Dick Metcalf Response to His Firing from Guns & Ammo

Via John Richardson, I saw that Dick Metcalf published a response to all the turmoil he created with his recent gun control column in Guns & Ammo. I applaud Jim Shepherd for giving him the space to do it since I think we can learn quite a bit from his response. I’ll start with the easy and obvious parts that had me rolling my eyes.

Do not 2nd Amendment adherents also believe in Freedom of Speech?

Ah, yes, rather than address the specific issue, he resorts to implying that those who disagree don’t believe in freedom. This is a message to Dick: The Bill of Rights is a limit on government powers to silence you (in the case of the First Amendment), not a promise for any job you want with any private company you desire to work with and a free pass to say anything you want or behave any way you want without consequence from other private citizens. By trying to play this card, Metcalf is going into what I like to call Full Dixie Chicks Mode. The Chicks were outraged that their political rantings weren’t fully accepted by their audience and were stunned that the same audience simply decided not to buy future products. It’s the same situation here. The Bill of Rights does not provide a guarantee that someone has to keep giving you money when you say something that they fundamentally disagree with.

Do Americans now fear open and honest discussion of different opinions about important Constitutional issues? … In today’s political climate within the community of firearms owners, even to open a discussion about whether 2nd Amendment rights can be regulated at all, is to be immediately and aggressively branded as anti-gun and anti-American by outspoken hard-corps pro-gunners who believe the answer is an absolute “NO!”

This is denial, folks. The fact is that serious conversations on various gun control schemes and whether or not they pass constitutional muster happen all of the time in our issue. This site has played host to many of them, and they don’t devolve into the simple scream of “NO!” that Metcalf claims happens when someone even opens the discussion. Look at the kind of legal and academic discussions that happen at the Volokh Conspiracy on this issue. The fact is that we, the audience that Guns & Ammo needs to sell to, have already been having these discussions for years. Don’t blame the audience for how they read your column, Dick. Evidence abounds that the audience is more than capable of having the discussions you claim they can’t handle.

I am also fully aware that the different rights enumerated in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and following amendments are different, and are regulated differently. But they are all regulated in some form or fashion, hopefully appropriate to their particular provisions.

Okay, this one made me laugh out loud. Ask Sebastian, I couldn’t hold back the chuckle. Dick, can you please enlighten me on the extensive regulatory system at either the state or federal level on what concessions we citizens have to make on quartering of troops? I’d like to know more about these regulations that apply to how we compromise on the Third Amendment.

This actually highlights a larger issue that Sebastian has noticed as well. It’s pretty clear that Metcalf thought he could just spout off amendment numbers without really thinking about what he was saying. He probably never expected that a reader would question why he said what he did about the Third Amendment because he probably assumes that his readers know little to nothing about the Third Amendment. That’s where he, and much of the industry, continues to misjudge the audience.

I’m not going to argue that every pro-gun person is a published academic or a scholar on obscure constitutional law. However, the pro-Second Amendment audience is far more serious about the issue today than they were 10 or 20 years ago. Like any political movement, there are certainly people who only understand it at the bumper sticker level, but the vast majority have a better understanding of the legal complications than they did two decades ago. The shifting landscape and the realization that no matter what the anti-gun groups try to claim, they really are trying to come after pretty much every gun ever made, have forced that education on most gun owners.

Even looking at the questions that Metcalf poses to “challenge” his opponents in the end of his response, it seems clear to me that he didn’t stop to choose his words carefully. He opens up the door to debate on whether or not licensing carry is a violation of the Second Amendment, but then ends by asking if the possession of a license by a citizen is therefore a violation itself. That doesn’t even make sense, and it’s certainly not an argument that I have ever seen made anywhere hosting a serious debate. I’ve seen it argued that participating in the licensing system is empowering a perception that discretionary licensing of rights is acceptable, but never to say that the mere possession of a license is the actual constitutional violation. The fact that Metcalf apparently sees no distinction between those two arguments is just baffling and certainly leaves me with the impression that he is the one who isn’t serious about having a discussion on the gun issue.

When I read Metcalf’s response, what I see is a man who is feeling extremely defensive, and not at all ready to acknowledge that the industry and world around him are changing. I’m not sure that any sentence sums up his disconnect from the community any better than this:

Do voices from cyberspace now control how and why business decisions are made?

It’s as if he doesn’t even comprehend that those “voices” are the very customers and readers of Guns & Ammo and purchasers of the firearms products advertised in the pages. Not everyone may be a subscriber, but they are all part of the target market.

The industry is shifting. The markets are adapting. The audience, as a whole, is more sophisticated. I think the evidence suggests that it’s Metcalf who isn’t ready to have a serious discussion on these topics, not his audience.

138 thoughts on “Dick Metcalf Response to His Firing from Guns & Ammo”

    1. Tell Dick the Dixie Chicks are looking for a new Road Manager, of course, the Chicks are also looking for a ‘new road’.

  1. I posted part of this on OGAM, but I thought it should be here too:

    He talks how about he believes in an absolute RKBA, and yet he doesn’t even understand the phrase well-regulated in the amendment. And he mentions how each amendment is regulated differently- but that’s our point- they SHOULDN’T be regulated differently. They should all have the same standard- strict scrutiny. Just because the courts haven’t ruled that way, and have, for example, eviscerated the 4th amendment, doesn’t mean its right!

