4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 03/16/2007
Posts: 33
Zumbo fallout

Here's more fallout from our hero, Mr.Z


March 20, 2007 Contact: Press Office
Phone: 202.228.3685

A Bit of Truth about Assault Weapons

In a speech to the Economic Club of Detroit in May 1999, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., committed to speak on the issue of gun crimes each week that the Senate is in session. This is the 257th week he has continued to live up to his pledge; his remarks follow:

Mr. President, the National Rifle Association leadership has stated repeatedly that a ban on assault weapons is ineffective and unnecessary. They assert that guns labeled as assault weapons are rarely used in violent crimes and that most people use them for hunting. However, despite these repeated assertions, the list of people speaking out against assault weapons continues to grow.

Jim Zumbo, an outdoors entrepreneur who lives in a log cabin near Yellowstone National Park, has spent much of his life writing for prominent outdoor magazines, delivering lectures across the country and who starred in a highly rated TV show about big-game hunting. Jim has been an NRA member for 40 years, and, according to his website, has appeared with NRA officials in 70 cities across the country. This relationship changed drastically when Jim expressed his common sense opinion on assault weapons.

Last month, after learning that some hunters were using assault weapons to hunt prairie dogs, Jim expressed his thoughts in his personal blog on the Outdoor Life magazine website. He wrote “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.’” He continued by stating that in his “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.’”

The reaction from NRA officials was swift and callous. They immediately severed all ties with Mr. Zumbo. His TV program on the Outdoor Channel was canceled, and his longtime career with Outdoor Life magazine ended. In addition many of his corporate ties to the biggest names in gun making, such as Remington Arms Co., were terminated.

Jim Zumbo has worked for years to improve the image of outdoorsman. As he put it, “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 prairies and woods.”

We all owe Jim Zumbo a debt of gratitude for his forthrightness, his honesty and his courage. We must put the safety of our communities first by taking up and passing sensible gun legislation that includes renewing the assault weapons ban.

Joined: 03/16/2007
Posts: 33
Here's my reply to Senator Levin

Any Michiganders out there feel free to hammer Mr. Levin!!!!!

Dear Mr. Levin,

Below are my thoughts on gun control in general and your recent comments on Jim Zumbo in particular.

As you can tell by my zip code, I don’t live in a high crime area. My neighbors are black, white, gay, lesbian, you name it. We get along fine because we all respect our neighbors lives and property. Mostly, we respect our neighbors because it’s the right thing to do. But I’m sure that some respect the consequences of not respecting. We all have a lot to lose and it would be the zenith of stupidity to get arrested or shot while attempting to steal neighbor John’s lawn mower. However, there are other areas of the state where there is very little respect for life and property and it’s in these areas that some lawmakers appear eager to disarm the law-abiding part of the population. We only need to look at the nation’s capital to see that this approach simply doesn’t work. In Washington DC the most restrictive gun laws in the nation resulted in the nation’s highest per-capita murder rate. When Australia’s firearms were confiscated their crime rate went through the roof and stay there to this day. Disarming the good guys only made life easier for the bad guys. This is not rocket science.

Two parishioners at my church live in a bad neighborhood and their house had been burglarized twice while they were away. The third time a burglar came in while they were at home. The police were called but couldn’t get there in time to catch the burglar. I’m not knocking the police; it’s just not possible to be everywhere at once. My point is that she and her husband were totally defenseless. If that particular burglar had been homicidal they would now be dead and buried. Police protection is a myth. Usually the most they can do is punish the offender, not protect the victims. They cannot, and are not required to, protect us. By law, the police cannot intervene unless a crime is in progress or has already been committed. This couple, by the way, has since bought a nice pistol and taken the training necessary to use it responsibly and safely. They are now VERY pro-gun. As the guy at my local sporting goods store says “liberals are against guns only until they need one.”

What about natural disasters? After Katrina the residents of New Orleans had no effective police protection for A LONG TIME. How were they to protect themselves if not for their own firearms? As it happened, the neighborhoods were protecting themselves quite nicely until the confiscations started. Once the populace has been disarmed it’s a case of the criminal wolves victimizing the defenseless citizen sheep, while the shepherd police are miles away at the donut shop.

How is this a good idea?

I’ve been a hunter, a target shooter, and currently a collector of military rifles (which are in danger of being federally banned – another example of ineffective “sound byte” legislation). I taught my nieces how to safely use a rifle and they show no signs of becoming raving mass murderers. I don’t belong to the Michigan Militia or subscribe to any radical gun groups. No one in my extended family would be considered a “gun nut”. We’re professional and trade people who own firearms for a variety of reasons and we just want to have the option of defending our families and enjoying our sports without being treated like potential terrorists.

