"Zumbo" revisited - why can't we seem to repeat that epic act of activism?

Not open for further replies.
Once more, and then we bury this poor critter. <grin>

Of course it was repugnant. That's why he apologized, and has done it again and again.

I don't think that Jeff White has a dog in this fight, and I think he's a straight shooter.

I know Dave Workman well, and I can guarantee you that he has a finely-tuned BS filter (as any good reporter does). Heck, Dave would call me on it if he ever spotted me trying to pull some shenanigan, so you know he would do it to Zumbo.

The three of us all agree on this one.

That's all I can offer.

All three of you have good reputations as straight shooters.

While I wonder if you are too close to this and there are some things that have not been explained we can agree to disagree.

I respect your opinion and loyalty to a friend.
I bet 90 percent of hunters in the U.S. have never seen an AR-15 used for hunting.

I've been hunting all my life and have never seen anyone hunting with an AR-15. (I'm in my 40s). If I did, I would probably ease off in another direction.

I don't buy that one can spend decades and not understand guns beyond those that he was enthusiastic about.

I've pretty much been interested in guns my whole life. I own a good many guns. I've spent a good many hours looking at ballistics tables, gun catalogs, going to gun shows, going to the range, etc... and I don't know diddly about AR-15s.

I've shot one once - someone handed it to me ready to fire and I fired it. I remember it being quite loud because it had a brake of some sort on it.. But if I were to pick one up I'd probably have a time figuring out how to load it and fire it, much less what kind of stuff I ought to buy to add to it. I see people with them at the range and with other guns of the type I guess - military / tactical type weapons. I can't really tell one from the other.

The idea of owning one or shooting one just hasn't ever appealed to me. I'm sure I'm not the only one. I do know the difference between a .270 and a 30-06 and have used and owned both. I own enough handguns to make me think about moving to Montana sometimes, but I've just never wanted an EBR. If somebody gave me one I would probably put it in the safe or try to sell it if it was worth a lot and buy something I would rather have. I wouldn't go hunting with it, although I'm sure it's OK for some types of hunting... it's just not me.

If EBR type guns are what float your boat, I don't have a problem with it. I care about guns, and my gun rights as much as anyone, but I don't see how that obligates me to be interested in tacti-cool firearms.
I think its important to post exactly what Mr Zumbo wrote that started the firestorm. I make no accusations against Mr. Zumbo in any way. Simply reporting what I believe to be an exact copy of the article (blog post) by Mr. Z and then his appology.

FWIW - I admire Mr. Zumbo for what he has done in the past reference his writting skill and hunting adventures. From everything I have read and heard, since this incidence he is 100% on board the Black Rifle Express :)


Zumbos Quote:

Assault Rifles For Hunters?

As I write this, I'm hunting coyotes in southeastern Wyoming with Eddie Stevenson, PR Manager for Remington Arms, Greg Dennison, who is senior research engineer for Remington, and several writers. We're testing Remington's brand new .17 cal Spitfire bullet on coyotes.

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 and woods.

------ His Appology-----------

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 devisive, 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.

Jim Zumbo

NOBODY said that you are obligated to be interested in anything. Your assertion is nothing but subterfuge. It has nothing to do with the subject at hand.

There are a few things that I believe which are appropriate to the subject

-A decent human being does not spread lies.

-A reasonable person does not insult tens of thousands of people, calling them repugnant names merely because he is not interested in the same things

-Only the most imbecilic would publicly voice strong opinions based on ignorance.

-It is better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt

There is not doubt that Jim Zumbo made a total fool of himself, spreading lies and castigation. The only question is whether you believe in his sincerity with regards to his change of heart. Several quality people believe him.

I am not so sure.
Rob62; thank you for posting the original stuff. I copied and saved it on my other computer and that computer died along with a lot of good information. Tisk Tisk.

Tom (GunTalk) you make a lot of sense and I believe you.

Guillermo; You can choose to believe anything you want to. But I simply don't agree with a number of things you said. Not everyone is in love with AR's.
Calling someone a liar is not High Road.

A lie is saying something you know to be untrue.

Contrast that with saying something that is untrue, but which you are not aware is untrue. That is called a mistake, or a misstatement.

Calling it a lie is, in my view, beyond the pale.

As for voicing a strong opinion based on ignorance . . . well, I'm sure glad that never happens on internet boards such as this. <big grin>
A lie is saying something you know to be untrue.

