Hunters and the Second Amendment

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 don’t get enough press…largely because
they’re not all that pr savvy as are hunters…even the
NRA proffers “hunter” stories more than anything else.


I think you have to admit the 2nd amendment is subject
to interpretation with that pesky word “militia”


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 jersey…
we’ve got ten tons of shit to fit into a five pound bag
every week, we can’t please evrybody.
cut us some slack…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.

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


Hunters and the Second Amendment — 67 Comments

  1. I’m sure you are looking for responses from others, but I qualify as a bird hunter, or I did at least at one time. Reflecting back to folks that I’ve hunted with in the past, I’ve come to the sad conclusion that I don’t believe they understood the 2nd amendment any better than most.

    For rick, the 2nd is no more about “target aficionados” than it is hunters. Oh and by the way since we are educating folks, the “AR” in AR15 does not stand for assault rifle, it stands for Armalite (not even Armalite Rifle as is sometimes reported), the original developer of the AR15. The term “assualt rifle” is a made up term just like “Saturday night special”. “Plastic guns” are used to refer to Glocks which have a polymer body but obviously still have a metal barrel, slide, and internals. They are favored by many police departments and have been duplicated by just about every other handgun manufacturer. Heck even today’s precious “bambi zappers” are being made with polymer stocks.

    It just goes to show that you just can’t believe everything you read in the newspaper.

  2. “Is the hunting community as uneducated and apparently self-centered as this admittedly small sample seems to indicate?”

    Gawd, I hope not. Let’s try it the other way:

    “I think we non-hunting gun owners should band together with PETA to have hunting banned — after all, nobody needs to hunt animals anymore, what with supermarkets and such selling meat.

    “We’re not a frontier society anymore, and the number of animals wounded by these so-called “sportsmen” just sickens me.

    “Anyway, a scoped bolt-action rifle was responsible for the assassination of both John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., so a hunter’s rifle can become a sniper’s weapon just too easily.”

    See how that sounds, Rick?

  3. Kim. Stop it. Zumbo doesn’t speak for me and, dammit, neither do you. Let’s not try it ‘that way’, let’s forgive the hunters for the words of this idiot and get over it.

    We are ALL shooters. We respect hunters. Most of us ARE hunters. There is no division between ‘hunters’ and ‘shooters’. We are singularly identified as citizens in general and sportsmen in particular.

    I will not allow any further attacks on my rights or my sport regardless of which fraternity of the shooting sports it is aimed at. If you mess with one of us, you mess with ALL of us.

    This how they got us up here in Canada. The laws against ‘assault rifles’ are asnine and now the socialists are grabbing at our handguns.

    Zumbo is an idiot and he was dealt with exactly the way he should have been. As shooters we have to stop relying on self proclaimed ‘spokesmen’ for the sport. We have to make OUR voices heard and we have to be unified.

  4. I am an avid hunter. I also do a lot of target shooting, shoot the occasional round of skeet, I reload much of my own ammo, and I work part-time as a range safety officer at a local range. So, I know a lot of shooters, and here in eastern NC, the great majority of them are hunters. I’ve never heard one of them express the kind of ignorance of 2nd Amendment issues that Zumbo portrayed. We get it.

    For instance, at a public hearing last year for the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, one of the issues that drew the most vocal comments was a proposal that people with CCW permits, driving through public game lands, would have to disarm. The arguments against were both practical (too much administrative handling will increase the likelihood of accidental discharges) and political (get your crummy hands off our 2nd Amendment rights.) The proposal died a quiet death and has not been heard of since. The fishermen in the room didn’t like it any better than the hunters.

    I don’t know if this is typical, but I am willing to bet it is.

  5. And, as was so well said by innumerable in the past about slicing away at the pie, who’ll be left when they come for yours? Yep, who “needs” an assault rifle? Define that. Selective fire comes to mind. How many people own those? Who aren’t already class III licensed? Criminals. Who can still get them in raids on National Guard armories. Scoped High Powered rifles? “Sniper Weapons”? Hunters. Ad Infinitum. Shotguns? Trench Brooms. Ooooohhh! NONE of us are exempt from ANY of their attacks, ya’ll. Wake UP!

  6. Zumbo and those who defend him are worse than the traitors who want to repeal our rights, because they are camouflaged until they open their mouths in a rare (read non-sponsored) moment of candor. As gun owners, all shooters, yes, even hunters, have a stake in defending the Second Amendment. To claim that one doesn’t know what “militia” means in the Second Amendment doesn’t pass the laugh test for one who makes their living writing about firearms and related subjects. Sixth grade education enables one to uncover an historical context for the word militia – if one takes ten seconds to look into it. For you writers who are too stupid to figure it out, “militia” in the colonial context means all able bodied men, period. You idiots. I am not cutting any hunter any slack who claims they don’t have time to find out about the fundamentals of the right that, among other things, prevents hunting from being outlawed. Zumbo is part of a fifth column of journalists who will gladly let the rest of us hang as long as they get their money, their corporate sponsorship, and their comfortable perks. Zumbo and his ilk are parasites, and as such have completely lost touch with their supposed audience. To hell with the lot of them.

  7. I believe some but not most hunters are purists or traditionalist which is fine. They don’t see any need to hunt with any thing other than a classic style hunting rifle.

    However, those that are traditionalist should realize that the rifle they prefer will be grabbed by the government shortly after the “military” type rifles have been taken.

    Zumbo is gone due to his ignorance and lack of thought before he hit the POST button. He has done great damage to every gun owner in America. The rest of us need to stick together.

