Skip to comments.The Blog Heard 'Round The Industry
Posted on 02/20/2007 11:04:03 AM PST by holymoly
Jim Zumbo angers firearm enthusiasts.
Legendary hunting writer Jim Zumbo has incurred the wrath of thousands of shooting enthusiasts with a weekend posting on his now-suspended blog for Outdoor Life magazine.
In the posting, Zumbo said "assault rifles" (or "terrorist" rifles as he went on to refer to them) had "no place" among "our hunting community." Adding that in his "humble opinionâ¦these things have no place in hunting" because "We don't need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them, which is an obvious concern."
Zumbo went on to say "game departments should ban them from the praries (sic) and woods."
That kicked off a firestorm among owners of so-called "black rifles". Within hours, internet sites had reproduced the offending blog, kicking off thousands of angry emails and internet postings.
Subsequently, in what may one day be classified as the worst apology ever written (aptly titled "I was wrong, BIG TIME") Zumbo attempted to soothe readers, attributing his remarks to being tired following a long day of hunting coyotes in extreme weather conditions.
He went on recount his 40 years of NRA membership and the United States Sportsmen's Alliance, an organization, which, he wrote, "actively fights anti-hunters and animal rights groups for hunter's rights." He also told readers he had plans to go hunting with an AR-style rifle to give them a try.
At that point, however, there was little, if anything, that would assuage an angry horde of electronically mobilized AR fans. They considered Zumbo's remarks as being tantamount to a sellout, with Zumbo offering up "black rifles" as a sacrificial lamb for anti-gun forces.
In an appearance on Tom Gresham's national radio show "Gun Talk" Sunday afternoon, Zumbo attempted to apologize, but listeners didn't seem to be buying his verbal apology. If anything, any attempt to assuage them only fanned the flames of outrage.
Over the course of the afternoon and evening, various executives associated with Zumbo posted their own comments on his blog site, attempting to deflect the anger at directed at Zumbo away from their companies.
It didn't work.
Instead, they found themselves under attack with angry feedback calling for everything from a boycott of all Remington products (a pair of Remington execs were mentioned as having been with Zumbo on his now ill-fated hunting trip) to cancellation of Outdoor Life magazine subscriptions and campaigns against all companies with connections to Zumbo.
Yesterday morning, responding to an onslaught of negative publicity, Remington CEO and President Tommy Millner released a statement severing "all sponsorship ties with Mr. Zumbo, effective immediately."
Zumbo was entitled to his opinion, Millner wrote, but the inflammatory comments were solely his and did not reflect the views of Remington.
"Remington has spent tens of millions of dollars defending our Second Amendment rights to privately own and possess firearms, " wrote Millner, "and we will continue to vigorously fight to protect these rights. As hunters and shooters of all interest levels, we should strive to utilize this unfortunate occurrence to unite as a whole in support of our Second Amendment rights."
In conclusion, Millner expressed regret at the termination of a long-standing relationship with a "well-respected writer and life-long hunter."
Outdoor Life announced they were discontinuing the "Hunting With Zumbo" blog "for the time being" due to the "controversy surrounding Jim Zumbo's latest postings."
Their notice went on to remind readers "Outdoor Life has always been, and will always be, a steadfast supporter of our Second Amendment rights which do not make distinctions based on the looks of the firearms we choose to own, shoot and take hunting."
Yesterday, anyone who didn't comment risked being lumped in with anti-gun forces. Any voices calling for reason and tolerance found themselves shouted down. And those writers professing support for Mr. Zumbo privately certainly weren't willing to go on the record with that support.
Additionally, Cabela's has not yet dropped their sponsorship of the Jim Zumbo Outdoors television show, Cabela's Frank Ross is being quoted as having said their legal department is "currently reviewing contractual obligations and commitments regarding our sponsorship of the Jim Zumbo Outdoors television show. "
"Jim's comments are as unfortunate as they are inappropriate," said National Shooting Sports Foundation president Doug Painter. "No one should divide firearms into good-gun, bad-gun categories."
Zumbo's ill-considered blog may not have been intended to create good-gun, bad-gun categories, but it has certainly raised firebrand rhetoric to an art form. Rather than hunters being supported by recreational and competitive shooting enthusiasts, they have now become "Fudds" to shooters who feel they have been labeled "terrorists" by a "hard-core hunter."
It's truly not a pretty picture, but may observers say it accurately reflects a widening gap between "traditional" and "non-traditional" shooting enthusiasts.
With Congress reconsidering the Assault Weapon Ban and Connecticut and New Jersey considering legislation that would limit handgun purchases to one per month, this latest schism is already being used as further evidence of the "need" to regulate firearms -all firearms - more stringently.
Well, let's compare a few quotes here...
...but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity. I'll go so far as to call them "terrorist" rifles...Sorry, folks, in my humble opinion, these things have no place in hunting. We don't need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them, which is an obvious concern. I've always been comfortable with the statement that hunters don't use assault rifles. We've always been proud of our "sporting firearms."
- Jim Zumbo
"I have again introduced legislation to permanently ban assault weapons. These weapons have no practical use. They are not used by hunters for sport or by individuals for self-defense. They are intended to kill as many individuals as possible in a short amount of time and have no place on our streets."
- Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-NY
Jim Zumbos' comments look like they were ghost-written by Carolyn McCarthy.
Tolerance? Not from me.
I guess we should allow people to have tanks in their backyard as well. There is no reason for any hunter to have a war weapon. With the terrorism that we have to deal with today the risk of allowing such weapons is too great.
I've never heard of a case where the NRA kicked someone out of the membership but perhaps Zumbo would be a good place to start.
Every firearm can be considered a 'war weapon' by the likes of you
Funny thing was, he didn't even ask... I've never owned a .223.
You're going to need them.
Then how do we know such people exist in any good number?
Prepare to be flamed. I disagree with you. If someone wants an Bushmaster or AR-15 in .223 or .308 or 6.8mm SPC semi automatic, it's okay with me. You let the gun grabbers have an inch, they'll take a mile.
I'm waiting to see what cabela's does in response to this.
I'm not buying zumbo's "apology". It was only after he realized his meal tickets might dry up that he offered his half hearted explanation.
Perhaps he should just retire, because I can't see myself supporting any company that does supports someone who echoes anti-gun rhetoric.
"I've never heard of a case where the NRA kicked someone out of the membership "
Billy Jeff Clinton stated that he was a Life Member but the NRA "has probably kicked me out by now". Never heard a followup to that.
A friend hunts deer with an AR15.
"A friend hunts deer with an AR15."
Great at picking off vermin around Ohio's (private) farms!
So where do you draw the line? Nowhere? Is it OK for me to have a bazooka? A tank? An anti-aircraft missile? A cruise missile? A nuclear warhead?
Obviously a line has to be drawn somewhere.
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