    And so let’s answer his questions:

    1. We can actually debate this one, but this is the same as “well do you believe nukes are covered? HUH? HUH?”. I think that violent felons and the mentally ill being banned from owning guns would pass strict scrutiny- its narrowly tailored and there is a major public safety aspect to it. It applies to people who have been violent or shown violent tendencies only and does not affect law abiding and non-violent people.
    2. Yes, actually. We have 5 states that have shown that constitutional carry isn’t some scary thing like CCW licenses were called by the anti-gunners. Having a license or not having a license has no public safety interest and because of the requirements affects all non-prohibited persons and can inhibit the exercise of the right to bear arms.
    3. Yes, but what does that have to do with anything? Just because I believe it violates my rights doesn’t mean its worth fighting right now. But do I sometimes violate the law about where to carry? Yes, because its might life.
    4. No I am not, and that’s the stupidest argument I’ve ever heard. The GOVERNMENT is violating the constitution- I am only following the law so I won’t be in jail and can continue to fight in other ways. The courts are highly unlikely to overturn CCW, because GUNS really, so I will work within the legislative process, like 4 states have already done, to implement a ConCarry scheme.

    1. I disagree. The “mentally ill” are defined and hand-picked by the government. You’re now mentally ill. A bureaucrat said so. No guns for you. Also, there’s no singling out of violent felons, it’s all felons. It’s guys who had a bayonet lug in Connecticut, guys that “technically” committed a victimless crime, guys that just smoked weed in their own basement. I do not support allowing the entity that puts innocent people in jail to disarm anyone. They are too stupid and evil to have that kind of power.

      1. That isn’t how the definition of “mentally ill” works in the law.

        “Mentally ill” is shorthand for “adjudicated mentally defective,” which is done by bureaucratic fiat.

        1. -not- done by fiat, that should read. It requires hearings, when that changes, which will have to be via statute, then that becomes a concern.

        2. Wrong. In socialist paradises like the one we are headed for, that’s EXACTLY how it works, and it IS done by fiat.

      2. I also disagree (and by corrolary, agree with you, Patrick). If a person is so dangerous that they cannot be trusted with a firearm, they should not be out on the street.

        In opposition, if a person is out and about, they have the very same inherent right to self-defence that the rest of us do.

  2. Long ago, I came to the conclusion that anyone named Richard who goes by the name Dick is pretty much well a…..

    1. Eh, I’ve known a guy who was pretty nice who went by Dick. You wouldn’t believe me if I mentioned his last name though…

  3. Dick has been smacked upside the head by a truth that others in the old media are faced with. The internet is the future and it’s existence precludes old old model of the few pontificating to the ignorant and voiceless.

    1. Yes, Bill O’Reilly is learning it slowly…he is behind the news most of the time because he has to “verify the facts” and doesn’t trust any other sources. The current news media will be replaced like the typewriter of yesterday.

      1. I guess it is better to verify the facts than to get it wrong & look like a complete fool, as does so much of the media.


      2. I’m trying to figure out if this is sarcasm or what’s going on in this comment. Regardless of whether it’s sarcasm or serious, explain how a columnist paid to write opinions and personal observations where they obviously misjudged the audience is similar to a news outlet trying to verify sources before reporting a story. I’m clearly not making the leap of association here.

    2. I think that view is too simplistic, personally. The internet is not the only future, and the old model was never one that promoted the idea of so completely misjudging your audience. If this kind of poor judgement happened to the magazine before the internet, the demands to unsubscribe would have simply come in via snail mail and phone calls. I do believe he doesn’t understand the internet well, but that doesn’t mean that what you present as the “old model” was really accurate, either.

  4. To reflect on this incident only in terms of history, I gather Dick Metcalf must be a youngish guy who hasn’t experienced the fullness of G&A’s history.

    This may be only my perception, based on how I was informed at the time, but in the early 1960s I remember G&A being a far more strident voice on behalf of the RKBA, than any other outlet in the country. Certainly louder and more committed than the NRA! I think I have written before how you could order a little kit from G&A that contained bumper stickers and pasters saying “Support Your Right to Keep and Bear Arms!” I did, and had many of the girls in my high school class putting the pasters on their purses; in the same time frame there was a mini-fad for them to carry cap pistol derringers that fired Greenie Stickum Caps. G&A also inspired me to write my first public rant on the RKBA issue at the time, just because I needed to write it down. Not knowing what to do with it, I showed it to friends, who took it and posted it on the high school bulletin board. Crowds of guys were reading it all day and then signing it like a petition. In the late afternoon the guidance counselor took it down, without comment.

    But the point of that silly history is that it was G&A, to my recall, that contributed to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms becoming a populist political movement; it was probably because of them that when I got arrested under a bogus municipal hunting ordinance, a couple of years later, that I was moved to appeal it (successfully) “on principle.” I would so far as to suggest it was they who dragged the NRA into a more activist role than it had been taking until then. So, any G&A contributing editor who today suggests maybe gun control is not such a bad thing after all, probably has no idea of the continuum he is messing with.

    1. Metcalf is not youngish, just an elitist. Look into his controversial history in a big time shooting match.


        1. I took a quick look but did not find it. Anyhow, it involved “improper” conduct at the Masters held at PASA park in Illinois when He was in charge. I’m getting fuzzy about the details, since it has been a few years, but I have not trusted him ever since.


      1. Exactly what I determined while reading his article in G&A magazine. I will allow my subscriptions to ALL Petersen Publications to expire, never to renew

    2. Dick Metcalf has been around a very long time.

      Sadly, I think that his age is part of the problem.

      1. “I think that his age is part of the problem.”

        I think then it may be generational more than (or in addition to) just “age.”

        In my time as Legislative Chairman in our club (the position Sebastian holds now) in years past I had more than one run-in with “Greatest Generation” guys who opined that gun owners should “give a little” on things like magazine capacity, “assault weapons,” etc. Of course there was also a high correlation with being competitive shooters, and holding those opinions. Or maybe that was just, a high correlation between their generation, and being competitive shooters?

