For those not interested in hunting or the ongoing debate around the Second Amendment in the United States (the right to bear arms), you may have missed a blogging related tidbit that surfaced about a week ago.
The story is detailed in a write up at the Washington Post, but it looks like career outdoorsman and hunter Jim Zumbo recently opined in a February 16th blog entry about the utility of assault rifles in the sport of hunting and the lack thereof – and called them weapons for terrorists.
As hunters, we don’t need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them. . . . I’ll go so far as to call them ‘terrorist’ rifles.
This resulted in a blog swarm and backlash the likes of which has been rarely seen in the Tech community short of an expensive and much criticized new console being released by Sony.
Long story short: Mr. Zumbo, who has spent his career writing about the outdoors and hunting, was once the editor of a prominent hunting magazine, the beneficiary of lucrative sponsorship from gun companies, and who has traveled extensively with the NRA to discuss the rights of gun owners has now found himself shut out.
He has resigned from his writing post. He has lost his sponsorships. And the NRA has disengaged all professional communications with the man. Which doesn’t say anything about the blogospheric outcry the post has caused.
Even after some profilic apolgizing.
Without wading into the debate too much, this whole event is a clear example of the power — and risks — of blogging. Business bloggers (and those who blog under their real names) need to heed close attention, and use this as a parable for their own blogging activities:
In some communities, there are some things that are simply un-mentionable and when uttered — unforgivable. And sadly, once you’ve posted something once, it lives forever in the memories of bloggers, and Google’s cache.