After Guns & Ammo magazine ran contributing editor Dick Metcalf’s piece advocating gun control for the December 2013 issue, social media exploded — and Metcalf was fired from the “world’s most widely read firearms magazine.”

After Guns & Ammo Editors Piece on Gun Control, Social Media Explodes on Both Sides of the Issue

Dick Metcalf (Image source: The Truth About Guns)

“Way too many gun owners still seem to believe that any regulation of the right to keep and bear arms is an infringement,” Metcalf wrote in the controversial “Let’s Talk Limits” editorial.

“The fact is, all constitutional rights are regulated, always have been, and need to be.”

“All U.S. citizens have a right to keep and bear arms,” he added, “but I do not believe that they have a right to use them irresponsibly.”

Not surprisingly the Guns & Ammo Facebook site was inundated with denunciations and notices of soon-to-be cancelled subscriptions from gun-rights advocates.

But another reactionary contingent was getting fired up about the editorial, too: The gun-control crowd.

In fact the Washington Times wonders if the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence — one of the most prominent gun-control groups — inspired what’s become a large swath of kudos from supporters of stricter gun laws by sharing a link of the editorial on its wall stating that the “the editor (sic) of Guns & Ammo makes an argument for gun regulation.”

And after word got out Wednesday night that Metcalf was fired from his Guns & Ammo technical editor gig over his gun-control editorial, again gun-rights advocates took to social media and said that was the right thing to do; some even said too much damage had been done to warrant forgiveness in the form of renewed subscriptions.

But again gun-control advocates used the event to state their case.

Check out the mix of responses on the Guns & Ammo Twitter feed over magazine editor Jim Bequette’s announcement that Metcalf and the mag would be parting ways:

After Guns & Ammo Editors Piece on Gun Control, Social Media Explodes on Both Sides of the Issue

(Image source: Twitter)

After Guns & Ammo Editors Piece on Gun Control, Social Media Explodes on Both Sides of the Issue

(Image source: Twitter)

After Guns & Ammo Editors Piece on Gun Control, Social Media Explodes on Both Sides of the Issue

(Image source: Twitter)

And believe it or not, Twitter and Facebook pages have sprung up in support of Metcalf since his ouster; still the majority of voices here are from gun-rights advocates.

“Social media is very powerful inside the gun niche,” Rob Pincus, who’s worked with Metcalf, told The Washington Times. “When someone who is perceived as a leader, or having a position of influence, or can be presumed to speak for the community to the public realm, goes outside of that solidarity, they get called to task very quickly.”

Bequette felt the pinch and was resoundingly repentant in his letter to readers. “I made a mistake by publishing the column,” he wrote. “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.”

He then announced his own resignation earlier than anticipated. “Plans were already in place for a new editor to take the reins of ‘Guns & Ammo’ on January 1,” Bequette wrote. “However, these recent events have convinced me that I should advance that schedule immediately.” He added that the new “Guns & Ammo” editor will be Eric R. Poole, who had been running the mag’s special-interest publications, such as “Book of the AR-15” and “TRIGGER.”

Metcalf had no public statement on his dismissal as of Thursday evening.

Here’s a clip of Metcalf discussing why the AR-platform is rapidly becoming the “‘new’ firearm of choice for everything from prairie dogs to grizzly bears,” via Rifle Shooter magazine:

(H/T: Mediaite)