        This is pure wild-ass speculation, and not intended to badmouth anyone, but it has often seemed to me that the “Greatest Generation,” between being Roosevelt Democrats and WWII veterans, had great faith in government and authority in general; it had (apparently) accomplished so much in their time. Beginning with my generation (I’m just a few weeks too old to be a Baby Boomer, but still the “’60s Generation”) we had almost nothing but bad experiences with authority, and whatever contributed to us being that ’60s generation, may have contributed to no longer trusting The State to do (only) what it claimed to intend doing.

  5. I’m glad I’m not the only one that came away from reading that thinking that his non-apology statement was self serving tripe.

    1. I’m not sure I’d rate my response to it as that hostile. I just see a guy who is still on the defense and doesn’t realize quite how the world around him has changed. I am very critical of the parts where he tries to blame the audience when, even if we overlook the obvious problems of his response essay, he at least needs to concede that he did not communicate whatever it was he was trying to say effectively. But, overall, I think it represents someone who hasn’t done the best job taking the pulse of the readership and the community. I do think he could learn a thing or two from the Jim Bequette statement that accepted responsibility for his poor decision in running the column as it stood.

  6. James Madison, author of the 2nd amendment, believed that citizens should be even more armed than the government, by a very wide margin. We have seen the opposite happen. Full auto? Heavily restricted. We the PEOPLE are supposed to be in charge. The 2nd amendment is already far more infringed upon than ever intended, and this must be reversed. The power was intended to be in the hands of the PEOPLE, it is no wonder that the government has lost respect for the people, and is running all over our freedoms. Law abiding ciizens are NOT criminals.

  7. Hey guys, we have to ask whether ObaMao’s NSA had dirt on this guy. CBS 60 minutes just “apologized for an unreliable source” with regards to Benghazi. What a coincidence right? It seems as though we are witnessing Soviet style KGB tactics being used against anyone who speaks out against this filthy Stalinist in the Oval Office. This animal is testing the waters on what he can get away with, and I fear it is only a matter of time before physical violence from the police is unleashed upon Obama’s opposition. Who knows? But the Soviets did infiltrate our media going back to the 30’s, and their pupils certainly had a habit of getting dirt out on our media. Maybe the Obama administration is emulating this tactic with the folks at a major 2nd amendment related media outlet?

    1. The “unreliable source” –admitted he told two versions of his story, one to the Feebs and one to the news and his publisher. That’s the definition of “unreliable.”

      Very little in life is a conspiracy, nor does it need to be, most is simply human nature on parade.

  8. Let me make myself clear (again): I believe without question that all U.S. citizens have an absolute Constitutional right to acquire, keep, and bear arms.
    At the same time, how can anyone deny that the 2nd Amendment is already regulated by innumerable federal, state, and local statutes, and always has been?

    To that, I respond:

    “Justice Sotomayor, States may have grown accustomed to violating the rights of American citizens, but that does not bootstrap those violations into something that is constitutional”.

    1. I agree with Tango, unfortunately what Tango and I think doesn’t count for much.

      It seems to me the concept of stare decisis [Sp?] these days is interpreted as meaning, if something unconstitutional has been done long enough, that makes it constitutional.

      Not intending to throw in a new issue, but, watch what the SCOTUS decision in that “[Whoever] v. Town of Greece” case will be.

  9. What bothers me is that their decision was based on firearm manufactures coming to them stating they were ending advertising contacts, not the THOUSANDS of negative responses that happened on Guns and Ammo Facebook page in just three hours after the his article became known to the masses.
    As quoted from Shooting Wire,
    “IMO was contacted by two major firearms industry manufacturers, stating that they would do no further business with IMO if it continued with its present personnel structure. Within hours, Jim Bequette resigned as Editor of Guns & Ammo, and my relationship with all IMO publications and TV shows was terminated.”

      1. Yep, like it not magazines make money off their advertisers, not their subscribers for the most part. They’re related in that more subscribers demands more $ for an advertisement, but the immediate impact comes from advertisers dropping their ads.

        This is just another example of the old saying of “don’t $#!^ where you eat”

    1. First of all, I doubt he was involved in every meeting discussing the response to this and privy to every factor that went along with their decision to let him go. They may well have taken the online response into their decision.

      Secondly, the firearms manufacturers are a quick and easy way to measure the financial impact on the magazine. If they yank their accounts, that is immediately known. Anyone who comments online, you wouldn’t know if they decided to not renew until their subscription is up. You wouldn’t know if they decided not to buy the magazine at the store until they had the opportunity to bypass it for another magazine. Those effects wouldn’t be felt until much, much later.

      I realize that it’s not emotionally satisfying to hear this, but the magazine doesn’t exist to make you or anyone else feel good. It exists to make money. The financial bottom line is what drives their decisions.

      1. And it ignores the fact that the reason that the firearms manufactures would remove their support was BECAUSE of the outrage. They understand that it would hurt their bottom line to be associated with someone/something that opposed both what their customers believe and most likely they believe themselves.

    2. Guns & Ammo – like all magazines really – do not view the readers as customers. Readers are commodity. Magazines “sell” audiences to advertisers.

      If you remember that, all of the magazine business will make sense.

    3. The advertisers were also probably getting angry letters from their customers.

      They still remember what happens to those who collaborate with the enemy (S&W and gun locks).

      1. Also whoever-it-was (not just too lazy to look them up, I also don’t want to say their name) who used Lon Horiuchi to advertise their wares.

