It seems to me that Metcalf made two big mistakes...

His first mistake was in publishing an editorial calling for gun control in Guns and Ammo magazine. In so doing, Metcalf forgot that people in prominent media positions within a community have two tasks, not one. They are expected to publish things that their readers are interested in, of course; in this respect they are speaking to their readers on behalf of the latest shiny new toy manufacturer or tacticool instructor or whatever. But they are also speaking for their readers, in that their voice is supposed to reflect at least in broad outline what their readers think. In using his column to argue for gun control, Metcalf demonstrated that either he doesn't know what his readers think about that topic, or doesn't care.

His readers reacted by deciding, with justification, that they no longer wished to be represented to those outside their community by someone who, frankly, was unable -- or outright refusing -- to represent them. That this loss of trust cost him his job should surprise no one.

But it is illustrative to note that Metcalf ran to the New York Times, a noted anti-gun media outlet, in order to publish a bitter screed blaming the gun rights community for his own failure to comprehend it. In so doing, he made it obvious that he doesn't care what his readers think about the topic. That was his second mistake, and it was the mistake that made his first mistake unforgivable.

The Times is eager to spin this as an example of intolerance by gun owners. That's not true; Metcalf can hold any views he wishes to hold as a private individual. We may disagree with those views, and can do so without persecuting him for holding them. The gun rights community has proven we can forgive a writer who makes a mistake and learns from it. (See the Zumbo affair). But Metcalf has proven that his article was not a mistake; it was treason. As such, it is likely he will never work within the firearms media industry again.

Not because we are hating haters who hate; because we do not wish to be represented by someone who favors gun control, no matter how "reasonable" they think their views are.

This entry was published Mon Jan 13 02:47:29 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2014-01-13 02:47:29.0. [Tweet]

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