Saturday, February 24, 2007

Boys and their toys - gun owners gone wild

I don't know much about guns. I've never fired one but the men in my family have always owned a pretty good collection and I'm one of those lefties that supports the right to bear arms. I'm not a proponent of gun control. I think that's as ridiculous as the invasive security checks you endure to get on an airplane. Meaning it's a regulation to create the illusion of safety while providing almost none. I believe gun control won't solve crime and would merely take guns out of the hands of law abiding sportsmen.

That being said however, I have to admit I've always had a bit of a problem with so-called assault weapons, particularly being used in hunting. I don't see anything sporting about being able to squeeze off a blitz of bullets to take down an animal. And after seeing what happened to Jim Zumbo for voicing his opinion on the unsportsmenlike nature of hunting with those guns, I have to say I'm now questioning the wisdom of allowing their possession.
"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."
Okay the terrorist remark was a little insulting but he was talking about people who go out and annihilate prairie dogs with them. Zumbo is right. If you need an semi-automatic weapon to take out a 12 inch, two pound prey, you're not much of a hunter in my book. But even if we're both wrong about that, the over the top response of the assault weapon owners, effectively destroying this man's career, causes me to question the mental stability of people who own them and can't take a little criticism. Do we really want people like this to be roaming the fields and forests with these guns?

As I said, I don't know much about them. A quick google search brings me to this guy who says they're less lethal than ordinary guns and require one pull per bullet. I find that hard to reconcile with this manufacturer's ad for a gun that is capable of pumping out 750 rounds per minute. Is it even possible to squeeze a trigger that many times in a minute? Not to mention that I've heard it's not that complicated to modify a semi-automatic weapon to automatic status.

I'm still not ready to say people shouldn't be allowed to own them. While I don't really understand the attraction, I can imagine for those who do, it could be fun to shoot off rounds with such a weapon. But it should be limited to target shooting and not used for hunting. I see anything sporting about it and that was the point that Zumbo was making.

Shame on the gun owners for destroying the man simply for pointing that out. They do their cause harm by displaying such unreasonable and intractable anger over a simple remark. It's exactly this kind of behavior that alarms the Americans who don't shoot for sport and reinforces their support for gun control.

Update: The always courageous anon, shows up in comments to diss my links. Apparently I linked to a machine gun and not a semi. He goes on to say that Zumbo "deserved" what he got. What claptrap. Nobody deserves the treatment Zumbo endured for one offhand remark, for which he apologized. Like these Rambos never said one thing in their whole life they regretted?

My understanding is Zumbo was a strong lifelong advocate for gun ownership and sports hunting, who represented hunters well. This hysterical response makes these guys look like a bunch of unreasonable, hot-headed hooligans and destroys the credibility of their cause. I can't think of a better way to scare the non-owners of guns, who are in the majority, into supporting gun control.

Meanwhile, if anybody else wants to complain about my links I would appreciate a pointer to someplace where I could see the specs, since I'm genuinely interested in how anyone could justify using such a high caliber weapon and still call it sports hunting.

[graphic][Thanks to Real Clear Politics for the link]
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't blog. But if I did, I would hope that I would do enough fact checking and research before I put something out for everyone to look at.

You provided a link to a weapon that has a rate of fire of 750 round per minute and then wonder if it's possible to pull the trigger that many times in a minute.
The weapon you linked to is a machine gun. A fully automatic weapon. Zumbro was talking about semi-automatic weapons. With semi's you have to pull the trigger every time you want to fire a round, automatics on the other hand, keep firing until you release the trigger or run out of ammunition.

Nobody is out there hunting prairie dogs with a machine gun.

Zumbro got nailed because he threw an entire class of firearms owners to the wolves because the firearms they choose to use resemble military arms. He didn't check his facts or do the research and since he is the "expert" he deserves what happened.

2:00:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Anon, I think I was pretty clear that I know nothing about guns and I found that link listed under semi-automatic weapons. That's why I asked. Perhaps you could have been kind enough to point me to a site where I could see the specs on the weapons in question.

That aside, nobody deserves the treatment Zumbro endured for one offhand remark, for which he apologized. Like you never said one thing in your whole life you regretted?

