Further Thoughts on “Zumboing”

I started a comment in the last thread and decided it would probably be a more effective post. Sailorcurt mentioned in a comment:

I disagree with the big picture conclusion however: the implication that we can’t be more effective if we mobilize on Washington Politics like we did on Zumbo.

I wouldn’t really assert that conclusion. I think Zumboing does make us more effective, but it’s just another tool, and we’re not at the point yet where we can expect that tool to have as much of an impact on Congress as it did on the industry as a whole, for the reasons I pointed out. I will never discourage people from writing their Congress Critters on the gun issue, and I think it’s a good idea to do that often. But the points I was trying to make, sorry if they weren’t clear, were:

  • We have to continue bringing more people into the RKBA community.
  • We have to continue traditional forms of political lobbying, and that is going to still represent most of our political muscle in Congress.
  • We can’t count on Zumboing tactics to have the same effect on Congress they had on the industry.

But the more I’m thinking about it, the less I think we can talk about Zumboing as if it’s something we have under our control. The community saw an issue and, collectively, decided to go after it. It’s not like we had a leader sitting in an ivory tower, announcing “Smithers, release the hounds!”. I’m not sure that would even be desirable. When the next big thing comes down the pike, we’ll know, and will spontaneously organize.

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing at all, or that we shouldn’t do it. Just that we shouldn’t expect too much of it, and figure that other forms of activism (I hate that word) we’ve traditionally used are now less important, because this form will be effective.

3 thoughts on “Further Thoughts on “Zumboing””

  1. Let me start out by saying, I’ve never owned a hand gun or rifle. That’s to let you know up front, I’m an outsider to the gun rights community. I found out about the Jim Zumbo affair last week from an informed member of the gun rights community. This morning I read an article in my local Sunday paper detailing what happened to Jim Zumbo. He did not deserve what he got. He has been one of yours for the past 40 years and all that he has done for those 40 years seems to have been destroyed because of one misguided remark. His terrorist remark was wrong and he apologized for that. But the first part of his remark is a legitimate debate, a traditional hunting rifle versus an assault rifle with their different stopping power etc. That’s the same as what bait to use when fishing for bass. We now have a Democratic Congress, and in two years we may have a Democrat in the White House. You are going to need all the help you can get and Jim Zumbo could be a part of that. Give the guy a break.

  2. I feel for the guy on a personal level, I really do. And I’m totally willing to let Jim Zumbo back into the fold if he shows us that he gets it now. I also agree that the core issue he raised, rather than the rhetoric, is a legitimate one, and I wouldn’t mind discussing that issue within the community. But he does have to show that he understands the damage he’s done to the cause and help work to reverse it. His apology was welcome, but not quite enough, because an apology won’t keep the anti-gun folks from putting what he said before policymakers. It was his rhetoric that was damaging, not the question he raised. I think whether certain rifles have hunting utility is a legitimate debate.

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