I Think the Man is Itching to See a Zumboing

Josh Sugarmann would probably love it if we called for a Zumboing of Jan Libourel.  It would confirm everything he believes about us.  But it’s not likely.  See, I don’t have a problem with Libourel expressing his opinion:

However, being an old-fashioned, low-tech sort of guy, I always felt that a plain old short-barreled 12 gauge pump gun or autoloader was all the urban defense gun I’d ever need. In most urban jurisdictions, it would be pretty hard for a civilian to plead necessary self-defense if he engaged in a shootout at ranges greater than the 35 yards or so at which buckshot is effective.”

There’s a big difference between that, and:

I’ll go so far as to call them “terrorist” rifles.[…] We don’t need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them, which is an obvious concern.[…] To most of the public, an assault rifle is a terrifying thing. Let’s divorce ourselves from them. I say game departments should ban them from the prairies and woods.

One is an opinion.  The other is advocating imposing an opinion on others who don’t share it through force of law, with more than a bit of condescension for people who don’t follow his ‘true way’ mixed in.  I would expect Josh to have a lot of sympathy for such a position.

I have not read Libourel’s entire article to say for sure I have no quarrel with anything written, but I certainly don’t take serious offense to any of the parts that Josh quoted.  I might not completely share his poorly hidden condescension toward survivalists, and disciplines like “urban rifle,” but it’s not on the order of what Zumbo wrote.  Not even close.

Based on what was quoted by Sugarmann, Libourel isn’t specifically calling for bans on politically incorrect firearms.  Is he expressing skepticism of their utility in certain situations?  Yes.  Is expressing disagreement with survivalist notions, and those who wax nostalgic about revolution?  Sure.  But anyone who’s read this blog for long enough knows that I have not been shy about directly challenging some of these philosophies myself, and while I’ve caught a lot of fire from some quarters for it, I don’t think I’m an isolated outpost in a vast sea of radicalism.

I think Sugarmann makes the mistake of believing that, as a community, we’re ultimately conformist and single minded; mindless sheep bleating whatever the NRA tells us to bleat.  I would expect someone as academic in his opposition research as Josh to know that’s not true.  There’s room to argue whether a shotgun loaded with buckshot (far more deadly at close range than an AR-15) might be better in urban settings.  There’s room to argue over philosophy.  We do it all the time.  But as a community, we know the dangers of driving division, which is what Zumbo was promoting. Libourel hasn’t, claiming membership in a common community of gun owners, advocated for the firearms of some members of that community to be banned or restricted.  He has not called on people to condem survivalists as terrorists, or said that the real shooting community ought to distance itself from these scary practical shooters. That was Zumbo’s sin.  Libourel might be and old fashioned kind of guy when it comes to guns and shooting, but if Josh is expecting a Zumboing to soon follow, he’s going to be sorely disappointed.

17 thoughts on “I Think the Man is Itching to See a Zumboing”

  1. So, Sugarmann thinks .45 owners will support a ban on 9mms.

    I was looking at AR15.com for a reaction, but I didn’t find anything yet. They are adding a lever action forum, which I think is ironic.

  2. Agreed. You can disagree with other people’s tactics, methodologies, equipment choices, plans, and whatever the hell else you want, for as long as you want, and I honestly will not mind or care. However, the very second you start advocating banning something simply because you disagree with it? Yeah, then all bets are off.

    Sugarmann is, as he always was, a tool, and in this particular instance he is probably latching on to someone who agrees with him, especially since this someone could be construed as one of those, “I own a gun, but…” folks. Hell, finding anyone who agrees with him these days seems to be getting difficult…

  3. “I would expect someone as academic in his opposition research as Josh to know that’s not true.”

    I’m sure he does know it’s not true. Does that really matter though when trying to spin a meme?

  4. I think he’s trying to whip up division. Despite the fact that the Great Zumbo Incident had to be done, it also played into the hands of our opponents, who are well aware of the value of Divide and Conquer. Josh would be among them.

    But it had to be done. The kind of attitude that Zumbo was promoting was highly dangerous. Once Zumbo, as Tam so eloquently put, “stuck his word processor in his mouth and pulled the trigger,” we were pretty much in a no win situation. The damage was done. Zumbo had to be Zumboed, in the end, not really because of him but because of those who could come after. The idea he was promoting was pure poison for the shooting community, and, as a community, we had to demonstrate we won’t tolerate people who shit on the collective carpet.

    I also have a hard time believing Sugarmann doesn’t get the distinction, but I don’t think he has much to lose by looking for fault lines either.

    In the end, Jim Zumbo apologized, and I think he genuinely understood his mistake. The damage was done though, both to his career and the community.

