Guns & Ammo Writer Fired: Dick Metcalf Axed For Pro-Gun Control Column In Firearm Mag, Editor Jim Bequette Steps Down

on November 07 2013 5:43 PM

Guns & Ammo magazine is in the crosshairs after publishing a column supporting gun control in its December issue. As a result, the editor of the national firearms publication has announced he will step down and the contributing writer of the editorial has been fired.

According to Newsmax, the final page in the December issue of Guns & Ammo features a column from writer Dick Metcalf titled “Let’s Talk About Limits,” in which Metcalf draws a distinction between gun regulation and infringement on Second Amendment rights.  

"I bring this up because way too many gun owners still believe that any regulation of the right to continue to keep and bear arms is an infringement," Metcalf writes. "The fact is that 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. Freedom of assembly is regulated. People who don’t like you can’t gather an 'anti-you' demonstration on your front lawn without your permission. And it is illegal for convicted felons or the clinically insane to keep and bear arms.

"But 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?"

As Ad Age notes, Metcalf finished his editorial by stating that he supports regulation for training and preparation when handling firearms. “I don’t think requiring 16 hours of training to qualify for a concealed carry permit is infringement in and of itself,” Metcalf writes. “But that’s just me.” 

The column set off widespread outrage among Guns & Ammo readers, many of whom took to the magazine’s Facebook page, vowing to cancel their subscriptions. Some also called for an advertiser boycott.

In a written response to the controversy, Jim Bequette, editor of Guns & Ammo magazine, announced that he would resign from Guns & Ammo. He also said Metcalf’s “association” with Guns & Ammo was officially over.

“I made a mistake by publishing the column,” Bequette writes. “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.

“Let me be clear: Our commitment to the Second Amendment is unwavering,” Bequette continues. “It has been so since the beginning. Historically, our tradition in supporting the Second Amendment has been unflinching. No strings attached. It is no accident that when others in the gun culture counseled compromise in the past, hard-core thinkers such as Harlon Carter, Don Kates and Neal Knox found a place and a voice in these pages. When large firearms advocacy groups were going soft in the 1970s, they were prodded in the right direction, away from the pages of Guns & Ammo.

“In publishing Metcalf’s column, I was untrue to that tradition, and for that I apologize. His views do not represent mine — nor, most important, Guns & Ammo’s. It is very clear to me that they don’t reflect the views of our readership either.”

Bequette -- who is also group editorial director at InterMedia Outdoors, parent company to Guns & Ammo, according to Ad Age -- also announced that Eric R. Poole, who runs the magazine’s special interest publications like “Book of the AR-15” and “TRIGGER,” would be the new editor of Guns & Ammo beginning on Jan. 1.

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