Eating our own

Jim Zumbo got roasted via multiple flame throwers then his bones were picked clean in a matter of hours. He said some incredibly naive (he’s probably not stupid) things but the gun rights community could have handled it a little better. With his writings about hunting Zumbo contributed a lot to gun rights and, in the big picture, to destroy him was not productive.

Do you ever see such a feeding frenzy occur on the other side? They say some incredibly stupid/naive things too but the don’t eat their own like just what happened to Zumbo. And because of that productive people continue to contribute to their cause.

I’ve seen some people make some public statements that I disagreed with. I’ve seen people make some public statement that I did agree with but thought were counter productive unless they were made to very small groups of people you completely trusted. I’ve made public statements that were counterproductive.

The way I handled them (and others handled them with me) was to approach the person in private and explain your position. In every case I have done this, even when the person didn’t see things my way initially, they didn’t engage in that particular counterproductive action again.

That is not to say that I haven’t gone public with some pretty harsh words about people that were supposedly on our side but making a mess of things. But I don’t think I have done anything that would take them out of the fight–our fight.

Destroying someone that is productive and, in the big picture, is contributing toward your goal is a luxury we don’t have. We can use all the help we can get.

6 thoughts on “Eating our own

  1. The gun community probably overreacted some but take it from one perspective – I don’t care how much he helped in the past, he made a statement that pretty much states that anybody owning a EBR is a ” terrorist. ” Gee, sorry, at last count I wasn’t and I’ve never said anything bad about him or hunting. I don’t need an Elmer Fudd giving the Brady’s something to chew on for gunowners. His apology wasn’t really an apology at all, mainly a remark about ” I might have overtstepped there ” to us but not really saying he was sorry.

    My belief on the 2nd – NOWHERE DOES THE WORD ” HUNTING ” APPEAR IN THE PHRASE!!! This guy is an Elmer Fudd at heart… maybe he could have learned what EBR’s are all about but I don’t think him and a couple of his buddies don’t care about trying to learn.

    Joe R.

  2. I fully agree with everything you said. He said some things that were very, very harmful. The apology was inadequate at best. And the Second Amendment isn’t about hunting.

    I don’t think I have posted about the “hunting interpretation” of the Second Amendment but I probably should. I suspect that one of the felons at PNNL might bring up that argument and need to be better prepared for it. Doing a post will be useful prep for that confrontation.

    Given all that, IMHO, Zumbo should have (and perhaps he was but we just don’t know about it) “taken aside” and given a quick overview of the true meaning of the Second Amendment and how EBRs are used for both “Homeland Security” type situations as well as “sporting purposes” (despite what the ATF erroneously concluded a few years ago).

    If he didn’t respond well within a day or so then by all means pick his bones clean and scatter them across the desert. What he said WAS that harmful. I just think an attempt at education should be made before everyone hose someone down with the flamethrowers cranked up to 11.

    Another thing I should say is, “Go buy something made by Remington!”

  3. The more I’ve reflected on this the more I’m convinced that the whole thing would have been avoided had Zumbo not been blogging, but rather submitted his remarks for publication as part of his Outdoor Life column, where an editor would have seen them first and probably educated Mr. Zumbo before allowing them to see the light of day in print. He’s been writing for more than forty years; he can’t have been blogging for more than a tenth as long.

    At worst, Zumbo may have expected that he’d stir up a little controversy that he could address in his column later, as I’m sure has been his previous experience with controversial topics. But the environment’s changed in the last ten years. I just don’t think he really understood the nature of the Internet and modern interactive media such as blogs.

    In short, the instant you post something on the ‘Net, you’ve by definition lost control of it. I don’t think there’s enough time now to take someone aside as you suggest before the reaction is going to set in. Be that as it may, had his apology been better worded to show that he “got it,” I think he’d still have his sponsors.

  4. Certainly if you don’t delete something in the first minute or two (and perhaps sooner) after you post then “it’s out there”. It’s GONE. But had people laughed at his naivety and spend a day or so trying to educate him before deploying the flame throwers if he proved to be a slow learner the end result would have been better. The Brady Bunch could have still snatched up the original but Zumbo could have, honestly, said that he hadn’t given his original post as much thought as he should have and that he was way off base with his original post. He could have neutralized most of the damage and still been a wearing a white hat at the end of the week instead of holding a grungy hat in both hands with his head down as he begs for food.

    He screwed up big time but the gun rights crowd made it worse than it had to be.

    I’m open to the argument that turning Zumbo into a crispy critter in record time will serve as an example to others for years to come. One could say that having done this to Zumbo we will likely never be stabbed in the back by someone in his position for the next decade or two. That may be true. And if so then perhaps the loss of this one “soldier” was worth the price to our community as a whole. But I don’t think the good of the whole is the sole criteria for determining whether we should sacrifice an individual.

  5. The arfdotcommers are patting themselves on the back for taking him down. He called EBR owners terrorists. His apology wasn’t, it was CYA. He dropped names of Remington honchos in his first posting, and dropped the Nuge’s name in his “apology”. He couldn’t help himself. He’s a classic case of an Elmer Fudd, he doesn’t give a whit about anybody’s guns but his, which were freebies from the gun manufacturers. He’s the kind of gun owner Bill Clinton and John Kerry tried to appeal to when they appeared in hunting togs, carrying shotguns and dead ducks. He was hoping the crocodile would eat him last.

  6. I agree he certainly looks like an “Elmer Fudd” now. And I don’t have a problem with cranking the flame thrower dial to the max with those types. But I do wonder if he would have perhaps adopted a different position if he had been approached differently. If attacked people automatically get defensive. If you warn them of impending doom from other directions they are more likely to heed your advice.

    At this point we will never know for certain which way he would have gone.

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