Saturday, March 03, 2007

Last word on Jim Zumbo

…at least from me and on this blog. Now that the flood of the loud mouths uncivilized hooligans, that think threatening verbal assaults and character assassinations are the way to go in a democratic society to stifle someone’s right of free speech, has quiet down we actually can hear the voices of reason again.

Tom Remington form the Black Bear Blog has set up a Jim Zumbo opinion poll, asking; “Should Jim Zumbo have been fired from Outdoor Life because of his statements made at his blog?” The majority of voters – over 53% - think that Jim Zumbo should not have been fired from Outdoor Life. This is more or less the same sentiment I hear everywhere. Like I said in my previous article about this affair. In the initial howling of the uncivilized caveman it was hard to hear other – the majority – voices as they where shouted down or afraid to speak up.

Quite frankly, what still troubles me is how fast Remington, Outdoor Life, the NRA and others reacted with the announcement of severing their long standing relationship with Jim Zumbo. Each of them acknowledging that Jim is a lifelong supporter of hunting and the 2nd Amendment and, “We respect Mr. Zumbo's First Amendment right to free speech.” Apparently not! The reason why Jim got fired was exactly because he exercised his right of free speech.

What troubles me is the precedents the afore mentioned companies and organizations might have set with their hasty actions against Zumbo. Does this now mean that all outdoor writers from now on have to live in fear of loosing their job and livelihood the very moment they publish a personal unpopular opinion? Does this also mean that the hunting industry bows down to a minority, but very vocal, bunch of lout mouthed hooligans that activate their mouth before they engage the brain? If that is so, I can think of a number of writers that should face the same fate as Jim Zumbo. All of them are traditional bowhunters voicing publicly their antipathy of crossbows qanting it banned. Come to think of it. I also know of one or two traditional muzleloader hunters that don’t like the idea of sharing the woods with modern in-line front stuffers. Hey, I am in many ways a traditionalist too. Should I be concerned too? Because there are a few things I do not agree with how they are done these days.

It is said that Jim Zumbo with his opinion threatened the 2nd Amendment, which is absolute hogwash. When I look trough Jim’s now infamous blog posting I can’t find anywhere any mention of Jim saying anything about supporting a ban of AR 15's and similar firearms ownership. All he said is that he, as a traditionalist does not see any need for these firearms to be used as a hunting tool. Tell you what though, reading all the opinions of writers in the regular mainstream press it seems that they are not so hung up on what Zumbo said in his blog post. But what is mentioned in the mainstram press, is how malicious and vulgar some hunters and firearm owners reacted to it. It is these reactions on which the anti-firearm proponents picked up on. Unfortunately it came exactly as I predicted in my first post about Jim Zumbo, the vile reaction of the anti-Zumbo protesters did make a huge impression on our adversaries, a very negative impression I might add. One that could come back in due time to bite us.

I do hope sincerely, for all our sakes, that in a future clash of opinions some folks switch their brains on before they open their hateful traps spewing forth vulgarity and personal threats and prove to the world their lack of common manners and basic decency. As for Jim Zumbo, I am convinced that his career is far from over. A man with his passion for hunting and that has given so much to the hunting community, more than all combined that now speak out against him, will recover from it and come out smiling at the other end of the tunnel. The hunting community desperately needs dedicated people like him, to judge a person of his caliber on one unpopular statement is not only a sad joke but downright stupid.

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5 comments:

Jack said...

You write: When I look trough Jim’s now infamous blog posting I can’t find anywhere any mention of Jim says anything about supporting a ban of AR 15's and similar firearms.

Please re-read:
On February 16, 2007, Zumbo published an entry on his blog which read, in part:
I must be living in a vacuum. The guides on our hunt tell me that the use of AR and AK rifles have a rapidly growing following among hunters, especially prairie dog hunters. I had no clue. Only once in my life have I ever seen anyone using one of these firearms.
I call them "assault" rifles, which may upset some people. Excuse me, maybe I'm a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity. I'll go so far as to call them "terrorist" rifles. They tell me that some companies are producing assault rifles that are "tackdrivers."
Sorry, folks, in my humble opinion, these things have no place in hunting. We don't need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them, which is an obvious concern. I've always been comfortable with the statement that hunters don't use assault rifles. We've always been proud of our "sporting firearms."
This really has me concerned. As hunters, we don't need the image of walking around the woods carrying one of these weapons. 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 praries [sic] and woods.[2] Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Zumbo

Othmar Vohringer said...

Thanks for you post Jack.

You’re right Jim Zumbo is of the opinion that AR and AK rifles should be banned from the woods. He has however, never asked that these firearms been outlawed altogether. That is a very big difference. There are many types of weapons banned from the woods, such as the crossbows in some states and traditional muzzleloaders or inline muzzleloaders in others.

The way it is made out today it sounds like that Zumbo asked for a total ban of these firearms period and that is just not the case. What happened after his now infamous post is making a mountain out of a molehill.

-Othmar Vohringer-

Matt said...

Way to stick to your "guns" Othmar. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Sir,
1. I did and do take offense with his carachterization of the AR series of weapons as "terrorist rifles" among other comments.
2. the loss of his job by "popular demand" does not in any way interfere with his 1st Amendment Rights. He is not being censored by the Gov't or imprisoned. he is being "diciplined" by the people that pay his salary.
3. I really do not care what type of impression I make on any of the "Brady types" their mind is made up. However, If I deter one person from attempting to tell me what my 2nd Amendment rights are, then I have suceeded
4. I did not judge him, I judged his speech and contacted the people who pay to advertise it. He is entitled to say what he wants, but I am not required, nor is Remington, to pay for him to do so.

Thank you.
Ed Kerley

Othmar Vohringer said...

Thank you for you comment Ed Kerley.
I do not agree with all of what you have stated in your comment. There was no need to feel the 2nd Amendment being threatened. Jim Zumbo never said that the firearms in question should be outlawed. He said they should be banned as a hunting tool, many weapons are banned from hunting and none of it has caused any danger to the 2nd Amendment.

While I agree that the word “terrorist rifle” was not a very wise choice, I have to play devils advocate and say that he wrote it in quotes. Doing this means that he meant it very likely is jest or in sarcasm. Nevertheless with the current hype about terrorism this was not a smart thing to do.

You do not have to be put in prison to be censored being “disciplined” as you put it, is also censorship and so is loosing ones job without having been heard out. Jim Zumbo is punished for making use of the 1st Amendment. Actually if you care to read what the 1st Amendment says then you will find out that Jim actually has grounds for a lawsuit for violating his most basic human rights.

As for your statement "popular demand". It was not a majority. It was a scary foul mouthed and loud mob reminiscent of a medieval lynch mob. The majority of the people concerned wrote letters too but they where civil about it, they did not ask for Jim Zumbo’s head on a silver platter or threaten him with violence and abusive language.

Maybe you do not care what impression the "Brady types" have of you. I however care very much and so do millions of others. The Brady bunch portrays us as violent gun totting morons and ticking time bombs ready to off at any time. That is not how I what to be portrayed or viewed. The outburst of hatred and spewing of violent threats against Jim Zumbo has given the Brady types exactly the ammunition they need to say in the congress “See we told you so” and then they put the documents full of clippings they made from various blogs and internet forums in front of the congress so they can read all the obscenities and hatred uttered against Jim Zumbo too. You can bet that makes an impression in the congress, but the one we want or need.

-Othmar Vohringer-

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