What he published, even in attempting to spark a debate, was pretty weak tea, but for gun nuts of America it amounted to “heresy.” And so Jim Bequette, the editor of Guns & Ammo, a leading magazine for their element, was forced out of his job today, even after he apologized for this gross infraction.
Here’s the offensive section in a column by a prominent gun writer, Dick Metcalf, under the headline “Let’s Talk Limits”:
Way too many gun owners still seem to believe that any regulation of the right to keep and bear arms is an infringement. The fact is, all constitutional rights are regulated, always have been, and need to be.
Freedom of speech is regulated. You cannot falsely and deliberately shout ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater. Freedom of religion is regulated. A church cannot practice human sacrifice. Many argue that any regulation at all is, by definition, an infringement. If that were true, then the authors of the Second Amendment themselves should not have specified ‘well-regulated.’ The question is, when does regulation become infringement?”
Yikes. Truly radical, lef-twing, gun-confiscation stuff. Metcalf had even ended his column with, “But that’s just me.”
As it turned out in that crowd: obviously.
Metcalf had quickly been banished from any future assignments but that wasn’t enough for the gun enthusiasts who kept calling for Bequette’s head, until they got it.
I made a mistake by publishing the column. I thought it would generate a healthy exchange of ideas on gun rights. I miscalculated, pure and simple. I was wrong, and I ask your forgiveness.