Between The Berms: Paging Uncle Ted

Nov 6, 2013
So, the internet began blowing up, again, with cries of betrayal and boycott. It seems that yet another gun writer has weighed in with his considerable wealth of knowledge, years of experience and expertise to help those less knowledgeable better understand the constitution's second amendment. Previously it was hunting expert Jim Zumbo who set us all straight on the AR-15, the modern sporting rifle...the black gun. Now it's gun expert Dick Metcalf whose recent Backstop column in the December issue of Guns & Ammo helps us understand that the second amendment was intended to be heavily regulated, and that onerous regulations are not infringements. Instead they simply reflect the wishes of the founding fathers. Oddly enough this pro-regulation stance hasn't been a hit with readers, and instead of accepting the position of one of Intermedia Outdoors' - the publisher of Guns & Ammo - most respected contributors, they've taken a decidedly different position as evidenced by these few examples of comments left online in the many blogs and forums covering this story. Time to cancel your subscriptions, Guns and Ammo Editor Dick Metcalf has penned an editorial for their December issue that will be leaving fans in shock; he's supporting gun control. - Michelle Wright I've enjoyed G&A for decades, but no more. Until Metcalf issues and apology, retraction, and notice of retirement, I'll never so much as LOOK AT G&A again. - TSgt B Please cancel my subscription and refund the balance of my payment as soon as feasible. This is in direct response to Dick Metcalf's editorial in the latest issue of Guns & Ammo regarding regulation versus infringement. I refuse to support/read a magazine that espouses views that are contrary to the 2nd Amendment. - Mike And as many online commenters have suggested, it does indeed appear we need to call in Uncle Ted to set a certain somebody down for a heart-to-heart. They refer to this kind of tête-à-tête as a "come to Jesus" meeting, but in our case, when it comes to issues of guns and giving away our rights, it more a "come to Ted" meeting. Whether or not Metcalf seeks redemption at the hands of Ted Nugent, as Zumbo did, remains to be seen and probably depends on the extent of the damage done. Should Guns & Ammo find its advertisers spending their ad dollars elsewhere, as was the case when the former editor of Recoil gave readers his expert opinion on who should own guns, then Metcalf could take on the title of "former" as well. If the organizations - and by extension their sponsors - that frequent the shooting ranges of PASA Park located on the Metcalf family farm in Southern Illinois decide to move their major competitions elsewhere, then a pilgrimage to Uncle Ted's ranch might be a forgone conclusion. It's hard to tell exactly why Dick Metcalf chose to write what he did. Even harder still to understand his embracing of regulations as both needed and fundamentally the cornerstone of the framers' intent when they wrote "a well regulated militia." If you have not already seen it you can pick up a copy of Guns & Ammo or find a copy of the column posted here online. After reading it, and re-reading it, I find I agree with Student of the Gun's Paul Markel who wrote that Metcalf may suffer from "reasonableness disease." Reasonableness disease is an affliction which attacks those who accept the main stream media's assertion that not accepting reasonable gun control is unreasonable. And most people don't want to be seen as unreasonable, so the only solution is be more reasonable and accept those "reasonable" gun control restrictions. After all, they're simply regulations and not infringements, right? What I find troubling in the column is the rather foolish notion that the first amendment is regulated as much as the second amendment. Metcalf implies that through the hackneyed reference of shouting "fire" in a crowded movie theater. Prohibiting one free citizen from exercising their first amendment right for the sole purpose of doing physical harm to another free citizen is, well, civilized. If only there were a similar restriction on using a firearm for the sole purpose of doing harm to another. If only.... Of course, if the theater is (what's the term, oh yes) on fire, then one's right to yell fire isn't prohibited. Just like using a firearm for self defense, I suppose. But what Metcalf and many others seem to forget when equating first amendment restrictions with second amendment restrictions is that there is no required training period imposed on citizens before they're allowed to use the First. There also isn't a background check of any sort. This should be particularly troubling to many considering the pen is mightier than the sword, which in turn makes the computer mighty enough to bring down governments (just ask the Egyptians). So imagine the reaction Metcalf would get if he advocated the same regulations (which of course aren't restrictions) for the exercise of the first amendment that he's quite happy to support - as evidenced by his column - for exercise of the second. I'm guessing it would be a reaction not easily measured but could quite quickly cure one of the reasonableness disease. - Paul Erhardt, Editor, the Outdoor Wire Digital Network Got shooting sports news? Send us an email at