  10. Bitter – excellent job (as always). You nailed it on the money quote.

    My hurried thoughts (apologies where I echo Bitter):
    Paragraph 1: “I was told to write this apology.” – Dick

    Paragraph 2: Dick’s grasp of the 1A is as tenuous as that of the 2A. 1A reads, “Congress shall pass no law…” As this involves neither Congress nor Dick being charged with breaking a law, this discussion does not involve the 1A.

    Paragraph 3: Cooper’s Corner may have been meant to address controversial issues. The 2A is not a controversial issue among the readership. Those who partake in sites like this and dead-tree magazines go there to escape. We don’t go to hear Brady talking points. You are doing a job that most 2A dudes would give body parts to do. Do NOT take advantage of that. As Bitter pointed out, we’ve been doing this for years – in some cases, decades. We go here to relax, not to have an ostensible friend shiv us when we’re not looking.

    Paragraph 4: If you understand (present tense) “well-regulated”, then why did you mis-use it? Were you ignorant before and now you understand it? Are you lying? Are you trying to pull a fast one on us? Dick’s motives aside, he provided succor and comfort to the enemy.

    Paragraph 5: See comment #2 and Bitter’s comments on the 3A.

    Paragraphs 6 & 7: Ignore Para 6 because there’s a “but” that precedes para 7. Some laws pass muster, Dick; not all.

    Paragraph 8: To paraphrase John McClain, “Welcome to the party, pal!”

    Paragraph 9: This actually sounds more like a discussion rather than a lecture. I can do discussion. What I don’t need is a lecture.

    Paragraph 10: No argument. That doesn’t mean I won’t act to change those laws, and I CERTAINLY won’t shill for them as a “firearms writer.”

    As for the rest of it, see Patrick H’s response above.

    In the words of Motley Crue, Dick, “Don’t go away mad. Just go away.”

    1. I had an issue with his first paragraph that I didn’t mention in the post, but it comes off like he’s blaming Paul Erhardt. That really irks me to no end. Paul was completely fair and polite in his response to the column, and he covered the issue in a reasonable manner without further inflaming passions.

      1. I think you covered that in the whole, “I’m sorry that you gun-owning peasants aren’t smart enough to appreciate my higher intellect. How dare you take MY job!” :)

  11. His response is not quite as bad as his original “I do not think my firearms need more regulation, but all other types should be banned.” Except even after a few days to see the responses and think about it, he does not get it at all. As to the advertisers, I would bet that they all have something in common – some form of semi-automatic, which he apparently wants to ban.

  12. Fantastic address, Mrs. Bitter! I could not have critiqued Mr. Metcalf half as well. I am bookmarking your post – Mr. Metcalf’s assertions are not uncommon from liberals in my area. Your rebuttals are dynamite!!! Thank you for the firepower!

    With much gratitude, Arnie

  13. That’s where he, and much of the industry, continues to misjudge the audience

    We gunnies are not a bunch of lowbrow mouthbreathers named Bubba who can be dismissed as ignorant ‘bitter clingers’.
    Some folks actually did take history classes before the libtards remanufactured it in schools. Well written article! :)

      1. Would you prefer, “Liberals that are so steeped in ideology that it retards their mental capacity to understand basic rights and government restrictions?
        Libtard is easier to type.

        1. “Libtard” is easier to think, too — and best of all, it erases their faces.

          Dammit, these people are your neighbors, not demons from hell, and they’ll be around all your life. You’ll never move ’em an inch as long as you deal with them as one overly-simple label. Are they (in general) annoying, regressive, icky? Yes. But name-calling does not make them less so; it just makes you a mirror-image of the worst of them.

          1. You are a wise woman! It is taking me decades to come to that same conclusion! My character flaws are no less egregious than anyone else’s, pro-gun or anti-. Jesus had to pay for my sins, too! I am grateful to all you who contribute to this blog for helping me to remember that. In a sense, we are all evangelists trying to win contrarians to our way of thinking. And as the saying goes, you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.
            With much gratitude,
            – Arnie

            1. I don’t want flies.
              What these flies seek is more laws, more bans, more fees, more this, more that and enforce those infringements at the point of a gun.
              To think that playing nice and having fact based discussions is going to change their mindset is frankly a bit naive. It’s worked so well before. If calling someone who wants to infringe on my rights a liberal retard, (which is the *most* complementary thing I can call them), makes me the equivalent of a Godless heathen, so be it. I don’t want their discussions, I want them to leave me the f*#k alone.

              1. As do I, KM, and I have personally used anti-liberal epithets in the past far worse than “libtard.” But not only did I not change law, I made personal enemies whose minds might never change on the gun issue because of it. And they still vote!

                On the other hand, I have recently striven to be cordial yet firm and factual with others who have since come around to moderation on the issue. I even sold one of them a long gun! :-) They still vote liberal on social issues, but if the liberal candidate is too harsh against guns (not an issue here, yet), they’ll vote conservative. I recall after Heller came in 2008 they said, “Oh good, now it’s safe to vote for Obama!” Otherwise, they would have voted McCain to save gun rights!!! They had never voted Republican before!

                Frankly, for future votes, I think we’ll need them!


                – Arnie

                1. Interesting! Has anyone else had this experience? Most of the “antis” I have encountered were foaming at the mouth types and couldn’t insult me enough. I really doubt that a “soft answer would turn away their wrath” as spoken in the Bible.

                  1. Merle, I confess I’m a little disappointed no one else seems to have shared my experience. Would you try your own experiment and see if a polite, yet firm and factual approach won’t soften their response?

                    I wish I could copy to this thread a Facebook argument I had with some rabid anti-gunners on the NYC bikers v SUV incident a month or two back when I suggested a gun could have better resolved the incident. They demonized me, but I refused to respond in kind. I didn’t change their minds, but I did get them to calm down and admit their antagonism to our 2A rights was based on a solely emotional “hatred of guns,” not a rational contemplation of facts or principles. At the very least, they had something to think about, as well as an example of a gun advocate who broke their stereotype of a toothless hillbilly who wanted to shoot everything that moves. One of them really had thought that!!!!

