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Some Comment on the Comments

I see the commenters have been busy beavers while I was sleeping. It’s good that we have these kinds of flame wars discussions, though. I have some reactions to some things that were said. I don’t mean to ruffle any feathers here, just to present how I think about these things. We need the dedicated and passionate, badly, but I do worry sometimes that the dedication and passion can overflow a bit too much, and drive away some folks we need in order to help us keep winning politically.

First I want to start by saying it does frustrate me to no end that a lot of hunters could really care less about RKBA issues, but a large percentage of them are sympathetic, but uninvolved. Jym’s father falls into the latter category. These are people who can be helpful to us if we reach them, because they vote.

A lot of hunters, even those who disagreed with what Zumbo said, were nontheless upset that his career was ruined. I don’t apologize for our reaction as a community to his blog post. We needed to react strongly to that kind of statement, because of the kind of damage it can do. I wanted the industry and hunters to pay attention, and they have. It’s how we behave now that will determine whether or not we reconcile the hunting and shooting communities, or drive the wedge further in. Can you guess which outcome the Bradys are hoping for?

I do not, under any circumstances, make apologies for, or regret the reaction to Zumbo’s “terrorist rifles” blog post, but it saddens me that people aren’t willing to give him the benefit of doubt as he tries to reconcile himself with the shooting community. What does driving people away from the movement really accomplish for us? It might make us feel good, but it’s a sure path to take the movement out into the political wilderness.

Many of you folks I think need to understand the difference between someone hostile to the right to arms and someone sympathetic, but not really active within the community. People who are outright hostile and unapologetic, we do have no use for. If I encounter a hunter who rails against my “assault weapon”, and I’m unable to persuade, I’m quite happy to write that person off as as quickly as I would a die hard Brady supporter. But there are a lot of people out there like Jym’s dad, or even my dad, for that matter, who are generally sympathetic to RKBA, but just aren’t active in the issue anymore. We can’t drive those folks away because they might share some sympathy for Zumbo, or because they’ll never be gun nut enough for our liking. A distinction has to be made between people who are hostile, and people who just haven’t been reached. The former we can write off, but the latter we need. The die hard among us do not have the votes or money to win on this issue, and votes and money are everything in politics.

3 Responses to “Some Comment on the Comments”

  1. straightarrow says:

    I agree with everything you said in this post, mostly.

    What most of this boils down to is do we believe a certain unnamed individual and take him at his word. If we do, then we react one way. If we do not, we react a different way. Needless to say I don’t believe him. I hate a liar worse than I hate an enemy. When one is both, how do you determine his change of heart?

    I believe the guy is both.

    The uninvolved guy that doesn’t help me is well within his rights. The man that tries to hurt me is not. When he realizes his tactics were flawed and strategy inadequate he turns his coat, I don’t believe him, because I know the enemy’s colors are the lining of the “new” coat. It will take more than words and a Betty Ford 48 hour reconstruction.

    I think it to our benefit that a certain person not be forgiven easily, if at all. If nothing else as an example of consequences of betrayal. He isn’t the only man that can write about hunting. There are thousands of people who would like the ride he had, who actually mean it when they say they believe in unalienable rights. Give one of them a shot.

    As for the Bradys he wil forever be a point in their favor. First for what he said. Then as an example of how a “good” man was ruined by the hysterical gun nuts and was forced to deny his true beliefs in order to survive professionally and economically. It won’t even matter if the second is true. They will still win and beat our ears down with it. He cannot unring that bell.

  2. straightarrow says:

    so the hunters and the sympathetic but uninvolved wil still be assailed on all sides about how we ruined the man and forced him to comply in lockstep or face economic ruin. We will not gain any ground with them for a long time, now. If we forgive, it will be viewed as coercion of good man, with forgiveness as the payoff for surrendering his true beliefs. If we do not it will be viewed as an unwarranted attack on someone who disagrees with us. We lose the middle either way.

    This cannot be undone. The Bradys now have all they need to make the man their poster boy.

  3. Sebastian says:

    To some degree I agree with you that the bell cannot be unrung, and that the Brady’s will have their fodder in regards to the whole incident. But, to quote something you often hear in the movies, “He’s is worth more to me alive than dead”, the “he” in this case being Zumbo’s career. What’s done is done, but if Jim can help bring more hunters into the issue, I think that undoes a lot of the damage, despite what the Bradys and the press says. They are hostile toward us anyway, and we have to expect that they’ll spin things in such a way as to make things appear to be in their favor. But having more hunters active in gun rights is definitely not something the Brady’s want, and that exactly something Zumbo can provide.

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