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Is Jim Zumbo Responsible for Good Press?

Earlier in the year, when the shooting community came down like a ton of bricks on Jim Zumbo over his faux pas, I was pretty worried that his statements could be very damaging to us. Well, they didn’t turn out to be, and I think that’s largely because of how Jim handled himself after the incident. This blogger thinks Jim Zumbo did more for the shooting community than anyone else:

As a direct result of Jim Zumbo’s comments and subsequent fall from grace – Every hunting related magazine, journal, journalist, & tv show is currently pulling out all the stops to ‘prove’ to their sponsors and the NRA that they fully support ‘black rifles’ and their use for hunting. I’m reading article after article about the ‘perfect deer gun’ – a black rifle, etc, etc. Some of my favorite tv shows are featuring the hosts taking game with guess what – yes, you guessed it: black rifles.

Jim Zumbo touched off the spark that has allowed black rifles to go mainstream. My guess is that more and more hunters will begin to use these black rifles as they learn about them and see that they are accepted within the hunting community. This wouldn’t be happening if Jim Zumbo had just kept his opinion to himself.

I can’t really disagree too much with this.  While the AR platform’s popularity preceded Jim’s statement, it’s hard to deny that we’ve been getting more favorable media coverage on the topic since the incident.

There was a strong possibility, and indeed I think many of us felt, that his statements would be gobbled up by the press, anti-gun groups, and anti-gun politicians, and used to tar the whole community of AR shooters in the media and in the political sphere. But there was always another side to what Jim Zumbo said. The other side was that hunters were using ARs. He expressed resounding disapproval of this, but the idea was out there. Hunters were using these things, and if ordinary, normal people were using these for sporting purposes, maybe they deserve a second look?

I wouldn’t agree that Jim Zumbo’s statements were entirely responsible, but of all the ways that his statements could have screwed us, I think in the end, it probably did help.  That’s a big part of why I think Zumbo ought to be forgiven, welcomed back, and people should feel they can publish his writing and sponsor him again.

5 Responses to “Is Jim Zumbo Responsible for Good Press?”

  1. darrell says:

    Thanks for mentioning the post I wrote about Zumbo and Black Rifles. I wouldn’t necessarily say Jim’s done more for the shooting community in general – but that he has done more for the Black Rifle industry (although inadvertently) in relation to hunting. More hunters will be using Black Rifles in the future – and Jim will be either directly or indirectly responsible.

    I agree that Jim should be forgiven, welcomed back, and published!

  2. Sebastian says:

    I think most of us here in the gun blogging community have forgiven him. He handled the aftermath with class, and worked pretty hard to set things right.

  3. Alcibiades says:

    I thought there was a chance that Zumbo would completely jump ship and join the Brady Campaign.

  4. Sebastian says:

    We were all kind of worried about that. But I don’t think Jim Zumbo was ever really anti gun. He’s a traditionalist. He didn’t like the use of ARs in hunting. He’s entitled to that opinion, I think. It was the “terrorist rifle” comment that really got him into hot water. If he had just made a post about how he didn’t think these rifles were appropriate for hunting, he might have gotten some disagreement, but that’s as far as it would have gone.

  5. Ace says:

    Have a look at the August ’07 issues of S.W.A.T. for Zumbo’s own follow-up.

    He writes: “My mistake was tumultous–an error of the highest order. I had engaged my mouth (or fingers on the keyboard) before engaging my brain.”

    And after taking the Carbine Operators Class held at the Boone County Sheriff’s range in Lebanon, Indiana?

    “…the class was very enlightening and was one of the greatest events of my life.”

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