Over the last year, I have observed the gradual growth of discourtesy and disrespect invading TFL -- more vitriol, more semi-personal attacks, more uncivil language and less concrete, firearms-oriented information. This undermines the crux of what distinguishes TFL from other boards, even other gun-focused boards. It also damages our basic -- and critical -- mutual respect, which is essential to TFL functioning successfully as a true community.
In my opinion, sanctioning “off topic” threads will further exacerbate this unfortunate trend. If members cannot consistently use civilized language or abstain from rude personal attacks on firearms-related topics, it seems unlikely that they will be able to act with graciousness and respect if more-contentious subjects are permitted.
I hope we shall someday return to the TFL of years past, one with greater mutual respect, fewer personal attacks, and little boorishness. Finally, I would add that our “Forum Policies” (http://www.thefiringline.com/Misc/Policy.html
) make it very clear that distasteful language, personal attacks, and disrespect are not permitted on TFL.