                    I don’t know, maybe a small victory – a small step perhaps. If I can get them to drop their defenses to listen, maybe I can invite them to a gun-shoot. Who knows after that?

                    Blessings on you, sir!

                    – Arnie

                    1. I guess I wasn’t clear enough; I said they insulted me but I didn’t say I insulted them back. Normally I have enough self-restraint to avoid that, but when they start wishing death & destruction on my family I draw the line.


                    2. My sincere apologies, Merle! That was careless of me. I got mixed up on commenters and confused you with KM. Please forgive me!

                      KM, if you’re still monitoring this thread, could you attempt the above experiment in responding to the rabid anti-gunners and see if Proverbs 15:1 — “A gentle answer turns away wrath” (My thanks to Merle for the reference!) — works for you as it has for me?

                      Sincerely, Arnie

                    3. I’ve definitely shared your experience. By behaving discretely in discussions/arguments, I’ve more than once gotten the “Whoa, I guess all gun owners *aren’t* rednecks after all” response. Now granted, it says way more about the folks who made that assumption that it does about me, but do you think the outcome would have been better if I *had* insulted them instead?

              2. You completely miss the point.

                The number of dyed in the wool anti-gunners is far smaller than the number of pro-gunners.

                Thus our battle is [i]with[/i] them but not [i]for[/i] them. We are always fighting for the hearts and minds of the audience, the massive majority of (potential) voters who really don’t care about gun rights (or any rights) to an ideological degree.

                They vote though, and we -have- to have them on our side, or at least neutral, in order to win in the legislature, executive and via the executive, the courts. Being right is -not- enough.

                So, since they will not reliably follow our in depth arguments in detail, what we need is them to like us better than the anti’s.

                The first rule of winning friends and influencing people is not being an abrasive, insulting dick who sounds extremist and crazy.

                Thus, to get the majority on our side, and actually win this battle, we don’t use puerile schoolyard insults or simplistic and threatening “blood of tyrant” quotes which will -always- be the nonsense that makes the news.

                Instead we are the calm, polite, non-threatening ones who through our relentless adherence to the truth and rational argument give the anti’s no ammo to use against us as they inevitably reveal -themselves- to be the scary, frothing at the mouth, irrational, and unsympathetic fanatics the undecided majority wants no part of.

                That’s how we fight smart and win -every-damn-time.

                1. Amen to that! And this website and its commenters have helped transform me from a “blood of tyrants” loudmouth to a calmer, politer, and hopefully factual debater. I still have a ways to go, but I believe I have seen the light. :-)

  14. Bitter sums it up well, as always. My overall take is to remember what someone (wish I could remember who) said on a blog some time back:

    “There is nothing our community likes more than to knife a traitor in the back.”

    When education fails, these people need to be culled from our herd. They have an Absolute First Amendment Right(tm) to say what they want, but we have an absolute right to not associate with them. No IDPA, no High-Power, no USPA, etc. Metcalf and his ilk should join the MAIG shooting club if thhe wants friends. I will go so far as to say they should be shunned from our ranges. Their money is no good to us.

    Sorry if I seem “extreme”. But I think part of our ‘well regulated’ militia is regulating who stands with us, shoulder to shoulder.

    Guns and Ammo might survive, but they better not screw this up again. There is nothing reasonable about me giving up my rights.

    1. I would count that as extreme, but that’s also because I believe that there can be redemption. For example, Jim Zumbo made an effort to learn about the platform he demonized and then realized that he was simply wrong when he initially spoke out. People are less than perfect, and it’s reasonable to allow people to learn from their mistakes. I would argue that this column shows that, at this point, Metcalf has not learned much from the situation. I would actually respect him more if he would own what he wrote and accept the consequences. This response is most definitely not a case of learning anything from the situation.

      1. And once again you are erudite in your views.

        I had a situation where ‘culling’ was called for in the gun thing this last year. It was a state thing, but the person basically enabled the gun control side in enumerable ways, even after I told him to not do it. He did. He later redeemed himself, even after countless members of our group wanted him gone.

        I have learned – after managing people and projects for a fair amount of time in ‘real world’ business – that the people given a second chance are sometimes the absolute best people you will ever get. The whip marks on their back – that feeling of failure – will cause us (I have been there) to work all that much harder. It applies equally to non-profit and capitalistic work (I do both).

        Metcalf’s redemptive moment was his response, which you pointed to above. He had his second chance. He blew it.

        My people always get a second chance. But I don’t dip into thirds.

        1. I’m kinda iffy on third chances. I think the guy is overly defensive right now, and that’s illustrated in his response. He really should have taken more time to reflect on what he really wanted to say before he wrote it. Whatever position he would have taken – standing by his work or realizing his mistake – would have been better served if he had been more thoughtful in what he wrote. So, in general, I agree with you. But, if he actually had the nerve to come out and admit that his response was reactionary, then I might be willing to hear him out again.

          I’m trying to recall the Zumbo details, but I don’t think he issued a reactionary statement at first. I think that’s what allowed him the opportunity to redeem himself. Metcalf may well have backed himself into a corner that he’ll never get out of if any follow-up isn’t done with extreme care. I don’t have much faith that will be the case given his statement here, but I’m open to the possibility that he could calm down enough to really think about what some people are trying to tell him.

          1. Agree.

            I have – in my youth – done dumb things that to this day I wish I could un-fuck. I cannot. I failed, but then dug in deeper. I wish I could kick my own younger ass, sometimes.

