Some of you may have noticed a flurry of activity on one of the threads concerned in part with a columnist for Outoor Life named Jim Zumbo’s comments to the effect that he wished to see “semi-automatic assault rifles” banned by the state.
A lot of (presumably) hunters sprang to Zumbo’s defense in the comments, including one gent named Rick who says he is a hunting columnist for some newspaper outlet or other. I found some of “Rick’s” comments highly disturbing. Here are a couple of samples:
unless it advances the legitimate cause of target
shooters who donâ€™t get enough pressâ€¦largely because
theyâ€™re not all that pr savvy as are huntersâ€¦even the
NRA proffers â€œhunterâ€ stories more than anything else.
I think you have to admit the 2nd amendment is subject
to interpretation with that pesky word â€œmilitiaâ€
like I said many of us
in the writing game are not up to speed on the law
so what exactly is an assault rifle?
Heck, we write about where to fish, what the latest
deer regs are, fluke quotas are a big issue in new jerseyâ€¦
weâ€™ve got ten tons of shit to fit into a five pound bag
every week, we canâ€™t please evrybody.
cut us some slackâ€¦and give us facts we can report.
First caveat: I am not a hunter. Nor, despite Rick’s assumptions, am I a target shooter either. I own firearms, and go to the range regularly to maintain a good level of skill with them, so that if I need to, I can carry out the duties implicit in the right to keep and bear arms which include defending myself and my family, my community and, if necessary, the defense of my nation against tyranny. 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.
I do know a lot of NRA members left the organization for the GOA when it seemed to them that the NRA was more concerned with hunting weapons than the Second per se, and was far too willing to throw owners of unpopular weapons to the gun-grabbing wolves in order to keep their hunters fat and happy. But I know that some of my readers do hunt, so let me ask: Is the hunting community as uneducated and apparently self-centered as this admittedly small sample seems to indicate?
If so, it would be a shame, given that hunters are a large, though still minority, segment of all gun owners. It would seem they should be among the most, not the least, educated about the right and its constitutional guarantee, the Second, that permits them to bear their arms into the woods and fields in the first place.
Hunters, I’d like hear from you about this. Thanks.
UPDATE: Apparently Jim Zumbo has support in The Gun Nut community.