Oh, and its a hollow feelin' when
It comes down to dealin' friends
It never ends
— The Eagles
So a couple of days after Carolyn McCarthy introduces the first of what we all fear will be many new Assault Weapons Bans (AWB) in the House of Representatives, one of our own sells us out.
This from Outdoor Life columnist and Outdoor Channel personality Jim Zumbo's HUNTING WITH JIM ZUMBO blog, dating 16 February 2007. I'm going to print his entire post for you to read:
Assault Rifles For Hunters?Certainly Jim — a man who, up until this column, I considered my friend and colleague — is entitled to both have and speak his own opinion...that is the nature of the First Amendment. At least Jim seems to approve of that one!
As I write this, I'm hunting coyotes in southeastern Wyoming with Eddie Stevenson, PR Manager for Remington Arms, Greg Dennison, who is senior research engineer for Remington, and several writers. We're testing Remington's brand new .17 cal Spitfire bullet on coyotes.
I must be living in a vacuum. The guides on our hunt tell me that the use of AR and AK rifles have a rapidly growing following among hunters, especially prairie dog hunters. I had no clue. Only once in my life have I ever seen anyone using one of these firearms.
I call them "assault" rifles, which may upset some people. Excuse me, maybe I'm a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity. I'll go so far as to call them "terrorist" rifles. They tell me that some companies are producing assault rifles that are "tackdrivers."
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."
This really has me concerned. 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. I say game departments should ban them from the praries and woods.
But the fact is that Jim is arguably the most influential hunting writer in the world, and his column, coming on the heels of the introduction of a new AWB — however unlikely this one is to become law — throws down a gauntlet to state agencies and to hunters in general...join Jim in stepping across the line to side with the McCarthys, the Bradys, the Schumers, or stay with the defenders of the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms.
By calling for the ban of "black rifles" in the hunting fields, where they are gaining huge popularity, my former friend and colleague has changed sides. He does so out of far-too-proud ignorance — "I must be living in a vacuum" — and a breathtaking arrogance — "As hunters, we don't need the image of walking around the woods carrying one of these weapons."
What image would you like to project, Jim? That of an out-of-touch, former sportsman wondering aloud why guns don't look like they used to...even though they use the same mechanisms? And how are you going to feel, Jim, when your words are read into the Congressional Record or used by Brady or the Violence Policy Center to continue to destroy our right to keep and bear arms? Is that what you want your "legacy" to be...Jim Zumbo — He Killed a Lot of Animals While Helping to Get Guns Banned!
You threw down your gauntlet, Jim, now let me throw down mine:
Apologize. Now, not later.
Or reap the whirlwind, brother!