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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"Sleeping With The Enemy"

The public reaction to Outdoor Life writer Jim Zumbo’s February 16th blog, in which he offered his opinion on military-style hunting rifles, has been both predictable and educational. For anyone who missed it, Zumbo wrote:

"Excuse me, maybe I'm a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity."..."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."

As might be expected, anti-gun forces capitalized on these statements almost immediately.

American gun owners were not amused, and the blitzkrieg of incensed responses scored a direct hit. Zumbo’s remarks were published on a Friday, and by the following Monday (a holiday, nonetheless) he had been dumped by his sponsors. The market had sent a very clear message, and it produced immediate results. The ‘cause and effect’ lesson here was absolutely unmistakable, and you can bet that those in the political arena were paying attention as well.

Next, Zumbo offered excuses, apologies and retractions. It worked for Bill Clinton, so why not give it a whirl?

Sure enough, the ‘touchy-feelies’ soon kicked in. Ted Nugent offered Zumbo space on his internet forum, to clarify his new, 180 degrees-reversed position that ‘assault rifles’ were OK to hunt with, after all. Denny Hansen of SWAT magazine orchestrated Zumbo’s invitation to some training courses with the very rifles he had damned, only a week earlier. I have a fair amount of respect for both these gentlemen. I also think they are dead wrong on this issue- and not because they reached out to another human being while he was down. I think they are wrong because of the mixed message being sent to our enemies.

The degree of ethical infidelity displayed by Jim Zumbo is deserving of nothing less than total exile. His name should be banished from the halls of the firearms industry; he should never be able to publish a gun-related article, or receive an invitation to speak publicly on these subjects again. Why? Because Jim Zumbo enjoyed enormous influence among hunters and shooters; particularly those young, inexperienced and vulnerable enough to seek information in monthly periodicals, or on Internet discussion forums. He abused that influence to weaken our Second Amendment rights; to divide us at the voting booth. If we cannot deal with treason of this magnitude within our own ranks, then what kind of message are we sending to potential presidential candidates? How about Congress?

Oops- I almost forgot. I guess we already told Congress all they needed to know about us, last November. And now this.

Dark stormy days are coming, people. Hang onto your hats.