We all know that crime is a tough nut to crack. It’s caused by poverty and hopelessness and there are no easy fixes. Passing restrictive gun laws makes for good press and gives the impression that tough measures are being taken, but the end result has been shown to be more crime, not less. Robbing, raping and murdering are already illegal. New laws that only harass the law-abiding won’t make it any harder to commit these crimes or any easier to punish them. They WILL make it harder for people like myself to defend against them.

In the past I’ve tried to look past the “sound byte” issues and vote for whoever looked likely to do the best overall job regardless of party affiliation. In coming elections I will be voting specifically for the candidate least likely to attempt to disarm me. I am VERY serious about this. Foolish wars and illegal wiretaps are a big deal to me but NOTHING trumps my ability to defend myself. The gun owners in my family are mostly hunters and in the past have been uninvolved in gun control. It’s been a truism in politics that “gun owners don’t vote” but if my family is any indication, that’s quickly changing.

Your recent comment that the NRA had destroyed Jim Zumbo’s career is in error. The NRA was one of the last to denounce him. What did in Mr. Zumbo was a firestorm of POPULAR outrage. People like myself who felt betrayed by someone we respected. People like me who took the time to contact sponsors and employers and express our outrage. People like me who will be paying very close attention to which of my elected representatives are voting against my rights as a firearms owner. Please keep in mind which state you represent.

expatriate's picture
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3206
Zumbo fallout

Amazing...the guy's apparently smart enough to become a high-ranking senator, and yet doesn't realize that the NRA doesn't run Outdoor Life magazine or the Outdoor Channel.

The left refuses to admit that there are millions of members behind the NRA. I for one am tired of seeing it constantly demonized as a corporate entity by people aiming to hoodwink the population for the sake of securing political power. Disagreeing is one thing. But if your position is so unsound that you have to lie and misrepresent to support it, that says something to me about your political views, intellect, and character.

WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374
Zumbo fallout

Even thought there are millions of NRA members, there still are not enough. I believe it was the NRA who estimated these figures, but there are something like 90 million to 100 million legal law abiding gun owners here in the USA and of those there are only a bit over 3 million active NRA members at any given time.

Numbers like these are horrible and unacceptable. Every law abiding gun owner should be a member of the NRA. In fact I think it should be a Federal Law that requires everyone to be an NRA member before they can legally purchase a firearm or ammunition. But really, if those numbers are correct that means that there are approx 97million gun owners who are benefiting from the wings of freedom while only 3 million of us pay for or are taking an active role to insure that all 100million of us keep our 2nd Amemndment rights from being infringed.

What makes matters worse is when a well known pro-hunting, pro-gun owner goes and makes some stupid anti-gun comment publicly for all the anti's and media to hear. Gee talk about making the 2nd Amendment and gun owners look bad Brick Wall,)

Another major problem is that I hear too many hunters and gun owners giving the poor excuse and saying that they would rather give money and membership to Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, or Pheasants Forever, etc. Well.....thats all fine and great, because I'm a member of a few of those myself, but if the NRA ever folded and no one was there to lobby for or stand guard over our 2nd Amendment rights, then one day firearms and ammunition will be so restricted and unaccessable to us the average law abiding citizen, and then membership in all those conservation organizations will be all for nothing.

My hat's off to Gerber Legendary Blades. Not really for cutting sponsorship with Jim Zumbo, but for making a public statement regarding their full support for the 2nd Amendment and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and they're not even an American owned company either. Besides, they make really great knives and multi-tools too. I wish more American hunters and gun owners would make that same statement by just joining the NRA before it's too late.

Location: Kingston, MI
Joined: 01/16/2007
Posts: 592
Zumbo fallout

I am a registered Michigan voter and NRA member. As such, I cannot understand why Carl Levin continues to be re-elected. I have NEVER voted for him, as his record regarding gun and hunting concerns is an atrocity.

Over the years I have written several letters and made numerous calls to the office of Carl Levin. All of which have fallen upon deaf ears. However, this will not stop me from continuing on with the battle to ensure our gun rights and hunting heritage.

We all need to join the NRA and continue to write the letters and make the calls to ensure our outdoor lifestyle for our children and grandchildren. Help by making our voices heard.

To everyone from Michigan: Please register to vote and cast your ballot for someone other than Carl Levin.

Don't blame me. I didn't vote for him.

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