Dick Metcalf at it again: Uniter or Divider?

Dick Metcalf, former employee of Guns & Ammo (Photo: NY Times)

Dick Metcalf, former employee of Guns & Ammo (Photo: NY Times)

Last November Dick Metcalf was fired from his position as contributing editor of Guns & Ammo for penning a column in which he argued that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was not absolute, that reasonable regulations imposed by federal and state governments are not tantamount to infringements.

“Way too many gun owners still seem to believe that any regulation of the right to keep and bear arms is an infringement,” Metcalf wrote in the editorial titled “Let’s Talk Limits.” “The fact is, all constitutional rights are regulated, always have been, and need to be.”

The veteran gun journalist and historian went on to say that mandatory training requirements for concealed carry permits were not an infringement on one’s right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.

“I don’t think requiring 16 hours of training to qualify for a concealed carry permit is infringement in and of itself,” Metcalf wrote. “But that’s just me.”

For many gun owners the idea that a contributing editor to a flagship publication was publicly advocating for tougher gun laws at a time when the Second Amendment was being heavily scrutinized — in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut — was unbearable, so they expressed their ire, shock and dismay on social media, on gun community forums and in letters to Intermedia, the corporation that owns Guns & Ammo.

The ensuing backlash forced the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Jim Bequette, to not only issue an apology but let Metcalf go.

“I made a mistake by publishing the column. I thought it would generate a healthy exchange of ideas on gun rights,” explained Bequette. “I miscalculated, pure and simple. I was wrong, and ask your forgiveness. … Guns & Ammo will never fail to vigorously lead in the struggle for our Second Amendment rights.”

Yet, while many agreed that Guns & Ammo was correct in it’s attempt to right an alleged wrong, many others saw Metcalf’s piece as a way to bridge the gap between the two sides, a way to acknowledge that “reasonable limitations” and “common sense measures” do exist and can be enacted without the heated exchanges and invectives that typically accompany debates over gun control.

Mecalf -- an avid hunter, competitive shooter, prolific writer and Second Amendment historian -- hunting African buffalo.  (Photo: Politico)

Mecalf — an avid hunter, competitive shooter, prolific writer and Second Amendment historian — hunting African buffalo. (Photo: Politico)

Some folks view Metcalf as a dividing force within the gun community because he openly endorsed rather stringent concealed carry requirements (16 hours is a bit much). On the other hand, his defenders still view him as a uniting force within the gun community because of his ability to appeal to the mainstream, non-gun owning public, which perhaps, in turn, leads to winning over more hearts and minds.

The question then becomes, which is it? Is Metcalf a uniter or a divider?

Well, before one answers this question it might be helpful to consider Metcalf’s recent comments at the Aspen Ideas Festival where he was joined by Ronald Brownstein, the Atlantic Media editorial director.

During the discussion before a small crowd, Metcalf had the opportunity to unpack his position on the Second Amendment and reflect upon his departure for Guns & Ammo.

After explaining that the Second Amendment says “shall not be infringed,” as opposed to “shall not be regulated,” and that the first words of the amendment read “a well regulated militia” not only allow but mandate regulation, Metcalf said, “Everything is regulated, but everything is not infringed. Not all regulation is infringement. Is your right to drive a car being infringed by a speed limit?”

One should pause to point out that legal scholars — UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh and Denver University law professor David Kopel — have argued that when put in historical context “a well regulated militia” more closely translates to a “well trained militia” as opposed to to laws or ordinances governing the militia.

Additionally, one can argue that a series of restrictions, e.g. excessive fees (it costs $150 to obtain a CCW in Illinois), reams of paperwork, mandated training, etc., when taken in the aggregate can amount to an infringement. No one knows this better than Emily Miller, who chronicled the many hoops one has to jump through to merely possess a firearm in the nation’s capital.

Lastly, one has a Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms for self-defense, there is no such enumerated right to drive a car, let alone, drive in excess of 55 miles per hour so the whole right-to-drive, speed-limit metaphor doesn’t hold water.

All that said, the heart of what Metcalf is saying is true. Regulations are not the same as infringements. But do we really want to further regulate a right that is already, by Metcalf’s own admission, heavily burdened?

“We have over 75,000 firearms rules and regulations on the books, and approximately three of them are ever enforced,” said Metcalf to the audience.

