Monday, February 19, 2007

Zumbo's Apology

Jim Zumbo received an avalanche of response to his post "Assault Rifles For Hunters?", the vast majority of which was negative. As Fits pointed out in the comments to my post on the article, Mr. Zumbo has apologized.

I will post his apology in full:

I was wrong, BIG TIME

Someone once said that to err is human. I just erred, and made without question, the biggest blunder in my 42 years of writing hunting articles.

My blog inflamed legions of people I love most..... hunters and shooters. Obviously, when I wrote that blog, I activated my mouth before engaging my brain.

Let me explain the circumstances surrounding that blog. I was hunting coyotes, and after the hunt was over and being beat up by 60 mph winds all day, I was discussing hunting with one of the young guides. I was tired and exhausted, and I should have gone to bed early. When the guide told me that there was a "huge" following of hunters who use AR 15's and similar weapons to hunt prairies dogs, I was amazed. At that point I wrote the blog, and never thought it through.

Now then, you might not believe what I have to say, but I hope you do. How is it that Zumbo, who has been hunting for more than 50 years, is totally ignorant about these types of guns. I don't know. I shot one once at a target last year, and thought it was cool, but I never considered using one for hunting. I had absolutely no idea how vast the numbers of folks are who use them.

I never intended to be divisive, and I certainly believe in United we Stand, Divided we Fall. I've been an NRA member for 40 years, have attended 8 national NRA conventions in the last 10 years, and I'm an advisory board member for the United States Sportsmen's Alliance which actively fights anti-hunters and animal rights groups for hunter's rights.

What really bothers me are some of the unpatriotic comments leveled at me. I fly the flag 365 days a year in my front yard. Last year, through an essay contest, I hosted a soldier wounded in Iraq to a free hunt in Botswana. This year, through another essay contest, I'm taking two more soldiers on a free moose and elk hunt.

When I started blogging, I was told to write my thoughts, expressing my own opinion. The offensive blog I wrote was MY opinion, and no one else's. None of the companies that I deal with share that opinion, nor were they aware of what I had written until this firestorm started.

Believe it or not, I'm your best friend if you're a hunter or shooter, though it might not seem that way. I simply screwed up. And, to show that I'm sincere about this, I just talked to Ted Nugent, who everyone knows, and is a Board member of the NRA. Ted is extremely active with charities concerning our wounded military, and though he's known as a bowhunter, Ted has no problem with AR 15's and similar firearms. My sincerity stems from the fact that Ted and I are planning a hunt using AR 15's. I intend to learn all I can about them, and again, I'm sorry for inserting my foot in my mouth.
Well Mr. Zumbo, there is one fact in you apology that everyone can agree on.

"...and made without question, the biggest blunder in my 42 years of writing hunting articles."

I guess that the thousands of responses to your commentary were a bit of a surprise, you expected to be preaching to the choir about us folks that like to shoot (and even hunt with) "evil black rifles". You really did not expect us to be a part of your audience, or as vocal as we turned out to be.

"My blog inflamed legions of people I love most..... hunters and shooters."

Another true statement.

You mention that you never intended to be divisive. When you call folks terrorist and ask the hunting community to divorce itself from certain folks based on the type of rifle they shoot, you are being divisive. The way it was stated in your original commentary, it sure appeared to be intentional. It is obvious that the sheer magnitude of the response to your article has set you back a bit, and made you realize that an apology was in order. I firmly believe that your original commentary contains your true thoughts and feelings towards people who use firearms that are different than the ones you find comfortable.

You mention that some of the commentary went over the line in abusiveness, but you struck a nerve. We are used to the main stream anti's coming out against us with this sort of drivel, but when one of our own shows that he is a Quisling, he is deserving of even less respect than any one of the Brady Bunch. You deserved the vitriol that you received.

It is to early to asses damage your commentary has and will cause, but damaging it was. We will soon see how your words will come to be used by the anti's in their quest to ban all guns, starting with the "evil black rifles".

I hope you enjoy your time with Ted, and actually come to an epiphany about your views on "evil black rifles". I will withhold further opinion until then.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good try but I dont buy it. You haven't sat in the stew pot long enough to have a apology to refend your writings. Your a national figure and been around all of us "Terrorist" rifle owners every where you go. Personally I hope you go on that hunt with Ted Nugent and he leaves your ass out there in your Micky Mouse Boxers and a AR 15 for a weekend hunting. Maybe then you will see the light you intend on have seen just in the last few days.

Best of Luck on your new career Jim...

Unckie Bub