Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Jim Zumbo angers Firearm owners

By now everybody should be aware of the unfortunate blog entry by Jim Zumbo on Outdoor Life that unleashed an angry storm by firearm owners. The outrage of the firearm community in form of thousands of forum postings and emails where cause enough for Outdoor Life to close the blog “Hunting with Jim Zumb”. Remington, Mossy Oak and some of the other Zumbo’s sponsor, concerned with their financial bottom lines and in an efford to appease the hostile crowd -possible customers- quickly decided to drop Zumbo, their spokesperson of many years, like a hot potato.

Personally I don't care if Zumbo said it, I don't care if he knew what he was saying, I don't care if he meant every word of it or not. I would not have written what he did. But I am 100% behind Jim Zumbo the man. Jim Zumbo is a respected hunter, outdoor writer and book author for all of his life. He has done more positive for the hunting sport and gun ownership in his life than many of the folks that bash him now. I do not judge the man for one comment he made but for what he achieved and the dedicated support he gave to the hunting community.

To be honest I wonder where all these thousands of people are when the anti gun lobby spouts their agenda at nausea. Lets face it. Whenever someone tries to get a petition going against the anti gun lobby he is lucky to get a couple hundred signatures together. But if it is one of our own then it seems that the outrage is thousand fold. Yet it is the anti gun lobby that threatens the second Amendment, surly not Jim Zumbo.

Mind you, after reading some of the comments made by outraged hunters and firearm owners last night on various blogs and forums I am actually glad that these people do not write to the anti gun lobby and the government. I understand that communication skills don't come free with every box of ammo. But what I read last night is nothing short of a medieval lynch mob mentality. A good many of the comments in regard to Jim Zumbo could be easily classified as threatening. Others where in such foul, demeaning language that one has to wonder or the parents of these people ever bothered to teach them the basic manners and courtesy. The few voices of reason quickly where shouted down by the angry mob.

The anti gun lobby portrays us as uneducated gun totting lunatics. I am afraid that the majority of the responses to Jim Zumbo’s article might do us more harm in the long run than Jim’s thoughtless comment. When do we learn that the interest groups that are against us closely observe every action and every word of us in the hope they can use it against us. Unfortunately the antis got plenty of material the last two days from hunters and firearm owners to support their opinion of us.

I have said it before and I will say it again; “Wouldn’t it be wiser for us to be more tolerant of each other and pick our battles with the ones that really threaten our way of life instead of with our own?”

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buckee said...

My sentiments exactly Othmar. Sometimes you have to stand outside the box to see what's inside, and all I've seen is pack of wolves eating one of their own, out of fear.


Anonymous said...

Gotta respectfully disagree on this one. Mr. Zumbro did a lot of damage with his comments, and it's the attitude of "Fudds" like him that got Canada in the gun rights pickle it is in. My dad's a Fudd, I enjoy hunting, but we both realize that if prtecting the right to own hunting firearms was left just to hunters, I'd have to get a whole lot better with a bow. If Mr. Zumbro spent more time in gun shops and public ranges, he'd realize that most people don't get their firearms delivered by the manufacturer, so we are free to enjoy whatever we see. We judge a rifle not on the color of its skin, but on the content of its character.

Smith W. Dewlen, Jr. said...

Jim Zumbo has made an error. Jim Zumbo has apologized. I for one accept the apology and say as Jesus said; “Go and sin no more.”

I will not forsake Mr. Zumbo, nor any of his sponsors. Consider all the fine and great things which Mr. Zumbo and his sponsors and publishers have brought to the hunting fraternity (and quickly becoming a sorority, also.) I will still read his articles, wherever published and purchase his books.

Again, from the Good Book, “He that is without sin, let him first cast a stone…” I cannot cast a stone. Can you?

Let us show the world hunters are an understanding lot and have forgiveness in our hearts.

Jim, I hope this email reaches you. I also hope someday to sample your cooking. I use your recipes frequently. Good Luck and God Bless.

Smith W. Dewlen, Jr.
Saint Louis MO 63114

Life Member: National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, Safari Club International and the Central Missouri Chapter and Gateway Chapter of SCI, NAHC, Missouri Sport Shooting Association, Second Amendment Coalition of Missouri.

Member Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Missouri Hunter Education Instructor.

Othmar Vohringer said...

Than you all for your interesting views on the subject.

Buckee: Long time since I heard from you and you from me. How is it going? I bet you get ready for spring bear season.
I have to agree with you on this one. Jim voiced his opinion, as far as I can see it. I also understand that this has upset some hunters and firearm owners – even I am not too happy about it – but one can disagree and still have manners and good taste. Unfortunately the Internet is a faceless place that makes it much easier for people to resort to name calling and even threatening behavior, something that they might not do if they where face to face with that person.

Anonymous: I can respect your opinion and you prove a point I tried to make with my post. You disagree with me but you do with good manners. You have not resorted to calling others or me names. You have not asked for me to be strung up on the next tree. You have not threatened to burn my house down. In short you’re civil about it and that is how grown man and women deal with each other. I am not so sure that Jim Zumbo did a lot of damage. Reading the newspapers most did not mention what the outrage was all about. However what many newspapers report is that firearm owners and hunters reacted “hostile”, “threatening” and that they (hunters and firearm owners) are reminiscent of an “angry mob”. That is not how I want to be described. As a hunter and firearm owner I do not want to be perceived as hostile or threatening. I believe that the way many behaved has done a lot more damage to all of us that Zumbo’s thoughtless remarks. If everybody had acted in a civil manner the newspapers never would have latched on to it but as it is the newspapers got wind of it and got their juicy headlines. You say; “We judge a rifle not on the color of its skin, but on the content of its character.” But is it okay to judge a human (Jim Zumbo) by the color of its skin. Mr. Zumbo has a flawless character, he is a lifelong hunter and well respected. He has done more for the protection of the hunting heritage than many others but now he makes just one little remark that is out of the norm and we’re going to hang him for it or wish him to hell. That just doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever.