  8. First off, I’m a hunter and a shooter.
    As a shooter, I have certain groups of wailing leftist whackbags that would love nothing more than to see that every legal firearm in this country is taken away from every law-abiding citizen.
    They exclaim that they only want to ban this dreaded firearm or this latest “killing machine”, while not bothering with all that nasty criminal control nonsense.
    We all know from previous dealings that what they really want is the whole enchilada, whether it be an HK 53 or a pigeon grade Winchester 101.
    As a hunter, along with the same wanna-be Bill of Rights erasers mentioned above, I have to deal with the bunny-hugger brigade with their holier than thou attitude.
    It seems to me that hunters have a two fronted battle to wage.
    When a supposed “defender of the 2nd” like Zumbo chooses not only to not support both sides, but to undermine one, he’s using his head as a sandbag.
    This kind of in-fighting (not that it was much of a fight) is exactly what the Bradys, Feinsteins, Schumers, Klintons, etc. of the world need to gain a foothold.
    Any semblance of division is an icepick in our collective foreheads.

  9. Coffee,

    For the record, the term “assault rifle” is not a made-up term like “Saturday Night Special”; you’re thinking of “assault weapon”. The term “assault rifle” is one translation of the German Sturmgewehr, described here.

    That said, you do know more than a lot of hunters I’ve met, and far too many of them see non-hunting gun owners, especially the owners of “black” (i.e. “scary looking”) semi-auto rifles as crazed militia-wannabees that make them (the hunters) look bad. Also, based on reading the letters to Field & Stream for the past several years, too many readers there seem to believe in “reasonable gun control”. There is no such animal.

  10. Living here on Colorado’s western slope, I am happy to say that I don’t see that limp-wrist approach to the 2nd. here. I don’t know if it is due to red-neckery or common sense (often the same thing, really) but most of the hunters that I come into contact with, both in the field or at the range, own some form of “evil gun”, and often more than one.

    The issue is a tough one. Zumbo’s ilk are opening the gate for the hoards that would like to see ALL of our guns removed from our hands. That they do not see this is troubling. Perhaps our woeful educational system is to blame in that our own Constitution is not taught at length or in depth. I agree that the ensuing in-fighting among the whole of gun owners plays to the grabber’s hand as well.

    The only possible solution is a common front against the hoards. My plan is “face time”, taking the time to talk it out with a hunter such as Zumbo, if I ever come across one.

    And I won’t buy their damn magazine, either.

  11. I think you have to admit the 2nd amendment is subject to interpretation with that pesky word “militia.”

    These attempts at injecting moral relativism into what’s already a codified, strict legal construct is irritating the life out of me. Consider:

    TITLE 10 > Subtitle A > PART I > CHAPTER 13 > § 311
    (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
    (b) The classes of the militia are—
    (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
    (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

    If that’s “pesky,” then so is that “pesky” 1st Amendment “thingy” that lets this blog operate.

  12. Hunter and shooter from Western Pennsylvania. In my experience, hunters are some of the strongest supporters of the 2nd.

    Don’t forget that Zumbo, although an accomplished hunter, is first and foremost a journalist.

    There shouldn’t be a pissing match between hunters and shooters. There is a lot of overlap between the groups and we are all in the same boat. The ultimate goal of the gun grabbers would negatively impact all of us. Just look to GB and Australia to confirm this.

  13. Alaska hunting contingent checking in. Most hunters I have met seem to “get” the 2nd, although we certainly have our share of Fudds like Zumbo up here as well. And while we will probably never be rid of them, discrediting the most vocal and recognized among them is a good start.

  14. The only thing that keeps me from being an avid hunter these days is the severe lack of funds for the enjoyment thereof.

    Kim DuToit can vouch for me on the the “gun-nuttery” side of the equation; I’m both a hunter and a gun nut, in every good sense of both words.

    That said, I’ve encountered countless Fuddites when afield, at the range, gunstores and in the workplace.

    I’d rate the percentage of non gun-nut hunters who are yet knowledgeable of RTKBA and 2A issues at no more than 50%, and more likely down around 20%.

    The fat middle of the hunter’s “bell curve” would reflect a less than acceptable knowledge of the political fight for our RTKBA.

    What Zumbo did was horrendous. And he well deserves the losses of his position and sponsors.

    But I still, if the man is truly repentant, and sincerely seeks enlightenment and the route to a true path, I think it only right that he be afforded that opportunity.

    One “Last Chance”, so to speak.

    And if he blows that one, then to hell with him.

    Thanks for the bandwidth to vent, sir.

    Sloop New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  15. I am a hunter and was a low-level competition skeet shooter. I hunt with a Ruger Single Shoot 7×57 and I shoot birds with a 20 ga. O/U.

    Having said that, I had a wake up call about 8 years ago when an old skeet shooter ask me if I was a member of the NRA. I told him I was not interested in much besides hunting and not concerned about political gun issues. It only took him about 30 min. to get me interested enough to start looking at the current situation and now I am an absolute dedicated supporter of the right for every person to own what ever firearm they wish to own as long as it is currently legal.

    I don’t want to see any erosion in the gun laws from where we are today. The 2nd Amendment is not about hunting and as US citizens we own our government and it exists only to serve us, a country of gun owners. I am appalled when I see hunters break ranks with the gun guys thinking there segment of shooting will be protected while the ugly guns don’t deserve protection and pose a danger to society.

    I also own a few other guns that might be considered non-hunting and I will not compromise on my right to own them. (Semi-auto, black stocks & high cap. mags.)

    We folks who shoot any type firearms for any reason must not and can not break ranks under present conditions. It is that simple and if hunting media try to present a different point of view we must let them know where we stand. As gun owners the 2nd amendment grants us individual firearm ownership and letting our voices be heard is not optional. End of story.