“As for federal laws, there are eight, and only two have been enforced in any significant way, ever,” he continued. “We can’t afford and we don’t have the personnel to enforce the laws that we have on the books right now. What good is it going to do to enact any others?”

Here, one can argue that Metcalf arrives at the correction conclusion but for the wrong reasons. It’s not that we shouldn’t enact more laws because the government can’t enforce the ones already on the books, it’s that we shouldn’t enact more laws because as a free society we need to stop and think about what the Second Amendment will look like if/when the government starts to actively and aggressively enforce those 75,000 extant firearm rules and regulations.

It goes without saying, but it may not look so pretty in that one’s right to keep and bear arms may be significantly curtailed.

As it relates to the Aspen discussion, Metcalf’s philosophizing on the Second Amendment was not all that infuriating. Sure, it’s misguided and underdeveloped at times, but overall the point Metcalf makes is that all rights are subject to regulation.  Is Metcalf’s continued theorizing his way of defending gun rights?  That seems open to debate when one considers the context and timing of the discussion.

However, there is arguably a point during the exchange in which Metcalf goes too far and acts as a divider. It’s when he recounts his putative conversations with gun companies concerning a portion of their customer base.

“I believe that everyone I knew, even the people who worked for the companies responsible for the advertising pressure—because they are hearing [from customers], ‘We’ll never buy another one of your products if you continue to advertise in this magazine that has this anti-American traitor in it—but they all believe it,” Metcalf said. “I can’t tell you how many senior executives at firearms companies, over a beer when no one’s watching, will say, ‘You do know we realize that, of course, at least a third of our customers shouldn’t be let within five miles of a gun.'”

That last line is really hard to stomach. It’s hard to believe that any rational CEO or executive would dismiss a third of their customers so flippantly. By the numbers, there are 80-100 million gun owners in this country. Is it even fair to suggest that 27-30 million are delinquents or wastrels that shouldn’t exercise their Second Amendment rights?

Maybe those execs were embellishing the old adage that there are a few bad apples in every bunch. But then again when examining the gun community, particularly the portion of the community with valid concealed carry permits, there are fewer bad apples in this bunch when compared to the general population. To put it another way, the vast majority of folks in the market to purchase firearms are indeed law-abiding and responsible citizens. To suggest otherwise is not only divisive, it’s intellectually dishonest, to say nothing of the fact that it’s music to the ears of those who want to enact tougher gun laws.

Metcalf should know better than to iterate such claptrap.

{ 35 comments… add one }
  • Mike Kay July 9, 2014, 8:49 pm

    Uniter or divider?
    I’ve read Dicks’ contributions off and on over the years, and in light of this, his call to fold ’em and go home is unsurprising. Dicks writing was always focused on the uninformed enthusiast, or perhaps it was simply that his writing was weak, uninspired, and short on real information. His position on firearms echoes this perfectly.
    What I find most interesting, is not Dick himself, but the fact that “reasonable” means catering to interests that have no intention of allowing anyone to ever own and use firearms, period. If the gun control crowd was happy with curtailing our ability to own and enjoy full auto weapons, then why are they still around? If they were happy with a de facto gun registration system, which is exactly what NICS is, why are they still here? It does not take a genius to realize that they are still present because we can still sort of own and use guns.
    I find the idea of partnering up with someone who hates and despises my lifestyle, and is working overtime to make it illegal, far from a middle of the road “reasonable” strategy, yet this is exactly Dicks’ position.
    Dick supposedly grew up around guns. Ostensibly, he respects their destructive power. Such a background should have enlightened his historical research, especially regarding the longstanding Northern European tradition that Free Men bore arms, a tradition continued here in America despite powerful entrenched interests.
    Dick claims that he wanted to start a dialogue, yet he brought nothing new to be discussed, only more of the same tired previously refuted assertions. How many times have we had to endure the comparison of firearms with driving? Well, if Dick was a real historian, he would realize that Americans have the right to travel the highways free from harassment, enumerated in a Congressional bull issued just after the civil war. Of course, we find nothing of the sort today, do we? Dick seems to be happy with this state of affairs. This should tell us all exactly where he stands on firearms.
    In conclusion, Dick is neither a uniter, or a divider, he is simply an intellectually lazy writer who in his golden years no longer has the stomach for battle.

