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Jan 05 2014

You can take our gun columnists, but you’ll never take our freedom!

Here’s an interesting little situation that’s come up recently. Apparently, a gun columnist by the name of Dick Metcalf questioned the wisdom of gun rights advocates demanding there be absolutely no limits to the “Right to Bear Arms” by arguing that a sixteen hour course for a concealed carry permit was reasonable. As a result, he was fired from his column with Guns And Ammo, and now his career of 40 years has evaporated.

Just days after the column appeared, Mr. Metcalf said, his editor called to tell him that two major gun manufacturers had said “in no uncertain terms” that they could no longer do business with InterMedia Outdoors, the company that publishes Guns & Ammo and co-produces his TV show, if he continued to work there. He was let go immediately.

“I’ve been vanished, disappeared,” Mr. Metcalf, 67, said in an interview last month on his gun range here, about 100 miles north of St. Louis, surrounded by snow-blanketed fields and towering grain elevators. “Now you see him. Now you don’t.”

This is almost identical to what happened with that Duck Dynasty jackass being suspended by A&E for saying stupid homophobic bullshit, only that story had a “happy” ending — right-wingers successfully rallied to demand that A&E reinstate Duck Dynasty because HOW DARE THEY TAKE AWAY HIS FREEDOM OF SPEECH by… exercising their own freedom to choose what gets aired on their network. And A&E caved, mistaking the conservative outcry for something actually approaching a morally justifiable standpoint.

I anxiously await the protest by Sarah Palin, Brian Brown, and the whole host of conservative loonies to demand that Metcalf’s column be reinstated. I further await the people running interference on the Duck Dynasty issue as being a matter of freedom of speech to say something, anything, about this guy’s column about guns.

7 comments

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  1. 1
    Raging Bee

    I’m trying to remember a worthwhile show I saw on A&E…and failing.

  2. 2
    cgm3

    Unfortunately, the philosophy of the arch-conservatives seems to be the 1984 dictum: “Right thinking is rewarded, wrong thinking is punished.”

  3. 3
    Scr... Archivist

    This case reinforces my belief that the “gun rights movement” is mostly a product of the weapon manufacturers. And they have a lot of mouthpieces with these (printed) magazines. Remington Arms Company, LLC and Sturm, Ruger & Co. apparently want to remove any impediment to making more money. They must have considered Metcalf’s career a worthwhile sacrifice in order to keep the profits from a few customers who couldn’t pass a licensing course.

    I also like how Richard Venola, a former editor of Guns & Ammo, admits that he has given up on rationality. It sounds like he isn’t the only one.

  4. 4
    Nathair

    I’m trying to remember a worthwhile show I saw on A&E…and failing.

    Hornblower.

    ‘Course that was killed off eleven years ago…

  5. 5
    leftwingfox

    I used to like a lot of the shows on A&E, even when it started becoming the Murder Channel.

    But again, this was before the swarm of reality TV shows devoured basic cable.

  6. 6
    John Horstman

    How dare Mr. Metcalf infringe on the right of gun merchants to dictate what he says! Mr. Metcalf’s comments are an assault on free speech and all that is decent and right; he should be fired!

    Did I get that right?

  7. 7
    jamessweet

    In fairness, there’s just enough wiggle room to argue that the situations aren’t entirely analogous, because Metcalf expressed the “controversial” opinion in question in the very same Guns and Ammo column he was fired from… Not that I think that such subtleties would affect the response of the right wing noise machine anyway, but…

    Analogous or not, that Times story is quite something, isn’t it? My favorite part is the quote from former G&A editor Richard Venola: “The time for ceding some rational points is gone.” Yes, folks, straight from the horse’s mouth, here is a gun advocate saying that even if their opponents are right they will continue to argue against, because they are “locked in a struggle with powerful forces” or whatever.

    As I’ve said many times in the past, gun advocates have done more to shift me to the left on this issue than any argument put forth in support of gun control. My natural inclination is somewhat ambivalent on gun control (I think gun violence is an epidemic problem, but I also question the efficacy of a lot of the proposed gun control measures at actually curbing the epidemic) but the arguments from the pro-gun side are just so consistently terrible, I find myself agreeing with certain anti-gun viewpoints simply by default.

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