Here is what he said: “…all constitutional rights are regulated, always have been, and need to be.”
It would seem to be a self-evident truth. After all, your First Amendment right to freedom of speech is regulated. If you don’t believe it, write something libelous about a guy with deep pockets and man-eating lawyers. Your Fourth Amendment right to freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures is regulated and then some. If you don’t believe that, pick up your phone and ask the NSA agent tapping your line.
Unfortunately for him, Dick Metcalf, who made the aforementioned observation, was not referring to the First Amendment or the Fourth. No, he was talking about the Second. He’s been out of work ever since.
We are indebted to New York Times reporter Ravi Somaiya for bringing this story to light on Sunday. Metcalf, who lives in Barry, Illinois, is not a gun hater. To the contrary we are told that he is — or was, at any rate — one of the most prominent gun journalists in the country, a self-described “Second Amendment fundamentalist” who, at 67, has devoted most of his adult life to gun rights. He hosted a TV program about guns. Gun makers flew him around the world and sent him their products for review. And he had a regular column in Guns & Ammo magazine.
In his December column, Metcalf offered a nuanced argument that gun enthusiasts should accept some minor regulation of their Second Amendment rights. Specifically, he said, a requirement that people who wanted to carry concealed weapons undergo 16 hours of training was not “excessive.” The way his fellow gun lovers responded to this, you’d have thought he’d argued for U.N. confiscation of every gun, arrow and slingshot in America.
There were death threats. He lost his show. Subscription cancellations poured in. Advertisers demanded he be fired. And he was.