  16. I am a hardcore western hunter that uses “traditional” hunting equipment. I associate with many other hunters in the pacific northwest also. Most of these people are staunch 2nd amendment supporters as I am. Granted, some are clueless, but they are the minority like Zumbo.

    While I don’t enjoy shooting my AR15 like I do one of my single shots, I do own one simply because at one time, my government said I could not.


  17. My father dropped a 50 year life membership in the NRA some years back, when the emphasis on “gun rights” began to crowd out the target shooting and hunting coverage. He’s recently turned 80, and still deer hunts near the cabin that he and Mom built a few years ago. Most of his hunting friends have little use for the NRA, and Dad despises the ILA.
    I still hunt when I’m not on the road, but mainly varmints; the numbers of drunks out during deer season in upstate NY is frightening. I’ve had a few shots whiz past me, even dressed in blaze orange in a tree stand.
    The NRA has about 4 million members last time I cared enough to check. There’s about 80 million hunters and shooters, so only 5% of the nation’s shooters have joined NRA. That tells me that it’s only a fringe minority that gets worked up on issues like this, with calls to action that are mainly fundraising appeals to pay for expensive lobbyists in state capitals and in DC.
    I worked in DC on a contract a few years ago, and I visited NRA headquarters. What an opulent building! There was a suggestion a few years back that NRA needed to have an outside audit done to discover where the money was going, given that they were in substantial debt.
    I suspect that the debt hasn’t been paid off yet, then that is why the NRA is screaming. They need more cash to pay their mortgage, for their limos at the SHOT shows, etc. Fearmongering is a good way to raise cash…
    People who think Zumbo is worse than a traitor need to take some Prozac; I think that he represents a strong majority of the shooting community. I don’t get F&S anymore; my wife and I tired of the beer and male enhancement products that filled the ad pages, just as PM and PS have.
    On my current engineering contract, nearly everyone in Engr. Design is both a hunter and veteran. Small town, rural NY. There’s not one NRA member in the office, according to a little survey I did yesterday during a network time out. Maybe the NRA’s time has passed??

  18. I’m interested in the comment that basically say, “We must all hang together, or we will hang separately.” In particular, I’m interested in those who use this logic to castigate those who loudly opposed Jim Zumbo’s statements, calling us divisive.

    As I say, I know very little about hunting. I do know a lot about the community of hard core Second Amendment supporters, from whence came most of the attacks on Zumbo’s statements. I’ve never seen supporters of the Second advocate reining in hunters by banning the weapons hunters prefer to use, but the converse – as exemplified by Zumbo – is far too common an occurrence.

    I would submit that it is the Zumbos who are divisive, and to let their statements and positions pass unchallenged in the name of solidarity is, in fact, divisiveness of the most insidious sort, in that silence in the face of such cluelessness can be twisted by the enemies of the Second to indicate universal agreement.

  19. I target shoot, hunt, and have guns for self defense. From what I see the lose of the ability to own any particular gun diminishes the ability to do each of these. Whether it is a gun I would buy or use is inconsequential. Losing the ability to own any type of gun reduces my freedom.

    I want to protect the right to own any type of firearm.

  20. When the California assault weapons ban went into effect, and unlike the federal version, it is still in effect, I had a choice. I could give up my legally purchased, scary rifles to a law enforcement agency, “register” it with said law enforcement agency or hide it hoping the ban would go away evenetually.

    But why should I have had to make a choice at all? That is the key to the 2A, and don’t fool yourself otherwise. Those rifles are my property, purchased with the sweat of my brow through honest work. My property was being targeted because some nut case decided that he wanted to go out in a blaze of glory fighting the cops after shooting some kids in a school, I had to make a choice, and I stand by the one I did.

    To fool yourself into thinking that hunting will be protected and that your wood grain stock .30-06 will never be seized is, at best, delusional. The anti-gun crowd is after all things that go ‘bang’. They have a clear purpose, passion for their cause and money on their side. They don’t care if we hang together or hang separately, because in their view we will hang eventually.

    And damn you for giving them even an inch of the rope.

  21. Scott Crawford,

    Just for the translators’ record, ‘Assault Rifle’ is translated from the German SturmGevaer, which literally translates as ‘Storm Rifle’. That can be readily transalted at Assault Rifle, since generally, a ‘storm’ in the military sense is a massive assault on a fixed position.
    I WILL grant that SturmGewehr MIGHT be an alternate spelling of SturmGevaer; I just don’t know.

    In other news, there IS such a thing as ‘reasonable gun control’; it’s called a good sight picture.

    ANY other definition is a travesty upon the English language and the Constitution of the United States. Period.

    See ya!


  22. I’m not a hunter, I’m a collector and target shooter, and a home defense/concealed carry person. The Second amendment, last time I looked, does not read,

    “The harvesting of deer, elk and upland game birds being necessary to the survival of the Republic, The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    If hunters want the support of the rest of the gun community, they better learn to give the same kind of support to those of us who don’t go out “a-lookin’ to kill Bambi’s mom.”

    (I do like venison, and elk, and quail, and there’s room in God’s world for all these creatures…right next to the mashed potatoes. I like seeing my wife in a fur coat, too.)

    There are more than enough weepy animal-rights folks who think we should treat a bear as a citizen and count his vote, to seriously infringe on hunting rights, and without the support of the whole gun community the opposition will whittle away at our rights on a divide-and-conquer basis. A gun is a tool, and if one is outlawed because it looks scary, they all could be outlawed.

    Stand together or hang, separately, gents and ladies.

