“Way too many gun owners still seem to believe that any regulation of the right to keep and bear arms is an infringement,” technical editor Dick Metcalf wrote in the magazine’s December issue. (PDF) “The fact is, all constitutional rights are regulated, always have been, and need to be.”
Metcalf said he supported the right to keep and bear arms, but he also advocated better training to prevent the “many examples” of accidental shootings by legally armed Americans.
The editorial will run in the magazine’s December issue, but the backlash commenced as soon as the column’s contents became public.
Readers blasted the magazine on its Facebook page and threatened to cancel their subscriptions.
Guns and Ammo editor Jim Bequette apologized to readers online, saying the magazine’s “commitment to the Second Amendment is unwavering,” and announced that Metcalf had been fired.
“Dick Metcalf has had a long and distinguished career as a gunwriter, but his association with Guns & Ammo has officially ended,” Bequette said.
The editor blamed himself for publishing the column, saying he’d hoped it would generate a “healthy exchange of ideas on gun rights,” but admitted that he’s plainly miscalculated by publishing a column that was “untrue” to the magazine’s tradition.
“His views do not represent mine — nor, most important, Guns & Ammo’s,” Bequette said. “It is very clear to me that they don’t reflect the views of our readership either.”
Update, 5:02 p.m. EST: CNN reported that Bequette has also resigned, more than a month ahead of his plan to step down. Special interest publications editor Eric R. Poole will take over at the position.
[Angry man points handgun via Shutterstock]