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A blog too far: Hunter becomes target himself


I'm afraid to write this item. The whole shooting match got started with a blog. And a lot of the angered folks have guns, and know how to use them. So even though this is a target-rich environment for punsters, I will try to stick with the facts.

This all began when professional hunter Jim Zumbo posted a blog on February 16. Zumbo's a longtime hunter and a frequent speaker at National Rifle Association events. He'd been an NRA member for 40 years, according to The Washington Post. In addition, he's been hosting a cable show, writes numerous articles on hunting, and is known among American hunters.

According to press accounts, Zumbo's fateful blog said that "the guides on our hunt tell me that the use of AR and AK rifles have a rapidly growing following among hunters, especially prairie dog hunters. I had no clue. I call them 'assault' rifles, which may upset some people. I'll go so far as to call them 'terrorist' rifles."

That did it. The National Rifle Association fired back (sorry).

"Comments expressed by outdoor writer Jim Zumbo reflect neither the opinions of the National Rifle Association and America's gun owners, nor are they an accurate portrayal of facts in regard to semi-automatic firearms lawfully owned by millions of citizens..."

I couldn't get to the NRA's whole article because the link is broken or the traffic too heavy. In the spirit of Internet friendship I will point out to the NRA that Zumbo's name is still prominent on its site.

Here's a Web page listing Zumbo as speaker at a hunting event. Here's a page listing Zumbo as author in the Hardcore Deer Hunter publication.

I'm very jealous of any site that can use this headline: "Blogger Shot Down" as they did at Cybercast News Service.

Meanwhile, under verbal assault Zumbo's recanted and apologized. Zumbo will no longer write for Outdoor Life magazine. It was on their site that his original and fateful blog appeared, and a lot of his old writing is still on the site. Zumbo's professional future seems to be on hold, his cable show in hiatus, his presence unwelcome among his former colleagues in hunting circles. A blog too far.

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