  23. Zumbo’s views are quite common among his community: The left-of-center, upper-middle-class outdoor writers/journalists. Most hunters I know (including myself) own some form of hi-cap semi-auto, and most of them despised the recently-expired Assault Weapons ban as much as the EBR (Eeeevil Black Rifle) owners.

    I think it has more to do with elitism. Zumbo has been pampered with freebies his whole life, so it’s not surprising that he would be disconnected from the average hunter or gun owner. Most outdoor writers enjoy the same treatment; they don’t associate with the Great Unwashed very often, except at book signings. This breeds a type of contempt that manifests itself whenever the grassroots gun owners hold different opinions than their journalist betters.

    Bottom line is, the “outdoor writer” community doesn’t speak for anyone other than their small inner circle. Zumbo found that out the hard way.

  24. I’m more of a hunter than a gun-nut. I can say that because I spend more money on hunting than I spend on eeevil assault rifles (close, but hunting wins).

    That being said, any hunter who believes his sport is protected by the 2nd Amendment needs some remedial education in American History. There is no constitutional protection for the sport of hunting — any more than there is constitutional protection for the sport of cricket or steeplechase or yachting or anything else.

    There are many hunters who “get it”, but I go through this argument with sad regularity with a minority who don’t. “Hey Jager, I can see how you need that Schnauzer rifle that’s hand engraved by Jakob Schnauzer himself, but why do you need that M2HB machine gun?”

    If you read Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Tench Cox, you will find the only “hunting” that was envisioned under the 2nd Amendment was hunting down power hungry politicians and criminals (redundancy alert). And as they say in these parts — you don’t really own your home unless you own a belt-fed MG!

  25. Too many gun owners run for cover when their opponent brings up the “militia” clause. Own it and revel in it!

    Go read your American History. There is no provision for a standing army under the constitution. Every American Citizen is a member (or member-in-training or retired member) of the militia.

    Read the rest of the Constitution — all those words were carefully chosen by educated men well versed in the nuances of the English language. There are no extraneous words.

    The “militia clause” was put in their specifically the prevent citizens from being relegated to pitchforks for their “arms”, while the “militia” got their deadly muzzle loading muskets with bayonets. The “militia clause” means we get the same weapons used by the military. This was upheld by the Supreme Court (although in a narrow ruling) the last time they had the balls to look at the Gun Control Act of 1936.

    Under a strict reading of the “militia clause”, I should be legally able to buy an M249 SAW from Walmart on my way home from work along with a few belts of ammo. Since I cannot, the 2nd Amendment has already been abrogated.

  26. “I think you have to admit the 2nd amendment is subject to interpretation with that pesky word “militia”.

    I don’t have to admit anything. If they want to “interpret” all the documents this country was founded on, then all the supporting documents should be read. Once you read what was written AT THE TIME by the founders, it is clear that the intention was for individual citizens to have the right. The only possible interpretation is that all 10 amendments that make up the Bill of Rights are individual rights, without which it would not have been possible to get the Constitution radified by the States.
    Beyond that, the right to self defense is a natural right, it is not given to me by anyone, and it cannot be taken away. The lowest of the animals will use the weapons they have to defend their young and themselves. It only requires looking clearly at the world around to see the evil that results when people do not rise to their own defense.
    Consider Germany in 1940. Even thought the Nazis had taken all the firearms, what would have the Nazis done if the Jews had fought back? Taken trucks and automobiles and run into the squads as the worked through the neighborhoods. Opened the door and thrown boiling oil or water on the men that had come to take them to the trains. Stabbed one of the men as they drug the children kicking and screaming to the trucks. I tell you the Nazis could not have killed even a percentage of the number they did without the passive consent of the damned. The first mistake was allowing the Nazis to disarm them. But the larger mistake was not fighting back.
    The rights mentioned in the Bill of Rights outline SOME of my freedoms, it does not grant me those rights, it only states them to ensure they are protected. If some despotic government arises that tries to infringe on those rights, that does not mean that my rights are taken away, it just means that I must, once again, consider the oath I took, to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

  27. I’m a black rifle fan, and I own several of them. However, I also own several “bambi zappers”, or as some of our less gun-aware compatriots might call them, “high powered sniper rifles”, including one in .50BMG. I don’t hunt, but I do compete in IPSC and similar matches, I target shoot and I volunteer as a “bad guy” for our troops and police to shoot at in Simunition-based live fire training.

    I would vigorously support Zumbo (and any hunter) in their right to own and use any firearm responsibly, no matter its appearance. It deeply disappoints and concerns me that there seems to be a large contingent of hunters who wouldn’t do the same for me.

    As I said; one guy’s Ruger Mark 1 in .458 Lott is another man’s high-powered sniper rifle, and I can do a lot more damage with that cartridge than I can with a poodle-shooter .223.

    Do these people not realize that (to paraphrase our Founding Fathers) that we must hang together, for otherwise we shall all surely hang separately? By dividing our ranks, we weaken our defense of the Second Amendment. For shame.

  28. Okay, let’s reduce this to simple economics, and one interesting fact.

    Economics: We refer to the relationship of an economy’s expenditure on civil comfort as “butter, and its expenditure on civil defense as “guns.” The more an economy spends on guns, the less it can spend on diversity training for firefighters. Therefore, we should ban assault rifles, as it frees up a lot of cash for more important items, like printing educational pamphlets on global warming on recycled paper.

    Fact: The most heavily armed country in the world has the lowest crime rate. In Switzerland, every male between 18 and 50 who is fit for military service is required to own, maintain and regularly train with a rifle. Do you think the Swiss restrict their civil defense force to bolt-action rifles? Or do you think those things can fire off a clip in five sceonds.

