give the man credit, he knows when to quit, and although he has drawn some fire for his statements, it's nothing approaching the tidal wave that Zumbo unleashed.

That tidal wave came from the fact that those of us who like our Evil Black Rifles, and who don't use them for hunting, are all too aware of how easily, even here in the good ol' U S of A, we could be fighting a battle to keep them. Even now, the gun grabbers, as we lovingly refer to them, are working on laws that will severely restrict our Second Amendment right to own these type of guns.

We have a fight on our hands, and we need hunters on board for it. Not only are we stronger with you standing beside us, but because if we lose ours, you'll be next in line to lose yours. Those of us who like the most politically incorrect guns have learned the hard way that we have to be activists, and that we have to react quickly to danger. Jim Zumbo was a danger, and we reacted to it. If we want to keep our guns, we can have no tolerance for those who should be standing with us when they instead stand against us.

Jim Zumbo did something stupid, and it cost him heavily. I'm sorry that had to happen, but we're fighting a big war here, and the odds are against us. Friends like Zumbo we don't need.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Still unclear on the concept

(Via Timebomb 2000)

Jim Zumbo, after losing his entire career because of one of the most incredibly stupid blog posts in the history of the Internet, still can't issue a straight-forward apology. I'm going to quote his latest attempt, in total (something I usually don't do) because I want you to notice that nowhere in it does he say "I'm sorry for all the damage I've done" or anything remotely similar, IMHO.

The last few days have been an educational experience, to say the least. My ill-conceived inflammatory blog, as all of you now know, set off a firestorm that, I’m told, has never before been equaled. I’m not proud of that.

Let me say this at the outset. My words here are from the heart, and all mine. No one can censor me, and I answer to no one but myself. And I have no one to blame but myself. Outdoor Life, a magazine that I worked for full-time as Hunting Editor for almost 30 years, fired me yesterday. My TV show was cancelled yesterday. Many of my sponsors have issued statements on their website to sever all relationships. This may cause many of you to do backflips and dance in the streets, but, of course, I’m not laughing, nor am I looking for sympathy. I don’t want a pity party.

They say hindsight is golden. Looking back, I can’t believe I said the words “ban” and “terrorist” in the context that I did. I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote that. I can explain this as sheer ignorance and an irresponsible use of words. What I’ve learned over the last few days has enlightened and amazed me. As a guy who hunts 200 days a year, does seminars on hunting, wrote for six hunting magazines, had a hunting TV show, and wrote 20 books on hunting, how could I have been so ignorant and out of touch with reality in the world of hunting and shooting?

But I was. I really can’t explain it, maybe because I just summarily dismissed the firearms in question in my mind when I saw them in magazines and catalogs. I saw one “black” firearm in a hunting camp in all my 50 years of hunting, and I shot one last year off a boat when fishing in Alaska. To tell the truth, it was fun and I enjoyed it immensely, but I never considered one for use in hunting. I have to tell you that I have had a revelation. I’m learning that many of my pals own AR-15’s and similar firearms and indeed use them for hunting. I was totally unaware that they were being used for legitimate hunting purposes. That is the absolute truth.

My biggest regret is not the financial impact of all this. I’m almost 67 and retirement is an option. The dreadful impact here is that I inadvertently struck a spear into the hearts of the people I love most…America’s gun owners. And, even though this huge cadre of dedicated people have succeeded in stripping me of my career, I hold no grudges. I will continue to stand as firm on pro hunting as I’ve ever done. But what’s different now is that I’ll do all I can to educate others who are, or were, as ignorant as I was about “black” rifles and the controversy that surrounds them. My promise to you is that I’ll learn all I can about these firearms, and by the time this week is out, I’ll order one. The NUGE has invited me to hunt with him using AR-15’s, and I’m eager to go, and learn. I’ll do all I can to spread the word.

I understand that many of you will not accept this apology, believing that the damage has been done and there’s no way to repair it. You have that right. But let me say this. I mentioned this above, and I’ll repeat it. I’m willing to seize this opportunity to educate hunters and shooters who shared my ignorance. If you’re willing to allow me to do that, we can indeed, in my mind, form a stronger bond within our ranks. Maybe in a roundabout way we can bring something good out of this.


Jim, you're absolutely right about one thing--I'm not going to accept your apology, because it's hard to recognize that as one. I don't see the phrase "I'm sorry" or the phrase "I apologize" anywhere in that entire post. I was taught that one or both of those phrases are mandatory when making an apology. I'll stipulate that making a clear, well-worded and sincere apology is probably one of the hardest things a man can do, but the ability to do so is a mark of a gentleman. Prove yourself a gentleman, Jim.

What you did was universally stupid. You were so involved in your insular world of manufacturer sponsored hunting that you missed what had been going on out here in the "real world" for the last 30 years. There's a huge community of gun owners who aren't hunters, but who are utterly aware of everything that goes on in the gun culture, and who aren't in the least afraid to speak their minds. We're a pretty organized bunch. We've learned that organization is part and parcel in the fight to keep our "evil black rifles" (along with the rest of our guns) out of the gun grabbers' hands. Writing and emailing manufacturers and editors is pretty much the same as writing and emailing politicians and newspaper editors, and a lot of us are just as practiced at that as we are shooting.

What you did was also highly damaging. With the political changes brought about by the last election, we're already facing a fight to keep our Second Amendment rights. HR 1022, submitted just days before your little missive, will remove a vast swath of our rights if it becomes law, and you've just played right into the hands of every gun grabber who supports it. Expect to see yourself quoted in support of this bill soon.

