Jim Zumbo Takes Aim At U.S. Senator

Friday, March 30, 2007

From "The Outdoor Wire"

In February, hunter and outdoorsman Jim Zumbo enraged shooters across the United States with comments appearing his now-discontinued blog on Outdoor Life. Since that fateful blog, Zumbo's professional life has changed - profoundly. A marquee career in hunting has effectively been reduced to nothingness. Television sponsors bolted, contracts were cancelled and a former front-man for hunting found himself the object of hatred and ridicule by shooters who felt betrayed by his comments.

Zumbo hasn't tried to shift the blame to anyone else. In fact, he pledged to go on the offensive to fight HR 1022, the newly introduced and significantly broadened, assault weapons ban.

Last week, Michigan Senator Carl Levin, a staunch opponent of firearms, used Zumbo's remarks to attack firearms owners, reading portions into the Congressional Record. Zumbo has fired back, sending an open letter to the United States Senate that responds to Levin's action and makes it plain that Zumbo isn't letting that action pass.

Last night, Zumbo provided us a copy of his response to Senator Levin. Today, in the sense of fairness, we offer it in its entirety - without comment.

An Open Letter to the United States Senate

Dear Honorable Ladies and Gentlemen:

It recently came to my attention that one of your colleagues, Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, has chosen to attack firearms owners using remarks I wrote in mid-February as his launch pad. As you probably know, Sen. Levin has been making anti-gun speeches every week for the past eight years because of a promise he made to the Economic Club of Detroit in May 1999.

Mr. Levin has an agenda, and he should have spoken to me before using my name in one of his speeches, especially since his remarks were entered into the Congressional Record. I would like my remarks here entered into the Congressional Record as well.

Sen. Levin is only one of 16 members of the Senate to vote against the Vitter Amendment to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act. This amendment prohibits the confiscation of a privately-owned firearm during an emergency or major disaster when possession of that gun is not prohibited under state or federal law.

Eighty-four senators voted for that amendment, inspired by the egregious confiscation of firearms from the citizens of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in the summer of 2005. Those seizures, you will recall, led the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association to join in a landmark civil rights lawsuit in federal court that brought the confiscations to an abrupt end.

The taking of private property without warrant or probable cause - even firearms - was considered an outrage by millions of American citizens, and yet Sen. Levin joined 15 of his colleagues in voting against this measure. It is no small wonder that Sen. Levin gets an "F" rating from gun rights organizations. He would have American citizens disarmed and left defenseless at a time when they need their firearms the most, when social order collapses into anarchy and protecting one's self and one's family is not simply a right and responsibility, it becomes a necessity.

That in mind, Sen. Levin must know that almost immediately after I wrote those remarks, I recanted and apologized to the millions of Americans who lawfully and responsibly own, compete with and hunt with semi-automatic rifles. I took a "crash course" on these firearms and visited with my good friend Ted Nugent on his ranch in Texas, where I personally shot an AR-15 and educated myself with these firearms.

Some of us learn from our mistakes, others keep making them. Legislation to which Sen. Levin alluded, HR 1022, would renew the ban on so-called "assault weapons," and dangerously expand it to encompass far more perfectly legal firearms. For the Congress of the United States to even consider such legislation is an affront to every law-abiding firearms owner in this country.

This legislation that Sen. Levin appears to endorse is written so broadly as outlaw not only firearms, but accessories, including a folding stock for a Ruger rifle. As I understand the language of this bill, it could ultimately take away my timeworn and cherished hunting rifles and shotguns - firearms I hope to one day pass on to my grandchildren - as well as millions of identical and similar firearms owned by other American citizens.

It is clear to me that the supporters of this legislation don't want to stop criminals. They want to invent new ones out of people like me, and many of you, and your constituents, friends, neighbors and members of your families. They will do anything they can, go to any extremes they believe necessary, to make it impossible for more and more American citizens to legally own any firearm.

In his final paragraph, Senator Levin misrepresents what I said. I never spoke in favor of a general assault weapons ban. Again, I immediately apologized for my blog statement that was exclusively directed toward hunting and not gun ownership.

I will not allow my name to be associated with this kind of attack on the Second Amendment rights of my fellow citizens.

A few weeks ago, in a letter to Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, I promised to educate my fellow hunters about this insidious legislation "even if I have to visit every hunting camp and climb into every duck blind and deer stand in this country to get it done."

I will amend that to add that I will bring my effort to Capitol Hill if necessary, even if I have to knock on every door and camp in every office of the United States Senate. In promoting this ban, the Hon. Carl Levin does not speak for me, or anybody I know.

Sincerely,
James Zumbo
Cody, Wyoming


Scientists Rediscover Venezuelan Bird Not Seen In 60 Years

An international team of researchers has solved one of South America’s great bird mysteries. Working deep in the mountainous forests of western Venezuela, they have rediscovered the Táchira Antpitta, a plump brown bird species not seen since it was first recorded in the 1950s. Last year, scientists of the Red Siskin Initiative (RSI) — a conservation partnership between the ... (click for more)

Ted Wells: I Now Hold The Record For The Great Barracuda In Quintana Roo, Mexico

Me and my sometime fishing companion Michelle took a little time off last week to attend a wedding down near Cancun, Mexico, and, as I had about used up my welcome at the pool and had probably annoyed the staff at most of the other establishments at our resort, I decided to do a little bit of offshore fishing on the last full day, and kind of “get away.”  The cost was nearly ... (click for more)

Lookout Mountain, Tn., As Hall Tax Evaporates, Raises Property Tax By 14 Cents Above New Certified Rate; Parking Rates, Fines Raised

With the Hall tax dwindling, the Lookout Mountain, Tn., Commission on Tuesday night approved a 14-cent property tax increase above the new certified rate.   The July meeting of the commission had been postponed until Tuesday so the amount of Hall state income tax that the town will receive for 2107 would be known before setting the property tax rate and finalizing the ... (click for more)

Man In Critical Condition After Shooting On 34th Street; Carolyn Ross Taken Into Custody

A man is in critical condition after a shooting on Tuesday night on 34th Street.   Carolyn Ross, 57, was taken into custody.   Chattanooga Police responded at 7:20 p.m. to a person shot at the 1900 block E 34 th  Street.   Police initially responded to the report of a disorder at the 3900 block of 6th Avenue. Upon arrival officers learned the ... (click for more)

Prayers For Denny

I don’t live in Chattanooga any longer unfortunately and haven’t for many years now, but when I did live there, I was more than a regular at Yesterdays.  It was basically my second home….as it was for many, many of my friends and others that I may not have known their names, but definitely knew their faces.   It was the “Cheers” of Chattanooga. It was the place that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘No Sir -- It Stays Here’

To any of the millions who have served the United States on the field of combat, the most hallowed and prized distinction is our nation’s Medal of Honor. It is never given, it is always earned before it is ever awarded.  At least that’s the way it was up until a sun-splashed Wednesday three weeks ago in Vicenza, Italy. There is an Army base there that houses the 173 rd Airborne ... (click for more)