Falling for false flag operations
I've mentioned (as has practically every gun blogger) the Jim Zumbo controversy. I haven't gone into it too much, since (1) I've never heard his name before (I'm a shooter, but have little time to hunt and less to read hunting writers) and (2) while I disagreed with what he said, he already was taking a ton of flak over it and didn't need more.
But I'd like to deal with a related issue. Bill Schneider, at New West, has an article, "NRA Destroys Longtime Friend. Full of terms such as "gun rights zealots" and a statement that Zumbo's comment "makes sense to most Americans," and "To me, it seems like outdoor writers are giving the black rifle Gestapo their victory with their silence. And not just writers. Where is the outrage from millions of hunters who agree with every word Zumbo posted on his blog? "
So I looked up Schneider's previous writings. What they illustrate is how the opposition can use this fault line to divide and conquer, and also how easily the hunter-only side of it can be led to fall for "false-flag" operations (Supposedly pro-gun groups actually set up and controlled by antigun organizations).
In "Saving hunters from the NRA" he endorsed the American Shooters & Hunters' Assoc., which is a prominent "false flag" operation. The group "had almost no members and a mere half-million in the bank, but planned on an aggressive membership drive. And aggressive it must be to make any dent in the NRA's body armor. " (Hmm--no members, yet half a million in the bank? Might that lead one to wonder where it came from?) "Hardcore gun owners will remain skeptical, but many hunters who feel burned by the NRA will probably be hopeful this is reality instead of hype."
In "NRA Doesn’t Represent Both Hunters and Gun Owners" he responded to readers who'd said he'd been duped by the group... "I really don't know if the AHSA truly represents the rights of gun owners, but that wasn't the point of the article. The point was: Imagine a little group like this trying to take on the goliath of politics. To this, I say dream on!... In looking at today's political landscape, it seems like we might need another group to step up and save hunting before the NRA destroys it." Then he quotes the "GunGuys" blog, which is another antigun "false-flag" operation. "In response to Wray's original articles, the Gun Guys website where "everybody is a straight shooter," agreed: "One of the reasons we exist is simply to set the record straight on gun issues. For years the NRA has fed lies to the American people because it advances their agenda."
The controversy underscores something for me. I can understand there are sometimes conflicts between hunting-only and gun rights, if only because a pro-gun rights legislator may be anti-conservation, or putting resources into one means you can't put resources into the other. (There can even be conflicts within hunting-only: increasing hunting license fees makes hunting more costly, but increases funding for game conservation, restricting off road vehicles may make hunting areas more pristine but makes hunting unavailable to those who can't hike for miles).
Yes, I can appreciate the virtues of a traditional rifle and those who value them. I love the US Krag, and have some interesting 1930s conversions of them into deer rifles. The ingenuity of some of the work is astonishing -- mounting an adjustable peep sight on the cocking knob, for instance. I also happen to like my AR-15 -- the challenge of making a really accurate semi-auto is interesting. The problem here is that folks who like the first may assume (as traditionalists) that traditional values apply. People may be taken at their word. The other side is not obsessive, but has rational limits. If they say they only dislike AR-15s and certain handguns, they must mean it. There are no "false flag" operations. A group with shooters and hunters in their name is a group of shooters and hunters, and a blog named "The Gun Guys" must be run by gunnies.
Posted by: DirtCrashr at February 27, 2007 09:45 AM
Two more cents worth: http://therightmke.blogspot.com/2007/02/opposition-doesnt-mean-annihilation.html
Posted by: Mike Faulk at February 27, 2007 12:17 PM
One of the basic sources of conflict between pro-2A activists and hunters is that the former are sensitive to any perceived attempt at infringement while the latter accept restrictions IN THE FIELD as the very basis of the Fair Chase ethic.
Meaning we deliberately limit our use of hunting technology in order to maintain an ethical balance between hunter and game animal, to challenge us to develop character and build skill, to humble ourselves. That's what distinguishes hunting from mere shooting. We’re not rejecting new rifle technologies simply because they're new. One of the oldest hunting technologies - punt guns - were outlawed when hunting was reformed in this country more than a century ago.
Zumbo went too far in referring to ARs as terrorist rifles and, by extension, those who use them as being terrorists. But 2A activists are wrong to assume that hunters support confiscation. We see through the liberal messaging strategy and we know what their ultimate goal is. There’s more overlap between the two groups than the overheated rhetoric may indicate.