My understanding is Zumbro was a strong lifelong advocate for gun ownership and sports hunting who represented your group well. This over the top response makes you guys look like a bunch of unreasonable, hot-headed hooligans and destroys the credibility of your cause. I can't think of a better way to scare the non-owners of guns, who are in the majority, into supporting gun control.

2:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a proponent of the right to bear arms and since my husband is a gun collector, I agree that it serves no useful purpose to take guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens leaving them helpless to protect themselves against those who obtain their guns illegally and obviously,would not be disarmed by any law. I must say, after reading Zumbro's remarks, I think his gun toting critics have totally over reacted to his personal opinion without taking in the full import of what he actually said. I understood him to have concerns about using a rather destructive military style weapon to shoot small animals and I heartily agree. When non hunters see men running around blasting away with these guns, they get the impression that all hunters are a bunch of homicidallly inclined maniacs. As for anonymous' argue ment that the weapon linked to was an automatic and not a semi, I must point out that the semis can be easily converted to full auto. My huband owns several semi autos for the collector value, but he couldn't resist taking them out for target shooting a couple of times. He has never used them for hunting since he has much better rifle/ scope set ups for hunting purposes. Jim Zumbro wasn't supporting the ban of these guns, but simply pointing out the lack of sportsmanship in hunting with such a weapon. Although I realize prairie dogs are a real problem in the Southwest, letting a bunch of yahoos out there with their semis to pick the poor things off is pretty disgusting. Surely there is a more efficient and more humane way to reduce their population?

3:13:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Thanks Rocky. I knew I could on you for an informed opinion.

3:15:00 PM  
Blogger 4 said...

Hey there Impolitic. I'm glad to see there are a handful of people out there with a sane response to this. Hats off to you.

3:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In regards to hunting, the semi-autos and the bolt-action fire the same round. Just because the semi-autos look more menacing doesn’t make them anymore deadly then the traditional bolt-action rifle.

What bearing does the ability to convert a semi-auto to a full-auto have to do with anything related to the Zumbro story? Converting a semi-auto to full-auto is quite illegal and will get you put away quickly and for a long time.

Everyone is upset with Zumbro because his comments go beyond hunting and provide fodder for gun prohibitionists to continue to try and disarm law-abiding citizens.
Gun owners as a group are done giving up our rights in the mistaken belief that disarming citizens will prevent criminals from committing crime.

There are a multitude of places to learn about firearms. I would suggest starting at:

Good day.

4:43:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...


I'm a "gunblogger." I'm one of the group that jumped on Zumbo at the beginning, so allow me to think that I have a stake in this.

There's a couple of quotes I'd like you to think on - absolutely no insult intended:

"Simply put, gun control cannot survive without an accompanying sea of disinformation." - Anonymous

You've swallowed a large portion of that disinformation. (For example, The XM-8 was a military contract development weapon. As a post-1989 weapon, it cannot be sold in its full-auto configuration to the general public. But the Army and police forces can buy it. And, while your commenter rockync asserts that it's easy to convert semi-automatic weapons to full-auto, I invite him or her to try. The BATFE may be full of incompetents, but one of the regulations they strictly enforce is that semi-automatic versions of full-automatic weapons must be substantially different from the full-auto versions as to make it difficult to convert them. Otherwise they arrest you for manufacturing full-auto weapons.)

"Basically, I figure guns are like gays: They seem a lot more sinister and threatening until you get to know a few; and once you have one in the house, you can get downright defensive about them." - Teresa Nielsen Hayden

You've been exposed to firearms, so you have a tolerance for them that many others don't have, but you have been fed so much disinformation by the media for so long you buy in to the "ugly gun" propaganda anyway.

The AR-15 rifle is not the prairie dog hunter's weapon of choice because it's a high-capacity semi-automatic rifle (I don't know of a single state that allows hunting with more than a 5-round magazine) but because rifles of that pattern can be built that exhibit extreme accuracy at long range.

"We must all hang together, or most assuredly we will all hang separately." - Ben Franklin.