  • aardq July 7, 2014, 10:06 pm

    Mr. Brass is articulate but incorrect. You do state that only governments and government agencies can be forced to allow free peach, individuals and companies do not have to allow what some consider free speech. But then you call this “de facto First Amendment suppression.” Remember a few years ago when the fans of several poorly performing NFL teams were either denied entry or removed from games when they carried anti team posters? That was not a matter of free speech suppression, but the matter of a company trying to protect it’s image.

    That’s not really a case of “intolerant and abusive” of him. Don’t believe that, then how about working at a Catholic university and publicly publishing a pro-abortion article. How long do you think that you’d keep your job? Or work for the DNC and make public speeches questioning the President’s policies or actions. Then you’d see a real case of intolerant and abusive conduct, and definitely a case of “de facto First Amendment suppression.” on the part of the employer. What would happen to a Marine who went to an anti government protest carrying a sign that said “Screw the President”, and was wearing his uniform when he did the above? Do I hear court martial and reduction in rank? Or a bad conduct discharge?

    Every employer has the right to discipline employees whose words or actions denigrate the company in any way. Just read the papers on how many people post negative facebook comments and end up loosing their jobs. How about a teacher that posts a nude photo of herself? A lot of people are in an uproar over what they perceive as first amendment rights, but instead they are disagreeing with the employment policies of a company. And to my knowledge, all of these cases have been upheld in the courts when challenged.

    The big problem with Metcalf’s comments is the fact that the antis see him as now on their side since he is a “gun guy” and will use his comments not as a basis for debate or discussion, but as fresh propaganda for their agenda. He should know that, and realize that anything that he says is giving “aid and comfort to the enemy.” Hmmm, I think that I’ve heard that phrase before, and it always results in action against the accused. Metcalf continues to encourage the antis to continue, and to step up their fight against guns. And make no mistake about the intentions of the antis, none of them want compromise, they only want an end to all gun ownership and hunting.

    It’s a trite and over used phrase, but in the matter of gun ownership it really is a “case of us or them.”

    • shootbrownelk July 7, 2014, 11:45 pm

      Right aadrq, the “Brady Bunch” was one of the first to shower praise on Metcalf after that anti-gun drivel he scribbled on the backpage of Guns&Ammo. More anti’s soon followed suit. Makes a person wonder if that wasn’t his plan all along. Perhaps the anti-gun groups pay better?? Anyway, good riddance. I never thought much of Metcalf as a gun scribe anyway. And his segment on Guns&Ammo T.V. was only palatable because of his co-host (now deceased). JMO

  • POedgunowner July 7, 2014, 8:40 pm

    Metcalf is proof that you just can’t fix stupid. He is neither a uniter, or a divider, he is simply an idiot that will say or do anything to stay in the limelight. The ones that want to believe him are anti gun anyway, and the rest of us should just ignore him and let his mouth bury him.

  • OFBG July 7, 2014, 8:19 pm

    Whether or not Mr. Metcalf should have been fired is certainly ground for debate, but personally I am glad to see him gone. Not because I disagree with his opinions, but because I have never considered him one of the brighter stars in the firmament. Soon after I started reading him couple of decades ago he wrote (I think it was in Shooting Times) an article in which he attempted to explain the ballistics of shooting uphil or downhill. Not only did he fail miserably, he made the subject even more confusing than it was before. Then, after many readers (not me) wrote to him offering clear, simple explanations, he not only rejected them, but insulted them (some of whom used – OMG! – geometry in their explanations) and tried again, with equally, if not more, disastrous results. His attitute was just as negative, and his “knowledge” just as questionable in other articles, so after awhile I just stopped reading him.

  • Max Hoyle July 7, 2014, 6:32 pm

    Tricky Dicky and his brother got caught doing something illegal about 20 years at PASA range, now the big range in Illinois ran by the NRA now, no one would give details then but the scuttlebutt was they were lucky to stay out of jail, so nothing suprises me from him.

  • dmcneelus July 7, 2014, 6:09 pm

    Great comment Brass. I am confident that the 16 hours of training is only a starting place. If any of us are forced to defend ourselves or family members we will discover we really need to understand what process we are going to endure in the aftermath.
    Dick has been slammed far too much for telling us it was his position and we did not have to agree with it! So, disagree and open communications. We do still have a First Ammendment don’t we? ( if obama has his way the first will have to go)

    • OFBG July 7, 2014, 8:32 pm

      Just as “well-regulated” has been misinterpreted, there seems to be a misunderstanding of “freedom of speech.” Your employer, or any private entity can deny your freedom of speech until the cows come home. The 1st Amendment only restricts the Federal Government from doing so.

