Washington Post Gets it wrong: "Criticism of hunters who use assault rifles puts writer’s career in jeopardy"

The problem isn't that he made a political mistake, the problem is that this guy doesn't know what he was talking about. These military-style assault rifles are functionally the same as hunting rifles. A .308 caliber AK-47 "assault" weapon fires bullets that are no more powerful and at the same rate as a regular deer hunting rifle. They are both semi-automatic guns. This AK-47 is a civilian version of the weapon. It is not the military version.

Modern hunters rarely become more famous than Jim Zumbo. A mustachioed, barrel-chested outdoors entrepreneur who lives in a log cabin near Yellowstone National Park, he has spent much of his life writing for prominent outdoors magazines, delivering lectures across the country and starring in cable TV shows about big-game hunting in the West.

Zumbo's fame, however, has turned to black-bordered infamy within America's gun culture -- and his multimedia success has come undone. It all happened in the past week, after he publicly criticized the use of military-style assault rifles by hunters, especially those gunning for prairie dogs.

"Excuse me, maybe I'm a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity," Zumbo wrote in his blog on the Outdoor Life Web site. The Feb. 16 posting has since been taken down. "As hunters, we don't need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them. . . . I'll go so far as to call them 'terrorist' rifles."

The reaction -- from tens of thousands of owners of assault rifles across the country, from media and manufacturers rooted in the gun business, and from the National Rifle Association -- has been swift, severe and unforgiving. Despite a profuse public apology and a vow to go hunting soon with an assault weapon, Zumbo's career appears to be over. . . . .



Anonymous Mike said...

I posted a comment on the WaPo article regarding Mr. Zumbo and discovered something interesting. The site removes quotation marks, parentheses, dashes, ellipsis and other common parts of writing. Oh yes, it also runs everything together, removing paragraph breaks. I don't know if this is done on purpose, but it could well have the effect of making those who write with more complex syntactical structure look less capable as writers. I wonder if this is a gun owner dumbing down feature?

2/25/2007 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Stephen said...

A .308 is a 7.62X51mm and the Ak 47 is a 7.62X39mm

2/25/2007 5:13 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Mike:

Thanks, that is amusing.

Dear Stephen:


2/25/2007 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: 7.62 X ?
yes and no, the "original AK 47" was indeed chambered for the 7.62X39mm. However, for the American market (and others,) many modifications were made, both to the AK and the SKS. e.g. the Chinese Norinco "paratrooper" SKS.
The most well known "AK 47" chambered in the 7.62X51 (NATO or 308, and Yes I DO know the difference!) is the Yugoslavian. And in addition, the AKM and RPK were originally chambered in the Russian 7.62X54R cartridge. The Yougoslavian AK's command a premium price, which makes them priced beyond the budget of most buyers...


There is additional information, if you need it. I'm a disabled VietNam Vet, and use the AK as my primary hunting rifle. It's short, handy, accurate, and affordable. It works great on deer and wild hogs etc. Scopes, make a rifle too heavy and too awkward to carry. So I installed a "ghost ring" sight on my AK, and it works great! (at least for me)

2/26/2007 4:41 AM  
Blogger bmwtwisty said...


I think we can really do some good by minimizing use of the term "assault weapon." As we all know a true assault weapon can be switched between full-auto and semi-auto. If you must, perhaps refer to these firearms (not "weapons") as semi-auto "military style" firearms. The folks who don't care much for guns like to play semantics, so why (pun intended) give them any ammo. Another bad pun, Zumbo shot himself in the foot with this one, but the sad thing is he's not alone among many hunting enthusiasts.

2/26/2007 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Zumbo should move to Montana and take up raising dental floss.

2/26/2007 6:38 PM  

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