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Old September 10, 2008, 11:17 AM   #26
gc70
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Quote:
Look through any forum on this board and you'll see these same issues.
The issues are not unique to L&P. Outsiders probably recognize the topics in L&P more readily than in other forums, but insults, atttacks and juvenile behavior reflect poorly on TFL, its members, and gun owners, regardless of the forum in which they occur. Closing L&P does not address the underlying issues.

Something I would like to see going forward is a specific indication of what moderators think is problematic. Instead of immediately changing or deleting offensive posts, tag the offensive parts so everyone can see exactly what is unacceptable. While calls to "be good" are noble, more specific guidance appears to be needed.
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Old September 10, 2008, 12:12 PM   #27
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gc70

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Something I would like to see going forward is a specific indication of what moderators think is problematic. Instead of immediately changing or deleting offensive posts, tag the offensive parts so everyone can see exactly what is unacceptable. While calls to "be good" are noble, more specific guidance appears to be needed.
Interesting idea.

I suspect most people know when they're crossing the line -- it's just that they think they can get away with it. But I do like the idea of clarifying, by example, exactly what won't be tolerated. It would be a lot of work, though... and I could imagine that some people, the really juvenile ones, might even see it as a bit of a challenge: get their invective tagged by mods so it's really visible to all? :barf:
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Old September 10, 2008, 12:23 PM   #28
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As I said before:

1. All posts in L&P for the time being MUST be directly related to 2A, shooting & self defense issues. Any deviation to other topics which are not directly related to the above will be yanked and the poster banned from L&P until after the election. ABSOLUTELY NO DISCUSSION OF ISSUES NOT RELATED TO THE ABOVE.

Abortion, drugs, borders, immigration, national defense, race, sex, religion, welfare, 2-party system, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan... ALL OFF LIMITS.

2. State it clearly and let it be known the first infraction will result in a banning from L&P until after the election.

3. After the election see if we can open up the discussion some.
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Old September 10, 2008, 12:35 PM   #29
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"1. All posts in L&P for the time being MUST be directly related to 2A, shooting & self defense issues."

I would bet that this rule alone would eliminate 70 percent of the bickering, if only because most on TFL are on the same page when it comes to firearms issues, while there is broad disagreement on all the other political items.

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Old September 10, 2008, 12:54 PM   #30
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if only because most on TFL are on the same page when it comes to firearms issues
No we aren't. Thats been made clear over and over again.

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Old September 10, 2008, 01:12 PM   #31
TimRB
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"No we aren't. Thats been made clear over and over again."

What issues are red flag items, then?

We are, at least, on the same page by comparison to things like gay rights, immigration, presidential politics, Iraq, etc. Limiting L&P to firearms-related issues only would have a chance of success.

Edit: Actually, my post (this one) illustrates a big part of the problem (for me at least)... a tendency to want to engage in one-line urination tournaments with others who have similar inclinations. Maybe a good rule would be to impose a 3-post limit (per poster) for any given L&P thread. That would encourage people to think carefully about what they post, and also would cause threads to come and go quickly.


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Old September 10, 2008, 02:39 PM   #32
Al Norris
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Yes, Tim. That is a big part of the problem. I could easily delete both your post and Ken's post as just adding to the noise. After all, neither were any form of suggestion. In good conscience, I would then have to go back and look at every post in this thread and do the same to each and every off topic post.

ETA: Didn't read Tim's "edit" close enough or forgot the one sentence in his "edit." In which case, I would have edited out everything but the suggestion. My bad, for that.

Suddenly, 30+ posts get paired down to 15 or so....

Should the mods have to always do that? I think not. But then the alternative is to close the thread for veering off topic. If I delete the posts, I will get PM's wanting (sometimes demanding) to know why. If the thread is closed, the same occurs. If I delete or edit a post and PM the member why I did what I did, I get arguments and demands and even some who threaten. sigh. Can't win, no matter what we do.

In the spirit of this thread, I've just described one of the (many) problems. I'm not deleting your posts. I'm keeping the thread open.

The rest of the staff continues to discuss this, amongst ourselves. And to read this thread. Anyone want to get back on topic and suggest some viable alternatives to the morass that L&P had become?
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Last edited by Al Norris; September 10, 2008 at 05:44 PM. Reason: Clarification
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Old September 10, 2008, 03:10 PM   #33
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Anyone want to get back on topic and suggest some viable alternatives to the morass that L&P had become?
1. Strict guidelines (whatever they are going to be), strictly enforced...with the proviso that if someone sees an objectionable comment THEY DO NOT RESPOND BUT HIT THE REPORT POST BUTTON

2. Limit it strictly to firearms related legal issues....

3. Editorial comment strictly circumscribed:
Bad....
Post: Jims gun shop is being closed by the BATF for repeated violations.
Reply: What is the evidence?
Post X, Y, Z
Reply: Seems to be somewhat weak, as usual for the BATFE (editorial)

Good
Reply: Seems to be somewhat weak, what are the facts surrounding Y
Reply: ABC
Reply: A should not be a reason, I think it will turn out to be an error....
and so on.