I reread his original words. Foolish, ignorant, insulting, repugnant but the ugliness was all opinion. Opinion worthy of Rosie O’Donnell and critical thought worthy of Sarah Brady, but opinion nonetheless.

It should read "There is not doubt that Jim Zumbo made a total fool of himself, spreading stupidity and castigation."

I stand corrected and herby apologize.
NOBODY said that you are obligated to be interested in anything. Your assertion is nothing but subterfuge. It has nothing to do with the subject at hand.

Well, you are the one that said:

I don't buy that one can spend decades and not understand guns beyond those that he was enthusiastic about.

I was pointing out that I happen to be such a one, and why. I really don't understand the allure of tricked out battle rifles. I do understand that they are probably state of the art for killing folks.

While I think that Zumbo certainly went overboard in summarily denouncing a certain type of gun because of what it is, I can understand what alarmed him. This deer season, if I run across a yoyo with a tricked out AR in the deer woods, you can bet I'll be a little alarmed. I've never seen it yet.

Hunting also has it's own enemies, and what you don't want is people to have an image of a bunch of Bubbas stalking through the local forest armed with the kind of small arm firepower we go to war with. That sends the wrong message - it really does. To most neutral observers, an AR-15 appears to be something that will send a lot of hot lead downrange in a hurry, and that is not what you want neutral observers to think that hunting is all about.

Do I think people have a right to own them and shoot them? Absolutely. If we ever need to invoke the 2nd amendment for the original purpose, we're really going to need SAM batteries and RPGs if possible.
Mr White,
Thanks for posting the staff forum posts. Those were very interesting.
why can't we seem to repeat that epic act of activism?

On a national level, it is possible and I think we do and have had some good positive effect. It is the local level where things are hard to pull together.

Whenever a new event or legislation comes up...how many posts do you see with "contact your congressman here" I am a member on many forums and see it a lot and this stuff makes the rounds real fast.

For some local action...every state should have a forum like we have at the PAFOA, http://www.pafoa.org/forum/ 2 years old and almost 10,000 members, more and more meet and greets and activism by the day, real proud of the founders of that website and what my fellow Pennsylvanians have done so far.

On the whole though, we could be better organized.

I firmly believe, Bill Ruger would have caught a lot of flack and business would have suffered if his actions were done today and not 15 years ago.

As far as Zumbo...as a hunter and an EBR owner, I felt very betrayed and I was fired up. From anti's you expect it, not from one of "us" or at least one who is somewhat in the community.

Actually a little disapointed at the NRA in some of this also, I always found the NRA website a bit lacking/hard to navigate and they could really use the web better as an organizational tool.

My .02

Redemption can be tough.

Even when you achieve it, there's no guarantee that everyone will accept it.

I nearly sank a ship once, with perhaps fifty or more of my crew mates on it.

Go ahead. Try to live that down!

Now do whatever it takes to redeem yourself in the eyes of this crew whom your actions nearly killed.

Spend a year at it. Sweep and mop and paint and chip and do bilge rat duty for weeks at a time. Do the really crap jobs so that some other crewman doesn't have to.

Now, go ask for their forgiveness in person.

And when you run up against one of them who isn't yet willing to accept that you're worthy of crew status among them, swallow that, and keep doing what needs to be done.

Finally, when all the people that matter have congratulated you on your redemption, know that there are still members of the crew who won't trust you. Who won't ever eat at your table. Who won't have you on their watch.

Yeah. Now you have redemption but, to some, you'll never be whole.

That can be tough.

For me? I'll take a man who's done months of bilges and crap deck work on my watch.

I've stood in his shoes and he's stood in mine, and neither of us will let that happen again.

Jim Zumbo has dined on some seriously tough crow. He put himself in the hands of the people he'd mocked and submitted his ego to those he'd wronged.

That's tougher than many will ever know.

He's a better man for it, and our community is better for having walked that mile.

He's welcome at my table, should we ever meet.
I haven't read an Outdoor Life since 1985 when my wife's grandfather who was an avid hunter passed away. I didn't know who Jim Zumbo was until the explosion over his blog rocked the online firearms community.

I did spend three long hard days on the range with him. I don't know what his motives for taking Denny Hansen up on his offer to review the class and write it up in SWAT were. And I don't care, because his motives didn't matter.

