Metcalf, as you may remember, was a former editor and writer for Guns & Ammo, who foolishly (or bravely, depending on your outlook) wrote a column suggesting that gun owners ought to consider further restrictions on firearms. Of course, Metcalf has a First Amendment right to say or publish what he wants. What he doesn't understand is that he doesn't have a First Amendment right to work for Guns & Ammo. (Well, that isn't the only thing he doesn't understand. For instance, he obviously did not understand his audience).
Anyway, Metcalf subsequently penned a non-apology "apology" blaming everyone but himself for the reaction he generated. He's now taking his "non-apology" one step further by running to whine at the New York Times. And he still doesn't get it.
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.”Gun owners have compromised and capitulated time and time again, and look where it has gotten us:
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.
“I’ve been vanished, disappeared,” Mr. Metcalf, 67, said in an interview last month on his gun range here, about 100 miles north of St. Louis, surrounded by snow-blanketed fields and towering grain elevators. “Now you see him. Now you don’t.”
He is unsure of his next move, but fears he has become a pariah in the gun industry, to which, he said, he has devoted nearly his entire adult life.
His experience sheds light on the close-knit world of gun journalism, where editors and reporters say there is little room for nuance in the debate over gun laws. Moderate voices that might broaden the discussion from within are silenced. When writers stray from the party line promoting an absolutist view of an unfettered right to bear arms, their publications — often under pressure from advertisers — excommunicate them.
“We are locked in a struggle with powerful forces in this country who will do anything to destroy the Second Amendment,” said Richard Venola, a former editor of Guns & Ammo. “The time for ceding some rational points is gone.” (Underline added).
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