A Commentary on Dick Metcalf’s Near Overnight Implosion

In the 2013 December issue of Guns and Ammo, Mr. Dick Metcalf managed to kick over a hornets nest when he gave us a glimpse of his true colors.


“Many argue that any regulation at all is, by definition, an infringement. If that were true, then the authors of the Second Amendment themselves, should not have specified “well-regulated.”

I wondered whether those same people believed that just anybody should be able to buy a vehicle and take it out on public roadways without any kind of driver’s training, test or license.

I understand that driving a car is not a right protected by the Constitution, but to me the basic principle is the same. I firmly believe that all U.S. citizens have the right to bear arms, but to me the basic principal is the same“. — Dick Metcalf, Guns & Ammo


Mr. Metcalf then posted an apology of sorts, that basically stated that he should be able to write whatever he wants, without being held accountable, as it was his First Amendment right.

“How do I feel about that? Disappointed. If a respected editor can be forced to resign and a controversial writer’s voice be shut down by a one-sided social-media and internet outcry, virtually overnight, simply because they dared to open a discussion or ask questions about a politically sensitive issue . . . then I fear for the future of our industry, and for our Cause. Do not 2nd Amendment adherents also believe in Freedom of Speech? Do Americans now fear open and honest discussion of different opinions about important Constitutional issues? Do voices from cyberspace now control how and why business decisions are made?”  Dick Metcalf


First off, in many states, no driver’s license, or training is required to buy a car.  There are no “reasonable” restrictions to it.  For him to make surly comments as to such show how out of touch with reality that he is.  The second thing I’ll point out is that there is no constitutional right to own a car.  I’d expect that weak argument from the Brady Center, but not from someone who claims to be for our “cause.”  The truly hypocritical part of it is that Mr. Metcalf states that he believes in “reasonable restrictions” on the Second Amendment, but then hides behind the First Amendment to duck responsibility for his actions.  Apparently, Mr. Metcalf has not been paying attention to those with whom he seeks to open communications.  The left seems to want “compromise” similar to what Mr. Metcalf speaks of.  In my near 45 years of being on the face of this Earth, the “compromise” I have witnessed in the gun control arena has been nothing short of us giving up our rights and gaining nothing in return.

I’m pushing 20 years as a police officer.  The thing I have noticed is that criminals do not follow laws.  Strange, eh?  The thing that I have noticed, and my colleagues around the nation seem to agree on, is that gun control measures do nothing to reduce crime.  It is a false premise to restrict the rights of law abiding citizens who DO NOT commit crimes.  You don’t make my car harder to drive sober to cut down on drunk drivers, Mr. Metcalf.

Gun control pundits quickly jumped all over Mr. Metcalf’s comments as praised him for being “courageous.” Well, perhaps he can find gainful employment writing “controversial” pieces for the Brady Center.  Because, I’ll tell you that from his comments we aren’t fighting for the same “cause.”   From looking at the strawman questions written by Mr. Metcalf in his “apology”, it is clear that he doesn’t get it.    He doesn’t understand that infringing upon the rights of people who have committed no crimes in hopes that it will give him safety from people who won’t follow the law anyways is short sighted and ignorant.

Criminals just don’t follow laws, Mr. Metcalf.  I am at a loss why people like you just don’t get that, but believe that more laws will make you safer?  And that you don’t understand that people who have done nothing……NOTHING…..have to lose rights so you can have the false sense of safety.  A false sense that never will equate to safety.  You claim you are asking the “hard questions”, but those only seem to be “hard questions” to the gun grabbers.  To the rest of us, they aren’t questions at all.

I think that we are much better today as an industry than we were a few days ago.   We don’t need people like Dick Metcalf speaking for “US” when he is intent on making “well regulated” out to be “well legislated”.   We have to be responsible.  We have to be responsible with our Second Amendment rights and understand they have consequences.  But, we also have to learn that our First Amendment Rights come with consequences.  I think that lesson may sink in with Mr. Metcalf in the coming weeks.

