The New York Times’ article Banished for Questioning the Gospel of Guns “exposes” gun journo “extremism.” It’s based on an unsurprisingly sympathetic profile of Dick Metcalf. You may remember Mr. Metcalf as the Guns & Ammo writer given the old heave-ho after writing a column suggesting that government regulation of gun rights isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Suffice it to say, Warren Zevon’s Poor Poor Pitiful Me. More specifically, this: “Mr. Metcalf said he invited a reporter to his home because he despairs that the debate over gun policy in America is so bitterly polarized and dominated by extreme voices . . .
He says he is still contemplating how a self-described “Second Amendment fundamentalist” who keeps a .38 snub-nose Smith & Wesson revolver within easy reach has been ostracized from his community. “Compromise is a bad word these days,” he said. “People think it means giving up your principles.”
Yes. Yes they do. Keeping in mind Senator Barry Goldwater’s famous quote “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.” Now for the juicy bit. In its effort to diss gun journalism in general, the Old Gray Lady reveals that Guns & Ammo’s reviews are bought and paid for . . .
Reporters and editors say that reviews are often written in close consultation with manufacturers. If a gun is judged to be of poor quality, magazines will quietly send it back for improvements rather than writing a negative review. The system is broadly accepted at these publications, gun writers say.
Mr. Venola, the former Guns & Ammo editor, described the relationship between the magazine’s editors and the gun makers as a necessarily cozy one. “You have to be in cahoots with the manufacturer, in order to make the publication appeal to the readership,” he said. “Say you write about boats. At some point you’re going to end up on the sun deck of a boat, downing sundowners after testing one, with the guy who makes it. It’s just how it happens.”
So, G&A has Sundowners’ Syndrome. Their “commitment to the Second Amendment” may be “unwavering” but when it comes to remembering the bad bits about a gun they’re “memory impaired.” Who knew? Except anyone who’s been reading the ballistic buff book in the last 55 years.
To be clear, The Truth About Guns tells the truth about guns. I chose that name because guns are a matter of life or death. You need to know the straight dope on firearms so that you can protect your life, the life of the people you love and maybe even innocent life. Oh, and your gun rights, too.
As for Dick’s assertion that 16 hours of state-mandated firearms training doesn’t mess with Americans’ gun rights, the writer doesn’t and won’t “get it.” As soon as the state steps in – BAM! – your rights are infringed. Oh, and as someone who just completed six hours of Texas CHL training (that somehow ran seven hours) I’d like to point out that these courses are also a violation of the Geneva Convention. That is all.