Even About Silencers, the NRA Silences its Own Ranks


Pity the poor NRA. With a solidly pro-gun Congress, White House and Supreme Court it can no longer scream the “government is going to take your guns” to raise money. In scrambling for ways gun owners are still oppressed it can’t come up with much more than “there are too many restriction around silencers.”


Not all its ranks agree. Responding to a graphic on the NRA Facebook page displaying how few crimes are committed with silencers, one supporter posted, “Those are silly stats. I try to support the NRA but really?…Alternately, it is reasonable to suggest that I should be allowed to purchase a RPG [Rocket-propelled grenade]. No crime in the USA has ever been committed with one. Therefore, they are safe to own.” Two other posters dared to agree.


But when another poster wrote “If all citizens could own what the military owned every major city in this country would make Iraq/Afghanistan look like a playground fight. You have to understand that not everyone is a law abiding gun owning citizen like you or me. We live in different times than the 1800s,” the bloodletting began


“Are you a Bloomberg employee in Hong Kong?” someone quickly retorted because the poster had an Asian last name. Others piled on.


Many have observed the gun lobby’s bully tactics against politicians and citizens who resist its agenda. But what it does to its own ranks is no better.


Remember what happened to outdoors personality and big game hunter Jim Zumbo when he wrote “Maybe I’m a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons [black rifles] among our hunting fraternity. I’ll go so far as to call them ‘terrorist’ rifles. We don’t need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them,” in a 2007 blog?


Zumbo was termed a “turncoat” and stripped of his Outdoors Network TV show and position with Outdoor Life magazine. His TV show was restored only after he visited the ranch of NRA board member Ted Nugent to learn the beauty of so-called “black rifles” for hunting animals.


Zumbo even issued an unctuous recantation. “I’ll do all I can to educate others who are, or were, as ignorant as I was about ‘black’ rifles and the controversy that surrounds them,” he vowed. “My promise to you is that I’ll learn all I can about these firearms, and by the time this week is out, I’ll order one.”



In 2013, Guns & Ammo contributing editor, Dick Metcalf and magazine editor, Jim Bequette were fired over a column that contained a simple plea for mandatory gun-owner training. Gun lobby shock troops piled on. Making sure someone carrying a lethal weapon knows how to handle and shoot it is an infringement of the Second Amendment they hissed.


In an obsequious apology a month later, Bequette wrote that he thought the training column “would generate a healthy exchange of ideas on gun rights” but was wrong. “I owe each and every reader a personal apology” he said. “Our commitment to the Second Amendment is unwavering.”


Savaging dissenters might have worked for the gun lobby when the government was “going to take your guns,” but will it fly now? Does any sane person believe silencer restrictions are the first step to “confiscation”?