Elmer Fudds: Our Own Worst Enemies

Exhibit A: Jim Zumbo; professional hunter, author, writer for Outdoor Life, TV personality on the Outdoor Channel, and (therefore) a spokesman for the good “gun culture.”

With spokesmen like these, who needs enemies?

Old Jimbo has written an op-ed at the Outdoor Channel’s “News Wire” site. Let us fisk:

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.

It’s good to admit you’re clueless, but now you’re going to lecture us as an “expert” on the topic, aren’t you?

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.”

Translation: These rifles aren’t pretty, wood-stocked & blued. Therefore they’re eeeeeevil! Don’t we get enough of this from the Brady-Bunch and their ilk? Funny, I call them “Homeland defense rifles” myself. “Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.” (“A sword is never a killer, it’s a tool in the killer’s hands”) – Lucius Annaeus Seneca.

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.

What about the millions of AMERICAN owners (like me) who own them? Don’t want to be “lumped in” with us, either? Note to Zumbo: We don’t care for your opinion.

I’ve always been comfortable with the statement that hunters don’t use assault rifles.

No, you use “long-range sniper rifles.” Comfortable with that statement?

We’ve always been proud of our “sporting firearms.”

Ah, yes. “Sporting firearms.” That would be the 1968 Gun Control Act that proclaimed that only firearms of, well, let the Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership explain it (risking invocation Godwin’s Law, but read on):

The “Gun Control Act” of 1968 (GCA) permits the importation of firearms that are “of a type … generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.” 18 U.S.C. § 925(d)(3). The Nazi Weapons Law (18 March 1938) forbade importation of weapons under substantially the same test: “It is forbidden to manufacture … and to import: Firearms which fold-down, break-down, are collapsible, or are speedily dismantled — beyond the common limits of hunting and sporting activities — …” Id., § 25(1) (translated in full in “Gun Control:” Gateway to Tyranny 60-61, 90 (1992) (emphasis added). The Nazi Weapons Law, and the enforcing regulations, carved the “sporting use” exception also where they permitted licensed persons to carry “firearms, designed for — and usually used for — the hunting of fair game.” Nazi Weapons Law, § 21; Implementing Regulations (19 March 1938), § 32 (in Gateway to Tyranny, at 88, 102)(emphasis added).

The GCA also purports to vest the power in the Secretary of the Treasury to determine whether a firearm has a “sporting purpose.” 18 U.S.C. § 925(d). The Nazi Weapons Law vested the power to decide the fitness of weapons (and their owners) in the unelected bureaucracy and the Nazi courts. Nazi Weapons Law, §§ 15, 25, 26. Germany’s constitution did not restrain its government from destroying fundamental rights. See Miller, Nazi Justiz: Law of the Holocaust 44-45 (1996). By contrast, the U.S. Constitution expressly restrains the federal government from infringing on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. U.S. Const. Amend II. BATF regulations that prevent the importation of firearms violate the Second Amendment by infringing on this right.

BATF regulations, which distinguish between firearms based on whether they are for “sporting purposes,” must be arbitrary and capricious. Such regulations far exceed the power which the Founders’ Constitution delegated to the federal government. See, e.g., The Federalist Papers, Nos. 41 & 45. What is a “sporting purpose” is wholly a matter of personal opinion, and surely not a matter for an unelected federal agency to decide. Indeed, the Second Amendment expressly forbids the government from making such a decision. To enshrine an agency’s mere opinion into law is to make arbitrary law; such arbitrary power is the handmaiden of despotism. See Hayek, The Road to Serfdom 68-69, 71, 73-74 (Chicago Press: 1976 ed.).

(Emphasis mine.) It just so happens that I’m reading Hayek’s Road to Serfdom right now. Perhaps Mr. Zumbo ought to pick up a copy, since he’s taken it upon himself to define what is and what isn’t a “sporting use.”

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.

How about this, Jim? How about we educate the public (and other Elmer Fudds like you) about semi-automatic rifles? And how about you break your damned fingers for ever typing the word “BAN” in relationship to firearms you goddamned gun-bigot? You’ve just given ammunition (no pun intended) to our opponents, and that has me “really concerned.”

There are comments at the bottom of the article. Other commentary at AR15.com (natch), at Shooting the Messenger, The War on Guns (also natch), and The Unforgiving Minute. That’s all Technorati has found links for right now, but I’d say the sentiment is running about 90% against Mr. Zumbo.

Perhaps he should consider his audience before shoving his word-processor into his mouth.

Whoops! Tam unloads on Mr. Zumbo as well.

I don’t think Jimbo knows how big a can of whoopass he dumped on himself.

ETA: My favorite comment at the piece so far:

Jim is entitled to his opinion, but that is a huge cup of stupid.

Way to fight for someone who like things that you don’t.

We are our own worst enemy.

Posted by: GeorgeInNePa | February 17, 2007 at 09:20 PM

Oscar Poppa also comments, and links to several other bloggers who have posts up on the topic.

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