It's bad enough when a few blogs are talking about you, but when your worst faux pas ever gets linked on FreeRepublic, AR15.com, and Instapundit, you are slated to receive server-crashing amounts of disapproval. As cancelled subscriptions mounted, Outdoor Life editor John Snow attempted to both distance himself and stand by his man at the same time:
I’ve been friends with Jim for many years and have shared countless great times with him talking about both hunting and guns. While I totally support Jim’s right to express his point of view—this is his blog after all—I don’t happen to agree with him on this matter.Meanwhile, Tommy Millner, CEO of Remington, reacted like a man who'd just discovered a cobra in his sleeping bag. Distancing his company from Zumbo so far and so fast that physicists are examining the incident as proof of teleportation, Millner spammed the 'net with comments like this email to the site administrator of GlockTalk:
That said, I don’t expect every other hunter and sportsman out there to have a set of opinions that moves in lockstep with mine. So while I don’t share Jim’s view on this, I also know that he is still the same wonderfully talented and good-natured person he was before this post went up. For those of you who have followed him for all or part of his more than thirty years at Outdoor Life, I would ask you to bear that in mind before damning him with personal attacks.
You may feel free to advise your people of the following.Zumbo himself, with "Career Flameout" alarms blaring in his ears, issued a hand-wringing retraction:
Remington is shocked and dissappointed by the comments of Jim zumbo which have been widely circulated on the web. These comments do not reflect either my own feelings or those of my company!
Accordingly we are severing all business ties with Mr zumbo and any of his companies effective immediately and will make a formal release tomorrow to this effect.
We appreciate the passionate support of our right to bear arm arms by all in the shooting sports.
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.Unfortunately, the apology rang hollow on several notes:
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...
1) The initial premise, which was that he'd had himself a rough day hunting, and therefore inexplicably and off the cuff called weapons used by millions of American gun owners, peace officers, and servicemen "terrorist rifles" because he was cold and tired. Sorry, Zumbo, but in whino veritas. You meant what you said when you typed it. If it hadn't already existed in your mind, it never would have come out your fingertips.
2) The lack of comprehension regarding the 2nd Amendment is still there. In effect, Zumbo says "Oh, hunters use these things? Maybe they're okay then." Jim, it wouldn't matter whether or not any hunter had ever hunted anything with an AR-15, because the Second Amendment has damn-all to do with hunting. It does not say "A nicely mounted buck trophy being necessary to the security of a free state..." you tool.
3) His attempts to buy his way out with name dropping and past associations are illuminating in ways he probably didn't intend for them to be. When he mentioned how much he loves the NRA, my first thought was "...and it's people like you who keep the NRA from being the uncompromising 800-lb gorilla the lefty media portrays it to be."
So, Jim, I remain unconvinced. You've exposed your true colors, saddened longtime fans, and empowered our enemies (to the extent of offering them a new shibboleth to use in the fight for H.R. 1022; "terrorist rifles", indeed.)
I hope you freeze in the dark.