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About Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones has been a Sheriff's Deputy in Kentucky since 1996. Jerry is currently assigned as a patrol deputy, firearms instructor and senior operator/training supervisor with a multi jurisdictional tactical team. Jerry is Kentucky POST certified to teach firearms, SWAT, and sniper operations and deployment at the Academy level. Jerry is also the President/CEO of Operation Specific Training and the Law Enforcement Representative for Apex Tactical Specialties.

29 thoughts on “A Commentary on Dick Metcalf’s Near Overnight Implosion

  1. Great article, I stopped reading that magazine probaly 15 years ago atleast, but it is nice to know where he stands. Hopefully he wont get a return after apologizing like Jim Z. did. I was told the editor of Recoil magazine lost his posotion for the same thing but I never saw anything official on it. Thanks for the article on where he stands! bill

  2. With the infringements already placed on the right to bear arms, why would anyone who claims to be a freindly, want to open discussion for more restrictions? I already have to jump through hoops to obtain a 4 round bolt gun.

    *Gun free zones
    *NICS, which is nothing more than registration with the snooping of the NSA, DHS and others.
    *$200 tax and registration for SBR’s and suppressors, on top of the year ling wait for approval.
    You mean to tell me we need more comprimise?
    Lets open up discussion about infringements already on the books and how we remove them.

    • Eric, reading your last post I would like to point out that NICS is not really a gun registration even if they keep the data (which I believe is illegal but how do we know what they do). It is really a record that Joe Blow was at a FFL attempting to buy a long gun or a handgun. They do not know manufacturer, model, caliber , serial number or if the sale is completed. Of course if they are really interested in you it is a matter of BATF going by the dealer and looking at their records

  3. You have taken his metaphor about driving vehicles on public roadways out of context, and that is beyond disappointing. Metcalfe is merely stating that firearm ownership is a privilege similar to driving a vehicle on public roadways, in that those privileges can be taken away, if the said use is done in an irresponsible/ unreasonable/ illegal manner. Correct, I understand that criminals do not follow the laws per firearms buying and/or ownership, but what does that have to do with his editorial, wherein I cannot find his reference to wanting to be more lenient with criminals. I also do NOT see his advocacy for more legislation per buying/owning firearms, but a modest debate on WHAT the founding fathers meant per the terms “regulated” and “well regulated”. I’ve had it with the idiocy of the extremist 2A poseur-du-jour, who cannot unfurl their emotional attachment to their “God-given rights of self defense”, and the 2A, which further divides the gun lobby as a whole. Divide and conquer is working too well. It should be a basic conversation about what the founding fathers’ intentions were, rather than who we get to kick out of our camp next. Trying to play Historian, and re-writing History by delivering your perception of what the founding fathers meant to the masses, should be left to the Sarah Palins. Let’s get on with Service Weapons please…

    • Privilege? And where did you find that word in the Constitution? If it is a privilege, then why worry about service weapons. You will not be allowed to own any.

    • You misread that Document we swore an Oath to defend. “Right of the People…”, not “privilege the benevolent government allows the people…”

    • First and foremost, you and Mr. Metcaf are overlooking a very important fact. While driving may indeed be a privilege, firearms ownership IS NOT. It is an enumerated and specifically protected civil right. Is your protection from unreasonable search and seizure a “privilege”? What about your ability to speak or to practice the religion of your choice? More importantly, just how awful is a world where these are considered privileges?

      Metcaf has revealed his true colors as a guy that would give his liberty away in pieces in the interest of being “reasonable”, when we have NEVER gotten anything as a part of “compromise”. He exercised his free speech, and we the consumers have taken him to task.

  4. Meh, swore my first oath back in ’87 with Uncle Sam, give the “your Oath” speeches a rest. DUI conviction revokes your privilege to drive. Felony conviction revokes your privilege to own firearms AND vote. If your C.O.C. is having you releasing convicted felons, who you find with firearms, and you believe THAT is congruent with your Oath? You took a different Oath than I work by. (Yup, Metcalfe who has been writing for gun magazines for decades is all of a sudden an anti-gun nut.) Yes, firearm ownership can be taken away from convicted felons: do the crime, do the time, lose some privileges. Don’t like it? Change it within the legal confines of this great republic and our processes of democracy. That’s not my opinion-that’s the way we have it, for a little while anyway.

