TFL's L&P forum is/was among the top of the line in political forums on the net IMHO. Closing it is a mistake in my opinion. It is a lose irrespective of opinion. I have not found a better place to discuss politics on the web. Political forums on other sites are either blatantly vitriolic scream feasts because of a sense of no boundaries or a big '+1 I agree 100%' back patting party with any opposing opinion immediately resulting in a ban.
Sure there are the bad actors. Oh well. Expecting human beings to behave in a pseudo virtuous and uber polite and respectful manner when discussing politics is a recipe for disappointment before the forum program is installed and the URL registered. People hold politics as their personal futures being at stake and will get personally invested in the topics they find important.
TFL's L&P board is an environment that promotes intellectual growth. It has the benefit of bringing people with a strong bond of almost brotherhood in our views on the 2nd amendment and our perception that there are forces that will, unopposed, erode that right. That bond fortunately doesn't fall in lockstep with the rest of our political or social perspective. That is the beauty, not the bane of L&P. It is quite frustrating for sure to either have another person not be open to your point of view or to have a long held belief be challenged. But in the endeavor to influence people to your point of view or in the realization of the flaw in one's one perception is where the intellectual growth happens. Rejecting the environment because of the traits that make it intellectually stimulating in preference of comfortable subdued discourse is a lose in my view. Most special things and forces are double edged. The benefit has a burden. At L&P the benefit is a strong common belief that bonds us together combined with the differences those with that bond bring with them to the community, burden is the bad players.
There will always be people that are unwilling or unable to influence people without resorting to force or refuse to accept the flaw in their preconception despite the preponderance of reason and information presented. But I find the in the unique environment of TFL's L&P many many more people DEVELOP those skills here them don't. Those that won't/can't become obvious over time and are discounted to the point of them resorting to repeatedly starting 'flamboyant' threads to get a rise are ANY attention. Soon after they either evaporate on their own or a mod gets their fill and shows them the door.
The new person is the other factor besides the unable/unwilling bad player. The common course of the new comer is that they are APPALLED that these contrary perspectives are present and their fight surfaces quickly. I have experienced that with some of the topics. I myself was pretty surprised about he existence of 'stormfronters' and 'new confederates'. The new comer then (I assume) gets a message from a mod and cools it. And if they want to continue their discussion they MUST develop the ability to engage a opposing perspective within the noise level or become a discounted party as described above. The thing about TFL is MORE people develop those skills given the special environment at TFL's L&P then do ANYWHERE else on the web in political forums with as diverse and populace group of people. I again attribute that to the common deeply held belief about the 2A that is our bond.
I hope that the burden end of this double edged sword that is TFL's L&P doesn't permanently end the benefit it brings to the ability of gun owners to develop the ability to influence people without their 'fight' coming out.
I am happy to help in any way I can with the burden in order to see this unique place continue.......
If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.