4. NO INVECTIVE...no sheeples, JBTs, traitors, Demonkrats, thugs, liars, and all of the other code words....half of the problem is the invective level.

I'm good at working on rules since I break them so much

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Old September 10, 2008, 03:15 PM   #34
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Okay, I've read through this thread and here's what I think:

Discussion of guns is kinda boring. Guns don't change much. Except for some cosmetic differences they're pretty much the same now as they were in 1900. If I want to find out something about a particular gun I can Google for it and I might be directed here or to any of a dozen or so similar sites.

Shutting down L&P is not a good thing. On my browser The Highroad is listed (in reversed alphabeticl order) just above of TFL. These past few months I've routinely passed over it to get here.

I believe there is a rule at the UN which forbids an ambassador form replying to a critical speaker for a set period of time. Even diplomats need some "cooling off" time after some guy in a set of funny clothes insults their country. Perhaps such a rule could be built into the software to keep those one-line ******* matches from splattering onto the shoes of the moderators.

There is one more thing that I hesitate to bring up but it has to be said since almost everybody is thinking it: While this is a gun board, no one is holding one to the heads of the mods, forcing them to moderate. As with any job, whether it's paid or volunteer, if you don't like it... leave it. The moderators here do a remarkably good job and I can readily see why they might get burnt out after awhile. I spent countless hours setting construction stakes in my job as a surveyor. I got awfully tired of it but I didn't set fire to the truck and shoot at any firemen that wanted to put it out. Shutting down L&P is just like setting fire to that truck. Like suicide, it's a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
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Old September 10, 2008, 03:23 PM   #35
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A modest proposal

OK, here's a suggestion:

Make posting in L&P a privilege, to be earned with a track record of intelligent, civil posts in other forums. Default: you can't post there. If the mods notice that you're polite, thoughtful, respectful of others' points of view in your posts in other forums, then they can enable your L&P rights.

A member who wanted to be included could also ask moderators to review his/her posts to see if they're up to this standard. If so, great, if not -- one PM from a mod detailing why not, and permission to try again after a few weeks, months, whatever.

No one is excluded -- once they've shown that they can behave decently.

And of course, if their L&P posts lapse into incivility, they're out.

This might even improve the general tone in some other forums, and it would also tend to exclude the dreaded under-the-bridge folks who post only in L&P, and only do it to annoy...
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Old September 10, 2008, 03:23 PM   #36
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The disruptive members have won. Congratulations!

Over the years we have had numerous contentious and controversial threads. The decorum was always good and politeness the norm.

A couple of the ones which come to mind as being true flamebait are:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88006 which ran 315 posts and had persons from outside TFL registering to join the debate.

The other was likely in the top ten most controversial threads in TFL history.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=101133 which ran 110 posts.

Both ran to their conclusion with neither being closed. The decorum and politeness displayed at that time was admirable.

However, over time the mods have allowed persons, who have obviously been hanging out at less regulated forums where anything goes, to join; and these people have gotten us to where we now are. The "solution" was to take the grade school attitude of everyone must be punished for the acts of the few. I'm sorry we didn't have enough gum for the entire class.

To close the forum is tantamount to cowardice in the face of adversity rather than to take a strong stand against those who have caused the problem in the first place. If their goal was to close the forum then they are to be congratulated on their victory.

I'll drop by occasionally to see if anyone has gained any maturity. I won't, however, hold my breath -- even though I do look simply smashing in blue.
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Old September 10, 2008, 03:42 PM   #37
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Rather than emasculate L+P, I suggest just turning it off until after the election.
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Old September 10, 2008, 03:50 PM   #38
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jimpeel ~

You did a pretty good job articulating the problem, though I think your post was marred somewhat by the bitter vitriol in it.

"Over time, mods have allowed persons to join..."

Well, that's one of the things we've been tossing around as an idea. NOT allowing persons to join. Prohibit new members from viewing or posting in L&P until they've been on the board awhile and have made a certain threshold number of worthwhile contributions to TFL elsewhere. This would serve the function of 1) keeping out people who aren't actually interested in firearms, and 2) allowing new members to see and absorb our board culture and community standards, before being tempted to break them in contentious threads.

Of course, keeping out people who aren't really interested in firearms to begin with may not be all that desirable. And there's absolutely no indication that a high post count - in L&P or anywhere else on the board - actually shows anything about the poster except that they post a lot.

