the NRA has trained members to attack their perceived enemies without mercy.

So says Pat Wray, who’s with the American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA). The latter is a group of hunters who claim they’re “reasonable” and the NRA is unreasonable. Personally, I suspect the AHSA consists of a group of agents provocateur (gun grabbers dressed as gun owners), but I’m a bit quick to make that claim and I really should be more careful. However, this AHSA statement about who they are raises my antennae:

Unless the sporting community can become unified behind an organization that fights for safe and responsible hunting and shooting practices and sensible gun ownership, future generations may be unable to participate in and enjoy the shooting sports.

Sporting community?
What the hell has hunting to do with the Second Amendment? It’s peripheral, and I think this repeated “sporting” meme belies a divide and conquer mentality — as if hunting is the only legitimate reason for owning firearms. I don’t hunt, and I resent the constant (even relentless) implication fueled by organizations like AHSA that hunting is the only legitimate reason why anyone would own a gun.
Pat Wray and others complain about the fact that a hunting columnist infuriated gun owners (like me) when he suggested that because ARs and AKs were “terrorist weapons” they should not be used for hunting. Never mind that they are used for hunting; here’s what he said:

I call them “assault” rifles, which may upset some people. Excuse me, maybe I’m a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity. I’ll go so far as to call them “terrorist” rifles. They tell me that some companies are producing assault rifles that are “tackdrivers.”
Sorry, folks, in my humble opinion, these things have no place in hunting. We don’t need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them, which is an obvious concern.
This really has me concerned. As hunters, we don’t need the image of walking around the woods carrying one of these weapons. To most of the public, an assault rifle is a terrifying thing. Let’s divorce ourselves from them. I say game departments should ban them from the praries and woods.

I don’t want to be “lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them” either, any more than I want to be “lumped into” the group of people who terrorize the inner cities with handguns. But simply because I own handguns, as well as so-called “assault weapons,” how does that lump me in with people who misuse them? That is execrably bad logic, and no, the NRA did not tell me to say it, nor did it train me to attack Mr. Zumbo without mercy.
I see the same sort of tripe in the daily newspapers, and I complain about it ad nauseam, but I can certainly understand why gun owners would find themselves especially infuriated to see it in Outdoor Life. I think this is part of a well-orchestrated movement to divide hunters and people who own guns for self defense.
But I’ll say this: the NRA isn’t issuing death threats against gun “apostates.” There’s a right for anyone to do a 180 on the gun issue, a right to infuriate gun owners like me with bad logic, and of course, a right to leave the NRA. And there’s of course a right to disagree with and criticize people for doing any of those things.
Without receiving death threats.
That does not seem to be the case with some things:

COLOGNE, Germany, Feb. 23 (UPI) — The founder of a group in Germany for former Muslims has sought police protection after receiving death threats.
Mina Ahadi, a native of Iran living in Cologne, said about three dozen people have joined the Central Council of Ex-Muslims.
“I happened to be born in a Muslim family, and I have decided not to be a Muslim,” she told the magazine Focus.
Ahadi said she and other members of the group have been “terrorized” and have received death threats, most of them sent via e-mail.
In many Muslim countries, people who abandon the faith face the death sentence under Sharia law.
Ahadi said she hoped to represent the interests of former Muslims who do not practice the religion. She chose the name as a play on the Central Council of Muslims, which has about 800,000 members and is the largest Islamic group in Germany.

(Via Glenn Reynolds.)
There are ex-NRA members, ex-Muslims, ex-gays, ex-straights, ex-Christians, ex-Pagans, ex-Republicans, and ex-Democrats. (And I’m sure there are lots of ex-bloggers by now.) So what? I think we’re going to see a lot more of this sort of thing, especially between now and the election. What separates civilized people from uncivilized people is that civilized people recognize that the right to do something includes the right not to do it, and the right to join something includes the right to leave it.
That does not mean that the people who justifiably feel betrayed by the exodus of fellow members cannot or in some cases should not sound off.
Say Uncle has a great discussion of the Zumbo affair, and there’s more here and here.
It was Dr. Helen’s blog which alerted me to the Zumbo situation, and I am fascinated by her discussion of a media double standard. (On the one hand Zumbo’s a hero for standing up to NRA tyranny, while on the other hand “homophobes” need to be treated for mental illness.)
Here’s Dr. Helen:

Take a foul mouthed shot at a minority and one is sent to rehab. Trash a gun owner and liken him or her to a terrorist and you are a sympathetic character who is being attacked by the fringe members of the NRA. I certainly do not condone what Washington said when he called a castmate a sexist slur, yet is it really okay for the The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation to request an apology (probably yes), try to get him fired and ABC to send Washington to “rehab,” all with no one in the MSM saying this might be wrong or at least giving an opposing view as they did with the gun slur? Why is one type of speech seen by the media as okay and worth defending and the other politically incorrect type seen as not worthy of anything but disdain and punishment?
I wonder when guys like Zumbo will be asked to go to rehab to treat their Hoplophobia?

I don’t know; when hell freezes over? At least “hoplophobia” makes linguistic sense; unless “homo” is PC shorthand for homosexual, the word “homophobia” on its face means either fear of sameness or fear of mankind. And all shy people would become heterophobic, because they fear others.
(Parenthetically, I have long thought that the Washington affair touches on race, but I’m not allowed to say that, nor am I allowed to say that the Washington affair is now being driven by the ongoing flap over Tim Hardaway’s remarks — said to have “led” to a savage and fatal Detroit attack on an elderly gay man, and of course it therefore “follows” that Tim Hardaway’s remarks are actually the fault of Peter LaBarbera, which means LaBarbera is the ultimate villain, while Washington is a victim in need of treatment.)
But I’m not allowed to say any of that, OK? Some things simply cannot be discussed. Not even in this blog. That’s why I did the right thing and crossed out every word.
I should censor myself more often. It feels good.
I suspect the world will get crazier and we’ll see more bad logic and stuff I’m not allowed to discuss between now and the election.
Maybe someone can threaten me into treatment for my merciless self-censorship, which is obviously grounded in self hating hillaryphobia.
(Actually, I blame my internalized blogophobia.)