What mattered was, he came out and did a kind of shooting he had never done before. Was he a little uncomfortable at first, yes, but who of us isn't the first time we ever do something?

You can't fake the enjoyment he was showing once he started picking things up and learning new things. It would have been an academy award level performance to fake the comradeship that was developing on the range.

Do you guys have any idea what it must have been like for him to come to the Boone County Sheriffs dept and shoot with us? Talk about walking into the lions cage. Pat's class about how to fight with a carbine. It's heavy on manipulation and mindset. This may surprise some of you, but not everyone fancies himself a gunfighter. I don't think Jim did or does. And while he probably wouldn't be my first choice to follow into the room on a dynamic entry, I wouldn't worry about him being able to hold his own and watch my back in bad situation. He has good shooting skills but more importantly I think he's got the guts it takes to be there and do what needs to be done if everything went bad.

To me it doesn't matter what he thought about evil black rifles before. I know how he feels about them now that he's been exposed to them. Isn't that what's really important here?

I think you guys are forgetting that converts are very zealous and anxious to convert others. We now have an important person in the hunting community who has a massive audience on our side.

We can't keep building walls between the different disciplines of the shooting community. This constant bickering about who is more pure in their love for the second amendment is getting old.

Buzz, have you never firmly inserted your foot into your mouth like Zumbo did and then made an excuse, even to yourself as to why you did that? I think what he meant when he said he was tired and had three glasses of wine, was that he'd have chosen his words more carefully, not that the gist of it wouldn't have been the same (that black rifles didn't belong in the field on hunts).

Something good came from a very bad thing and we should be happy about that. If you don't like Jim Zumbo for what he said, then that's your right. No one says you have to read his column in Outdoor Life or watch his TV show. But let's accept the victory that we won. And most importantly lets thank the people who made the conversion possible, everyone who bombarded all of his sponsors with email, that was the club that got his attention. Denny Hansen, who without consulting with his boss first, offered the newest pariah in the shooting community an article in SWAT, Pat Rogers for agreeing to make room in his busy schedule to fit in another three day class (not easy when you are already pushing upwards of 250 days a year on the road), Sheriff Ken Campbell, who made range space available on short notice, and lastly Rich Lucibella who sponsored everything.

Now let's let this one lay for awhile. Sometimes it's good to let the rage die down and just bask in the afterglow of an RKBA victory.

Thanks, Jeff. I think you're right on.

I remember when I was a teenager, I felt pretty much the same way Zumbo did (pre conversion.) I had a shotgun and some traditional sporting rifles and was pleased as punch that the 2nd amendment protected my right to own them. I didn't see any need for EBR's, and wondered why in the world anybody would want them. For that matter, I didn't see much need for handguns. However, I have since converted. As I have learned about man's inhumanity to man throughout history, and the purpose of the second amendment, I have come to see assault weapons as the most important class of firearms to own. It is the most vulnerable to restrictions and I believe it should be the primary focus of our RKBA efforts.

If I were to guess, I would say that there are more gun owners that agree with Zumbo's original statement or at least the sentiment, than those that disagree. We must not alienate them, but educate and embrace them.

I guess what I'm saying is (start ROCKY IV music) If I can change.... and Zumbo can change... everybody can change! :D
Oh, I forgive Zumbo. He made a stupid mistake and I've certainly made many myself.

I was surprised he disliked AR-15's so much because, even though I'm an old guy like Zumbo, I absolutely love those guns. They are nice to shoot, accurate and reliable IMHO.

You can buy one lower and swap multiple uppers onto that lower. I've never seen a firearm that is as "adaptable" as the AR-15.

Why he held such a disdain for the AR-15 is beyond me. You can get them in a .308 and go deer hunting, same for the 6.8. Heck, I think they even have a .450(?) available now!! It's just a "newer" type of design that Zumbo didn't accept into the hunting "fraternity" of firearms. That really surprised me considering Zumbo has been around firearms all his life.

Why he went off the deep end was baffling to me. (I mean, it would be like me saying in 1880 [I was alive then:p] "I don't like those darn bolt action rifles, only a musket for me!":p)

In any event, I've been VERY surprised the anti-gunners haven't used Zumbo as their "poster boy" for advancing the anti-gun agenda.

Whew!! I was very worried the anti-gunners would do that. Over the long-run Zumbo wasn't used as much by the anti-gunners as I thought he would be used.
Not open for further replies.