Although Jim Zumbo may have at long last, gotten his apology right, it's what he might do next which will be the proof as to whether or not "he got it".
In my previous post, I stated:
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.
Note the words "eventually", "grudgingly", "eventually" and "guardedly".
In no way was I then, or am I now suggesting that we "welcome him with open arms". Picture me more leaning against the rangemaster's booth near the tactical-training shoot-house, watching on the monitors while Mr. Zumbo is led through the paces by SWAT Magazine's Mr. Hensen.
With my arms folded, and a my usual unsmiling mug revealing nothing more than the technical interest of the trained observer.
Now, the odds of me winning the Texas Lottery are probably as good as my being at the SWAT Magazine range when Mr. Zumbo gets put through the paces, but it's with that same skeptical outlook and countenence that I'll be watching and waiting to see what Mr. Zumbo writes in the weeks n' months to come.
Personally, I think he'll get it, and that he'll come to the Dark Side, as it were. I sense that he's a man on whom chastisement was not a wasted effort, and to me, his "hanging in there" with Mr. Nugent, till he got it almost right, and tweaked that until he did, speaks volumes about his having learned the necessary humilty, and of his willingness and ability to learn, and to change.
Which is more....far more, than can be said about Mr. Petzal of Field & Stream. A pox on that arrogant bastard.
But what I'm here to predict isn't so much the redemption of Mr. Zumbo, but rather the forthcoming onslaught against us from the Mainstream and Anti-Gun media. It's already started with the Washington Post's article of February 23rd, by Blaine Hardin.
Mr. Hardin's story already gets one major facet of the story completely wrong, implying blame to the NRA for driving the net's "grassroots" response, when in fact the NRA was three days behind the wildfire itself; only reacting to the outrage, and that, after the fact. But, it's always the media's narrative that the NRA is the boogeyman. And that's how Mr. Hardin played it in his column.
"This shows the zealousness of gun owners to the point of actual foolishness," said Pat Wray, a freelance outdoors writer in Corvallis, Ore., and author of "A Chukar Hunter's Companion."
Wray said that what happened to Zumbo is a case study in how the NRA has trained members to attack their perceived enemies without mercy.
"For so many years, Zumbo has been a voice for these people -- for hunting and for guns -- and they just turned on him in an instant," Wray said. "He apologized all over himself, and it didn't do any good."
I'm sure Mr. Hardin can't quite ferret out the irony in his choice of a source to decry the fate of Mr. Zumbo. A man who would be author of "A Chuckar Hunter's Companion", is presumably but a shotgun afficianado; perhaps having no more knowledge or experience than did Mr. Zumbo with the world of the Evil Black Rifle.
(Allow me to digress.....not that any gun need some "sporting purpose" to justify it's existence, but can you but imagine the shock and dismay that'd appear or Mr. Wray's face if he had to hunt his beloved Chukar while accompanied by some chap weilding a Saiga 12 ga AK-design-based shotgun? The Horror!)
Seriously though, I predict that this WaPo story will be but the first of many. All of which will be formatted so as to use the Zumbo incident as a wedge, dividing one part of the shooting world from the other. And the WaPo story will probably prove to be among the tamest of all those to come.
I cannot stress enough how important I belive it will be for Mr. Zumbo to make good on his repentences and promises. I also cannot stress enough how vital it will be for we in the shooting world to allow Mr. Zumbo to remake himself and his career as a strong and uncompromising advocate for the Right to Keep and Bear ALL arms, and not just those of the sportsman afield.
That said, Mr. Zumbo is a hunter. I expect he'll continue to be a hunter, and will write a great many more articles to come of the sport. And it is while afield with his Fuddite Friends that I hope he does us the most good; overcoming their prejudices and biases one by one. And, it is when the agenda-driven, Anti-Gun media seeks him out for their inevitable interviews that I also hope he does well by us.
They're going to be looking to Mr. Zumbo to be a figure of self-pitying sympathy, one done wrong by us rabid, evil gun-nuts. And it is to that media that Mr. Zumbo needs to best acquit himself, and by extention, us.
A note to Mr. Zumbo: We'll be watching, amigo. Do good, dammit.
By the same token, it is now time for us to also reach out to every damn Fuddite we know, and try to bring them into the light, over to the Dark Side. We're not going to be 100% successful, but I'll take part of something rather than all of nothing on this one.
Given the anti-gun media's propensity to "Divide and Conquer", Franklin's words "We must hang together or we shall surely hang separately", have never been so true as they are now, to us.
Yet, there's still a limitation on that thought;
Notice has been served regarding the price of betrayal.