    I own no guns, haven’t shot one in years, and have no personal axe to grind. The thought that banning the sale of guns — any guns — makes the US a safer place is as abhorrent to me as the thought that jailing homosexuals makes the US a safer place. Now, jailing politicians, on the other hand…

  29. I grew up hunting, and I enjoy it a great deal. I bought a Benelli prior to the 94 AWB, but I primarily use a SxS when bird hunting — it balances better, is lighter to carry, and it’s PRETTY. Similarly, I usually use a lever action, or single shot rifle when hunting. However, I plan to buy an AR-10 in the near future, both to use in competition, and in the field. Semis were not that accurate, traditionally, but a good AR platform is every bit as accurate as a traditional bolt-action, and it allows for a much faster 2nd shot, with a less disturbed sight picture, and lower recoil. They are also light weight, and less likely to be affected by weather. Reliability, aesthetics and being legal in foreign countries, are the only reasons I can think of to own a bolt-action rifle over an AR…that, and accuratacy in an AR is much more expensive than in a bolt-action.

    I suspect most of the “Fudds” are the same people who show up at hunting camp, don’t know how to use a rifle, get “buck-fever”, don’t know where to place a shot, shoot w.o. a clear idea of their target, won’t listen to instructions, get drunk, have a scope that’s not zeroed, and essentially, have no clue what to do other than drive from their house in the suburbs to their office. Close to half of the people who call themselves “hunters” are like this, in my personal experience.

  30. These attempts at injecting moral relativism into what’s already a codified, strict legal construct is irritating the life out of me. Consider:

    TITLE 10 > Subtitle A > PART I > CHAPTER 13 > § 311
    (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are

    It looks that the word “militia” is really pesky. According to your genial “strict legal construct” I’m not militia because I’m over 45.

  31. When I was very young, I hunted birds, varmints and game for several years. Eventually, I decided that it was just not for me, but my love of shooting never died down. Later in life, I learned about hunting men. As a Police Officer, I carried a gun both on and off-duty as the law required. Now, retired and disabled, I still maintain my shooting skills. As beat up as I am, I am still a member of the Militia. My skills are honed and ready to protect myself, my family, my neighbors, my community and my way of life if needed.
    I also vote and swing as many votes as I can against candidates who do not understand that my RIGHT to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED! If anyone wants my vote they must fully support the Constitution, including that pesky Second Amendment.

  32. one takes ten seconds to look into it. For you writers who are too stupid to figure it out, “militia” in the colonial context means all able bodied men, period. You idiots.

    eureka … another genius … conclusion: the 2nd does not apply to females!

  33. ” These attempts at injecting moral relativism into what’s already a codified, strict legal construct is irritating the life out of me. Consider:

    TITLE 10 > Subtitle A > PART I > CHAPTER 13 > § 311
    (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are

    It looks that the word “militia” is really pesky. According to your genial “strict legal construct” I’m not militia because I’m over 45.”

    This was posted by Anonymous 2-23 at 1:50.

    Reading Section 313 to find out what the exceptions are makes it clear that former members of the military are eligible until they are 64. It also makes it clear that the age restriction applies to National Guard service. There is no reference there to “Informal Militia.”

  34. It looks that the word “militia” is really pesky

    It’s a side issue. It’s an introductory, not a limiting clause. It does not modify “right of the people” at all.

    The right to keep and bear arms is not dependent on whether or not you belong to a militia, no matter how defined. It is dependent upon whether you are one of the people whose rights shall not be infringed. These are the same people who are essentially defined as “everybody” in all other parts of the constitution.

    In fact, it is only because of those who fear an armed populace (and this includes statist judges) that the introductory clause plays any role at all. These folks want to pretend that, unlike any other part of the Bill of Rights, the right defined in the Second is a right of government (the states, to form national guards) not a right of “the people” (you and me). This is called the collective right argument, and is bullshit through and through. And those advancing it who have an IQ higher than a bag of wet hair know it is crap.

  35. “give us some facts we can report”
    If you don’t know what you’re talking about, shut up and color!
    I think these writers become self centered and arrogant because they are paid to pontificate.
    I’m a lifelong hunter, Quail to Boar and back. I have no acquaintances who do not clearly understand the “right of the people”, and “shall not be infringed” parts of 2A.
    Zumbo is in a minority. He has paid a price, largely due to the unforgiving nature of the blogosphere. Ten years ago a flurry of letters, and an apology would be all we would see of the matter. If I didn’t pick up that issue of Outdoor Life I might have missed it altogether.
    Today I have seen it on each of my regularly visited sites.

  36. Zumbo’s “apology” really wasn’t enough… he knows that now. You don’t call law-abiding gun owners terrorists, however obliquely, and then blame it on being tired. You fall on the knife, get it over with, and pay whatever penance gets you back into the good graces of your sport as a whole.

    The recreational black rifle shooters have shown Jim Zumbo the mailed fist, Now, provided his willingness to pay penance is sincere, let us show Mr. Zumbo our ability to support one who supports us.

    He has been publicly scourged, lost his sponsorships, and basically had a very bad week. I see no reason to cast him into the outer darkness if he’s willing to stand up, take it like a man, and open his eyes to the wider sport of shooting.

    Why throw away a potential supporter?

  37. Let’s recap the exceptions to militia

    females at large (forefathers construct)
    females not in the national guard (modern construct)
    males non-members of the military males below the age of 17 over the age of 45
    male members of the military over the age of 64

    More strict constructs: since the word citizen is used 16+ times in the Constitution, the choice of the word “militia” in the 2nd is not accidental. Therefore, the drafters of the 2nd intended to limit the right to bear arms to able bodied males. Females and crippled males handicapped are thereby excluded.

