Thanks for the heads up.
I've submitted to the WNS for years. I'll have to keep an eye on that.
ETA - sent this to him via E-mail (to keep my "1 letter to the editor a month" quota open if needed). We'll see if it gets acknowledged.
Going to link this in the IL HTF too.
|Dear Mr. Abderholden:|
I read with interest your column "Assault or hunting rifles? You decide" and felt I'd respond informally, instead of through a letter to the editor.
As one of the myriad number of upset shooting sports enthusiasts who responded to Mr. Zumbo's gaffe, I would like to point out that in my (and most of my fellow shooters) opinions, "hunting" and "sport shooting" are not exclusive.
We were not upset with his opinion that the AR platform had no place in hunting. That is his opinion, and he has a right to it.
What upset us was that he referred to our legally owned firearms as "terrorist guns", and then suggested that hunters distance themselves from them.
From his Blog (since pulled by Outdoor Life):
"I'll go so far as to call them "terrorist" rifles....As hunters, we don't need the image of walking around the woods carrying one of these weapons. To most of the public, an assault rifle is a terrifying thing. Let's divorce ourselves from them."
When the federal "Assault Weapons Ban" was being considered, many "hunters" stated publicly that these "Evil Black Rifles (EBR's)" had no "legitimate sporting purpose"... unlike their hunting rifles, which were typically bolt action, blued steel and wooden stocked. Several writers (like Field & Stream's Dave Petzal) offered a "compromise", where the EBR's could be banned, as long as the gun grabbers left the hunting rifles alone.
What they failed to understand was that we all are shooting sports enthusiasts. They fell into the trap set by the anti gunners when they tried to distance themselves from what they perceived as a political liability.
Various total gun bans have been introduced into congress over the past 50 years - more so since the assassination of President Kennedy. None succeeded, because the politicians in Washington knew that a total gun ban would be too reminiscent of the actions by England that started the Revolutionary War 200 plus years ago. So the decision was made first to restrict... then possibly register... then confiscate. By the time the last step was in place, resistance would be minimal, thanks to the incremental criminalization of the offending articles and their users.
The anti-gun folks realized that the concept of "divide and conquer" is a historically proven tactic. So first, they went after lawfully owned machine guns (whose owners go through federal background examinations and pay large sums of money to register and keep) in the 1980's, even though their use in crimes had amounted to less that 1/10 of 1% over 50 years of existing federal restrictions.
In the name of "compromise", the "'89 MG ban" was enacted, restricting the rights of lawful gun owners.
They went after "Assault Weapons" - a term invented by an anti-gun media adivsor to describe semi automatic sporting firearms - in the 1990's, due to a small number of highly publicised shootings. Mike Royko mentioned that the so-called "Assault Weapons" accounted for less that 2% of crime guns in 1994... in fact, more victims were killed by baseball bats and pillows nationally that these types of weapons.
In the name of "compromise" the '"'94 AWB" was enacted, restricting the rights of lawful gun owners.
They started on another campaign recently which I'll tell you about it in a minute.
With each attempt, they anti's use fractionalization - that is, they only go after a specific sub-group. Thus, using the terms "moderate" and "reasonable", they can work towards their goal in small steps that will be easily consumed and supported by the (increasingly) non-shooting public.
Much of the reaction online was revenge for the "attitude" given many of us EBR affectionados by "Fudds" - the hunters who look askance at our "bullet hoses", offer nothing but disparaging comments at the guns sotre or range, and, since many EBR's are not used for hunting, the "Fudds" see no purpose in owning an AR.
Ignoring, of course, the Service Rifle Match Competitions held at Camp Perry annually, as well as the JROTC and ROTC cadets who shoot them.
And also ignoring an activity you mentioned in your article - the joy of simply going out "plinking".
The Second amendment isn't about duck hunting. Likewise, nobody should be able to determine my lawful use of an item based on their interpretation of a "legitimate purpose"
Oh, the other group of "evil guns" the anti's were bemoaning last year in the media?
"Sniper Rifles". You know.. those guns that have no purpose other than killing innocent people...
You can tell them, according to the anti's, by their use of a caliber capable of piercing police "bullet proof" vests (.30 -.30, .243, .270) or use of a military caliber (.308, .223, .50 BMG), capable of delivering a killing blow at over a hundred yards...
They also use telescopic sights, to make sure they can hit their target at a distance...
They may use a bolt action for increased accuracy... or be equipped with a bipod...
Sounds a lot like Jim Zumbo's Winchester 70, doesn't it?
Don't divide our sport, when all of us are under attack by those who would seek to deny us our rights. Let the "hunters" and the "sport shooters" come together and fight for the preservation of our liberties.
Ammo at a gunfight is like bubblegum in grade school: If you haven't brought enough for everyone, you're in trouble - Kharn
"Sleep well, O bard of our times"
RIP Warren William Zevon 1947-2003