I've been an internet forum and bulletin board user for many years - on a very wide range of topics.
I'd be interested in people's thoughts on the concept of closing threads. In general I tend to find this behavior in gun and shooting forums more than in other topics I've experienced. Mind you - I hang out in TFL because I think it's done considerably less frequently here than other places I've been - but it's still > 0. I'm not knocking the moderators. I know you all put in lots of time and effort. I just find it intriguing that it seems our hobby tends to have forums that have this behavior while others do not.
The other places I've been (the non-gun related ones) have moderators - but they tend to get involved only if something degrades to someone being really beligerent. And even then it's done through private messaging - MAYBE deleting a response or something like that. I think it's fair to say the community learns of the action only if they notice something has been deleted or the person reprimanded reports that they were contacted by the moderator.
It seems to me if something is off topic or stupid or doesn't "get legs" it will die a natural death (i.e. "close") on it's own.