  • Robert Mallow July 7, 2014, 5:34 pm

    I’m sorry but I do not agree with Mr. Metcalf. I’m in full support of our Constitution and I do not feel it the right of the government or ANY politician to infringe upon my rights under the 2nd Amendment. The 2nd Amendment is so easy to read and comprehend that you have to be a complete moron and idiot not to understand it’s meaning.

  • Glennon July 7, 2014, 3:41 pm

    I for one did not renew my subscription to this magazine after getting it monthly for twenty years. Their TV show on the Sportsman channel has gotten boring and I don’t watch it anymore. I guess he also favors limited speech right, too.

    • Steve August 27, 2014, 11:45 am

      You have your opinion and that’s fine. However it seems to be you that favors limited speech rights, not of your own but of others.

  • BRASS July 7, 2014, 1:09 pm

    I was shocked when Dick Metcalf was fired and I am still shocked that supporters of our US Bill of Rights would be so intolerant and abusive of Metcalf’s. While I don’t agree with Metcalf I don’t think he should have been fired. His article should have inspired reasoned discussion and provoked more in depth thought about the Second Amendment and all that goes with it, not rash accusations, most much less reasoned than his statements and cries of – off with his head.
    I would have thought that Guns and Ammo would have come to his defense as to his firing even while expressing editorial disagreement. This showed me that G & A gave into the threats of advertisers like a young child to a big school yard bully. I would have thought they could have found a middle ground without destroying a mans career and reputation who has been a staunch supporter of gun rights over a lifetime.
    That the firearms community or at least the most vocal portion of it acted like the intolerant and unreasoned fools of the anti-gun variety surprised me. Maybe it shouldn’t have, maybe I’m naive but I expected to read and hear more debate and less knee jerk vitriol.
    I’m pro-gun and have been all my adult life. I spent a career in the US Marines defending that right along with the First Amendment and all the others. While the firing of Dick Metcalf and the private protestations over his remarks are not technically violations of the right to free speech as that would be between the public and the private sector, it was de facto First Amendment suppression by a small minority, arguably worse. If one believes in and supports the US Constitution they must also support the Tenth Amendment, States Rights and support their right to individual action not in concert with the federal government, even when they disagree with it as long as it is a legal action. While the right to carry as practiced by California, Washington, DC and Illinois may be anti-Second Amendment I don’t think sixteen hours of training to obtain a license or permit to carry a concealed weapon which includes subjects like the legal use of deadly force all that reasonably goes along with that is unreasonable. Apparently some of Guns and Ammo readers are anti-knowledge and some of the G & A staff support that position.
    Carrying a concealed weapon is about the use of deadly force. It is not about the principles of marksmanship, how fast one can put two to the chest and one to the head of a paper target at fifteen yards or less. It is not only about safe gun handling although that is certainly an important component to a point. If the gun community is to be viewed as more than Neanderthal masses rising from the primordial ooze and thus taken seriously by those who oppose us we need to embrace knowledge and education in all related areas and a continuum of learning that supports that. If not, if we would like to continue to be seen as ignorant fools of limited intellectual capacity and thus neither us or our beliefs taken seriously, firing a long standing, senior and formerly esteemed member of our community because we disagree with one column he wrote over a career, we are well on our way.
    When I first encountered serious firearms training at Parris Island decades ago the Marines dedicated forty hours of instruction on marksmanship principles and another forty hours of practical application just in the range portion of basic training alone with no other distractions. Safe gun handling basics and constant supervision were constant form the time we were issued our M14 rifles until we turned them in. This immersion training insured that every Marine is able to defend his country, his brothers and himself while being considered entry level training. We then went on to four more weeks of more specialized training, much of which involved the use of different weapons and again this was considered familiarization training not proficiency training. Those whose occupations were primarily in the use of arms went on to many other formal and informal schools and practical training over the rest of their tour of duty. I’m not suggesting that civilians should undergo anything like that for a whole pile of reasons but I don’t think that Metcalf should have bee tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail for suggesting that sixteen hours of instruction is reasonable for persons desiring the charter to use deadly force. Personally if it were my decision I would require every concealed carry candidate to read and be able to discuss Massad Ayoob’s book ‘In the Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection’.
    I’m no snob or academic, no apologist nor quantifier of our unalienable rights but I do think a minimum understanding of the legal definition and application of deadly force along with at least an idea of the ramifications of using it will bring upon the user in addition to the subjects of gun safety, safe gun handling, concealed carry options, close combat and the practical application portion is far from extreme and unreasonable, certainly not enough to crucify its proponent.
    But then, I’m just an old Marine Master Sergeant with decades of private carry experience and who has used a weapon in self defense but has never been afoul of the law.

  • Mark Wynn July 7, 2014, 11:47 am

    Metcalf was right in his column, and the publisher was a coward to fire him. Apparently there’s no room for free-speech discussion of gun issues among a certain group of no-nothings. (You can find some of them among these commenters.) When we criticize free speech censorship in, say, our liberal universities … we call those elitists who allow only their politically-correct views to be spoken … liberal fascists. Well, there appears to be gun-issue fascists, as well.

    • shootbrownelk July 7, 2014, 7:48 pm

      Metcalf stabbed all gun owners in the back with that stupid article he penned in Guns&Ammo. After the issue was released and all heck broke loose from loyal readers, the anti-gunners came out in droves to praise him for his stance on gun control.
      He’s a “Second Amendment” expert (self-proclaimed) and used the “You need a driver’s license to drive” correlation to somehow justify his theory on Gun Control by the government. The last time I checked the Constitution, there was no mention of our Right To Drive a Car shall not be infringed. We legal gun owners don’t need FRIENDS like Dick Metcalf, we’ve got Uncle Ted!

  • TexasProf July 7, 2014, 11:34 am

    The problems with any Gun-Control legislation are twofold, and I don’t believe that Dick Metcalf tunes in on them. First, have you heard of the “Camels Nose” saying? It says that when your camel pokes his nose under the tent and into your living space it doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. But if you don’t do anything to stop it, before you know it, the entire camel is going to be in your tent. Gun grabbers start small, and just like in Australia, before you know it, they’re confiscating all your guns and your rights. The second point is that the fundamental error in their logic is that they thing they can: A) get all the guns, and B) stop violence in the process. Well, I seriously doubt that a criminal will willingly give up their firearms, especially the concealable ones. Gun grabbers just don’t understand that criminals don’t CARE if they are breaking the law by having a gun. Also, on the second point, witness The U.K.. Former CNN buffoon Piers Morgan claimed that in 2013, there were only 35 gun deaths in his mother England because they’ve confiscated them all. The actual number is 65, but he is notorious for being numerically challenged. Besides, if you got “them all” there shouldn’t be any. However, in that year in England, per 100,000 population there were 2034 violent crimes committed. During that same period, in the USA there were 426 violent crimes per 100,000. Here the bad guys are less likely to pull a knife on someone because that someone might be carrying a legal concealed firearm. Therefore, unlike restrictive gun laws, allowing people to “keep and bear arms” is a proven, viable deterrent to crime.
    P.S. DO THE MATH, Mr. President.

  • GreenWolf70 July 7, 2014, 10:01 am

    This reasonable dialog always leads to compromise and you can not compromise on the constitutional right to bear arms. Mr. Metcalf seems smug enough thinking the gun control advocates won’t bother his hunting, but that has not been the case in most recently Canada and Australia. Reasonable gun control rules get more restrictive over time. Hunting becomes the sport of the rich because the cost of complying with the rules becomes out of reach to the common people, like in Germany. Rules become stretched beyond reason over time because the gun control types never quit. My brother in law is a German policeman with an outstanding record over 35 plus years, yet he was turned down for a concealed carry and an ownership gun license because his occupation was considered too violent. German police are not allowed to carry off duty and therefore are vulnerable targets to the eastern crime organizations that have moved into Germany since the Wall came down. They are denied the ability to protect themselves because the rules say their occupation “expose them to too much violence.” These laws do not happen overnight, they happen over time as gun control advocates chip away until they get what they want. Mr. Metcalf wants to give the gun control types the foot in the door of the gun community that they have been seeking. He is, of course, only being reasonable.

  • chris allen July 7, 2014, 9:59 am

    The term. “Well regulated ” in the late 1700 meant well supplied, well equipped and or well led. It isn’t that hard to figure out with simple research. The authors were so set as to the seconds importance that they added the term “shall not be infringed ” to the end. So it was clear that they were to be well supplied or equipped.

