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.