It's pretty easy for you to calculate what this has cost you in terms of dollars--from what you say, I'm sure you've already done so. But try to calculate what that single, ill-advised post has cost the community of gun owners. You're going to be shocked. Even though Outdoor Life has removed your entire blog from their site, I'm sure it live on in the various archives out there, and we're going to see it again on the web, in newspapers, in ads and on billboards. Those few words are going to cost gun owners for years.

I don't take any pleasure in what's happened to you. No rejoicing, no backflips. It's a self-inflicted wound, and those are never pretty. Still, the punishment fits the crime. You threw those of us who happen to love our evil black rifles to the wolves. After all we've went through, we take that sort of thing seriously, and serious acts have serious consequences, as you've found out.

Jim, if nothing else, you're a cautionary tale to everyone, gun owner or not. You spent decades building up your reputation, and you managed to piss it all away in the time it took to write that post. Maybe that is the good that will come from all this.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

W-a-a-a-a-a-a-a!

How dare you question my patriotism? How dare you criticize me during a time of war (which I should note I don't support)? You mean old man!

Ms. Speaker, if you want to play with the big dogs, expect to get nipped from time to time. You don't like it? Tuck you tail between your legs and go home to San Franfreakshow. We won't mind a bit.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Another senseless, drug-related death

(Via Clair Wolfe)

No, not someone who OD'd on heroin, or some kid stoned out of his mind dying in a traffic accident. This is yet another innocent victim of the War on Drugs and the militarization of the police.

Radley Balko is on the case as usual, with 5 articles (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.)

One of these days....

Monday, February 19, 2007

Up yours, Senator

(Via Drudge)

Senator Clinton thinks that the good people of occupied South Carolina are too stupid to make their own decisions:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that South Carolina should remove the Confederate flag from its Statehouse grounds, in part because the nation should unite under one banner while at war.

How dare you try to tie your political bushwa to the War in Iraq--are war, I might add, that you don't support.

And while you're at it, take your carpet-bagging ass back to New York. You're not welcome here.

Snap! *THUD*

(Via Oscar Poppa)

We've all seen it--the dog that forgets about the chain in the heat of running toward the invader into his territory. Snap! goes the chain. Suddenly stopped in mid-rush, the dog's feet fly out from under him and *THUD* he goes on his back.

Jim Zumbo (You know, the gun writer who is clueless on the 2nd Amendment?) just had the chain go Snap! Remington has pulled their sponsorship.

The *THUD* will be if Outdoor Life sends the guy packing. However, given the tone of this, that may be a while in coming.

Of course, this means that Remington, who long ago made one of my favorite guns, shall rate highly on The Freeholder's list of "good folks to do business with". And Outdoor Life? What Outdoor Life has said is unimportant, and we do not hear them. (The sixth quote.)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Meddling with the layout

Warning--I'm fiddling around with the new Blogger "Layouts" feature. Things may get weird....

Edit, 2/18/2007 1600: Well, I have to admit, that was both pretty much painless and adds a lot of nice new functionality. I especially like the new archive methodology. Nice work, Blogger and Google.

Changes on the blogroll

And links and most of the stuff over on the left side of the page. Long overdue, too. Added a lot, removed a few, including the late Carnival of Cordite.

Gun Owners Who Don't "Get it"

(Via The High Road)

Perhaps you remember my "Do You Suck?" post a while back. If you don't, go check it out and bop back here. I'll wait.

Memory refreshed? Excellent, because I'd like to introduce you to someone who sucks. His name is Jim Zumbo, and he writes for Outdoor Life Magazine.

Mr. Zumbo recently wrote a piece where he insists that "evil assault rifles" are in fact, terrorist weapons and that they have no place in hunting.

Mr. Zumbo is obviously rather clueless, since many popular hunting cartridges were widely used in military weapons--they same sorts of guns he now wants to label "assault weapons". Among them are the 45-70, the 30-06, the .223 and the .308 Winchester. He apparently also thinks the Second Amendment is about hunting (something I must have missed in my reading).

Feel free to comment about his views in the comments section of his post. You can also use the email address on this page to contact Outdoor Life and let them know what you think of Mr. Zumbo's position.

We had better all hang together, or we are most assuredly going to hang separately. If you expect me to defend your right to hunt and own traditional hunting rifles, you had damn sure better defend my right to own my old (and new) military and military-type guns, and to hunt with them if I please.

Jerk.

Edit 2/18/2007 1834: Zumbo has posted a very lame apology, reeking of "Oh my, I need to save my job!"

"I was tired and exhausted, and I should have gone to bed early." You know, one thing I learned long ago is that tired people generally tend to lose inhibitions and say what they're really thinking, instead of remembering to shut up because it's good for them. I fully believe that this is the case--because I have ran into too many people just like Jim Zumbo. Gun owners who would throw other gun owners to the wolves, as long as they're left alone. "What do you need one of "those guns" for? You can't hunt with that!"

The fools don't realize that the gun-grabbers are the poster children for "divide and conquer". They know they can't get them all at once, but they're absolutely sure they can get them all a few at a time. Look at the UK if you don't believe me. They haven't gotten them all yet, but they will.

It's imperative that all gun owners stand up for all other gun owners, every time any of us are threatened. For example, I don't do benchrest shooting--never saw the attraction in it. But you may bet your life, liberty and sacred honor they I will defend the rights of benchrest shooters with the same vigor I'd defend my right to my old milsurps.

Sorry Zumbo--you still suck.