Saturday, February 24, 2007

Outdoor Life Caves to Gun Nuts!

Read "'Terrorist' Remark Puts Outdoorsman's Career in Jeopardy: Zumbo's Criticism of Hunters Who Use Assault Rifles Brings Unforgiving Response From U.S. Gun Culture" by Blaine Harden, The Washington Post, February 24, 2007.

Jim Zumbo has resigned his job with Outdoor Life and his blog has been removed from the blogosphere because of the storm of complaints received when he blogged a message suggesting that assault rifles have no place in hunting.

Comment: Zumbo's point is quite reasonable. Hunting is a regulated sport. In some cases, hunts are restricted to shotguns and in others to bows. We don't allow people to hunt with machine guns. There is no reason why a sportsman should not voice his opinion that there should be restrictions on use of some weapons for hunting.

It would seem that Zumbo is a sportsman, and feels that the sport of hunting should be respected. Quite right too! I doubt that there are any people who both read Outdoor Life and use assault rifles to hunt for economic reasons, but if there are, I acknowledge their right to object to Zumbo's comments. Even those do not have a right to deprive him of the ability to make his preferences known. However, people who hunt for sport should do so in a sportsmanlike manner. They should welcome comments from a noted sportsman as to the proper way to behave in their sport.

I suspect that Zumbo also has an aesthetic appreciation of rifles, and finds assault rifles distasteful. He certainly has a right to that opinion. I see no reason why Outdoor Life and the Outdoor Channel would not wish to stimulate a discussion of the relative merits of different kinds of rifles, and to encourage bloggers to be frank about their preferences.

As I read his posting, he did not begin to suggest that ownership of assault rifles be limited, nor that they not be used in target shooting, for self defense, or in other ways. So why are people upset?

I think it admirable for Zumbo to submit a resignation when it appeared that his continued work might be a problem for his boss. I think it wrong for Outdoor Life to accept that resignation. I hope others will express similar opinions!

Disclaimer: I no longer hunt, being too old and creaky for the sport, but I have nothing against hunting and hunters (excepting people who do it badly). I like firearms, and admire the beautiful ones as among the most interesting of crafted objects.

1 comment:

4 said...

Glad to see there are a few sane voices out there on this issue.