Guns & Ammo editor apologizes, fires writer and resigns after publishing column advocating gun control
by Chad D. Baus
The editor of Guns & Ammo magazine apologized to readers and resigned after he published a column advocating gun control.
In his apology, Editor Jim Bequette admitted that he intended to "generate a healthy exchange of ideas on gun rights" when he published a commentary by Dick Metcalf, who wrote that he supported regulations on firearms.
Metcalf's editorial had a different effect altogether. In his apology, Bequette wrote that the editorial in the December issue "aroused unprecedented controversy" among readers who began "questioning 'Guns & Ammo's commitment to the Second Amendment."
Bequette announced that, in addition to his own early resignation (he had planned to turn over the reigns in January), he had also fired Metcalf.
Bequette's entire letter follows:
The following letter was posted on November 6, 2013:
Our Response to the December 2013 Backpage Column
From Jim Bequette, editor, "Guns & Ammo" Magazine:
As editor of "Guns & Ammo," I owe each and every reader a personal apology.
No excuses, no backtracking.
Dick Metcalf's "Backstop" column in the December issue has aroused unprecedented controversy. Readers are hopping mad about it, and some are questioning "Guns & Ammo"'s commitment to the Second Amendment. I understand why.
Let me be clear: Our commitment to the Second Amendment is unwavering. It has been so since the beginning. Historically, our tradition in supporting the Second Amendment has been unflinching. No strings attached. It is no accident that when others in the gun culture counseled compromise in the past, hard-core thinkers such as Harlon Carter, Don Kates and Neal Knox found a place and a voice in these pages. When large firearms advocacy groups were going soft in the 1970s, they were prodded in the right direction, away from the pages of "Guns & Ammo."
In publishing Metcalf's column, I was untrue to that tradition, and for that I apologize. His views do not represent mine — nor, most important, "Guns & Ammo"'s. It is very clear to me that they don't reflect the views of our readership either.
Dick Metcalf has had a long and distinguished career as a gunwriter, but his association with "Guns & Ammo" has officially ended.
I once again offer my personal apology. I understand what our valued readers want. I understand what you believe in when it comes to gun rights, and I believe the same thing.
I made a mistake by publishing the column. 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.
Plans were already in place for a new editor to take the reins of "Guns & Ammo" on January 1. However, these recent events have convinced me that I should advance that schedule immediately.
Your new "Guns & Ammo" editor will be Eric R. Poole, who has so effectively been running our special interest publications, such as "Book of the AR-15" and "TRIGGER." You will be hearing much more about this talented editor soon.
"Guns & Ammo" will never fail to vigorously lead the struggle for our Second Amendment rights, and with vigorous young editorial leadership such as Eric's, it will be done even better in the future.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.