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Old September 10, 2008, 04:02 PM   #39
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And there's absolutely no indication that a high post count - in L&P or anywhere else on the board - actually shows anything about the poster except that they post a lot.
Au contraire, in my case it shows that winters are long and SWMBO keeps me home...

Plus since there is NOTHING on TV.....

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PS...as to new members posting on L&P
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...ghlight=member

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Old September 10, 2008, 04:03 PM   #40
jimpeel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pax
... though I think your post was marred somewhat by the bitter vitriol in it.
Bitterness born of this:

Essentially we were told that regardless of our wishes it's dead and that's that.

Quote:
Well, that's one of the things we've been tossing around as an idea. NOT allowing persons to join. Prohibit new members from viewing or posting in L&P until they've been on the board awhile and have made a certain threshold number of worthwhile contributions to TFL elsewhere. This would serve the function of 1) keeping out people who aren't actually interested in firearms, and 2) allowing new members to see and absorb our board culture and community standards, before being tempted to break them in contentious threads.

Of course, keeping out people who aren't really interested in firearms to begin with may not be all that desirable. And there's absolutely no indication that a high post count - in L&P or anywhere else on the board - actually shows anything about the poster except that they post a lot.
The problem is that here we sit in a country, founded on an adversarial form of government, in which swordplay in the House of Representatives and gunfire ala Hamilton-Burr, while not commonplace, were not unheard of. No one suggested that the House and Senate be closed because of a couple of overzealous members.

If we start excluding members who are not aligned on our side of the firearms debate then there is no debate. We may as well call ourselves the Ms. boards or wakeupwalmart.com and get it over with. That is how they operate. All debate is quashed and if you try you are expelled uncerimoniously.

What needs to happen is the expulsion of the fractious, disruptive, types and their "Neener, neener", "Uh-huh!", "Nuh-uh!" debating style.

This country was formed on the great experiment of the great debate. It is sad that that ideal has taken us to this.
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Gun Control: The premise that a woman found in an alley, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose, is morally superior to allowing that same woman to defend her life with a firearm.

"Science is built up with facts, as a house is with stones. But a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house." - Jules Henri Poincare

"Three thousand people died on Sept. 11 because eight pilots were killed"
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Old September 10, 2008, 04:17 PM   #41
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If we start excluding members who are not aligned with the firearms debate on our sdide then there is no debate.
I don't think that's what's being suggested. But it IS a firearms board, and (as the mods periodically point out) privately owned. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me to expect people who join to have some interest in firearms, and a willingness to post in forums other than L&P. That's not a requirement that they should be on a given side in political debates, including ones about the 2nd amendment -- only that they should be prepared to engage in the general conversation.
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Old September 10, 2008, 04:45 PM   #42
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The firearms debate is all about the legal and political. Debating the advantages of Glocks over Walthers; .45 over .41 mag; auto over wheelgun is all nice but there is no one out there on the anti-firearms side of the equation talking about that. The technical debate is just that -- technical.

The real debate that challenges and threatens our ability to own, possess, carry and shoot firearms is restricted entirely to the legal and political side of the equation. No anti-firearms group is talking about how they want firearms owners to carry the best manstopper, or the correct round for the application, or the best holster for concealment purposes. They are talking every day about how they are going to get their representatives (political) to pass laws (legal) against firearms and firearms owners.

Now, if the mods want to restrict the debates in L&P to only those L&P issues pertaining strictly to firearms and firearms abuse then that might be a way to stop the madness; ie: The "Sarah Palin wants national CCW laws enacted" vs "Sarah Palin: a woman for all seasons".

Simply restrict the threads to those subjects which actually affect firearms rights, abuses, police abuses where confined to firearm raids, firearm laws under consideration pro or con, etc. The subject matter simply got too diverse for the mods to keep up. I couldn't care less about Palin's baby unless there is a law that is in play restricting his right to own a firearm after he turns eighteen which won't happen for another seventeen years and seven months.
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Gun Control: The premise that a woman found in an alley, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose, is morally superior to allowing that same woman to defend her life with a firearm.

"Science is built up with facts, as a house is with stones. But a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house." - Jules Henri Poincare

"Three thousand people died on Sept. 11 because eight pilots were killed"
-- former Northwest Airlines pilot Stephen Luckey

Last edited by jimpeel; September 10, 2008 at 09:16 PM.
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Old September 10, 2008, 06:01 PM   #43
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Quote:
I have to say that the L&P forum was one reason why I frequented TFL more than THR
Same here I visit THR very little since they shut down LP, While I have not read all threads in LP on this board I fail to see why it is necessary to shut it down. In most cases a few bad apples spoil the entire basket move them out and go on.