    • Again with the “privilege” misnomer. You may feel that the difference is negligible, but it is actually quite important. A privilege may be revoked by the grantor for any number of reasons, not the least of which could be simply changing policy. A RIGHT is revoked only under a very specific set of circumstances, and rightfully so. A persons RIGHTS are, for example, restricted as a result of arrest and/or incarceration, and as a result of being found guilty of a felony. The question of those rights remaining restricted after the sentence is served is an entirely different one, but as it stands now, if your rights are restricted it is for a very specific reason.

      Mr. Metcaf simply fell into the “reasonableness trap” by asserting that “..hmm, it’s really not THAT much of a hassle to deal with 16hrs of training as a prerequisite to exercise a right.” Technically perhaps, he may be right. I dare say that most that frequent this site have far more than that under their belt, probably in the line of duty, and hey any training is good training right? Except that he ignores the sliding scale facet of establishing that “some” level is acceptable. Look at magazine capacity for a glimpse of the scale at work. Years ago, some places allowed that “well, there IS a number of rounds that is OK.” All that remains is to define the OK number. 30? Nope, 15? Maybe. Not any more, now it’s 10. Until NY decides that it’s now 7. Wanna guess what the ACTUAL good number is for people like Feinstein, Bloomberg, etc..? Try zero.
      Now let’s look at training. “I suppose it’s not too bad to mandate training, how much?” Weeelll, Illinois says 16 hrs. Until they change it to 24hrs. How about the debacle in NY, CHI, or DC where the cost/hassle/requirements of training and certification are so onerous that it’s virtually impossible to carry? THAT my friend is what was wrong with Metcaf’s statement. In that simple article he not only abides the limit, but concurs with it, giving anti-gunners an easy win in the form of “a gun writer that agrees with us that some restrictions are acceptable…”
      This of course doesn’t even touch on the fact that he apparently took his definition of “well regulated” from the Brady playbook instead of the founders own writings….

  5. You certainly have the right to that viewpoint. But, respectfully, if firearms restrictions reduced gun crime, Chicago would be an extremely safe place. As I read it, the intent of the writers was crystal clear. Gov. was installed to protect the Rights we already had, not to grant us “privileges”.

  6. Erickson sounds like a shill for Broads Against Guns. What makes him an ineffective shill is the use of “knowledge” found in most gun control pamphlets which projects who he is: “privileges” instead of rights, “modest debate”, a complete rewrite and obfuscation of the history of the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, the Alinksy tactic of ridiculing your opponent, weak protestation of “dividing the gun lobby”, the assumption of being a veteran, and the of course the sequitur attack on the Tea Party vis-a-vis a “witty” reference to Sarah Palin. Much like Metcalf, the lights are on and we see you for what you are Erickson: a gun poseur. Go back to HuffPo.

  7. LOL! Dick is a good egg and was a great replacement for Cooper. He’ll be missed.
    Service weapons are for law enforcement and military. Firearms restrictions in Chicago? Alinsky Tactic? HuffPo? Meh, whatever you girls think is in your brain that needs to be spit out. Criminals will carry guns and continue to be caught with them, and the enhancers for having found a felon with a firearm of any kind will be stacked with the rest of the charges to keep the streets more safe for your families. Carry on with your burning at the stake, of a good man, while blindly following….who? The sovereigns? The most noted cop killers of late. Good luck with that! 😉 En route…

  8. “Service weapons are for law enforcement and military. “???

    That my friend says everything about you that we needed to know.

    Thanks for playing..

  9. Brad, you Sir are spot on!!!
    Erickson, I knew you were an A-hole from your first post.

  10. I for one, am going to miss watching Dick point guns at himself during his gun reviews on “Guns&Ammo TV”.

  11. Ugghhh. Truly surprising and disappointing. Mr. Metcalf needs to begin reading our Founder’s writings. Mr. Metcalf’s comments about the 2nd Amendment are as well reasoned as those who argue the 4th Amendment to our Constitution is no longer needed in this modern age. Government can simply ignore and violate it’s charter at will, all for “your” safety of course… “the Government” doesn’t care about “life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness of any individual.” Only individuals care about other individuals.

