In 2013 the extremism of #Gunbullies has hit a new high. This article reviews how they have tried to silence commonsense gun owners, Moms Demand Action, domestic abuse victims and even the Newtown parents – and why the #Gunbullies will ultimately fail.
#Gunbullies & Commonsense Gun Owners
In the December 2013 issue of Guns & Ammo magazine sanity and #gunsense broke out as Dick Metcalf wrote a column entitled “Let’s Talk Limits“. He was promptly fired along with the Editor of Guns & Ammo, after gun extremists attacked the publisher for daring to print a piece that promoted a commonsense conversation about gun safety.
Who is Dick Metcalf?
- Wrote the “Firearms Law” column in Shooting Times from 1976-1990
- Worked with U.S. Senator Jim McClure, Congressman Harold Volkmer and NRA-ILA Executive Director Neal Knox to draft 1986 Volkmer-McClure Firearm Owners Protection Act
- Testified before Congress and many State legislatures on firearms law issues
- Taught college seminars on the history of constitutional law
What did Dick Metcalf’s Editorial say?
Way too many gun owners still seem to believe that any regulation of the right to keep and bear arms is an infringement. The fact is, all constitutional rights are regulated, always have been, and need to be.
Readers typically argued […] “The government doesn’t have the right to tell me whether I’m qualified to carry a gun.” I wondered whether those same people believed that just anybody should be able to buy a vehicle and take it out on public roadways without any kind of driver’s training, test or license. I understand that driving a car is not a right protected by the Constitution, but to me the basic principle is the same.
[The Second Amendment] gives an equal right to enact regulatory laws requiring them [gunowners] to undergo adequate training and preparation for the responsibility of bearing arms. I’ve seen too many examples of unsafe behavior on too many shooting ranges.
We’ve all read too many accounts of legally armed individuals dealing with the consequences of not being properly trained or prepared when confronted with a bad situation.
Read the full column here.
How did the #Gunbullies, including the gun industry, react?
- They immediately sought to silence Metcalf’s reasonable comments by pressuring Guns & Ammo magazine into firing him. Dick Metcalf described how the gun manufacturers pressured the editorial independence of the publication:
[Guns & Ammo parent company] IMO was contacted by two major firearms industry manufacturers, stating that they would do no further business with IMO if it continued with its present personnel structure. Within hours, Jim Bequette resigned as editor of Guns & Ammo, and my relationship with all IMO publications and TV shows was terminated.
- A groveling apology had to be offered to placate them from Editor, Jim Bequette. In his surrender Bequette said:
I made a mistake by publishing the column. I thought it would generate a healthy exchange of ideas on gun rights. I miscalculated, pure and simple. I was wrong, and ask your forgiveness.
- Jim Bequette then also was forced to resign
- The gun extremists, who claim to support and understand the Second Amendment, do not even respect or understand the First Amendment. They do not want a “healthy exchange of ideas” so that we can reach commonsense middle ground.
How did Dick Metcalf respond to the #Gunbullies attacks on him?
Responding on Nov 8, 2013 here, Metcalf said:
In today’s political climate within the community of firearms owners, even to open a discussion about whether 2nd Amendment rights can be regulated at all, is to be immediately and aggressively branded as anti-gun and anti-American by outspoken hard-corps pro-gunners who believe the answer is an absolute “NO!”
I am also fully aware that the different rights enumerated in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and following amendments are different, and are regulated differently. But they are all regulated in some form or fashion, hopefully appropriate to their particular provisions. I further clearly understand that owning or driving a vehicle is not a constitutional right, and that keeping and bearing arms is. But both involve issues of public safety, which is why both are of great and immediate interest to a great number of Americans for much the same reasons. Should we not speak of both in the same sentence?
How can anyone deny that the 2nd Amendment is already regulated by innumerable federal, state, and local statutes, and always has been? Even the Supreme Court’s widely applauded Heller and McDonald decisions affirming an individual right to keep and bear arms, and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals’ Moore ruling overturning the Illinois ban on concealed carry, specifically held that other firearms laws and regulations do pass constitutional muster.
I would pose these questions [to the gun extremists]:
1. If you believe the 2nd Amendment should be subject to no regulation at all, do you therefore believe all laws prohibiting convicted violent repeat criminals from having guns are unconstitutional? Should all such laws be repealed?
Metcalf also appeared on Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk on November 11, 2013 – listen here.
Have the #Gunbullies and gun industry silenced #gunsense before?
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. […]
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. I’ve always been comfortable with the statement that hunters don’t use assault rifles.
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
What really bothers me are some of the unpatriotic comments leveled at me. I fly the flag 365 days a year in my front yard.
