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Zumbo Letter to CCRKBA

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Dave Workman, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. Dave Workman

    Dave Workman Member

    Jul 6, 2006
    Washington state
    Alan Gottlieb asked me to post this publicly. It came from Jim Zumbo to the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.


    February 28, 2007

    Mr. Alan Gottlieb, Chairman
    Citizens Committee for the
    Right to Keep and Bear Arms
    12500 N.E. Tenth Place
    Bellevue, WA 98005

    Dear Alan:

    They say that hindsight is always 20-20. In my case, hindsight has been a hard teacher, like the father teaching the son a lesson about life in the wood shed.

    I was wrong when I recently suggested that wildlife agencies should ban semiautomatic firearms I erroneously called “assault rifles” for hunting. I insulted legions of my fellow gun owners in the process by calling them “terrorist rifles.” I can never apologize enough for having worn blinders when I should have been wearing bifocals.

    But unlike those who would destroy the Second Amendment right to own a firearm – any firearm – I have learned from my embarrassing mistake. My error should not be used, as it has been in recent days by our common enemies, in an effort to dangerously erode our right to keep and bear arms.

    I would hope instead to use this spotlight to address my hunting fraternity, many of whom shared my erroneous position. I am a hunter and like many others I had the wrong picture in mind. I associated these firearms with military action, and saw not hunting as I have known it, not the killing of a varmint, but the elimination of the entire colony. Nothing could be further from the truth, but I know from whence it comes. This ridiculous image, formed in the blink of an eye, exerts an unconscious effect on all decisions that follow. In seeking to protect our hunting rights by guarding how we are seen in the public eye, I lost sight of the larger picture; missed the forest for the trees.

    My own lack of experience was no excuse for ignoring the fact that millions of Americans – people who would share a campfire or the shelter of their tent, and who have hurt nobody – own, hunt with and competitively shoot or collect the kinds of firearms I so easily dismissed.

    I recently took a “crash course” on these firearms with Ted Nugent, to learn more about them and to educate myself. In the process, I learned about the very real threat that faces all American gun owners.

    I’ve studied up on legislation now in Congress that would renew and dangerously expand a ban on many types of firearms. The bill, HR 1022 sponsored by New York Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, is written so broadly that it would outlaw numerous firearms and accessories, including a folding stock for a Ruger rifle. I understand that some of the language could ultimately take away my timeworn and cherished hunting rifles and shotguns as well as those of all American hunters.

    The extremist supporters of HR 1022 don’t want to stop criminals. They want to invent new ones out of people like you and me with the simple stroke of a pen. They will do anything they can to make it impossible for more and more American citizens to legally own any firearm.

    Realizing that what I wrote catered to this insidious attack on fellow gun owners has, one might say, “awakened a sleeping giant within me, and filled him with a terrible resolve.”

    I made a mistake. But those who would use my remarks to further their despicable political agenda have made a bigger one. I hope to become their worst nightmare. I admit I was wrong. They insist they are right.

    Enclosed, you will find a check that is intended to be used to fight and defeat HR 1022. I also hope it inspires other gun owners to “do as I do, not as I say.”

    I’m putting my money where my mouth should have been, and where my heart and soul have always been. I know the Second Amendment isn’t about hunting and never has been. My blunder was in thinking that by working to protect precious hunting rights I was doing enough. I promise it will never happen again.

    I don’t know what lies over the horizon for me. I am not ready for the rocking chair.

    I’m going to devote every ounce of my energy to this battle. I will remind my fellow hunters that we are first, gun owners. Whether we like it or not, our former apathy and prejudices may place that which we love, hunting, in jeopardy. I will educate fellow outdoorsmen who mistakenly think like I talked, even if I have to visit every hunting camp and climb into every duck blind and deer stand in this country to get it done. I was wrong, and I’m going to make it right.

    Jim Zumbo
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2007
  2. Thylacine

    Thylacine New Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    Do you have a direct link to that?
  3. Technosavant

    Technosavant Senior Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    That is exactly what I was hoping he'd do.