Yes, a large number of people were outraged to be called "terrorists" for owning military-pattern semi-automatic rifles, but the overwhelming majority of us objected to someone supposedly from inside the firearms world advocating banning anything. That was what was inexcusable, and what we couldn't seem to get through Zumbo's head.

The Second Amendment isn't about hunting. It's not about sport shooting. So long as it survives, those hobbies get to, too, but there's no "sporting purpose" clause in it.

Finally: "Personally, I'm what the Pink Pistols call a 'gun bigot,' someone who's not crazy about firearms, knows nothing about them, 'may never have even fired one, certainly doesn't have any, [and] would gladly subject innocent people to defenselessness.'" - Roberta deBoer, Toledo Blade columnist.

Mr. Zumbo was a gun bigot, even though he owned a few. He didn't dislike guns, he disliked ugly guns he didn't understand. The Pink Pistols description, though, is accurate for a large number of people in this country - too many of whom are gun owners. It's that division we need to eliminate.

I'd love to discuss this with you (and your circle of readers) further, if you're interested. After all, I'm an advocate. It's what I do!

If you're interested in more information on the Zumbo affair, just go to my front page and keep scrolling down.

4:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I've read the Zumbro comments and I think a lot of hot heads have gotten ahead of themselves. Jim did not call for a ban on assualt rifle ownership, he stated that he didn't think assualt rifles had any place in hunting. Perhaps he went a little far suggesting they be banned from hunting areas, but I believe he was trying to convey the negative vision non gun owners would have of hunters after seeing people hunting prarie dogs with them. Many people associate assault rifles with war and crime especially through the movies. So the argument about "ugly guns" is nothing but a red herring thrown out there to draw attention away from the fact that these guns have a negative mental impact on many people. Hey you want to feed the gun ban enthusiasts fodder for their grist mill, be my guest. No one in my home has any intention of turning our assualt rifles into full autos, I simply point out that it is possible to do it even though it is illegal;so is speeding, but that doesn't always stop people, does it? As for your "pink pistols" diatribe - I own a gun myself,I know how to shoot one and live with a gun collector. I live in a small town where, every fall, signs go up in businesses all over town; "Closed, gone hunting." Seeing the townsmen with their hunting rifles causes no alarm at all, but I have to tell you if I saw someone with an AK or AR I'd be ducking for cover. You can argue all you want, but there are too many suitable hunting rifles of superior design and composition to take this whole "my assault rifle is my hunting gun of choice" bull very seriously. Like all other fanatical groups, you and your collegues are not interested in reasonable discussion, just the tunnel vision of your own view that everyone else must swallow hook, line and sinker or be branded as "unamerican." So a man's whole life and career should be ruined because you didn't like his more middlin' approach. And y'all actually take great satisfaction in knowing this man can't make a living. How would you feel if one single incident destroyed your life? I find this whole "burn Zumbo at the stake" campaign childish and sickening.

6:49:00 PM  
Blogger Big Gay Al said...

First, there is a HUGE difference between the full and semi-auto versions of military firearms. Also, you essentially need a machine shop to turn most of the semi-auto only rifles into a select fire weapon.

Next, as for what happened to Zumbo, I think he should have gotten more rest and thought more about his post, before he made it public. However, I do not think he deserves all the crap he got. It is unfortunate that many of today's gun owners are not as forgiving as they should be.

But I can understand it to a degree. We have been collectively crapped on by our government representatives and senators, newspapers and other news media, and now it looks like "one of our own" has turned against us.

While it's unfortunate, it is also true that some of our greatest enemies are within our own ranks. Jim Zumbo is not alone in his thoughts. There are many other "hunter only" types who don't like military style rifles, or handguns for that matter, and would like to see them go away. These are the same people who think the 2nd Amendment is there to protect "their hunting rights."

They don't realize, we either all hang together, or we hang separately.

7:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we can all "hang together", Al, but only if everyone can be reasonable and willing to compromise. I don't think Zumbo wants assualt weapons to "go away", he simply stated his belief that he didn't think they belonged in the hunting field. I would hardly call that betrayal. What will ultimately cause the separation of gun owners will be the unwillingness of those like you and Kevin who insist on all or nothing at all.I can't believe you think of moderates such as myself as an "enemy within." That is patently ridiculous. While I see no useful purpose to hunting with assault rifles, I will continue to fight for the right of all of us "to keep and bear arms." What you do with them is your business, but I don't have to agree with you on every point. That doesn't make me the "enemy." Such narrow mindedness is rather disappointing.