    This further clears itself up when one realises that the threat to liberty isn’t seen as a foreign one as much as clearly domestic as we see now with an over reaching federal executive branch. The founders saw this as well as are well documented in their writings.

    Again as with period word definitions, period writings are easily found.

  • TSAtomic July 7, 2014, 9:18 am

    If Metcalf does not understand the intent of the word “Regulated” as used in the 2nd Amendment — especially when he claims to be a self-professed 2nd Amendment Historian — then perhaps he should stick to writing columns about hunting or some other subject that he does know and understand.

    The pro-restriction folks (presuming they are being honest, and I don’t) are seeking some way to prevent tragedies when a raging drunk; mentally disturbed teen; disgruntled-employee; etc, goes on a shooting spree. The problem is that there is no way to accurately and repeatably identify nut-cases before the fact. The U.S. closed down the asylums and put them all on the streets decades ago, so what legal remedy can we provide to allow local law enforcement to proactively disarm a nutcase? In conjunction with that, how do we frame that legal remedy so that it protects the rest of us from the invariable case of a “Barney Fife” LEO with a Shumer/Pelosi/Clinton world view who abuses that remedy? They won’t all be Andy Taylors…

    Just my stinky opinion and opinions may vary.

  • James G. Mothes July 7, 2014, 9:15 am

    First, let me say that I am a Benefactor Member of the NRA and Life Member of the CCRKBA. I believe everyone has the right to own a gun and defend themselves and their loved ones. I was part of a concealed carry class last year. Quite frankly, there were several people there that scared the crap out of me with their unsafe gun handling and lack of knowledge about gun safety and responsibilty. I personally feel that if we are to carry in public, we should prove that we can do so in a safe and responsable manner. We have enough problems with public image without giving the unknowing public more fodder for their untruths. In my opinion, 16 hours is not enough time for training some people to be safe with a firearm. In the course of the class I was in, there was one lady who said “Oh my, we have to shoot a gun?” That person difintely should not have been allowed to carry a concealed weapon without a course on gun safety. I also have a big problem with this idea of open carry. Walking into a bank with an AR slung over your shoulder is just plain stupid and asking for trouble. This just creates further proof to the public that gun owners are crazy. I feel, as a gun owner, we must be responsible in our actions at all times. Those are just my opinions. Others, I am sure will not agree with them.

    • M. McMahon July 7, 2014, 11:00 am

      James –

      I heartily agree with your assessment that there are a number of people attending these classes that are wholly unprepared for concealed carry and seem to want to approach firearm ownership as a burden rather than a right and a privilege. The question is how to encourage them to take the necessary steps (train, train, train), without involving government oversight? There are some people that will remain uncomfortable handling firearms and, as a result, are unlikely to pursue training as aggressively as (I believe) they should prior to carrying publicly. While I may disagree with them, I don’t believe it’s my right to tell them how they can and cannot exercise their rights. It’s certainly a quandary – not one likely to be solved easily.

      Respectfully,
      M

  • Craig July 7, 2014, 9:01 am

    Poor Dick…he so wants to be liked. Hmmm, how to be liked? Misinterpret on purpose the Consititution, what “well regulated” means and then give the classic, “Well, I talked to gun manufacturers and THEY said”….to be followed by the liberal/anti-gun claptrap. Poor Dick, he’s one of the wise gun owners I guess, a true “Fudd” at heart, looking down on those masses of the great unwashed who like their rights, enjoy their decisions. The Aspen Institute is a leftist group (when have you heard of any group in Aspen not left wing/liberal)…Dick wants to be loved by the glitterati, the Hollywood (Striesand) and NY (Couric) attendees, he is just trying to show them how truly sensitive and one of them he is…not like those brutes in fly-over country like the 1/3rd of men that should not be within 5 miles of a gun.

    Sorry, but a quisling and a “useful idiot” as old Lenin so aptly described his behaviour is disgusting and pathetic.

  • bill jackman July 7, 2014, 8:16 am

    Why is Metcalfe trying to open the door to regulation? Even after tragedies like Newtown when the Left and the media throw the kitchen sink at gun owners we still hold our own because most of the public recognizes the gun is not at fault and criminals and the mentally ill will ignore any gun laws. His spurious anecdote about 27 million incompetent gun owners is a whopper even if you count every felon, gang banger and alcoholic ten times. What an insult.

