Dick Metcalf had a long career as a writer and editor in the shooting sports before he became a pariah for column he wrote late last year stating that he’d be fine with more gun control laws and mandatory training for concealed carriers. After an avalanche of criticism (which both Metcalf and Guns & Ammo responded too poorly, and too late), Metcalf was fired and his editor resigned after a groveling apology.
Metcalf seems to be harboring more than a little bitterness for the end of his career—which is to be expected—and is now serving as a tool for the anti-gun left.
Metcalf went on to become a competitive shooter who has hunted on five continents, as well as a historian. He has been studying and writing about the Bill of Rights and firearms for 37 years. He has taught at Yale and Cornell, enacted concealed-carry laws across the country, and authored pro-firearms legislation.
But he is not opposed to mandatory training for gun owners, and tighter regulation of firearms…
…”I believe that everyone I knew, even the people who worked for the companies responsible for the advertising pressure—because they are hearing [from customers], ‘We’ll never buy another one of your products if you continue to advertise in this magazine that has this anti-American traitor in it—but they all believe it,” Metcalf said. “I can’t tell you how many senior executives at firearms companies, over a beer when no one’s watching, will say, ‘You do know we realize that, of course, at least a third of our customers shouldn’t be let within five miles of a gun.”
Metcalf knows a lot about firearms… more than most of us will ever know.
He’s also right that politics is the art of compromise.
But he also showed that despite a long publishing and academic career, he fundamentally doesn’t grasp the meaning and intent of the Second Amendment. Specifically, he betrayed that he either simply is incapable of understanding what the Founders meant when they stated the need for a well-regulated militia, or that he simply doesn’t agree with it. Instead of showing contrition for his ignorance (or arrogance), he continues to insist that “well-regulated” means “lawyered to death,” and that his fellow gun owners simply aren’t as good as he is.
He has become one of the pigs of Animal Farm, feeling that all animals are equal… but that some are more equal than others.
This, ultimately, is his unforgivable sin.
Metcalf is hardly a lone voice in desiring that gun owners receive training. After all, an entire industry exists to train firearms owners in everything from precision rifle shooting, to concealed carry, to close quarters battle and small unit tactics. I believe in ensuring that the citizenry is well-regulated, and so I volunteer as a rifle marksmanship instructor with the Appleseed Project to teach that critical constitutional skill, and impart a little civic knowledge along the way.
But Metcalf stands alone in being the writer/editor of a well-known shooting sports magazine who turned his back on the intent of the Second Amendment, and who still insists upon playing the victim as he seeks to undermine it still.