Michael Bane asks where we go from here as the new masters of the shooting community. My answer is we need to reach out to the hunters, because, while we’re big enough to get the industry to pay attention to us, we still need hunters because of their numbers, the amount of money spent that crosses over to ours, and the generally positive image the public has of hunting.
The black rifle shooting community has made itself known as a force, and we should be happy about that, but it’s time to reach out to hunters and outdoor writers and make sure they understand how the makeup of the shooting sports is changing, and how that affects our respective issues.
Jim Zumbo grew up in a world where more people hunted, and the idea of someone coming after his deer rifle was absurd. That world is gone. One only has to look at what’s happened in states like New Jersey, Massachusetts and California to see that if you like things that go boom, whether you like shooting deer or paper with them, the anti-gun people are coming after you. That might seem far away in Wyoming, but look at this:
Caroline alleges that a gun ban in Washington D.C. has unarmed its law abiding citizens but allowed its criminal to remain armed. The result is a high rate of criminal activity in DC. The answer to that is that no ban will be effective unless it is national in scope and is diligently enforced.
And in virtually all of these hostile jurisdictions, they came after black rifles first, then went after other things. Oh sure, you might get to keep your deer rifle for a while, but they’ll keep making it harder, more burdensome, and more expensive, until most people give up the hobby, leaving us with so little political power, that it won’t be hard to convince legislators to come for that eventually too, or outlaw hunting. Don’t think we’re just paranoid extremists with delusional fantasies, and that it can’t happen, because it’s happened elsewhere.
So what do we do? This is where I’ll suggest some heresy; that we start with Jim Zumbo. He has tremendous reach within the hunting community, and if he can be brought back from the dark side, he could be really useful for outreach to hunters. So I’ll put a challenge out there to Jim: help us spread the message to hunters on the importance of working to preserve our second amendment rights, and I mean everyone’s, whether you shoot an AR-15 at paper or a Winchester at a deer, an AR-15 at varmint, or keep a Glock in the nightstand for self-defense; tell hunters of the importance of this struggle, because both our futures depend on helping each other out with our respective issues. We don’t have the numbers to stand alone. Do that, Jim, and I’ll happily forgive and forget, and I think a lot of other people will too.