    Zumbo ticked me off in a royal way, but as far as I am concerned, he's ok for now. We'll get more done by educating, forgiving, and pulling together than we will by shooting the wounded.
  4. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

    Oct 10, 2006
    North Idaho
    Redemption, one step at a time

    Looks like our man is tougher than his age might suggest.

    Now there's some actual pith.

    Keep it up, Jim.
  5. BigG

    BigG Mentor

    Dec 24, 2002
    Bravo! I'm glad Jim Zumbo has awakened. :>
  6. Sharp Phil

    Sharp Phil New Member

    May 6, 2003
    Much as I would like very much to believe him, I have a hard time swallowing the idea that he experienced such a total, overnight conversion to paragon of Second Amendment Rights Advocacy. You can't write a blog like the one he wrote, with so much vehemence and loaded language, without truly believing what you're saying. How do you then suddenly smack your head with coulda-hadda-V8 vigor and exclaim that you were so very wrong that you're going to fight for truth, justice, and the American way from this moment forward?

    I don't know, maybe I'm just cynical.
  7. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Feb 16, 2003
    Ft. Worth
    OK, so enough on Zumbo for now, who else is sending a check to a pro 2A; ANY pro 2A group this week in support of this awakening we have ALL seen in the last few weeks?

    Or is going back to the grumble grumble, too much junk mail, grumble grumble?

    I'll start. 30 bucks extra is on the way to Texas State Rifle Association and another 30 bucks to CCRKBA (Just in case someone doesn't know CCRKBA is SAFs lobbying arm since SAF can't lobby directly).

    Prolly so. Not directed at you necessarily because I haven't looked, but every time there has been a Zumbo post since the thing started there has been a line of folks posting nothing but calls for his head with nothing constructive to say at all. Surely there's been enough of that?

    ETA from AlaskaEric in the post below (with a small change):
    Amen brother, and they are not sidetracked by internal BS either.
  8. AlaskaErik

    AlaskaErik Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    While I was extremely upset with Mr. Zumbo at first, I'm seeing enough contriteness on his part to be willing to move forward and start forgiving. We need to all come together because the Democrats are mobilizing as we write and they are smelling blood. All gun owners need to be part of the upcoming battle to defeat their nefarious gun confiscation legislation.
  9. shield20

    shield20 Active Member

    May 21, 2005
    New York
    He had no experience with these types of rifles - now he does!

    The error he made was due to ignorance - of his subject, of the people associated with these rifles, of hunting, of the antis, etc.

    He is now a more well-rounded individual, knowing the capabilities, and limitations of ARs (atleast).

    Good for him - and probably good for us.
  10. Wesson Smith

    Wesson Smith Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    With the caveat that those truly were Jim's words,
    published and verified, I say let's stop beating the
    proverbial dead horse. The guy appears to have owned
    up to his mistake, more than once. Forgiveness is a
    powerful and healing human characteristic. With that
    having been said, the larger issue with our so-called
    "assault weapons" is that most of us do not own them
    for hunting purposes. This is where I still get the
    heebee-geebees regarding the mending of fences here.
    I cherish my RKBA primarily for two reasons: 1. target and
    recreational shooting. 2. The defense of my family and friends.
    This issue, at the expense of repeated appeals to the purist
    hunting community seems to continue to fall through the
    cracks. In any event, I respectfully ask that we let this guy
    salvage his reputation and begin anew. He appears to
    be up to the task, and there is nothing gained by continuing
    to kick him while he is down. Just my 2 cents.
  11. CNYCacher

    CNYCacher Participating Member

    Apr 29, 2006
    Auburn, NY
    People can change.

    If he really lives up to his promises, I, for one, will forgive him.

    To Mr. Zumbo, if you are reading this: You are saying all the right things, but it is actions, not words. Please live up to your promised retribution. You will not buy back your credibility but through sweat and blood, not words and dollars. Make those speeches you say you will make. Crawl into those duck blinds. Educate all you can. You claim you will be a liaison to the hunting community, do it! We will welcome you back if you walk the walk.
  12. esheato

    esheato Senior Member

    Apr 8, 2003
    I want to confess something.