  • Steve Price July 7, 2014, 5:57 am

    The bottom line is Metcalf is a Dick. Anyone who believes he does not know exactly what he is saying (speaking in favor of gun control and elitist ownership regulations) and doing (helping to divide the defenders of the 2nd amendment) is a fool.

  • Doug Cole July 7, 2014, 5:25 am

    Metcalf made his bed by alienating his core target audience and substantially harming his employer. He has become a pariah in the gun community, and that is as it should be. Just go away, Dick. You are done. You have no one to blame for your predicament but yourself.

  • Dave July 7, 2014, 3:56 am

    Maybe people didn’t notice him in previous years because he was normal and healthy then and is now older and senile and possibly suffering from dementia, which would if course greatly impact his judgement and behavior. When some people hit a certain age things start to go, and maybe we are seeing that with Dick Metcalfe. It wasn’t just what he said, it was when he said it. He couldn’t have possibly said it at a worse time. It was a stupid, moronic thing to say, he must have known he would get an enormous backlash, unless of course he was losing his marbles. He wrote for Guns and Ammo magazine for Gods sake, not the communist NY Times.

  • Don Prather July 4, 2014, 12:56 pm

    Dick Metcalf has provided me with a great deal of enjoyment and information over the years. We do ourselves no favors by shunning him for (OH NO!) having an opinion, even if his opinion is contrary to the gun-owner majority. This kind of “opinion shaming” is just as totalitarian as any “opinion hushing” that is done done by leftists.

    Any defense of 2nd Amendment rights must necessarily include respect for freedom of speech. Any constitutional law course will teach you that, although many disagree, the history of con law is a history of the words in the Constitution being modified by courts, congress and the executive (much to our distress). Our fight is against modifications we dislike and not against either con law or Dick Metcalf.

    These persecutions are silly.

    • Reticent Rogue July 7, 2014, 10:15 am

      The point to be made in the gun law debate—the only point of any significance, if one wants to get to the crux of the matter—is whether or not ‘regulating’ rights and privileges accomplishes anything other than to restrict natural rights. No law ever passed has ever prevented a crime. Laws are essentially useless except to proscribe punishments for crimes after they are committed. Since owning a gun is not in itself a crime, either against nature or humankind, there is no need to restrict, regulate, infringe or otherwise affect it by statute. Only the crime someone may commit with a gun should have punishment ascribed to it and proscribed for it.

      The problem that has emerged from having compromised on ‘regulating’ Second Amendment rights, beginning in 1934 with the passage of the first ‘Gun Act,’ is that we have evolved from ‘common sense restrictions’ that began the first infringements of the right to bear arms to the present state of affairs in which the right itself is questioned. Compromise, understanding and tolerance rooted in fear have made us willing to trade freedom for safety—which can mean only one thing: we deserve neither.

      All due respects to Don Prather and Mr. Metcalf—we need to repeal every restrictive gun law passed since 1934, including the 1934 Gun Act and replace them with statutes written in absolute granite that hold criminals responsible for the crimes they commit—with permanent solutions for repeat offenders.

      • Muleskinner July 7, 2014, 12:46 pm

        Finally a island of logic in a sea of emotional confusion. Well, done sir!

      • Outlaw September 13, 2014, 4:22 pm

        Amen brother!!! The honest law abiding are help responsible for a terribly small percentage of “bad apples” who commit the actual crimes and are then given meager sentences with time suspended and probation which amounts to a rubber stamping of the position that it’s OK to commit gun crimes just not to own guns.

      • Outlaw September 13, 2014, 4:22 pm

        Amen brother!!! The honest law abiding are help responsible for a terribly small percentage of “bad apples” who commit the actual crimes and are then given meager sentences with time suspended and probation which amounts to a rubber stamping of the position that it’s OK to commit gun crimes just not to own guns.