7:56:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin T. Keith said...


Ignoring the rest, just this is interesting:

the overwhelming majority of us objected to someone supposedly from inside the firearms world advocating banning anything. That was what was inexcusable, and what we couldn't seem to get through Zumbo's head.

It's "inexcusable" - and justifies destroying a man's career - to hold an opinion you don't agree with? Nobody who supports gun rights is allowed to admit any exceptions or nuances in that position - on penalty of organized harassment to the point of bankruptcy?

Remember that Zumbo's concern was that gung-ho "shooters" with no sense of proportion were giving responsible gun owners a bad name. You think you've really countered that argument, do you?

And finally, let me note that you made no attempt whatsoever to "get anything through Zumbo's head". He made his original blog post from the field on a Friday night, and was out of town most of the weekend. Within about 48 hours he had posted an abject apology in which he repudiated his own post, claimed he had changed his mind and was the "best friend" of all gun owners without exception, admitted he had "screwed up", and vowed to immediately immerse himself in AR lore by going assault-rifle hunting with Ted Nugent (which has to be accepted as a sincere penance if only for its utter bizarreness). It didn't matter. His career was destroyed before he even got home.

Rights-loving "shooters" had flooded Zumbo's sponsors and business partners with threats of secondary boycotts before he even realized there was a problem. From what I can tell, nobody made even the slightest effort to talk to him beforehand, with the possible exception of Tom Gresham who got him on his talk radio show literally as soon as he got home from the hunting trip and before he'd had a chance to deal with the issue at all. (Gresham was then himself threatened with boycotts by calm, mature, rational gun owners for having the temerity to say on his program that people had been overreacting to Zumbo. He was forced to damn Zumbo by name on his own blog the next day to escape the same fate.)

This entire episode is barely a week old, and Zumbo's TV show, magazine job, NRA affiliation, and Remington sponsorship had all been canceled before the end of the first weekend. There hasn't been any kind of discussion about the issue. Zumbo's refusal to "get something through his head" has nothing to do with it. He apologized for and retracted his remarks literally as soon as it was physically possible for him to do so - by radio and on his blog, both less than 48 hours after he'd posted them. But you'd already destroyed him, without speaking to him first or letting him say anything at all on his own behalf.

Your behavior - by which I mean that of the gun community generally - teaches us much about you and the wisdom of entrusting you with power. Your insistence that it was Zumbo who somehow forced you to behave this way teaches us more.

8:19:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Matt- Thanks for stopping by and for the support. I liked your take on it too.

Rocky - I love it when you got my back and thanks for saving me the time to make a lot of points that were rolling in my mind. You took the words right out of my mouth.

Anon - I went to that forum and I didn't learn a lot about guns but I learned a lot about what makes gun owners angry. As far as the conversion, I bring it up because it's a strong talking point on the anti-gun side and it's commonly understood to be true. I point it out only to make the argument that using a semi-auto gun is not sport hunting because it leaves the animal without a sporting chance of escaping. Furthermore, the piece I linked to said the calibers of the bullets were different, but either way I'd ask if there's no difference between semi-auto and bolt action then why the stink about not being able to use one in hunting?

Kevin my answer to you got too long so I'm posting it as new content.

8:57:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Biggayal, I don't understand it at all. You guys are drawing the line in the wrong place in the sand. The fight isn't between you -- meaning the semi owners -- and Zumbo. It isn't between you and the hunters. It isn't even between you and the antis. They're just tools of the real opponent and that's the government . The government is working against all of us.

The fight is between us and them. They seek to divide us with these little squabbles that encourage us to form up small opposing groups but in the big picture they've been steadily robbing all of us of our rights for decades, no matter which party is in power.

