NYTimes: Banished for Questioning the Gospel of Guns
BARRY, Ill. — The byline of Dick Metcalf, one of the country’s pre-eminent gun journalists, has gone missing. It has been removed from Guns & Ammo magazine, where his widely-read column once ran on the back page. He no longer stars on a popular television show about firearms. Gun companies have stopped flying him around the world and sending him the latest weapons to review.
Mr. Metcalf was fired after a nuanced column in Guns & Ammo.
In late October, Mr. Metcalf wrote a column that the magazine titled “Let’s Talk Limits,” which debated gun laws. “The fact is,” wrote Mr. Metcalf, who has taught history at Cornell and Yale, “all constitutional rights are regulated, always have been, and need to be.”
The backlash was swift, and fierce. Readers threatened to cancel their subscriptions. Death threats poured in by email. His television program was pulled from the air.
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.
It’s an interesting read. I had to laugh, albeit a sad laugh, at the suggestion by the editors that they aren’t under the thumbs of the manufacturers. Gun folks - when’s the last time you saw a bad review of even the worst thing on the market? Yep.
But the bigger question is: Where are the Duck Dynasty “Freedom of speech” supporters for Dick Metcalf? Presumably the same place they were for the Dixie Chicks.
This lack of an ability to discuss the issue in other than the same religious extremist terms that also hinders the abortion debate is why we can not make progress any more than political progress was made in 1858 or so.