Come to the Dark Side, Master Zumbo.
In the scant few days since the catyclism which Outdoor Life's longtime Hunting Editor (most deservedly) brought upon himself, it has been astonishing to see the passion, force and power of the RKBA community to rally to this single cause.
I, too, wrote to Outdoor Life magazine, protesting along with thousands of others regarding the outrage which were Mr. Zumbo's words. In my letter to them, I recalled one of the first Jim Zumbo articles I ever read, one from about 1974 or 1975-ish. In that article, he wrote of having taken his then teenaged daughter on one of her first big-game hunts. Pronghorn or deer, I don't quite remember. In my letter, I told Outdoor Life that while I feel no pity for Mr. Zumbo after his betrayal, I sure do feel badly for his daughter, watching her Dad let his forty-plus-year writing career self-destruct in but an instant.
What I do remember, is that she was about my age, cuter'n hell, and that I envied the endless hell out of her living that life afield, while I suffered growing up in Southern California, where the surf was endless, but the anti-gun bigotry was already building a full head of steam.
I was already well and truly bitten of the gun-bug, having been introduced to the same by a San Diego Deputy Marshall, who also, filled a similar role to that played by the Big Brother organization. Having been already mildly indoctrinated by a society if not outright hostile, but apathetic to guns, and the right to bear the same, I once spoke to Lyle of the seeming logic of some of the anti 2A arguments of that time.
He soon set me straight, with a more solid grounding of my Constitutional knowledge, my grasp of this Nation's history, and some of the already very well established writings of giants such as Cooper and Jordan. And soon, steadily, a diet of Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Outdoor Life and similar magazines drew me into the world of men-at-arms, fieldcraft, the taking of game for sport.
And when occassioned, the taking of the life of a man in the defense of one's life, one's home, one's family and one's country.
I was then, and am now, profoundly affected by those early lessons, and have ardulously built upon them day by day, thought by thought and brick by brick, until I have within me, bastions of knowledge and a fortress of freedom, liberty and personal sovereignty. Such shall not be broken, neither by the personal failings of a man such as Mr. Zumbo, nor by the assault of State organs as envisioned by those who would pounce on Mr. Zumbo's ill-thought words, and use them to lever us of the shooting world apart, one from another.
It is so that I call upon the whole of the shooting community to do the counterintuitive.
At this time when so noted a man finds himself utterly without sponsor, hardly with a forum remaining to his voice or pen, and presumably with few but his erstwhile Fuddite Friends by his side, he must sit and brood quietly, yea, mournfully; all too cognizant of his loss. His self-inflicted loss, but loss all the same.
Where will he go from here? In his most recent apologetic on Ted Nugent's forum, he gets to about the 90% point of having grasped the scope of his error. But the last 10% seems for him to be the biggest; the realization that the 2nd amendment has utterly nothing to do with hunting, and absolutely everything to do with personal sovereignty in the defense of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness against any and all who would usurp such, be they burglar or burgher. Period!
That last remaining ten percent is where our opportunity lies.
The easy path tends to be the one most traveled by the herd. Or, the mob. And in our case, though we've most righteously made our point, to continue to do so in the same manner will have us as not much more than the Frankenstien's mob of maddened townspeople, pitchforks aloft and torches alight. We're better than that, and it's time to demonstrate that fact.
With Mr. Zumbo, we are at a Fulcrum in time, as is he. We can be the mob, or the voice of reason; he, can be the luddite, the Fuddite.....or better, the acolyte. Please, bear with me and keep reading.
I'm not a terribly forgiving sort, and I'm damned far from forgiving Mr. Zumbo for the incalculable damage he's done to our cause. But, I'm also not group-suicidal, and I'm also pretty damn predatory when it comes to constructive opportunism. And, out of this whole debacle, I do sense a rather interesting opportunity.
Which is, that it is time to draw Jim Zumbo to our side. The side of the dreaded Dark Rifle. The Black Rifle.
It's not enough that Mr. Zumbo buys one, as he's pledged to do. Nor that himself and Mr. Nugent employ their respective AR platforms in the pursuit and assured demise of whatever game finds itself the unfortunate teaching aid for Mr. Zumbo's (much delayed) continuing education.