    I'm a gun owner. In fact, I probably own more than most. I pride myself on the quality of my firearms and my skills using them. I spend every weekend, rain or shine, at the range. Defensive pistol, shotgun games, hunting, long range rifle, gun skool...you name it and I do it.

    While I'm an NRA member, I don't do activism. I don't write letters. I don't contribute money. I don't call my congressman...in fact, I don't even know how all that stuff works.

    I just want to be left alone with my hobby. I don't worry about what bills are proposed. I don't keep track of what's going on. Hell, I barely vote.

    I don't tell people what to do and I don't expect to be told what to do. I just want to shoot.

    I've been following this Zumbo mess since the beginning. I haven't commented on it because I felt that everything that needed saying was already said. I also didn't want to be quick to judge. Initially, I was mad just like everyone else. I'm a fairly forgiving person though, and I thought that if anyone could help him, it would be Ted.

    Reading this letter, it's obvious that Zumbo's eyes have been opened. I forgive the guy. While what he did was blatantly wrong, I believe he has come around. I would share a campfire with him.

    I can also appreciate people that act rather than talk. My donation to CCRKBA has been sent in.

  13. Thylacine

    Thylacine New Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    I agree- 100% IMO Gun owners in general can be a very accommodating group. We are so diverse and use such a wide range of firearms, we have to be. :)
    I have linked and reposted this across the street.
    Like I said there, it is a good start.
  14. Trip20

    Trip20 Active Member

    Oct 20, 2005
    Bravo, Jim Zumbo. :)
  15. SoCalShooter

    SoCalShooter Senior Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    That's for me to know and not you!
    Hopefully with Zumbo's conversion and hopefully an epiphany that he talked about in his letter. Its now time to unify the community and create a concerted effort against those that would disarm us in the effort to "MAKE US SAFER". I'll just let it go for now but I have no intention to forgive and forget. Hopefully his followers will do the same.
  16. halvey

    halvey Participating Member

    Apr 28, 2004
    I believe Ted Nugent set him straight as Zumbro says. This has been a good subject for hunters and shooters alike. In the end, it will work out in our favor.

    That said, he doesn't deserve his career or sponsorship back. There are consequences for your actions.
  17. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

    Jan 1, 2003
    SouthEast PA
    Jim Zumbo had a choice.

    He could have crawled into a hole and retired, cursing bitterly those gun nuts who ended his career.

    He could have pandered to the Fudds, who were supporting him in his former position, and taken his place as King of the Fudds, and tool of the Bradys.

    But he did not.

    He chose the hard path to righteousness.

    He awoke, and took a stand, a stand that to my eye earns him the right to earn his way back into our good graces.

    A lesser man would have failed utterly, but Zumbo, knocked off his ass on the road to Damascus, had a long hard talk with himself.

    It takes a big man to do that.

    Let's us be big men and not slam the door in the face of one who returns to us with his hat humbly in his hand, and every sign of penitence on his lips.

    We will all be the better for it.
  18. googol

    googol New Member

    Dec 6, 2005
    Zumbo Letter

    Any damage that Zumbo did to the cause of firearms rights is dwarfed by the horrible impression made by many in the gun rights community. The explosive reaction to Zumbo's statement simply confirmed the opinion of many people that gun owners are irrational extremists who keep their hatred on a hair trigger. To cast out a long-time supporter and ruin his career over a single episode was a wild overreaction.
  19. acdodd

    acdodd Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    OK He was vilified and distroyed by all of us.
    I think it would be the right thing to do to email him and show our support for his new efforts on our behalf.
    If he can close the divide between hunters and non hunting gun owners it will be the best think to happen.
    I will try to email him and thank him for his effort.
  20. bogie

    bogie Mentor

    Jan 2, 2003
    St. Louis, in the Don't Show Me state
    I don't think that Zumbo's career was ruined. I think that it _was_ turned in a completely different direction.

    And we'll be better for it.

    I'm going to write to Outdoor Life, and ask that they consider him as a guest columnist, with the primary subject being our highly diverse gun culture. He is a damn fine writer, and I'm sure that they didn't really wanna let him go.

    Anyone with me?

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