Saturday, February 17, 2007

Luddites & Fuddites

Luddites smashing looms in a factory during the riots of 1811–16.

Definition of: Luddite

An individual who is against technological change. Luddite comes from Englishman Ned Lud, who rose up against his employer in the late 1700s. Subsequently, "Luddites" emerged in other companies to protest and even destroy new machinery that would put them out of a job. A neo-Luddite is a Luddite in the Internet age. (

Cruising the web, I ran across a blog referencing Jim Zumbo. He's been a well-known outdoors/hunting writer for decades, and currently has a column online at Outdoor Life. Apparently, he's swallowed the Brady line on "assault rifles", and is decrying their use in hunting. Lines such as
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."
serve to further divide the gun owning community, making us easier prey for the freedom-phobes.

Living in Iowa, the great majority of hunting uses shotguns,followed by .22 rimfire, and a smattering of centerfires used in varmint hunting. Of those varmint rifles, .223 chamberings are probably the most common, as it's widely available and easily customized during handloading for optimal accuracy. There's two reasons why I don't use an AR platform for the varmint hunting I do here. First, I never manage to save up enough money for a quality one before I find some 60 to 100 year old relic that I MUST HAVE when I see it. Secondly, I'm a cheap bastard who can't stand the thought of my hunting rifle throwing perfectly good brass somewhere never to be found again. Other than that, I see absolutely no reason to get pissy about a rifle lacking the requisite amount of walnut and blued steel, or the fact that it has a military heritage, as long as the rifle is safe to operate, and the cartridge of sufficient power to humanely take the pursued game. Keep in mind, these are civilian versions of their military forbears, and DO NOT have the capability to fire more than one shot per pull of the trigger. If the citizens of a particular state don't like the idea of someone using a magazine capable of holding 30 rounds, requiring the use of a limited capacity (10,5,3, hell, one round capacity) magazines are either available or capable of being made when demand is present. A rifle is a rifle, which is basically a high-velocity, high-accuracy sling shot. It's appearance and aesthetic value have no effect on it's function, and should be left out of the argument of what is appropriate to carry in the field.

Some of the problem comes from individuals who have aged, and dislike change. I consider people who prefer to do things the old way, but don't need to disparage someone doing it a new way, traditionalists. These people, to me, have great value as keepers of institutional memory. They provide continuity and an appreciation of historical methods and values. There are also those who prefer to do things the old way, hate it when others do it a newer way, and want to make those others do it their way. In the shooting world, many know these people as Fudds.

It's clear to me that Jim Zumbo is proud to proclaim himself a full-fledged Fuddite.

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