I’m puzzled by the editorial direction that Guns & Ammo magazine has taken recently.
In fact, I’m curious as hell, because I don’t see much sense of direction at all.
The stalwart magazine of my youth now appears rudderless, lunging from one bad decision to another.
First, there was the national scandal caused by the magazine’s longtime technical editor Dick Metcalf, who horribly misinterpreted the Second Amendment and actually voiced support for more government regulation – more gun control.
The magazine survived that, barely. It lost subscribers, issued an apology and sent Metcalf packing.
Now, they’re at it again, threatening to sue a grassroots pro-gun group.
Guns Save Life is a plucky bunch of dedicated Second Amendment supporters located in central Illinois.
I actually spoke at a couple of their monthly meetings years ago, when they were held in Rantoul.
Nowadays, they’ve grown so big they have monthly meetings in four Illinois cities.
GSL describes itself as “a regional civil rights organization that works
to educate the public about the benefits of firearm ownership.”
They’re well led by John Boch.
Since John became president in 2010, their membership has quadrupled.
As of this morning, they’re just shy of 2,000 members.
John holds down an office job during the day, but his passion is writing stories for the GSL website and other publications. He also works as a firearms instructor, and has a long list of training credentials.
On Wednesday, John wrote a story about G&A’s recent review of the new Taurus .380 “Curve.”
He didn’t pull any punches.
John called the new pistol a “Turd,” and he took the magazine to task for its glowing review, which he said was fueled by advertising dollars.
The next day, he got an email from Dusty Gibson, G&A’s Online Shooting Editor, ordering him to remove his post by 8 a.m. Friday morning, or else.
“If the material is not removed by that time, we will seek legal action immediately,” Gibson wrote.
“The fact I effectively called into question G&A’s objectivity does not, in and of itself, make that a defamatory or slanderous statement,” John told me Friday, about two hours after the magazine’s deadline expired.
John also pointed out that GSL now has monthly meetings in Peoria, which also happens to be where G&A is headquartered.
“I’ve never seen them at any of our monthly meetings,” Boch said.
I called Gibson to try to find out why his gun magazine would threaten a grassroots pro-gun group.
I’m still waiting for him or any other G&A editor to call me at (941) 284-8553.
Threatening legal action against such a dedicated group of gun folks is classless.
Besides, if the magazine was so offended by John’s story, maybe they should have tried talking to him first, before threatening to sue.
“If they had asked nicely, maybe we could have worked something out,” John said. “They’re stepping in a cow pie, kind of akin to what they did with Metcalf.”
I couldn’t agree more, John.