  38. Of course, for many libertarians, the 2nd Amendment would allow individuals to own nuclear weapons, if taken to its logical (to them) conclusion. Its all a matter of degree as far as what the 2nd supposedly allows.
    Person one may believe that he can own(and use) a Minuteman ICBM. The cops in a nearby city give him a speeding ticket: KA-BOOM!
    Person two may believe that the same law allows him to own his own howitzer or flamethrower. Neighbor throws a wild party: INCOMING!
    Person three may believe that the 2nd allows only a single shot, non scoped, muzzle loader, the weapon that most people who owned guns in colonial times had.
    Who is correct? And who decides?
    There have been studies that suggest that gun ownership wasn’t as widespread as NRA propaganda trumpets in colonial times, and I’ve never read accounts of citizens of the time claiming to own cannon. Yes, there are special “collectors” who have some interesting stuff, but they are the real fringe, the “Dennis Kucinches(sp?)” of the gun community.
    I used to be a 2nd Amendment absolutist, but as I approach my MS in History, the evidence against it is overwhelming.
    One last point: regarding the militia: They were almost without exception a waste. Washington’s early army won few battles until professional trainers came from Europe, such as Lafayette and others. Relying on the rabble of the militia caused numerous problems throughout the 18th and 19th century. The founders believed in the concept of the militia, but most of them were careful to stay away from actual combat. The more things change…

  39. Therefore, the drafters of the 2nd intended to limit the right to bear arms to able bodied males.

    You are ignorant of basic grammar, for starters (not to mention history). The entire militia clause has nothing to do with the subject, “the right of the people.” The militia could be made up of one-legged giraffes, and it still wouldn’t make any difference to the “right of the people to keep and bear arms…” that… “shall not be infringed.”

    Go read this, and learn why you should stop displaying such ludicrous ignorance in public. You are certainly no friend to the Second.

  40. Spare me the sanctimonious act Kim.

    I have read some of the crap you wrote; and to be frank if there is a spread of 3 IQ points between you and Zumbo, I would be mightily surprised. Zumbo gives as much ammo to the anti-gunners as you yourself do.

    I have to listen to anti-gun bungholes on occasion and they make alot of hay on guys like you. So ya think we should “tie Ted Kennedy into a chair and beat him to death with a lead pipe” Kim? Or “string up liberals from the lamp posts and shoot at their rotting corpses for target practice?” Do ya think that’s witty, Kim? Funny?

    Far as I am concerned the bad guys can have Zumbo’s guns and yours as well. As a gun owner I would be better off if guys like you would STFU too.

  41. Don, the studies you site about gun ownership in colonial times have been debunked – Bellesiles lost his professorship and his Bancroft Prize for fudging the story (the Bancroft Prize the top scholarly award in the US in the field of History if you don’t know that already). You might read Clayton Cramers’ “Armed America” for the straight scoop. Me I only have a BA in History and I know that much. With respect to your comment on citizens owning cannon (without government approval that is) you might ask yourself what the US Constitution means when it refers to a “Letter of Marque?” And what that means in plain English is that ships armed with cannons (which was common btw) could get a hunting license (not a license to own cannon) from the gov to attack America’s enemies. What ARE they teaching at University these days?

  42. Don,
    I am not real smart but I think your arguments come close to absurdity. Why do you think a person who could come up with enough money to own a missile and all of the launching apparatus would be prone to get angry and blow up police over a speeding ticket. I personally would not have a problem with people owning their own artillery and I doubt if they would ever be the threat that a demented man with a load of fertilizer was.

    As to the second point, I think in almost every war, at least up until the present, a lot of guys owned their own weapons and they tried to get the latest most effective, like the men at the Alamo for one example. During the civil war a lot of people raised their own regiments complete with arms using private money, I am not under the impression that all of these were, as you say, ineffective.

    I recently saw a movie about the Rough Riders and TR and in that movie they showed the Tiffany Family purchasing and presenting a machine gun to the Rough Riders. And, yes I know there were regular troops that did most of the fighting but the spirit of the Rough Riders is part of who we Americans are.

    I spent time in Europe in the Army in the 60’s and the .45’s we had were pretty used up so when we pulled courier duty we were allowed to carry and use our personal pistols complete with paper work to allow us to carry our own pistols. My cousin carried his oersonal Browning Hi-Power in Vietnam for 2 and 1/2 tours.

    It is my option that the private ownership of weapons is a right, under the second amendment and furthermore a tradition both during active duty and as a civilian. There is also that pesky thing where crime goes down when regular people can obtain carry permits.

    I could never imagine any circumstances where this great country would ever be in such a state that civil insurrection would be warranted but I do want to live in a country where the government understands who the country belongs to. I think that armed citizens help keep the balance and the right to defend themselves that is crucial to the unique freedom we US citizens enjoy.

  43. I hate to see these divisions, but, on the other hand, calling hunters “fudds” is no better than what Zumbo did.

    Actually, no, and for a couple of reasons. First, calling for the state to ban guns because a hunting writer doesn’t like their looks does far more damage to the Constitution, the Second Amendment, and the cause of liberty in a free nation than does referring to some hunters as being examples of a rather famous cartoon character. Attempting to equate the two betrays a rather shaky understanding of either, in my opinion.

    Second, although I am no sort of hunter at all, from reading these threads it seems to me that it is hunters calling other hunters fudds, not Second Amendment enthusiasts not connected with the hunting community.

  44. “string up liberals from the lamp posts and shoot at their rotting corpses for target practice?”