  5. “There’s room to argue whether a shotgun loaded with buckshot (far more deadly at close range than an AR-15) might be better in urban settings.”

    Huh? A .223 round in the snotlocker is about as deadly as it gets. Total and immediate incapacitation, in the blink of an eye. (Yes, I stole the term ‘Snotlocker’ from Tam, it is one of my favorites. Much more fun to say than ‘Cranial Vault’)

    Shotguns don’t make you deader than dead, do they? It’s at least equally deadly, no?

    Just a little nit-pickin. I am one of the urban rifle guys, if you couldn’t tell. ;-)

  6. Aside from being exceedingly difficult to hit someone in the snotlocker…. heads tend to move around and all… a hit from 00 buck is roughly the equivalent of a 9 round burst from a submachine gun. It’s far more muzzle energy than .223.

    An AR-15 has the advantage of ammunition capacity, and ability to penetrate cover.

  7. If this nut thinks we’re all going to get frothy over the 2,000th iteration of “what would you carry after Katrina?”, then he has another thing coming.

  8. The bit about “35 yards” is interesting – in self defense cases, the burden of proof is often on the person defending their life to demonstrate that a “reasonable person” would have felt in danger. I have always thought that it would be kind of difficult to explain to a jury why I felt as though I was “imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm” from a guy 35 yards away.

  9. Thirty five yards would be well off my property, so I don’t expect that situation to come up, at least until Lord Humongus and his biker pals show up to steal my supplies.

  10. What’s the problem with Libourel’s having an opinion on the proper urban self-defense weapon? Personally, I don’t do Glocks or mouse guns, but if someone else wants to?

    And as far as the statement that “Only a madman would oppose all gun control.”, color me sane, then. I’ve noted on several occasions that, while I would have no problem with my neighbor having a 155mm Howitzer, my tolerance is only given as long as he has safe storage for his rounds. And, I would define “safe storage” as something that would confine any accidental detonations to his property.

    Therefore, I do support some form of gun control. That’s pretty much where I start drawing lines, but it is a form of control, is it not?

  11. “An AR-15 has the advantage of ammunition capacity, and ability to penetrate cover.”

    Don’t forget quicker/easier follow up shots, the ability to defeat soft body armor, and precision. Using most standard buckshot loads, you are going to be throwing a few of those pellets wide once you get past 20 or so yards.

    Hitting someone in the bean with a rifle within 25 yards is not a terribly difficult shot, especially if you have some kind of red-dot optic (and of course some decent training). I understand people don’t stand still to get hit, but getting all 9 buckshot pellets on a moving target isn’t a simple task either.

    I like shotguns, I own a 870 police magnum and an 1187 police magnum, I just find them limited in what they can do. They are an excellent tool for what they excel at, but a rifle can do so much more.

    As far as someone being a deadly threat from 35 yards away? I have an easy example, how bout they are shooting a gun, either at you or someone else? Or how bout they shot at you, and then ran towards cover?

    I apologize for the semi-threadjack… Just felt the need to bolster your argument that we can have intelligent discussions about tactics and “tool” selection without losing our minds.

  12. I tend to agree with Jan Libourel on his opinion, and with everyone else that Josh Sugarmann is a tool. If it wasn’t for Asshats like Sugarmann, I would probably own a 12 gauge pump and a S&W Revolver as my only guns, but since I’ve been told since I was very young that someday almost every kind of firearm I like will be outlawed, I have labored arduously to acquire as many different kinds and types as I could. Not because I use them, but because I might want to someday. I shoot my .38’s more than anything else, but am I gonna sell all of my semi-autos? Nope. And I could use the money, too. But because people like Sugarmann are always trying to play divide and conquer, I won’t sell any of my guns, even the ones I don’t like.

  13. As per the “…35 yards…” defensive distance thing, it all depends upon where you live.

    In my particular instance if an evil person had a .30/30 pointed at me and was taking cover at 44 yards (the distance from my back door to the corn crib) I and my family would still be in great peril.

    Yes, I would engage him and it wouldn’t be with a shotgun. Might not even be with an EBR in 5.56, maybe 6.8SPC, but living in a rural area changes things…….or at least IT SHOULD because distances and threats are RELATIVE!!

    All The Best,
    Frank W. James

  14. I think Sugarman may be making the mistake of thinking we’re all herd animals like his ilk — that there’s no room for any sort of dissent among us. From what I’ve seen of their type, only the herd leader expresses an opinion, and all the rest echo it mindlessly. Dissent from the received orthodoxy is met with instant ostracizism. I don’t think he gets that we practically thrive on disagreement.

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