You want more civility? Require posters to L&P to use their real names.
There are posters who, while not doing anything illegal, may be violating a company policy and discussing it here.
There are posters who may be bringing up a subject and inadvertently find out they did something illegal (example: "You mean I broke the law giving my father who lives in FL a handgun!?!?"). While illegal behavior is NOT condoned here we all can understand that firearms laws have gotten confusing enough across this nation that someone could violate them and never know.
There are people who are located in very liberal areas and industries. The last thing they need is a string of firearms posts attached to their names. Is such persecution right? No. It happens though.
I am smack dab in liberal land and do not need some busybody coworker, child's teacher or other person running my name in google and finding a host of posts on everything from my political leanings to the proper selection of ammunition for use against people in a defensive shooting.
There are entirely legal and moral reasons to allow anonymity on the board. At the same time I can see the site owners knowing the EXACT name of the posters to assist with tracking down those who are willful criminals and keeping out the trash who might create name after name. In that spirit perhaps something like Gunbroker where a credit card is run but never charged to verify the real existence of a bidder can be instituted for those wishing to post in L&P.
Even a simple $5 a year contribution to post in L&P seems reasonable to me to
1. Keep out the drive by posters.
2. Somewhat compensate for the added effort the mods must put in for L&P.
3. Provide a link to a REAL NAME so that when someone is banned they are REALLY BANNED.
Thank you for the modification of the post on L&P's future. I too was very put off when I saw it at first.
Robust political debate is a healthy thing. I use this forum and some others to test my positions and look at them in the mirror. Perhaps I am wrong, in which case I can learn that by analyzing opposing posts which make logical sense to me. I have learned much in L&P forums and hope others have derived the same benefit.
That said I still think restriction to solely 2A, shooting & self defense issues political and legal is warranted until November. Too many trolls have slunk out and tempers are too hot right now for the current systems to handle. Perhaps with some changes come 2012 such actions will not be needed but I think they are now. In the meantime shutting down discussion on the 2A L&P issues before an election stinks of McCain/Feingold (I know this is a private forum and what that entails.)