            Some people learn that lesson earlier than others, I guess.

          2. I do recall Zumboe and he gave self serving defense right after the initial post. It was after Ted spoke with him that he started to see the light.

            The President of Remington was in Europe and he called withing 2 hours of the initial post and pulled his advertising and any relationship withe magazine that used Zumboe. Zumboe lost a lot of contracts

    2. From that point of view I guess I should never have been allowed back into the “gun culture”. After my brother committed suicide 27 years ago, I sold every gun I had, around 20, pistols,rifles and black powder. I had nothing good to say about guns or the culture. I hated both. It took a long time for me to get to the point where I even thought anyone, ANYONE should have access to a gun. My views were made known at most every opportunity. After years of nursing this idea I started to slowly endorse the idea that you have a right to them. It took a long time for me to feel like I could have one as well. For a while I even had a job with the state where was expected to carry a gun and I wouldn’t.

      I’ve only just begun to get comfortable in handling one again. Not due to fear, never did fear them, but lack of use.

      And Bitter I guess that is why I took Metcalfs non-apology so personally. I’ve started enjoying shooting again and I don’t want anyone to take that from me. As I was typing this, I realized something, I was the model of an anti for years. G-D I was an ass.

      But I’m feeling much better now.

      1. I’ve never understood why people blame an inanimate object for the actions of the person using it.


        1. Your understanding of the why doesn’t matter. Your acceptance that it happens is. Your efforts to change it would have been vehemently rebuffed as were others. It’s a personal journey that others just have accept and to occasionally try and temper. I don’t know why the switch back to reality happened, it just did.

          1. The understanding of “why” is important. Perhaps then I can reach others and help them thru their pain.


            1. That might work for some, I’m no psychologist. For me? It wasn’t pain, it was anger. At him, and at the gun for being used.

              That’s all I can handle talking/typing about it. Good luck in your efforts Merle. Not snarking, honestly hoping you have good luck.

          2. Your anger really WASN’T with the gun
            but rather with your brother. What
            psychologists call displacement. It
            was too painful to blame your brother.
            So you blamed the gun. But guns also
            save lives–everyday literally as well
            as taking them. The only common element
            is the humans using them.

      2. Joe,

        First, let me say I’m sorry for your loss.

        Second, I DON’T think what you did is the same thing as what we’re saying with Zumbo and Metcalf. You’re just a regular guy trying to work through some awful stuff. These guys were paid professionals in the gun industry who didn’t respect the people paying them. They willingly did the bidding of our enemy, loudly and publicly, in a way that will be used against us. To me, that’s completely different than what you did.

        Best of luck, and welcome back!

        – Drifter

  15. The continued use of the word “regulate” or “regulation” or “regulations”in discussions relating to laws restraining the exercise of 2nd Amendment guaranteed rights lends credence to the anti-gun side of the discussion. By doing so you agree with the other side’s point of view of the meaning of the term “regulate” as used in the Bill of Rights. It is better to refer to the restraints as laws or infringements. To do otherwise lessens the arguments against unconstitutional restraints.

    1. Ooooh, good point! I actually hadn’t thought about that, but yes, I see how that could play into their hands.

      Alexander Hamilton defined “regulated” as meaning “trained,” not “organized” or “governed” as today’s restrainers say it means:

      ” A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, nor a week nor even a month, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige… citizens to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well regulated militia….”
      — The Federalist Papers, No. 29.

      I agree, Tom. The Second Amendment uses “shall not be infringed.” Calling their proposed restrictions “infringements” might just make them re-consider what it is they are truly proposing.

      Blessings! – Arnie

  16. Dick Metcalf has been in the gun magazine business for a lot of decades.

    And I think that’s the problem. He seems not to “get” this whole Internet thing. He does not understand the speed by which we can communicate, self-organize, and focus our attention on things.

    His age bit him and bit him hard. He simply wasn’t paying attention to things like the recent exposition fiasco over EBR’s and other instances where we’ve shown that we can get ahold of the attention of the manufacturers fast.

    He thought that like the old days, he could spew out a column and the readership just had to take it … but for a handful of letters arriving in the mail months later.

    1. Good points.

      Gun forums and blogs are where our community lives, by and large. Ignore them and you have no idea where the majority of the movement (“customer base”) is going.

  17. If Dick wanted to talk about Regulation in regard to Firearms, he should have written a column about side-by-side shotguns and where one want’s them to hit. And now he’s whining about the response he received? Doesn’t the man realize what America he’s living in? A year after Obama was re-elected, and Ammo is just starting to come back to normal quantities. Yet prices are still higher than they where 3 years ago. And all this is based on the fear that Obama MIGHT, repeat MIGHT go Full Throttle on Anti-Gun Laws. Dick needs to go home to PASA Park (which I believe he owns) and practice his Joe Biden Method of Shotgun Self-Defense.

    Oh, BTW, Fox News just posted an article about this, where notorious Anti-Gunner “Kung-Fu King” Ladd Everitt came out in SUPPORT of Dick. Check it out.

  18. I think the worst part is, that he doesn’t realize the ringing endorsement he gave the antis for gun control.

  19. “Do voices from cyberspace now control how and why business decisions are made?”

    Yes, they’re called Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix…do I need to go on?

    SEARS, Blockbuster, Borders, they be gone matey.

  20. Dick needs to understand that one of the Cowboy Rules of Life is that when one finds oneself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.

  21. He’s speaking with the tongue of the antis. It’s the antis who pretend we have no regulations of firearms, while we know it is the most regulated consumer product in the nation (with the possible exception of land/housing). We have regulations. To ignore that means they are not serious about the specifics of where to draw the line and how scrutiny should be applied- they just want more. And since any regulations that get added will be ignored in the future, they will continue to use the same argument.

