"Shouldn't there be a set standard (in the forum rules)..."
There is a set standard; the rules that you agreed to when you registered for TFL.
"Welcome to The Firing Line, a virtual community dedicated to the discussion and advancement of responsible firearms ownership. You are welcome to come in and visit our ranges and facilities, drop in on our conversations and enjoy our camaraderie. To participate and post messages, you need only provide a name and email address; we neither sell nor distribute Member information to third parties. We are not a commercial site.
There are only five rules for participation:
1) All Topics and Posts must be related to firearms, accessories or civil liberties issues. Multiple Registrations Prohibited.
2) Language that would be inappropriate in the polite company of strangers is quite unwelcome here.
3) No spamming, trolling, flaming or other personal attacks, be they acrimonious or veiled in humor. If you take issue with a Member's position, by all means speak your mind. If you have a problem with a Member's religion, creed, national origin, sex, politics, associations or personal hygiene, take it to email.
4) Mangling of the English language whether thru ignorance, age, sloth or intent diminishes and embarrasses each of us. Posts which are indecipherable due to inability to translate thoughts into coherent written statements will be deleted without explanation. Recidivists will be removed.
5) As we can never convey a philosophy through a few rules, we reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to edit or delete posts and/or to revoke Membership. No Second Chances; No Argument; No Trial; No Way. At best you will receive one warning."
The infractions feature is a tool, it is not a rule in and of itself.
Violations of the above enumerated rules will draw an infraction, the seriousness of which is based on the particular rule that was violated and the manner in which the violation occurred.
If you don't want to be issued an infraction, learn our five rules, adhere to any posting guidelines that are provided in sticky messages at the top of individual forums, and work and play well with others.
My comment about "working out the details" means that we're working to get all moderators into the mindset of issuing infractions whenever there is a violation of the forum rules.