What would begin to be enough is for Mr. Zumbo to be the Guest of Honor (or dishonor, as you will) at as many upcoming Black Rifle shooting events as he's able to pack into his newly cleared schedule. Three-gun matches, IDPA events, Fred's Appleseed tour, Kim DuToit's NoR shoot in June.... you get the idea.
A year long education by exposure and experience.
Moreover, in that year, I would urge Mr. Zumbo to either totally abstain from his normal hunting endeavors, or to join some of us hunters who have to resort to day leases, State Wildlife lottery hunts, or similar sub-elite outings. I'd wager he suffered his share of such as a whelp....I'd also wager that he's forgotten from whence he came, and the reminder would be his own reward.
Mr. Zumbo needs to not only come to know and love the AR-15, but the entire panapoly of ARs, AKs, G-3s, HK-91s, Uzis, FN's as well as the classic Garand, M-1 Carbine, and a seemingly endless world of walnut and blue steel milsurp bolties.
But mostly, let him learn and know that we on the gun-nut side of the equation are out here fighting tooth and nail to keep his
evil long range sniper rilfe hunting rifle legal, just as we are our ugly Black Rifles. Let him learn of our Citizenship, our hard work, our camraderie, our innovations and our uwavering committment to the cause of freedom.
And let him learn of the damage he's caused, and give him the opportunity to begin to mitigate that damage, no matter how daunting the task ahead of him.
Redemption, in my Christian understanding, is not obtained without sacrafice. In the Old Testament, a goat was sacraficed to bear the sins of the people. In Christ, we accept (or not) his sacrafice of himself, bearing our sin in himself, sinless. Either way, the debt must be paid.
Mr. Zumbo can find himself separated from us, without forgiveness, outside of absolution. A man without a country, so to speak.
Which is a dangerous place for him to be. His friends, the Fuddites would surely rally 'round him, offering him refuge from the storm, assurance that he's one of them, and safe from the likes of us, and that he really wasn't wrong after all. Whereupon, he might find solace in cuddling his beloved seven big-game rifles, safe in the knowledge that he's not one of those "nuts" who deign go afield with something not of walnut and cycled by seeming black magic, and not but the muscle of hand, bicep and shoulder
What's more dangerous is that he could be turned,, not by the PETArds and their ilk, but worse, to the divide and conquer tactics of the Brady's and their Joyce funded ilk. They even now, are most assuredly licking their chops of the prospect of bringing one of the shooting-sports' shining stars to their traitorous fold.
That would make Mr. Zumbo's initial travesty, but a tempest in a teapot. That, would as they say, suck!
No, it's better that Jim Zumbo takes the early steps of his (a reach, I know!) renewed career as a writer of the shooting sports far away from the hunting fields. The Nuge ain't gonna show him the glory of the AR with a single deer hunt. But along with that hunt, if Mr. Zumbo would be so kind as to take a course at Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, Blazer Training Center or Valhalla.... then maybe, he'd begin to see the light.
Like as one dying, who comes back with a story of a bright light at the end of a long, dark tunnel, may Jim Zumbo emerge from this particular 5.56mm tunnel into the light of realization that isn't really the Perazzi Poseurs, nor the Saintly Sakoists who rally to preserve his right to his precious
evil long range sniper rifle hunting rifle, but instead, the everyday bubba..... and doctor, lawyer, engineer, businesswoman, salesman and streetsweeper who, Dark Rifle in hand, write to their congresscritters, to their local papers, and to comment to blogs in their thousands upon thousands.
They, are who have won the fight thus far, and who will win it in the (already) rabidly anti-gun legistlative world which is the new Democrat led Congress.
It is not too late for Mr. Zumbo to see the light which is indeed, the Black Rifle. It it not too late for Mr. Zumbo to do good for our cause.
It is better....far better, that we reclaim him and help him to redeem himself to a (albiet grudgingly) eventually forgiving community of arms, rather than for us to stack up our straw and wood under his pyre, and torch him though he has recanted..... (or is learning his recantation, however slowly.) I'm not deluded so as to think that Mr. Zumbo will fully grasp the weight of his betrayal in a few days, or even weeks.
But, in a year's time, and with a year's effort, I also have no doubt that he can become one of our loudest, most articulate and most effective voices. As such, I'd (re)welcome him (guardedly?) into the fold.
Not only is revenge a dish best served cold.... but the fact remains;
Success is the best revenge!
Come to the Dark Side, Jim.