  22. What his response shows is that Metcalf was, is, and always shall be a self-absorbed idiot.

    End of story.

  23. Why can’t people understand that the Bill of Rights are to restrain and limit government not the individual.

  24. I am an NRA member, USPASA competition shooter and I shoot sporting clays. I support Metcalf 100%. Too bad he was eaten by his own! The climate now is crazy. This guy has long been a respected member of the gun culture and now he is being crucufied!

  25. By the way….all you Constitutional scholars…..not one mention of Heller vs District of Columbia! It was actually HELLER that went beyond the confines of “a well regulated militia” to provide your right to bear arms on the basis of self protection! It didn’t happen until 2008! The “well regulated militia” provision is totally antiquated because we have the National Guard and four branches of the military now! The need for a well regulated, citizen militia doesn’t exist anymore unless you are one of those hillbilly’s that thinks you’d actually have a chance of thwarting government tyranny! Ha! I love guys that have flags on their trucks and claim to be patriotic but are ultimately most afraid of their own government ….THE SAME GOVERNMENT THAT PROVIDED YOU WITH THE 2ND AMENDMENT IN THE FIRST PLACE! Ha!

    1. And much like Dick Metcalfe, you are the one who is actually woefully ignorant on this issue. Heller merely argued that the core of the right is self-defense. Heller did not fundamentally alter the nature of the right. Also, historically, the “well-regulated militia” the founders had in mind when they wrote the introduction to the Second Amendment was nothing at all like the National Guard or the military. Most of the founders would have considered that to be a standing army, which is what they were fearful of.

      1. It did in fact change the the fundamental right by expanding the right beyond the confines of a militia! It is significant because the scope of the amendment did not actually protect your right to self defense until then! That’s why they brought the case in the first place! Yeah , the Supreme court loves to waste its time on cases that have no merit! Geeeeezzzzz?

        In United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that, “The right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence” and limited the applicability of the Second Amendment to the federal government.[3] In United States v. Miller (1939), the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government and the states could limit any weapon types not having a “reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.

        So, if you think Heler had little consequence you are not very bright. While we gun owners have always loved to recite the words – they had no weight of the law for an individual civilian until Heller! That is a fact!

    2. Chuck, if you dig a little, you may dis over that the Bill of Rights only “provides” limits on Federal interference with a number of pre-existing rights of The People. As you so eloquently put it, “Hah!”

    3. The government did not provide me with the 1st,2nd, 3rd or any other rights. The framers recognized that these were rights inherent in nature and wrote them down.

    4. You forgot your sarcasm tag there Chuck.

      You went a little overboard so people are thinking you are genuinely stupid as opposed to simply ignorant.

      Never ever forget the sarcasm tag…


    5. You might also familiarize yourself with the term “unorganized militia.”

      As for hillbillies with guns taking on the most modern army in the world, the hillbillies in Afghanistan haven’t done such a bad job at that. The Brits, Soviets, and the US were all at the top of their game when they rolled in, and they failed to conquer those “hillbillies.”

      1. Amen to that!

        Not to mentioned how Russian peasants with guns brought down the Soviet nuclear superpower in their own backyard! That’s what I’m preparing for here. And like the Russian peasants, I expect we “hillbillies” to win!

        Go liberty! – Arnie

  26. In an editorial at http://www.guns.com S.H. Blannelberry writes
    “Why people are so butt-hurt by Metcalf’s editorial is puzzling to me.”
    Apparently Metcalf isn’t the only gun writer who is clueless. As a response I posted:

    Easy, his editorial reads like it was lifted straight off the Brady Gun Control site. Everything he mentions from “’Well regulated’ is, in fact, the initial criterion of the amendment” to “You cannot … shout ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater” to calling for “reasonable regulation” is straight from the gun control playbook.

  27. The name of your blog says it all. How can we have a legitimate debate on the issue, as Metcalf was hoping to do, when people refuse to question?

    1. And you just gave us the perfect illustration of your illiteracy on the issue when you complain about using the title of this blog. Perhaps you should take one minute and read the page linked right under the title that explains the name of this blog comes from the Pennsylvania constitutional provision for the right to bear arms.

      If you would like to see serious debate and serious questions about constitutional limitations, feel free to peruse the archives. As noted above, we have hosted many a debate and discussion about political realities of this issue. However, you will notice that you have to take the time to actually learn something about the issue, not just skim titles and assume you know it all, as you are clearly prone to doing.

  28. I guess anyone who doesn’t believe in Metcalf’s right to have his own opinion also don’t believe in the First Amendment. A gun rights advocate told me the other day how much more important the 2nd amendment isas opposed to the 1st. Funny because the 1st was what gave him the ability to say that in the first place. But with most gun nuts… its arm up.. or shut up. Too bad they never learned how to listen to others..

    1. Who is arguing that he doesn’t have a right to his opinion? Where is there a government looking to silence him? Have you actually read this post because you’re making the same uneducated assertions that he did. There is no First Amendment issue here, and I haven’t seen anyone saying that Dick Metcalf isn’t allowed to have an opinion. They might disagree with his opinion, but I guess I just skipped the comment that said he’s not even allowed to have one. (It’s possible. With 117 comments, it’s tough to keep up.)

  29. “Do voices from cyberspace now control how and why business decisions are made?”

    I’d say no one could be that clueless, but we know from your other writings that you are that clueless, don’t we Dick?

    As I commented at SayUncle after your shall we say, expedited release from G&A:

    “Behold the power of this community, and the information superhighway that makes it possible to wield it quickly, decisively, and ruthlessly when warranted.”