    Oh, Kim so did not say that! He said, ”hanging liberals from light poles all over the land so that laughing Republican children can use their rotting corpses for target practice.”

    Personally, I laughed so hard I busted a rib thinking about kids singing nursery rhymes, plinking away at rotting corpses while shiny gummy bears fall slowly from the sky, and rainbows light their little eyes. It was a joke. Anybody who took that seriously is either a liberal, or developmentally delayed (but then, I repeat myself).

    I don’t care HOW many guns you own. Get a sense of humor. Kim can curse, deliver dirty jokes, quote Shakespeare from memory, compare Shakespeare to Clausewitz, and basically run intellectual circles around a legion of these hand-wringing, nanny-statist, politically correct mental midgets. So some leftard is weewy, weewy angwy that Kim told a big mean joke? Tell him to grow a pair, and walk away.

    It’s not anger they feel.

    It’s jealousy. And green doesn’t look good on them. Or on you, pal.

  45. The second amendment has never ever been about a militia it is about the right of the people to bear arms and shall never be infringed. The militia that this amendment is talking about is the peoples militia that would be needed to be formed to overthrough a tyrantical government (or in this case the Democrats). The sooner these “sportsmen” get it into their heads that guns aren’t just for sports but for a greater cause the better off we will all be. I hunt but I not a “sportsman”, I own guns, and I have guns I don’t hunt with, with but why should that matter if they come for one type of gun sooner or later they will come for all types of guns.

  46. I began hunting only after being a gun owner and a Bill of Rights enthusiast for many years. I know what the 2nd says and what it does not say. I know what the Framers said about it at the time it was written. I also know that our elected servants have taken an Oath to uphold it, and that we have ways of dealing with them if they violate said Oath.

    One can find countless examples, by the way, of people who would throw their neighbors to the wolves in the hope that they, by doing so, will be eaten last. We see this behavior in the citizen informants during the Holocaust, and we see it in the lead-in years before Prohibition, wherein the beer brewers supported banning distilled spirits, to name only two obvious examples.

    Look what good it did any of them, however.

    The attack on EBRs (eeeevil black rifles) is an attempt to divide and conquer. We’ll see if it succeeds. The history of human nature dictates that it will at least make some headway.

  47. Don – if Zumbo represents the majority of hunters, then he and those hunters need to get their collective heads out of the dark and into the light.

    Anonymous – of course, anonymous. Educated people know that the generic “men” in English includes women, even today. In any case, in the colonial context (do you know what context means?), women were not generally included in the militia, and the militia did in fact mean men. Who is the genius, again?.

  48. Workin, I am not jealous of Kim.

    From what I have seen he is old, doesn’t shoot that well, and would have a heart attack if he tried to run a 100 yards.

    As far as his intellect goes…if you say so. Personally, I find that he tends to write idiotic crap designed to inflame potential allies of the armed citizen and other idiots.

    Many of our potential allies (and friends) are sitting on the fence right now. Many of those are what some of you idiots are calling ‘Fudds’. Choose your friends and enemies wisely fellas.

    Ted Nugent has come forward in defense of Zumbo and has allowed him a last word on his forum where he apologizes again for what he said.

    I dunno if I agree with him with regard to Zumbo…but for my money Ted is a far better friend of the gun owner than the bloated self proclaimed writers in the media and the blogosphere.

  49. I was kinda expecting someone else would do this, but since noone did…
    Don (and whoever else may be confused): The 2nd amendment does not “allow” us to own nuclear weapons, black rifles or even slingshots, regardless of purpose. The 2nd amendment delineates a right that was endowed us by our Creator, and clearly states that it (and the other amendments state that the others) shall not be infringed.
    And, by the way, as a recovering journalist, I object to the use of the term when referring to Jim Zumbo. He’s a writer. Period.

  50. From what I have seen he is old, doesn’t shoot that well, and would have a heart attack if he tried to run a 100 yards.

    I don’t have the slightest notion who you are, but from what I’ve seen here on these threads, you’re immature, don’t think very well, and your head is so fat that if you had to think for a 100 seconds, your skull would explode.

  51. @Bill Quick

    Go read this, and learn why you should stop displaying such ludicrous ignorance in public. You are certainly no friend to the Second

    That is my interpretation.

    Yes commissar Bill you are the great educator, and a wisdom lighthouse for all of us, the poor functional illiterates.

    It obvious that you have a totalitarian/stalinist and other “ists” type of mind. Consequently, I understand that you have apoplectic difficulties with opposing point of views.

    disagree with Quick Bill = enemy of the 2nd
    disagree with Quick Bill = enemy of the people and of the republic

    Yes commissar Bill you are the great educator, and a wisdom lighthouse for all of us, the poor functional illiterates.

    [kim du toit] As far as his intellect goes…if you say so. Personally, I find that he tends to write idiotic crap designed to inflame potential allies of the armed citizen and other idiots.

    Agreed. Furthermore: the white-feathery Huguenot lived under an authoritarian regime and never raised a stink (yeah, I know about the brief stint blah blah blah). However, once he finds himself in the land of the free, he becomes the great freedom fighter.

    For such virulent anti-commie he seems to have missed quite a lot of opportunities to fight them in Southern Africa from 1975 to 1986 (MPLA, SWAPO, eastern european and cuban mercenaries in Angola). Where was he during Cuito Canavale? Hey Kim … they needed your “skills” over there!

