As predictably as the sun rising in the east, Guns & Ammo editor Jim Bequette issued an apology yesterday for Dick Metcalf’s poorly conceived December issue column and promised that Dick would no longer be penning anything more for the magazine. The problem is that I don’t really buy it. G&A should have known better. Or rather, I think they did know better. Editor Bequette was on his way out (or up) at the end of the year anyway, so it seems he had little to lose letting this anti-2A nonsense fly. Basically this whole thing has the fragrance of the Fulton Fish Market dumpsters to me . . .
Let’s be frank, Bequette not being able to guess how Metcalf’s article would be received speaks volumes. Either he’s tremendously naive or he thinks that his audience is. This is especially true given the absolute flogging that RECOIL Magazine suffered when one of their editors made the (much less serious) mistake of suggesting that a particular gun was too dangerous for us mere civilians. It was a big issue, don’t get me wrong. But having an article that could have been written by someone from the Brady bunch appear in G&A under Metcalf’s name is far worse.
Had this sort of thing happened in, say, Outdoor Life or some other hunting “lifestyle” publication, it still would have been bad, but not to this degree. After all, there are more than a few (misguided) hunters out there who think that there’s a big difference between themselves and “those concealed carrying, AR-swinging, screaming-about-guvmint-overreach gun nuts.” A magazine that caters to that crowd may very well have found some sympathetic ears among its audience.
G&A, though, is different. They are (and have been for many years) the dead tree gun magazine for enthusiasts. Sure, they may run the occasional hunting article and their influence and circulation rates aren’t what they were pre-internet, but generally speaking, their readership tracks pretty close to the heart of the 2A crowd. The pages of G&A aren’t the place for concessions to civilian disarmers. I don’t expect to see a 2A-critical statement in G&A any more than I expect to see a pro-CCW treatise from the Bradys or read about how Shannon Watts tagged two home invaders with her concealed carry GLOCK 36. The anti-gun crowd aren’t interested in sitting down and trying to solve the violence problem (no matter what they may claim). Instead, they’re trying to solve the “gun problem” which means no guns for you, bubba.
While I can’t explain Metcalf’s intentions in writing it, the fact is that Bequette, a short-timer editor, had very little to lose and lots to gain had this olive branch to civilian disarmers been better received by G&A’s readership. This looks to have been a trial balloon floated to test the waters. Why they though that would be a good idea given the year that gun owners just had is a mystery. Still, if the reception had been at all positive (or even neutral), G&A would have looked like a thought leader in bringing “reasonable discourse” to this issue of gun regulation. Instead, they got bulldozed (surprise!), they tossed Metcalf to the wolves and moved on.
As a result, I have to strongly question either Bequette’s supposed dedication to the Second Amendment or his intelligence. In either case, it makes me think that G&A is moving away from its core constituency as it apparently no longer seems to understand it. And I’m about done with them.
On behalf of the readership of the gun mags, let me say this to their editors: we do not want to see any more of this sort of dreck in your pages. RECOIL at least had the excuse of being relatively new to the game. They were the first to trespass and made amends by tossing their editor and replacing him with a truly stand-up guy, someone with unimpeachable 2A cred. They still got slapped pretty hard, but they’ll probably make it.
G&A is going to pay a higher price because they clearly should have known better, their transgression was more serious and the head editor was already on his way out. It’s going to take more than a lame-ass apology from a short-timer to restore my faith. In the mean time, the rest of you are on notice. No more “misjudgments” and no more apologies. Toe the 2A line or take up writing about knitting or something. If you want to publish articles to bridge the gap, then get someone from the Brady organization to write a pro-gun column for you.
Here’s a message for the left-leaning media who are having a field day with this “crazy gun people going after one of their own” meme: children, get over it. If Bloomberg published a piece in the Huffington Post suggesting that it would be a great idea for the residents of Chicago to be allowed concealed carry in order to defend themselves, your crew would be stripping his carcass clean before the next news cycle. We’ve come to expect expect this “reasonable restriction” malarkey and misreading the Constitution from you guys. Not from our own who should know better.
Finally, I’m not interested in what you think the Second Amendment means. Most civilian disarmers are idiots. Highly educated idiots perhaps, but idiots nonetheless. People far brighter and better educated than you have already decided what the Second Amendment means. It’s called settled law. Specifically D.C. v. Heller which found (among other things):
- (1) The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2–53.
- (a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2–22.
- (b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court’s interpretation of the operative clause. The “militia” comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved. Pp. 22–28.
- (c) The Court’s interpretation is confirmed by analogous arms-bearing rights in state constitutions that preceded and immediately followed the Second Amendment. Pp. 28–30.
- (d) The Second Amendment’s drafting history, while of dubious interpretive worth, reveals three state Second Amendment proposals that unequivocally referred to an individual right to bear arms. Pp. 30–32.
- (e) Interpretation of the Second Amendment by scholars, courts and legislators, from immediately after its ratification through the late 19th century also supports the Court’s conclusion. Pp. 32–47.
- (f) None of the Court’s precedents forecloses the Court’s interpretation. Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542 , nor Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252 , refutes the individual-rights interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174 , does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes.