Guns & Ammo, "the world's most widely read firearms magazine," is under fire from angry readers over a shocking editorial published in the December issue supporting gun control.
"Way too many gun owners still seem to believe that any regulation of the right to keep and bear arms is an infringement," contributing editor Dick Metcalf wrote in a column titled "Let's Talk Limits." "The fact is, all constitutional rights are regulated, always have been, and need to be."
Because of the Second Amendment, Metcalf argues, "all U.S. citizens have a right to keep and bear arms, but I do not believe that they have a right to use them irresponsibly."
Not surprisingly, many readers are flocking to the Guns & Ammo Facebook page, threatening to cancel their subscriptions and boycott the magazine's advertisers until Metcalf is fired.
"If Dick Metcalf isn't given the boot, I will give the boot to my subscription," one reader wrote. "Stabbed in the back by one of our own. What a shame."
"I've cancelled my subscription and I'm NEVER coming back, and I have been a reader since 1964 and a subscriber since 1970," wrote another. "It is unconscionable for a GUN magazine to publish this kind of dribble."
"I will NEVER read your magazine again," another reader wrote. "I will NEVER buy anything offered in your magazine. You can kiss my red blooded, white American ass!!!"
"Wow," wrote another. "Talk about 'shooting yourself in the foot.' What are you thinking by not listening to the response of your subscribers? You're making an EPIC mistake."
Gun rights advocates seem to agree.
"Anyone who says 'I believe in the Second Amendment but –' does not believe in the Second Amendment," Robert Farago wrote in a blog post on TheTruthAboutGuns.com. "They are not friends, they are not frenemies, they are enemies of The People of the Gun."
Farago also took issue with Metcalf's assertion that the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech doesn't mean you can yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater.
"Yes. Yes you can," Farago wrote. "It’s just that you’re legally responsible for what happens next."
Farago added: "The right to keep and bear arms is a natural right, stemming from our natural right of self-defense. It doesn’t require belief, faith or political justification."
The magazine did not immediately return a request for comment.
But gun control advocates are cheering Guns & Ammo's decision to publish the column. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence shared a link to a story about Metcalf's column on its Facebook page.