Posted by: Jerry at February 28, 2007 09:53 AM
It may be perfectly legitimate to ban semi-autos for certain hunting purposes, just as most states do not permit more than 2 shells per magazine when hunting with a shotgun (and most states, for example, do not permit one to hunt turkeys with a rifle -- only with a shotgun). That has nothing whatsoever to do with banning semi-autos from possession or for other purposes! That is where Zumbo put his foot in his mouth and swallowed.
Posted by: Henry Bowman at February 28, 2007 11:04 AM
Full disclosure: I am a hardcore hunter and 2nd Amendment activist.
What we object to is the willingness, hell, the eagerness, of some "hunting only" gun owners to throw AR and AK owners to the wolves in the hope of saving themselves, their hobbies, and their precious hunting rifles/shotguns. Well, it didn't work in jolly old England and it won't work here, either.
Don't be a dope and fall for the divide and conquer bit.
Posted by: Letalis at February 28, 2007 05:00 PM
The issue here is one of context. I don't think that any of us in the gun culture mind hunting regs that support fair chase, as applied by state game and fish departments.
What we object to in the stronest terms is the collectivization of national regulation of military look alike, or any other guns, in the name of a lack of a "sporting purpose."
Such false nomenclature as to the 2nd Amendment having some sporting purpose is a "maskerovka" (false flag operation, if you will) to seperate us from our rights.
Posted by: Charles Heller at March 3, 2007 10:41 AM
Defining a "sporting purpose" is indeed a false flag-what is a sport?
To some, shooting any gun at any (legit) target is a sport. So it is only a sport if you hunt? I think not.
Zumbo clearly had a hard felt conviction in his mind before he opened his mouth. It reads too much like a coda from the Brady Campaign or Joyce Foundation to not have some root with those organizations or their believers.
In the Vietnam era it was pretty easy to pick out false flag ops because of the language they used. The same here.
Whether Zomba really has learned about "sporting purposes" or just how not to draw flak will come out over time. The truth will out.
Posted by: Harry Schell at March 5, 2007 05:00 PM
todays gunwriters are the equivelant to the liberal press..making themselves "Generals" when they are not etc..They have made it very clear that they only support the 1st amendment not the second, they even complained when the "American Rifleman/Hunter" hit the news stand,as if that was their exclusive domain. They have greatly mislead the hunting enthusiest with false statements about the .270 winchester and Jack O'connors so called endorsement,even now one thinks he is equal to Hemmingway,and above Peter Capstick.(note:Jim Zumbo is not one of these people)He doesn't have a guide go find an Elk,Deer or any other kind of animal shoot it and then brag about his skills.Jim cut his teeth in a camper hunting and doing his own tracking.
If he said something out of line he will make it right..
Posted by: Howard Heaney at March 10, 2007 04:35 AM
Clearly, the Jim Zumbo incident has provided fodder for the anti-gunners. Unfortunately, Jim Zumbo's comments reflect the mindset of many hunters clearly revealing the fractures amongst the shooting sports community and Second Amendment advocates.
Some even go so far as condemning the NRA as highlighted in a letter I received last year in that the author states, "as long as the N R A continues to support, condone the use of for hunting, and carry advertisements for the manufacturers and purveyors of military style autoloading firearms. These have no place in the field; if I am invited to join a hunting party and notice someone carrying any autoloading weapon, I simply turn around and go home."
He selfishly adds in his condemnation of the NRA, " . . . that supporting the free access to, and ownership of any firearm including purpose-designed military weapons or derivatives thereof, by civilians only provokes anti-gun feelings amongst many U.S. citizens, and may compromise my continued ownership of hunting rifles and shotguns."
I sent him a letter and using the "1768 Military Dictionary" provided him a definition of Arms most likely used by the Founders in their interpretation of the Second Amendment. Arms: "are all sorts of weapons used in offence and defence to include, sword, hanger, espontoon, bayonet, firelock, carbine, and pistol." I made note that hunting rifles and fowling pieces are excluded from the definition. To this day the gentleman has not responded, as it was clear the Second Amendment referred to "military" arms.
In addition hunters as well 2nd Amendment advocates are by their nature, independent minded and territorial. They just want to be left alone and are in no way interested in the "group think" mentality as demonstrated by the mobs of the "Million Mommies March" or the "criminal alien protests" of last year. "Group think" is simply not their game.
Posted by: Kirk Smith at March 10, 2007 06:32 PM