A commonsense conversation about which guns are reasonable does not make you a national traitor or unpatriotic – but this is how the #Gunbullies branded him.
- In 2012 Jerry Tsai, editor of Recoil Magazine, said the MP7A1, a submachine gun designed to penetrate body armor, should not be sold to the public:
The MP7A1 is unavailable to civilians and for good measure. We all know that’s technology no civvies should ever get to lay their hands on. This is a purpose-built weapon with no sporting applications to speak of.
He initially defended his stance, noting it was “out of respect for those serving in uniform”, but was eventually bullied into apologizing “for any offense that I have caused with the article.” The #Gunbullies were offended by an exercise of free speech and he was made to pay.
#Gunbullies & Moms Demand Action
On November 9, 2013 a horde of armed #Gunbullies decided to spend their Saturday trying to intimidate 4 moms meeting for lunch to discuss Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
We heard the Moms Demand Action group was meeting at the Blue Mesa so we crashed their party.
Around 40 men, women and CHILDREN “pulled up in the parking lot and start getting guns out of their trunks.” The restaurant manager was so alarmed by the group wielding semi-automatic rifles and shotguns that he immediately called 9-1-1. The armed posse then lay in wait for the moms for TWO hours before moving to a Hooters nearby. The group called themselves “Open Carry Texas”.
Police chose not to intervene despite the threatening behavior violating Texas law, which states in Sec. 42.01 (a) that “A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly: (8) displays a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm”
Moms Demand Action founder, Shannon Watts on the incident:
I have no idea why you would actually assume that [they weren’t going to open fire]. You never know with these mass shootings. I don’t know who these people are. I don’t know if these people have had background checks. Or if they have had any training.
We are not anti-gun. We’re not against the Second Amendment. We just believe in common sense to end this growing epidemic of gun violence in America. They were being very threatening and intimidating. They were there purposely to intimidate our moms. It couldn’t be taken as anything but intimidation. This was just four moms who wanted to have a lunch meeting, it wasn’t a rally.
Shannon Watts and MDA members have been subjected to months of misogynistic and violent abuse online and via email, including threats of rape and sexual assault, and have even had home addresses published without their consent.
#Gunbullies & Domestic Violence
Turns out the NRA’s own staff are #Gunbullies. Richard D’Alauro, NRA’s field representative for the New York area, inflicted “years of domestic violence” on his wife Maribeth D’Alauro. An order of protection even had to be taken out against him in 2010, leading to his 39 pistols, shotguns and rifles being confiscated.
However he was only prohibited from carrying a gun FOR A YEAR despite his history of domestic violence.
But now Maribeth D’Alauro is fighting on Capitol Hill for a background check law that would prevent domestic abusers from buying guns. In her own words: “I was being bullied. Now, I’m an advocate.”
#Gunbullies & Newtown Parents
The #Gunbullies have even heckled the parents of children killed at Newtown.
Instead of shouting, it’s time to listen to David Wheeler, father of 6-year-old Ben Wheeler who was killed at Sandy Hook:
As elected representatives it is your job to craft the legislation that keeps your constituents safe. Thomas Jefferson described our inalienable rights as life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, the rights with which we are endowed, for the protection of which we have instituted governments.
I do not think the composition of that foundational phrase was an accident. I do not think the order of those important words was haphazard or casual. Liberty, of a person to own a high-powered magazine, is second to the right of my son to his life. His life. To the right to live, of all of those children and those teachers. To the right to the lives of your children, of you, of all of us. All of our lives. It is second. Let’s honor the founding documents, and get our priorities straight.
#Gunbullies: Shooting the Second Amendment in the Foot
The #Gunbullies are loud. They are obnoxious. They consist of extremist individuals as well as profiteering manufacturers. They are misinformed about the Second Amendment and constitutional law. They bully moms. They bully wives. They bully children. They even bully their own journalists, if they dare to speak out and support commonsense gun safety laws.
Commonsense gun owners can NO LONGER allow these #Gunbullies and profit-driven gun manufacturers to speak for them. The #Gunbullies and their extremism are endangering those very rights they claim to be trying to protect. There IS a middle ground that can be reached, where the Second Amendment is respected while still keeping our families, communities and law enforcement safe.
Nobody is calling for a gun ban. But equally, nobody should be calling for anybody to be able to buy a semiautomatic weapon and stroll around the mall with it.
It’s time for reasonable people on both sides of the debate to come together and find practical solutions to real problems. And it’s time to elect those reasonable people to our Congress so that commonsense gun safety laws can finally be put in place.
Consensus can be achieved. The #gunsense work just needs to be done.
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