In a nutshell, Jim Zumbo, Outdoor Life columnist and perhaps the most visible outdoor writer in the United States, wrote a blogpost (linked below) calling for the banning of ARs, AKs and similar “terrorist” rifles from hunting. Nevermind that there are ARs that outshoot almost any bolt-action rifle out there. Zumbo wrote the post after a varmint shoot testing Remington’s new .17 centerfire Spitfire cartridge (which I believe is simply their version of the venerable .17 Mach IV), so he can’t claim ignorance of the perfection of a high-capacity autoloading rifle in the varmint fields. No, the man’s just a bigot.
After a blogswarm of comments by irate 2A supporters canceling their Outdoor Life subscriptions and calling for a boycott of Remington (Zumbo’s prime sponsor for his TV show Jim Zumbo Outdoors), Zumbo apologized, stating that he plans to learn all about ARs on a hunt with Ted Nugent (link below). Well, that’s nice. But Dumbo’s ill-thought comments are already being trumpeted by the Brady Bunch on their website (link is not to Brady but to Michael Bane’s blogpost about it).
The best part about all this was the hurried comment by Remington’s CEO on Zumbo’s original post:
ALL – Jim Zumbo in NO WAY speaks for Remington! His opinions are his own. We at Remington take our 2nd Ammendment Rights extremely seriously and ourselves market and manufacturer a AR based 308 rifle. Remington Arms supports the lawful use of all firearms by thier owners in whatever legal manner they choose. We at Remington feel that it is the diversity of our tastes and uses of fireaems that should also be the binding element that assists us all in defending the rights granted to us by our fore fathers.
Rest assured that remington not only does not support jim’s view, we totally disagree! I have no explaination for his perspective.
I proudly own AR’s and support everyones right to do so!
What makes me sick is how quickly people on the internet have called to boycott Remington. All Jim said was he was hunting with our people! This is normal course in our industry. How else do people think we field test? with writers.
Remington has spent tens of millions of dollars to defend your rights and how quickly the thanks is threat and boycott! Please feel Free to post that remington does not agree with Zumbo in any way shape or form and we will assess our relationship with him accordingly.
CEO and President
Good for them! Remington had better drop Zumbo like a hot potato.
Michael Bane’s excellent and passionate writeups on the controversy, with copies of Zumbo’s posts, are here and here. Zumbo’s original post is here and his apology is here. Beware, there are so many comments on his blogposts that they take forever to load and may crash a slower machine; you may want to read Bane’s writeups instead.
I don’t subscribe to Outdoor Life, but I did enjoy his TV show on the Outdoor Channel. No more. The Outdoor Channel’s feedback page is here. You can email Outdoor Life at [email protected]
I, for one, don’t believe the sincerity of his apology. I’ve got a lot of good company, too.
UPDATE: Hmm, that Brady “blogpost” may have been a hoax. I’m sure the real Bradys will have something to say eventually. In any event, Zumbo gave ’em plenty to work with. And as many commenters have noted, he still hasn’t actually apologized for the “terrorist” comment or said that it wasn’t what he meant. His “apology” is more along the lines of “please don’t boycott my sponsors.” Riiiight.
UPDATE 2: From Remington’s site, splashed on the front page:
NOTICE: Remington is in the process of severing our sponsorships with Mr. Zumbo. Remington in no way shares or advocates any of the comments made by Mr. Zumbo on his blog site. A formal announcement will be released by noon today.