    I also cannot wait for the trekboer to tell us about his great wetback adventure from SA. Who knows. He might even confess that he entered this country under false pretenses (political asylum? student visa? tourist visa? bogus marriage?). Remember: he “immigrated” to the US in 1986 and become a naturalized citizen in 1989. You can only become a naturalized citizen in three years if you are married to an USA citizen. Probably you guys do not know, but during the late 70s and 80s South Africans were buying grooms and brides from Western Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the US, for citizenship purposes –Joe Strummer of the Clash received £100 from his first SA “wife”. Gerard Depardieu, of “Green Card” fame, will play Kim Du Toit in the screen adaption of “Damn Foreigner”.

  52. Quite a few interesting comments, a few rants, and a couple of really dumb posts. Allow me to add mine. 🙂

    I hunt, fish, hike, camp, canoe, etc. If it is outdoors I like to be involved. I was in the military, USAF, ’75-’79. I used to belong to a gunclub that was started as a trap and skeet range. As membership grew, a rifle range was added. As membership grew more and interests diversified, other types of shooting was discussed. When IPSC was catching on, several members interested in it proposed having regular shooting matches. The club Board of Directors, who were composed of the “old timers,” were horrified that people wanted to have a match where you could shoot while “Moving.” Bullseye matches where ok, but IPSC or “Combat Pistol” were too dangerous and there was too much liability. Later, when the “Crime Control Bill” was proposed, there was much discussion about so called “assault rifles” and the “shotgun crowd” did not even want them on the range. Trap and Skeet were ok, Schuetzen was ok, Bullseye was ok, but SKS, AK-47, action shooting, and even Cowboy Action Shooting, was looked at with distaste and suspicion.

    One more time, The Constitution does not grant or give rights, it states the limits to be imposed by the “people” upon government!!!

    The earliest definition of militia refers to all able-bodied citizens willing and able to defend their community. The men did the shootin, the women did the reloading and bandaging, the children did the runnin and fetchin. All fought for their community on the frontier or they went under. Later, when written and “formalized,” “the militia” was understood to be those able-bodied citizens that could and “would” stand to and defend the community.

    “A well regulated Militia” If you regulate something, you control its order or flow to where you want it to go. A dam can regulate the flow of a stream or river, barrels of a double rifle are “regulated” to shoot to the same point of impact, and so forth. A well regulated militia was one that took seriously the responsibility of community defense and would hold regular periodic drills and practice what to do in case of attack. Several small communities would plan with the leaders and militias of nearby communities what to do in case of attack and how best to respond. Who would lead a combined force, who would go if the county or the state called up volunteers, and how would the remaining citizens fill the gaps. This was a well regulated Militia. Practiced in mutual self defense for the good of the community.

    “Being necessary to the security of a free state.” A free state, not the state of New York, or Georgia, or Florida, but “the state of being free.” To maintain your right to be free, to come and go as you please, to do as you please, as long as it does not infringe or interfere with another’s right to the same. Your right to be free in your person and possessions and not have them taken or held by another without due cause.

    “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The people (you and me) have the right to self defense and to defend their community (or not), and the government, state or federal, can make no laws to infringe, abrogate, or deny this right. Any law so made is un-constitutional and does not have to be obeyed.

    As I see it, the intent was/is to make sure that the people have the right and ability to posses the same arms and fighting tools that the military and police have. I have worked in the security field for the past 16 years as an armed officer. I have worked closely with local police. I have a lot of respect for the job that the Police Officers do, but I do take exception and have difficulty with the idea that they (Police) have access to types of firearms just by virtue of their job title.

    Some have commented on the ability of the individual to acquire “nukes,” “ICBM’s,” Howitzers and other such stuff. If an individual has the ability and the wherewithal to achieve this, more power to them. The likelihood of them going off on a tangent and using them after spending the amount of time and money required to get them is slim. Since 1935, when all “fully automatic” firearms were required to be registered with the government and taxes paid, there has not been one crime committed with a legally owned “fully automatic” firearm. Not because they are registered, but because Joe Citizen can be trusted with firearms, and can be trusted to do the right thing when necessary. This is also part of your responsibility as a citizen in the exercising of your “rights.”

    Some have commented that they had only smoothbore muskets at the time this was written. That is true, but that was also the height of technology at the time. Citizens were not restricted to certain types or calibers or manufacturers. Citizens were expected to have arms comparable to the military of the day. Many communities even went so far as to have public armories where those who did not have or could not afford a musket could get one when needed for the common defense. The same should be true today. Joe Citizen should be able to buy and own the same types of firearms that the police and military have, and for the same reasons. There should be public armories available for the common defense. “The National Guard is a Federal entity!” Paid with Federal funds (taxes), provided with Federal equipment, stored on Federal property, under Federal control.

    Government should fear the people, not the other way around. That is the purpose of the second amendment, to put teeth into the Bill of Rights and into the Constitution of the United States. Supposedly, the power of our government is the people themselves. This flap with Jim Zumbo has shown the power of the people when angered, and the power of the internet in getting the message across to the people that make the decisions, in this case the sponsors that Zumbo once had. If only people would become this outraged and motivated when it comes to electing responsible people to government, instead of just when their pet project gets gored. If only they would put as much effort into thinking and considering the consequences of letting other people worry about how the government is run. As others have stated before me, use the four boxes in the appropriate order: Soap, Mail, Ballot, and Cartridge.

    Thank you for your time…

  53. I am not a “gun nut”, and only an occasional hunter, but I find it encouraging that a small (somewhat) quiet group understands the purpose and importance of the 2nd amendment. ” A well armed society is a polite society”. We-you and me, are the Militia, and it is our responsibility the protect the freedoms (all freedoms) ensured by our constitution, while protecting personal freedom, and preventing threats to those freedoms, domestic or foreign. –

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