First blog, comments blew up in his face so he issued his defense. Was brought up on the Zumbo Fiasco on nuge board.
February 22, 2007
ZUMBOMANIA: David E. Petzal’s take on the Jim Zumbo fiasco
In case you just emerged from a coma and have not heard, the shooting world is agog over a blog posted by Jim Zumbo, former contributing editor at Outdoor Life, over the weekend of February 17. In it, Jim stated that any semiauto rifle with an AR or AK prefix was a terrorist rifle, had no place in hunting, and should be outlawed for that purpose. Then, courtesy of the Internet and all its blogs and chatrooms, the roof fell in.
The speed with which Zumbomania spread, the number of comments it drew, and the rabid nature of same were a revelation. Overnight, this thing became as big as Janet Jackson’s clothing failure or—dare I say it?—Britney Spears’ shaved head. Jim Zumbo is now as employable as the Unabomber, and Sarah Brady will no doubt adopt his comments to her own gun-control purposes.
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. I’ve tried to make some sense of it all, but because the waters are still full of blood and body parts continue to rain from the sky, I haven’t come up with any Great Truths. Lacking that, here are some Lesser Truths.
What Jim said was ill-considered. He’s entitled to his beliefs, but when a writer of his stature comes out against black guns, it sure as hell does not help our cause.
Even so, Jim made an immediate apology. He did not equivocate, or qualify, or make excuses. He acted like a gentleman and said he was wrong, and he was sorry. Apparently this is not enough anymore. We now live in the era of one strike and you're out.
For 40 years, Jim has been a spokesman and ambassador of good will for hunting. Through his tireless efforts as a teacher and lecturer on hunting and hunting skills, he has done more for the sport than any 250 of the yahoos who called for his blood.
Jim has paid dearly for what he said. He has lost his blog and his association with Remington. Cabela’s has suspended its sponsorship of his TV show; and Outdoor Life has accepted his offer to sever ties. To all the chatroom heroes who made him unemployable, I have a word of warning: You’ve been swinging a two-edged sword. A United States in which someone can be ruined for voicing an unpopular opinion is a dangerous place. Today it was Jim’s turn. Tomorrow it may be yours.
If Sarah Brady is smart—and she is very smart—she will comb through the same blogs and chatrooms I’ve been reading, excerpt some of the most vicious and foul-mouthed entries, print them up, and distribute them to Congress. Then it will be interesting to see how the men and women who wrote that stuff enjoy seeing their efforts being put to use by every anti-gunner in America.
Editor's Note: Read Dave's response to your comments here
BLOG TWO BELOW
February 23, 2007
ZUMBOMANIA, PART II: David E. Petzal responds to your comments
As has been pointed out by those of you with long memories, I wrote a piece 13 years ago about the then-looming assault rifle ban. The story was unpopular with a lot of people, but nowhere in it did I endorse the ban, as some are claiming. I note that none of you have seen fit to haul up the many, many times I’ve said critical things about Senators Clinton, Schumer, Feinstein, and of course our beloved former President Bubba. But then it seems that most of you who are visiting here don't read this blog, or Field & Stream, or what I've written to defend the Second Amendment over the years.
Here’s some other relevant information: When I wrote it, black guns were not nearly as important a part of shooting as they are now. We can’t afford to sacrifice them, just as we can’t afford to sacrifice .50-caliber rifles (which I wrote about positively a couple of issues ago in a story called “Way Out There”).
In case you’re wondering, I’ve been using black rifles since 1965, when I hunted woodchucks with one of the very first AR-15s sold commercially by Colt. I’ve worked over many a prairie dog town with one AR variant or another, and if Les Baer were to send me one of his rifles (a heavy barrel flattop in .223, please), I would not send it back. I currently own an M1A. I don’t know if that qualifies or not.
Most important, you shouldn’t construe any of this as an apology. It isn’t. But it is the last thing I’m going to say in this space about the Zumbo matter.
February 23, 2007 | Permalink
His original statements... (Pulled from repost in blog comments.)
""Gun owners -- all gun owners -- pay a heavy price for having to defend the availability of these weapons. "The American public -- and the gun-owning public; especially the gun-owning public -- would be better off without the hardcore military arms, which puts the average sportsman in a real dilemma".An Uzi or an AKM or an AK-47 should be no more generally available than a Claymore mine or a block of C4 explosive." David E. Petzal 1994"