I've been telling people for years, when the government started abridging civil rights in the name of the war on some drugs that when they were done with drug consumers, they wouldn't stop there. You'll find some of the worst gun regs came out of the "tough on drugs" era because the government conflated guns with drug dealers in the public mind. And perception beats truth when it comes to politics.

I don't have a lot of answers but I'm certain that unless we find a way to relate to each other as fellow Americans and work together to take back our country, the only winner will be the nanny government and the laws won't be getting any better for people who value personal liberty.

Kevin t. Keith - well said. Thanks for the eloquent comment. I have nothing to add to that.

Rocky - Thanks dear. Don't you dare leave me alone here.

10:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Libby, oh Ye of little faith! Don't I always tell you no matter what, I always got your back!

10:29:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...


Jim Zumbo is, or at least was, a well-respected member of the firearms community through his 42-year career as a hunting writer. Carolyn McCarthy had just (re-)introduced HR1022 - a reauthorization and expansion of the 1994 "Assault Weapons Ban" - and Jim Zumbo came out with his post on how "assault rifles" should be banned from the fields and prairies as they were unsuitable for "legitimate" hunting use.

That was the source of the outrage.

Again - the Second Amendment isn't about hunting. Period. But that's the wedge issue that the anti-gun forces have been pounding on for decades. "Sporting use." Jim Zumbo just gave that wedge a tremendous whack.

Now, as to "only if everyone can be reasonable and willing to compromise," we "compromised" in 1939. We "compromised" in 1968. We "compromised" in 1986. We "compromised" in 1994.

"Compromise" has meant "giving our opposition only part of what it wants." A large and growing number of us believe that such "compromise" must end. It's time to get back some of what we've lost. It's time for the other side to compromise. The "Firearm Owner's Protection Act" was part of that, but we lost access to any new full-auto firearms. That's another topic entirely, but it was a loss. And no, no one hunts with full-auto.

"I can't believe you think of moderates such as myself as an "enemy within." Well, surprise! - We do, if you don't fight for the rights of all - if you can justify to yourself chucking one group over the side to preserve your position in the boat.

Kevin T. Keith:

We did, indeed try to get through to Zumbo. No one knew he was incommunicado until Sunday afternoon. He posted his first (rather lame) apology at that time, and it was not accepted. It was not accepted after his appearance on the Gresham show. It was not until much later that he finally got it through his head what he'd said and done, and why he'd lost his career. It wasn't about hunting. It was never about hunting. It was about demonizing a class of firearms.

"Nobody who supports gun rights is allowed to admit any exceptions or nuances in that position - on penalty of organized harassment to the point of bankruptcy?"

"Organized harassment"? Who was doing the organizing? Or is it only a "grass-roots effort" if it has a paid staff funded by George Soros?

What you saw was called "market forces." Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from the consequences of that speech. Trent Lott learned that. Dan Rather learned that. Jim Zumbo has learned that.

You protest that it was too much, too fast. Perhaps so, but it absolutely demonstrates that the gun-rights community can self-mobilize, and rapidly. You are aghast at the response. Honestly, quite a lot of it was over the top, but I'm quite proud that so many stood up with one voice.

Hopefully our elected officials will get that message, too.

11:43:00 PM  
Blogger whig said...

Clipped from Kevin's blog:

Gresham: But there are, and I have said this openly, there got some folks on our side of the fence who would be doing us a favor if they went to the other side, sometimes.

Zumbo: Um-hm.

Gresham: Because they react - now I don't know if you have seen it, but there are actually people posting your home address.

Zumbo: That's what I've heard.

Gresham: Yeah, it's getting real ugly...

Zumbo: Yep.

That's acceptable?

12:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kevin, apparently you lifted a quote from my comment without even reading what I wrote. You simply applied it to your agenda. You and your ilk will continue to doggedly persue this great injustice you think was done to the gun owners of America without regard to the viewpoint of moderates like myself who also happens to be a gun owner. The word compromise I used in reference to us (gun owners) and our ability to "hang together." "Compromise" as in willing to accept that others of us out here don't think what Zumbo said was such a big deal. At least not enough for his 42 year career to be destroyed over it. "Compromise" as in we agree to disagree without being on opposite sides of the real issue. If you had bothered to keep reading you would have also seen this: "While I see no useful purpose to hunting with assault rifles, I will continue to fight for the right of all of us "to keep and bear arms." What you do with them is your business, but I don't have to agree with you on every point." Apparently you must live in that perfect world where you have never stuck your foot in your mouth. Let's hope the neighbors don't put you in front of a firing squad if you happen to make an off hand remark that one of them finds offensive. If you want anyone to consider a serious debate with you, at least have the courtesy to actually read what has been written.

12:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a free country (at least that's what I've been told), and everyone has the right to express one's views without the fear of retaliation. Where's the govt on this one?

2:32:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Rocky - thanks for sticking around. I'm rather out of my league in this discussion.

Romunov - this is no place for government intervention. That's the root of the problem, the gov't intervenes too much. And the First Amendment gives the gun nuts the right to act like assholes just as much as it gives Zumbo the right to express his opinion. That's the price you pay for free speech.

What I find really sad is these self-described patriots don't see how unAmerican their behavior really is.

11:10:00 AM  
Blogger whig said...

Let's make this crystal clear so people understand what's happening.

Someone or multiple someones allegedly posted an old man's home address to people that desire to do him harm.

Where's the condemnation for this?

4:03:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Well it sure as hell isn't coming from the gun owners whig.

4:28:00 PM  
Blogger Rustmeister said...

What everyone seems to miss in this debate is that the reason Zumbo lost his job wasn't because of an organized "hit job", but from individuals responding to an attack on the Bill of Rights.

They contacted sponsors, voiced their displeasure, and the sponsors took what action they saw fit.

Actually, the CEO of Remington wasn't even in country when this started. He read what was posted and began the process of pulling Zumbo's sponsorship soon after.

So, put the blame where it belongs - on a guy who bit the hand that fed him. A couple of years ago the term was "Dixie Chicked", now it's "Zumboed".

4:00:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Rustmeister, you're not the first who claimed this wasn't an organized action but after reading more, I have call bullshit on that. Ten thousand guy owners didn't wake up one day and all go racing directly to Zumbo's blog and spontaneously combust into outrage. This was a classic blogswarm, plain and simple. It may not have been planned but it was definitely organized.

As far as biting the hand the feeds him, no offense but what the hell have you guys ever done for Zumbo? From what I've read I think a lot of reason this happened at all is some kind of bad blood between hunters with fancy ass rifles and black gun owners. Zumbo turned out to be a scapegoat for that long simmering feud.

I'll say it again. You didn't destroy an enemy, to some extent it feels more like you fragged an ally to me.

And I continue to think you guys are cutting your throat by not taking it back and trying to get Zumbo reinstated. Think about it from the non-owners side, meaning people who don't even own a gun.

You proved that you can gang up on one old guy and destroy him. You refuse to accept his repeated apologies and set a list of conditions a mile long he has to meet to be forgiven. Now you personally tell me the new threat in your crowd is to be Zumboed.

Do you really think this is going to make non-owners WANT to let you keep your guns? Sorry, but as far as I can see, I still think you folks did the anti's job for them with this action - organized or not.

9:15:00 AM  
Blogger Rustmeister said...

Of course blogs played a part, but that's what blogs do. I do have to hand it to you, you don't call it an NRA hit job (which it wasn't).

What have I done for Zumbo? I've bought Remington products and Outdoor Life magazine, which is about all a guy like me can do.

I wouldn't call him a "scapegoat", though. I'd call him "the last straw". The perception among EBR (eeeevil black rifle) owners is that hunters would (and have in the past) offer up EBRs as a sacrifical lamb in order to keep their style of firearms off the "banned" list.

Zumbo was neither ally nor enemy, he was short sighted and narrow minded. He said something wrong, and yes, he paid the price. Was it too steep? Some think it wasn't steep enough, but there are extremists on every issue.

As far as doing the anti's job for them, I doubt that. People like the Brady Bunch and VPC won't point to a gunblog and say "see?".

They will however, trot out the gun writer with 42 years experience. They will use his words to further their cause. His words are credible (to them), and devastating to supporters of the Second Amendment.

