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Old January 12, 2002, 12:22 AM   #2
TheBluesMan
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: June 15, 1999
Location: Ohio
Posts: 7,558
The sentiment behind this request is appreciated. In theory, it would be a very good idea to converse about other topics with trusted friends online about a variety of subjects. Email or Personal Messages are the best vehicle for doing this though. I speak from experience.

A long time ago, TFL was as you described. Members could post about any old thing that crossed their minds. The threads are all still there. (You can do a search if you have a mind to.) It worked fine when we had less than 2,000 members. Long about the time that our membership was crossing the 3,000 threshold, some members got to arguing over "off-topic" threads. Eventually, some bad blood developed between people who would otherwise be getting along famously, if not for that doggone Twinkies vs. Moon Pies thread. (Just kidding, but you get the idea.)

It turns out that we all have two things in common, firearms and freedom. And though that which unites us is vastly more important than anything that might divide us, divide us it did. TFL was heading toward the low road, and OT threads were driving the bus. Granted that members who conform to the policies of this site should have the ability to converse politely about any subject, but it just didn't happen that way as the membership grew. The staff became overworked and overly stressed, and the option of completely shutting down the site was discussed as a very real possibility. In the end, it was decided to bring some new moderators onboard to lend a hand. In an effort to keep these Fine New Guys from burning out, OT threads were disallowed. For the most part, this measure has worked, though there are still times, (like today for instance) that try our souls.

As you can see in just about any forum, members can get "worked up" over what is often just a trifle. We joke about Glock vs. 1911 and 9mm vs. .45, but the fact is that arguments are much more prevelant in threads that focus on topics of religion, food, abortion, music, etc. It's just not worth it to destroy the cameraderie we all feel, over topics that don't relate to the reasons why we are all here, firearms and freedom.

I hope this long and rambling message helps.

-Dave
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