Smith W. Dewlen, Jr.: Now that right there is how human beings should act in a modern society. This is pure human greatness. Kudos to you Smith W. Dewlen, Jr. Compare that to the medieval witch-burning mob we have witnessed and everybody can see where I went with this article.

My article was not about what Jim Zumbo has written. Neither was it an attempt to figure out what might have motivated him or did he truly mean what he wrote. Others did that at nausea. What my article was about is how we interact with each other. How some feel that behind the anonymity of the Internet they can insult others and threaten people in the worst manner possible and then think this is okay and their God given right. It is my strong opinion that these hooligans have caused more damage to our reputation in the eye of the public than Jim Zumbo ever could have created with his comments.

-Othmar Vohringer-

Editor said...

been waiting all day for you to read my comments (10) come on back

buckee said...

Hi again Othmar,
Yes bear season is just around the corner here. I've gotten 3 nice bears since I've lived out west here, but my wife doesn't like to eat the meat, and it's pretty tough for me to eat a whole bear by myself..LOL. It seems I spend more time trying to side-step these black critters these days, rather than hunting them.

[quote]Reading the newspapers most did not mention what the outrage was all about. However what many newspapers report is that firearm owners and hunters reacted “hostile”, “threatening” and that they (hunters and firearm owners) are reminiscent of an “angry mob”. That is not how I want to be described. As a hunter and firearm owner I do not want to be perceived as hostile or threatening. I believe that the way many behaved has done a lot more damage to all of us that Zumbo’s thoughtless remarks. If everybody had acted in a civil manner the newspapers never would have latched on to it but as it is the newspapers got wind of it and got their juicy headlines.[/quote]
That's it right there in a nutshell and is exactly how I perceived the events of last weekend. It was the hunting, and gun owner community that did the damage after Jim blog was made. Instead of opening a discussion with him, they attacked him, emailed his sponsors, and went wild. Jim's comments didn't cause him to lose his livelihood in a few short hours, it was the eating frenzy, that caused it all. It was that same frenzy that caused the Brady bunch to sit up and take notice.
If Jim is guilty of anything here, it was not articulating properly, what he was really trying to say. I believe him in his apology, when he said he was tired when he wrote that blog, because it just wasn't written like a writer should.
I know many times, I've tried to share my thoughts on something, and it just comes out all wrong, and everyone takes it the wrong way it was intended. But then, I'm not a writer, or claim to be one.
I look at this whole deal as a sad day for the hunting community, and blame doesn't fall just on Zumbo's shoulders.

How did your season go Othmar? I ended up filling one tag with my bow, and the other with my shotgun, only because that dang rain wouldn't stop.


Phillip said...

"Welcome to the dogpile," is all I can say.

I've seen this behavior on the web, particularly in discussion forums, and it's a little frightening and sad at the same time. It's absolutely amazing how fast the masses can rise up against one of their own at a perceived slight, and before the ruddy bloodlust has faded from their eyes they have not only killed and eaten one member of their own pack, but have usually left several others bleeding and dying as well. As they lick their frothing lips, they start to wonder what the frenzy really was all about, and really can't come up with a good answer.

Zumbo is on his own for his apologies, as I have no intent to be another apologist for him. However, it shouldn't take much grasp of this man's legacy in the hunting and shooting sports to recognize that his comments, as ill-considered as they were, were not the intentional broadside on the Second Amendment and gun rights that some would have us believe.

He's done himself some damage with this one, but I think reports of his demise are somewhat exaggerated. In five years, we'll be reading his books and columns again and most people won't even remember his blog.

Othmar Vohringer said...

Hi again buckee.
I am not keen on bears or bear hunting either. In November I went with some good friends and a relative to Merritt on a special buck hunt. Saw plenty of deer movement and lots of buck sign. Some incredible rubs and scrapes, but the bucks that made them just never showed up and I didn’t want to shoot a young one. There is always next year.

Thank you Phillip for your post, very well said.

-Othmar Vohringer-

Anonymous said...

Dear Fellow Hunters,

I want to say thank ou for voicing your opinions! I think we should all feel thankful that Mr. Zumbo felt the same freedom to express his opinion. I wish he would not have recanted! It seems to me that we have had a run on the amendments of our constitution of late...I think Mr. Zumbo's right/willingness to speak out should be lauded and protected. Personally, like Mr. Zumbo, I do not see a need for automatic/assault weapons when facing an opponent that does not fire back. I have semi-automatic weapons myself but those are reserved for protection of my home and family from two-legged beasts.
Be safe out there!
Best to all
Ron in LA

Othmar Vohringer said...

Thank you for your valuable post Ron. You hit the nail on the head about freedom of speech. Many people seem to forget that this freedom is just as important as the second Amendment. I found it very hypercritic of Remington and Outdoor Life when both of them stated that they are firm believers in freedom of speech yet in the same sentence I said that they severe their ties with Jim Zumbo because he exercised that freedom.

I am a traditionalist too and see no reason for assault rifle style firearms in the field for the purpose of hunting. However, since such firearms are legal hunters are of course free to use them if they feel they need such rifles. I also fully endorse the legalization of crossbows to be used by all hunters as a legal archery tool.

-Othmar Vohringer-

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