In a very hot political season they are going to be minor to serious disagreements most of this will pass late November after a few days of shouting over who won, all in all I see this as part of living if I see or read something that offends me I simply click the mouse, the mouse is a great stupid blocker.

Sorry but in my opinion anyone offended by writings on this board has very thin skin.
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Old September 10, 2008, 06:14 PM   #44
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Jimpeel, I have corrected that statement to reflect what I was actually thinking, but once again failed to say it. It now reads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Al
Let me start off by saying that the Legal and Political forum, in all probability will not be resurrected, in its current form. Politics has always been somewhat of a bane to the forum. This has been made extremely clear over the last year and a half.
There.
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Old September 10, 2008, 07:25 PM   #45
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I think this suggestion by TimRB was a good one:

Quote:
Edit: Actually, my post (this one) illustrates a big part of the problem (for me at least)... a tendency to want to engage in one-line urination tournaments with others who have similar inclinations. Maybe a good rule would be to impose a 3-post limit (per poster) for any given L&P thread. That would encourage people to think carefully about what they post, and also would cause threads to come and go quickly.
I also think the suggestion by PAX was a good one, too. He mentioned that folks should not be allowed to post in L&P unless they have made a certain number of posts elsewhere. I also think it would be nice if there were some way that someone could be limited so that no more than one half of their posts were in L&P. This would (hopefully) keep folks from posting who have no knowledge or interest in firearms, and who merely seem to frequent this board merely to push a political agenda and stir stuff up.
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Old September 10, 2008, 07:50 PM   #46
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Thanks, Al.

I have been a member of TFL since 1999 and my posts cover 149 search pages.

I have nearly 4,000 posts since then even with the downtime associated with the shutdown in '03. This forced me to go to THR where I have nearly 3,000 posts.

Most, at least 98%, of my posts have been in the L&P forum of both sites.

I am a political animal. I appreciate firearms from the mechanical standpoint as I am a mechanical designer. I now only own one firearm for home protection. I don't do calibers, muzzle velocities, reloading, etc.

As to the legal and political, however, I am a very active person. I worked against Roberti-Roos in CA as a member of G.O.A.C. I stood up for hunting rights in the San Bernardino mountains. I was a member of G.O.A.L. in Massachusetts and fought against the AWB there. I supported CCW in NE while I was there. Here in CO I do what I can to support the pro-firearms forces.

I have appeared on live in-studio and on remote link talk radio shows. I have also been a caller on hundreds of occasions.

If all that is left of TFL is the technical then I will not be coming here very much.
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Gun Control: The premise that a woman found in an alley, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose, is morally superior to allowing that same woman to defend her life with a firearm.

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"Three thousand people died on Sept. 11 because eight pilots were killed"
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Old September 10, 2008, 07:55 PM   #47
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+1 jimpeel, You express what I am thinking much better than I could.
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Old September 10, 2008, 08:11 PM   #48
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Ban people who break the rules. Leave people alone who do not.

Problematic posters are problematic in every forum, not just L&P. Ban people who make personal attacks and are guilty of inflammatory pointless remarks from TFL as a whole. Trouble makers will be at a minimum within days and everyone else will be happier.

Set up a system so the mods can issue warnings that all mods can see, the way many states issue points on drivers licenses. Get to 10 points (or whatever) your gone.
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Old September 10, 2008, 08:13 PM   #49
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I just came back after 4 days and found this thread for comments. Thanks for that.

The sudden closing of L&P was a bit curious to me. Mostly because I have been on many political type forums, and L&P was, by far, the most civil and respectful that I can remember. Is it always so? Of course not. When talking politics, a certain bit of "fire in the belly" on a particular topic may result in a post or two that we may wish we had not left up for others to read. But, that is the nature of political forums. I don't find such discourse a bad thing. Sometimes, I think guys visit L&P to vent a little bit about politics and legal issues. It is rare to meet someone in our day to day lives who are both (1) politically minded and (2) gun owners. In that regard, L&P has been a welcomed and wonderful addition to TFL.

Political forums are and will always have a bit of "rough" discourse. It should be expected and, even welcome, IMO. If you are looking to homogenize a group of people's thoughts, then don't bother with a political forum at all or any type of incarnation. There is a lot of passion in the typical American gun owner.

My humble suggestion? Warn the repeat offenders. Suspend them if they don't shape up. Ban them if you must. But keep the L&P. It is a rare and wonderful place for a politically minded gun owner to visit. There are not many other places like it.

Oh, and what is THR that other's have mentioned. Can someone private message me with details? Thanks.
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Old September 10, 2008, 08:39 PM   #50
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FireMax - you've got mail!
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