    • Mark Leroy July 8, 2014, 6:34 am

      I think gun owners seriously overreacted to Metcalf’s thoughts because the message he preached stepped on our collective toes. Being a Lifetime member of Gun Owners of America, I DO want to see the 2nd amendment protected as well as EVERY other amendment. But, I also have to admit that I DON’T WANT any of my goofy, ignorant neighbors “DEFENDING” their homes with an AK47 loaded with FMJ’S, and that there are public shooting ranges (unregulated) operated by our Missouri Dept. of Conservation that are so populated by ignorant shooters with their fluorescent painted AK’s and AR’s blasting away with childish glee over their “Zombie” ammo and targets (a disgrace upon Hornady’s fine reputation, by the way), that have no regard for basic safety rules and common courtesy. I only go to private, regulated ranges as a result. I used to own a small hunting/fishing cabin in East Central Missouri. After years of replacing shot out windows and bullet damaged siding, I finally had it torn down and sold the land. The simple truth that none of us want to face up to is this:
      Just because we have a Constitutional Right doesn’t mean that every citizen is equal to the responsibilities inherent in exercising that right. We all know relatives and/or friends that are emotionally/mentally NOT FIT TO OWN A DEADLY WEAPON. There, I said it. We all know it’s true. The implications are hard to face up to. It stinks, it sucks…. But it’s painfully obvious to me and others that some kind of mandatory gun safety/proper self-defense training for ALL gun owners is very necessary (like mandatory hunter education) AND more thorough background checks. My wildly schizophrenic nephew does NOT have a legitimate, constitutional right to own a deadly weapon, sorry. I know, I know …. the slippery slope. Well, that’s life folks. We can’t always have exactly what we want. Freedom doesn’t work that way because other folks have freedom, too. FREE PEOPLE HAVE TO GET ALONG WITH EACH OTHER. So we have to meet each other on the common ground of respect, and strike a happy medium. Freedom isn’t free, nor is it absolute. We are all part of a larger community that educates us, builds our roads, creates our jobs, imprisons our criminals (unless they’re white collar Wall Street types), and contains folks who disagree with us. I fear our “all or nothing” approach towards gun regulation will eventually result in us winding up having a very big nothing. Consider this, if in the space of one or even 2-3 months, we have 4 or 5 mass shootings involving AK’s or AR’s with 60, 75, 100 rd. mags, 50 to 100 killed and with a similar number injured, perhaps even more ….. would our “all or nothing” approach be able to stand against the public reaction? Or would we wind up with nothing, ie. overwhelming semi-auto bans, hi-cap mag bans, mass
      confiscation, etc. And after that, what? Civil disobedience or worse? A civil war? Secession? Decent folks who disagree – killing each other, destroying their neighborhoods and their neighbors? I’ve read some gun bloggers who drift to that direction. When would that mess stop? And while we are embroiled in our civil war over the 2nd Amendment would China or India invade the Middle East for the oil WE’RE addicted to? They need that oil worse than we do because their middle class is growing with the manufacturing jobs that use to be ours. (Thank you NAFTA and every “Free Trade” politician bought and payed for by Big Business!) Would Islamic terrorist take advantage of our distraction to attack? Would Russia finally take over all of Europe (their dream for centuries)? Sometimes you can win a battle, but lose the war. As difficult as it would seem, some kind of compromise needs to be hammered out. Something that guarantees a citizens’ right to keep and bear arms for sport, hunting, and self-defense but also with a mandatory obligation for education on firearm safety and legal use of firearms for self-defense, and a background check system that actually works. Makes sense to me even though it’s a difficult road to travel. But hey, there are no easy days are there? God Bless.

      • Outlaw September 13, 2014, 4:38 pm

        Wow don’t even know where to start. W gets to decide what is the right education? Who gets to decide what you should or should not be allowed to own? Who decides how crazy you can be or not be? If there was any hope that it might be a fair agreement I might come closer to seeing what you evidently think you see but I won’t. I worry about the direction that the country is taking with every other issue we face with the current admin. and I believe that civil war will come from the people growing tired of having no voice in government before it will be issues of the second amendment. Yes not everyone should own a gun but we have enough laws already concerning this issue and they aren’t enforcing those why would the next law make any difference? It also is a fact that many of the recent mass murderers passed the checks that are supposed to prevent them from owning a gun. We haven’t seen illegally purchased guns used in these crimes. Psyothotropic drugs yes illegally purchased guns no.

  • Lee Cruse July 4, 2014, 11:32 am

    Good article. I think that bottom line is how could such a mis-guided individual as Metcalf work in the industry for so long without being noticed. He should have never been hired by the publication and certainly should never be published again.
    I have no issue with people from both sides coming together to find new and effective approaches to reduce criminal violence, but his statements are not reasonable by any standard.

  • jj July 3, 2014, 5:22 pm

    I’m shocked that Metcalf doesn’t understand the “well regulated” does not mean regulated by the government…

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