By Tom Gresham
MANDEVILLE, LA –-(Ammoland.com)- Unless you just got back from a two-week sheep hunt in the Wrangell Mountains, you know about the firestorm that blew up after Guns & Ammo magazine writer Dick Metcalf wrote — and the magazine published — an article which essentially says that not all gun regulations are infringements on our gun rights.
As you might expect, the web exploded, with untold thousands of gun rights activists calling for Metcalf’s head.
Last Sunday Dick (whom I’ve known for at least 30 years) did his one and only media interview on Gun Talk Radio. We didn’t have enough time (I’m not sure the entire three hours would have been enough), but he explained how the column came about, what he had hoped it would do (start conversations), and how the instant and vociferous reaction caught him and the editors at Guns & Ammo by surprise.
You can hear Metcalf on last week’s show at guntalk.libsyn.com. Also, we now put the archived shows on YouTube (more convenient for many listeners), so you can hear that hour of last week’s show at https://youtu.be/mdG_a8nobHs.
Some listeners thought I should not have even offered Metcalf a platform from which to explain/discuss what happened. Others welcomed it, but disagreed with him and were glad he was fired. Still others thought his logic was flawed and his understanding of history lacking, but didn’t think it warranted losing his job. You can judge for yourself when you hear the interview.
My take? I am of two minds on this. The first is that it’s a shame we can’t have an open conversation about pretty much anything. That’s the journalist and lover of free expression in me. But, the realist in me says that this column, which was picked up and paraded by the Brady Campaign and many national media outlets as an example of what they have been calling “reasonable restrictions” were, in fact, reasonable, hurt gun rights and helped, if even slightly, advance the efforts of the gun banners.
Metcalf and his editors should have seen this coming. The fact that they didn’t well may indicate that they really are not terribly plugged into the current culture of gun rights. The simple fact is that you can not give up hard-won ground in this fight, and agreeing to any form of restriction on what is a natural right (not given to us by the government) makes it more difficult for us to regain what has been lost.
In the end, the decision to fire Metcalf was one of economics. Readers were canceling subscriptions in G&A, and advertisers were serving notice that they could not remain in the magazine if Metcalf stayed.
That’s what sealed the deal.
About Gun Talk Radio:In its 18th year of national syndication, Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio airs live on Sundays from 2PM-5PM Eastern, and runs on more than 135 stations, plus on XM (Ch. 165) Satellite Radio. All Gun Talk shows can be downloaded as podcasts at https://www.guntalk.libsyn.com and Apple iTunes, or through one of the available Apps: the Gun Talk iPhone App, the Blackberry Podcast App, and the Gun Talk App for Android on Amazon. The Gun Talk Minute on XM also airs on XM 165, 166, 168 and Fox Sports every day throughout the week. More information is available at www.guntalk.com.