Months after former Guns & Ammo magazine columnist Dick Metcalf ignited a firestorm by advocating stricter gun control laws, he claims he has been blackballed from the industry.
“I’ve been vanished, disappeared. Now you see him. Now you don’t,” he said in a recent New York Times interview.
“Compromise is a bad word these days,” Metcalf, 67, added. “People think it means giving up your principles.”
Trouble began shortly after the writer published an editorial, titled “Let’s Talk Limits,” for Guns & Ammo magazine in November.
“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 article. “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.”
Despite the fact that his editors approved and published the article, Metcalf was terminated after reader backlash proved too fierce. Guns & Ammo magazine top editor Jim Bequette was also forced to resign early as a result of the intense reaction to Metcalf’s editorial.
“I made a mistake by publishing the column,” he wrote in his letter of resignation. “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.”
Since parting ways with Guns & Ammo, Metcalf claims his fall from grace has been severe.
“Some topics you should never try and discuss too briefly because they can’t be dealt with like that,” Metcalf said in the Times interview.
Once a leader in his field, with a television show co-produced by Guns & Ammo, Metcalf said the editorial has turned him into a "pariah," as the Times put it.
He “absolutely did not” deserve to be fired, said Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Shannon Watts.
“If he suggested a ban on all guns, then I would understand that reaction,” Watts said. “But to say a fair exchange of ideas on how to stem the deaths and murders in this country because of gun violence is an act of heresy just reeks of no tolerance.”
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