    I’m simply amazed by those who argue, “well if you aren’t doing anything wrong, then why do you care?”

    As a former prosecutor, The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution are what protect all of us from those who seek to force their will upon others. Whether the person is someone who has crossed the line and working with criminals or a Judge who has forgotten he is not a “ruler” and makes assumptions of non-existent facts…

    From the IRS “tea party”, to NSA spying, to the Benghazi revelations; all exhibit to Americans a Government which ignores the Constitution WILL destroy any individual that might be a threat to the Government’s “will”.

  12. I must admit, I would prefer an America that restores the rights to ex-felons, after ‘time served’ and probation. Rather than watching an opportunistic regime pounce at every tragedy, in order to pass more restrictions on The People. Compromise led to the Patriot Act. Look where that compromise got us.

    • A sounder position on restoration of a felon’s rights in my opinion are based on the nature of the felony. I have issues of restoration of rights to robbers and burglars for example. As a second DUI can on conviction make you a felon I wonder about the utility of taking their rights away. Indeed though that by itself could indicate a character deficiency where one shows an inability to learn from error. Thus cause for debate. Burglars not so much.

  13. The last few post have me wondering about “well regulated” vs. “shall not be infringed.”

    What is acceptable to firearms owners when it comes to “well regulated?”

    An absolutist “shall not be infringed” means that there cannot be any restrictions.

    • I consider the 2A to consist of two parts. The right of each state to have a militia and the right of the citizens to personally own firearms.

      reg·u·late (rgy-lt)
      tr.v.reg·u·lat·ed, reg·u·lat·ing, reg·u·lates
      1. To control or direct according to rule, principle, or law.
      2. To adjust to a particular specification or requirement: regulate temperature.
      3. To adjust (a mechanism) for accurate and proper functioning.
      4. To put or maintain in order: regulate one’s eating habits.

      I consider “well regulated” to pertain to the militia, ie. Nat’l Guard. Which has regulations (as well as every other branch of service) and the Uniform Code of Military Justice that dictates everything from pay, uniform wear and appearance, physical fitness, and laws that strictly pertain to military personnel. That I believe, is the ONLY portion that “well regulated” pertains to.

      in·fringe (n-frnj)
      v.in·fringed, in·fring·ing, in·fring·es
      1. To transgress or exceed the limits of; violate: infringe a contract; infringe a patent.
      2. Obsolete To defeat; invalidate.
      To encroach on someone or something; engage in trespassing

      I in turn believe the “shall not be infringed” pertains to each state having a militia and the people’s/citizen’s right to keep and bear arms.

    • You’re only asking that question because you are applying modern meanings to words from the late 1700’s. While the meaning of “shall not be infringed” has carried through the years, “well regulated” has not.

      Today, the term seems to indicate a preponderance of thoughtful and appropriate rules and regulations, whereas in the time of the founders, as indicated by the Oxford English Dictionary, it was a phrase that indicated that something was in “proper working order”. The phrases “well regulated watch” or “a well regulated mind” doesn’t refer to a timepiece or mind encumbered by rules, but rather placed in good working order.

      Many today, including Mr. Metcaf, apply the modern definition which leads them to believe that the 2nd is mandated to have rules, when in fact it states quite clearly that the right of the people… shall not be infringed. Absolutist perhaps, but when you consider that in almost 100 years, “compromise” has simply meant us losing ground and them not getting everything they want right this second.. holding the line takes on a whole new meaning.

  14. RKBA is an enumerated right. It is not “given” by government. It existed before the government. It existed before government and cannot be rescinded or abridged by government.

    Things given to you are privileges. They can be abridged or rescinded.

    “Well regulated” in the context of the time the document was written meant well drilled, or well practiced. Think “regulating” the flow of fuel on your stove to simmer or boil. It had NOTHING to do with government control.

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