As for destroying him, I doubt it. He has friends in high places in the industry. He'll land a job. Hopefully it will be one where gun owners of all types can continue this debate, and hopefully resolve it.

For the record, I am neither a hunter (don't like killing) or an EBR owner (too expensive). However, some of the military surplus guns I do own are listed on the newest incarnation of the gun ban Congress is looking at.

I knew this would happen, it's the way gun-grabbers operate - baby steps. It's frustrating when some gun owners think "it won't happen to me".

10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I don't know Rust that the organized antis wouldn't point to a gun blog and use it against EBR owners. Maybe they wouldn't and I didn't see ZUmbo's orginal blog entry but from what I understand there were something like 3000 outraged comments and a lot of them were threatening, some going as far as threatening physical harm and publishing the guy's home address. I think the antis would certainly point to that and if they weren't looking to gun blogs for ammunition to use against EBRs before, they're probably realizing they could find some high caliber stuff there now. What little I read was pretty ugly and even the people who softened their stance on this are still demanding all sorts of conditions to their forgiveness. I gotta tell you as a non-owner, the impression I took away from this is an attitude among the EBR owners that kind of says - we're tough mofo's and if you eff with us, we're going to eff you up. Frankly I found some of the stuff really arrogant and even elitist. And I'm sympathetic to gun owners. All I'm saying is if it struck me that way, think about how it played with people who already want to take away your guns.

I see this is more complicated than I'm ever going to fully understand but what I really find ironic is you guys, some more than others, see the way the gov't takes away your rights incrementally. I've been saying the same thing for years about drug policy and I've been warning people that when they were done with drug consumers, they would be going after them next. I don't see that we got a lot of support from the gun community on drug policy reform.

It's like I've been saying for years, if we don't all work together to protect everybody's rights, even the ones we're not going to use ourselves, the only winner is the nanny government.

3:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rust, Here is the basic split between moderate gun owners like myself and fanatical black gun owners. My huband is a collector and owns several semis and I have no problem with gun owners who want to own and fire these type of weapons. But, I want to keep my rights of gun ownership without looking like a maniac. It gets increasingly difficult to argue that gun owners are a reasonable, responsible bunch when you have weekend warrior yahoos out there plinking off rodents in the desert with their semis. To non gun owners they bring forth images of fringe groups and Waco, etc. We are NRA members and I spend a lot of time reading up on what's new in legislature and about candidates so I can make my vote count. I will continue to fight for the right of ALL OF US to keep and bear ALL our arms, but y'all could help the cause by not trying to stuff your EBG shit down peoples' throats. All this hooplah over Zumbo has only fed into the gun control advocates agenda and makes us all look like a bunch crazed gun slingers ready to go out and shoot up the town. The point all of you have missed is, by calling all this attention to one man's slightly skewed opinion, you have made it worse instead of better.

12:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of good and reasonable things have been said by both sides of this (over)reaction to Zumbo's remarks. It's too bad Zumbo was victimized but;

1.It's nice that our legislators are periodically reminded of the grassroots energy of 2nd Amendment advocates.
2.It's nice that the dis-information about machine guns and "assault rifles" is brought into the daylight from time to time.
3.It's nice that the concept that firearms are only acceptable for "sporting purposes" is discussed from time to time. "Sporting Purposes" is British and Australian code for "disarm the people"

It is easy for legislators and antis and casual voters to pass contra-constitutional laws and then let the 2nd amendment folks sort it out for a few decades. The 1934 NFA has never received a proper Supreme Court review and in "Miller" prohibition of a sawed off shotgun was found to be constitutional because it served no "military purpose" Think on that for a moment.

Sorry, I'm anon only because I don't seem to have a google account

5:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the additional info, Anon. I think you're right about getting a dialog going. Unfortunately, there are those on both sides that don't want a discussion. What they want is to take any snippet they can and spin it to support their agenda. Hopefully some people out there have gotten educated about both sides of the gun issue and can now make more informed choices as to what they support.
By the way, if you click on the "other" button under "choose an identy" and it will let you enter a screen name.