    It was warranted here, Dick. Accept that fact and STFU before you do yourself further harm.

  30. I agree with Mr. Metcalf that training must be a part of licensure of owning a weapon. Despite being trained initially by a police officer before I joined a police department, I continued to train: In San Antonio; in Israel as part of the Civil Guard; in Massachusetts where I lived. I would continue training if I could become licensed but I live in an anti-gun area, Brooklyn, NY. Why the concept of training has elicited such mean-spirited emails is beyond me. Like many subjects, one can always learn more. I applaud Mr. Metcalf.

    1. In bizarro fashion, I applaud him too, Jo. How else could we be treated to a demonstration of the abject cluelessness of so many right within our “own” camp? Not to mention the incredible irony regarding your place of residence, to which I’m sure you also have not a clue. Now go get yourself a Big Gulp and drown your sorrow. Oh, wait…

    2. Dear Jo,

      I am guessing you don’t consider a government-determined pre-ownership training requirement as a constititionally prohibited infringement on the right to keep and bear arms. I think many here would; I certainly do; and the wording of the Second Amendment makes it clear the Founders would also.

      Historically, training came after ownership as the people brought guns they already owned to the gathering for militia training. Most of them already knew how to handle their weapons because they used them frequently to hunt for food and home defense.

      To require that the State or worse, federal government train them BEFORE they could own firearms was not only foreign to their thinking but hostile to their principles of liberty – and an abject infringement of their right.

      Hope that helps.

      Respectfully, Arnie

    3. Jo,

      No one is “against training”; what we recognize, after a modicum of thought, is that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

      The right to arms is a right, to require -anything- that has a cost attached, such as a license or training, in order to freely and peaceably exercise that right inherently discriminates against those of lesser means.

      Further, any time the state requires private individuals to pay other private individuals for such training you open the system up for corruption and rent-seeking behavior. In the case of Metcalf, I believe he offers training in Illinois. It thus behooves him financially to support the state requiring long, expensive training in order to get a license.

      We are dealing with a fundamental right. The burden of justifying any restriction of that right, however seemingly minor, is solely on the restrict-or. There is never any requirement that those promoting peaceable free exercise justify anything; such free exercise is (should be) the default position.

      Given that there is absolutely -no- data supporting the idea that mandatory training increases public safety in states that require it for licensing compared to states that do not, that burden has not been met and thus calling for it actually -violates- “common sense.”

      1. Thank you, Matthew! You said what I meant better than I said it! :-)

        And Jo, would adding a training pre-requirement be acceptable to our other unalienable rights? Could the State require a government-certificate of training before we can engage in public speaking? In publishing a newspaper? In gathering to demonstrate or protest hurtful government policies?

        Nature’s God didn’t attach certain training requirements before I could enjoy life, liberty or property. HE didn’t attach pre-requisites to my right to self-defense and the weapons necessary for that task – why do some men think they are wiser than “their Creator” and have to put training pre-requisites on my exercise of rights which they had nothing to do with my possessing?

        Rights come from God [so say Jeffrrson and our Founders], not from government. If God didn’t put infringements on them, who the heck is government to restrict them?!!! It’s why we revolted against Britain! It’s why Mr. Metcalf and others should be cautious of endorsing the same tyranny, lest we revolt again.

        Respectfully, Arnie

      2. Given that there is absolutely -no- data supporting the idea that mandatory training increases public safety in states that require it for licensing compared to states that do not, …

        Yes, very good point.

        My home state of WA has no training requirement–not just for ownership, but even for a Concealed Pistol License–and our safety and wrong-target-shooting record is at least as good as the most onerous state.

    4. GMAB. What’s this “licensure of owning a weapon”? In most of Free America, there is no such thing.

  31. I don’t subscribe to the mag, but after I read about Metcalf’s article on the internet, I stopped at the magazine rack at my local Walmart and began to read the article. I didn’t get very far. A few sentences in, Metcalf trips over the classic use of the word “regulated” in the 2nd Amendment. Come on, Dick. 5th graders recognize that as an old liberal anti-gunners scam that has been debunked years ago.

  32. Restrictions are the camel’s nose under the tent flap. Once a restriction is in place, the restriction itself can be changed by the people in charge. “Mental defect” can mean a lot of things when the restriction is put in place, and people will be fooled with a lot of “common sense” terms about mental defects placed in the restriction language. Suddenly, the government adds new terms into the restriction language! Ever had a fainting spell??? Even one? Well, you are mentally defective and can’t own a firearm. It works as simple as that.
    The facts are clear: We now live in a liberal society careening toward a socialist/communist target that has liberals wringing their hands in anticipation. However, once we reach the target, they will be shocked to learn they will be considered part of the unwashed masses themselves. There are millions of U.S. citizens actually begging our government to take away our rights and freedoms. Of course, those same folks will be screaming in outrage when the government starts taking away freedoms and rights the liberals themselves care about.

    1. Not likely going to complain as long as they STILL get their “entitlements” that they so richly deserve……


  33. First, I must say I have enjoyed Mr. Metcalf on TV and his articles, but in this instance he pooped in his Christmas Dinner. I can not speculate what in the world he was thinking of or if senility was the issue in this case. All I can say is good bye and thanks for you’er past clear thinking.

  34. You people are nuts. When A@ E fired the Duck moron, you were all up in arms, so to speak. Hypocrits and idiots, all of you.

    1. Where were we up in arms over A&E? Please, find this post for me where you say we were up in arms. I’d love to read it.

  35. Funny, nuts and morons is EXACTLY how ALL liberals,
    including you,can be described.k In addition, the
    word EVIL is also applicable to most liberals–especially
    the political ones.

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