7:11:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Anon, thanks for the link to your analysis of the Miller case. I'm really impressed with how comprehensive it is. Your points are well taken and I also agree more talk is better than less talk. However, I still have to question whether in terms of influencing legislators, whether this made any positive difference.

To the extent that legislators noticed, and I'm not sure that many would have, as it's been my experience that most politicians are clueless about the internets, I continue to think that this blogswarm left a negative impression of the gun owning community.

You guys want to get the politicians attention, then organize around an issue and blogswarm the politicians, not some old guy who hunts on TV.

I understand there's some new legislation pending that's unfavorable. Why isn't the community swarming the committee who is drafting the bill? Why aren't they writing letters to the editors of every newspaper in America?

Rocky - thanks for sticking around my dear. I have nothing to add to your comments. Funny, I can't think of another time we've agreed so completely in 50 years....

4:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am anon-2

Memories are short, but some the DNC remember the grassroots mobilization after the '94 "assault weapon" ban which they still blame, in part for losing the House in '96. They were very careful to run (and win) many (faux?) pro-gun candidates in red states in '06.

The 2nd Amendment fans are definitely mobilizing to "swarm" McCarthy's new proposed ban.

I believe this one will be DOA because the collective memory is not that short and '08 is just around the corner.

So again, sorry for Zumbo, but the zealots feel that this man's career is not worth compromising their toehold on their 2nd amendment rights.

Think if you will of all the "rightys" who have lost their careers over ill-considered politically incorrect comments.

2:07:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Malapropizm - I'm glad to hear the gun owners use their voice to affect the legislation. Again, I know nothing about the community or guns. I was basing my opinions on what I read in the last week or so.

As for rightys losing their careers over ill-advised remarks, I can't really think of any that have. It seems to me they don't get punished if you will until they're actually caught in a crime.

I still think Zumbo didn't really deserve what happened but it seems clear that no one is going to help him. I don't suppose he'll starve in any event.

6:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As for rightys losing their careers over ill-advised remarks, I can't really think of any that have. It seems to me they don't get punished if you will until they're actually caught in a crime."

I'm sorry I don't have links, but off the top of my head; there was the Los Gatos city employee who lost his job because he referred to SF as Fairyland and Oakland as Jungleland during a boosterism speech for his community, then there was the DC employee who was forced to resign because he used the word "niggardly" when describing the District's social services (ISYN!), then of course there was Trent Lott, who lost his "career" as Senate Majority Leader. Do you think any of them feel less agrieved than Zumbo?

8:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

also, there is little reason to believe that Michael Richard's career isn't over, and then there was Rush Limbaugh's career at ESPN, and Jimmy the Greek's career at CBS.

9:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I promise this is my last post of this digression, but how could I have forgotten the end of my Senator George "Macaca" Allen's Senatorial career?

Zealots of all stripes use political and economic pressure to punish people for ill-advised comments. Apologies never seem to matter much once the Tsunami is underway.

9:18:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Okay Mal, I'm not sure you can equate public employees with Zumbo, but the others are a valid comparison to a point. However, the difference in my mind is that all the famous people you cite were taken down for making deliberately racist remarks that were intended to hurt or at least mock the recipient.

I don't think you can call Zumbo's remark racist in any sense and I don't think he was trying to deliberately hurt any person. He was expressing his distate for a particular inanimate object that he obviously didn't understand.

But again, it's not like I'm expert on this issue. I don't Zumbo from a hole in the ground and in any event, it's a done deal now.

1:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, one thing that this episode illustrates is that the anonymity of the blogoshere can relase unbelievable enmity, meanness, incivility, and nastiness. That seems to be the case regardless of whose ox is gored.

BTW, Zumbro referring to the rifles in question as "terrorist rifles" probable was intended to mock, shock or demean the owners.

Disclosure--I actually liked Zumbro's work and will miss his contributions.

Thanks for the opportunity to offer my $.02

2:51:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Well I thought of that terrorist crack Mal, but taken in context I read it as him noting that terrorists use those guns, which I believe they do, and that they're connected in the non-owners mind as terrorist weapons.

But whatever. Thanks for coming by and contributing to the discussion. It was a pleasure to "meet" you.

4:36:00 PM  

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