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Old September 8, 2008, 11:50 PM   #1
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Closing L&P....

Wow, after reading one of the threads that TheBluesMan closed I was actually going to make the suggestion on here of closing the L&P (at least till things calmed down) but thought I'd get hung for it....guess I had at least a decent thought for once.
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Old September 9, 2008, 02:09 AM   #2
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I agree with you. Despite many best intentions, the temptation to sieze upon tangents is quite often too great to resist. Most would admit, even on posts with which they agree, many topics inappropriately manifest in L+P.

I think GD, if kept on the topic of firearms, can successfully capture the legal aspects without being quite so susceptible to irrelevant dialogue. For example, the thread on updates to Ohio CCW/castle needn't be closed or moved elsewhere, as it's unlikely to divert to peripheral election-related and party-bashing issues that tend to spawn personal attacks. Where it's a legal issue, a literal firearms tie-in to every post should suffice.

The political aspect is trickier, given the interconnectedness of issues, and heightened sensitivity and universal interest during presidential elections. As fun as amateur punditing is, I doubt any productive persuasion is occurring, so I'd be happy to see these arguments gone.

At any rate, it was at the very least clear that there was little effort being made to keep L+P on 2A related topics by the general membership. What was on-topic is probably still open to discussion in other subforums. Though disposed of in another thread, I would not think anything productive would come of an "off topic" or other catchall forum to give the political arguments or other junk back for discussion. The rest of the Internet's waiting anxiously for any and all baloney without starting a sandwich here.

I suppose the irony of getting in on this is it's in a way "TFL politics," and I am just another chump who probably comes off as liking to read my own typing. The mod/admin team's got it all under control - this was just my way of expressing favor for the L+P cutoff.
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Old September 9, 2008, 06:56 AM   #3
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Well said.


Perhaps L&P can be resurrected POST-elections when everyone's blood pressure has normalized.
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Old September 9, 2008, 07:13 AM   #4
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The debate over the nature and function of L&P has long been a topic among the mods. Closing L&P was a mutual decision, solely by Dave and myself.

Whether or not L&P (or something similar) will be resurrected is something that all the mods will have to agree upon. I can pretty much guarantee that there will be a change in focus, should it arise from its ashes.

Please have patience, as Dave asked in the closing announcement.
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Old September 9, 2008, 10:50 AM   #5
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Offered with the utmost respect...

Why not take this timeout to discuss the problems and goals of the forum, in open forum? Mod's, and everyone else could contribute ideas, and hopefully the participants could gain some ownership of the revised groundrules.

Frankly, I've never understood why the internal workings of the forum must be treated as a state secret. And any questions about same must be confined to secret PM's. Ask-assertive management might be more successful than tell-assertive management?

In our sister forum, scuttling of the "political" section seemed a successful strongarm attempt by a couple mods to censor topics that were uncomfortable to their chosen profession. Just an observation.

I understand that they are very happy with the outcome, but I hope that isn't repeated here on TFL.

Anitpitas and bluesman have been even-handed with their moderating styles, on behalf of the forum thanks for your time and effort!
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Old September 9, 2008, 01:21 PM   #6
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I have to say that the vast majority of my posts are in L&P. I tire of the endless debates of .45 versus 9mm; "What is the best gun for..." ; "What is the best caliber for..."; and the other endless repetitions that permeate other sections of the site.

Granted, I tired of the "Obama versus McCain" and other similar threads, as well as nearly any thread about Ron Paul.

With all that being said, I simply avoid areas and threads that do not interest me, and I would suggest that anyone else who does not like L&P discussions do the same. The loss of L&P would make this board of little use to me, and cause me to move on for the most part. I suspect that will be the case with quite a few others.

Note that the sister site broke off their political forum instead of eliminating it. Perhaps that could be an option here.
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Old September 12, 2008, 05:04 PM   #7
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I'd like to add my voice to the

"let it stand" chorus.

Yeah, the signal to noise ratio in a political forum can get pretty out of whack. This has been the case in every online political discussion I've been part of, going all the way back to the days of BBS's and FidoNet. I have seen more vibrant political forums killed off by exessive moderation than by under-moderation.

THough it has recovered well, and is likely more in line with what the site owners wanted (else they'd change it), I still think that the change over at THR was a mistake. The discussion there has become much more narrowly focused than here. As it stood, I think both perspectives were valuable, but I'm afraid that the mods here are running the risk of turning the on-line RKBA discussion into a monoculture, where there is not a widely-read forum for free expression of views on an set of issues which are deeply felt and intensely political.

The ideals of human freedom that form part of all of our devotion to the right to right to the means of force deserve a place of fullest expression. I have been gratified to take part in discussions here where my ideas, which, while they fully align with the purely RKBA portion of the discussion, are decidedly in the minority on other matters, can be attacked full-force by those who disagree. Such fora are, in my experience, rare. Too many online fora, even those I enthusiastically participate in, tend toward the "preaching to the choir" end of things.

Maybe a time-out until the election is done is the best option. Of course, as it's not my site, it's not my call.

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Old September 14, 2008, 03:45 PM   #8
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Best to just flush it down the toilet and forget about it.
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Old September 14, 2008, 04:02 PM   #9
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Best to just flush it down the toilet and forget about it.
And flush away a very useful and thought provoking forum? A cost/benefit analysis before making such a summarily dismissive statement is in order, dont you think?

I miss the L&P forum and wish it was brought back. I spent a lot of time and energy there. To see it "flushed away" because some narrow minded member thinks its "best" to do so without giving a good reason why is pretty why L&P got shut down in the first place...useless or trollish posts that added nothing to the actual discussion.
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Old September 15, 2008, 08:18 AM   #10
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I find it not unexpected that L&P was closed as many don't debate from a intellectual perspective, rather they approach it from an emotional aspect.

The irony is that many subjects that concern fellow members here on TFL are political and legal in nature.

I hope that there is a way to continue the L&P section of the forum and with the civility that we all deserve. It may be a bit much to ask but if one cannot respond to a particular subject with a modicum of objectivity instead of a predominantly subjective response don't post.

I am guilty of letting my emotions get the better of me. That was quite a while back and it was foolish on my part. Thanks to the reasonableness of the moderators here on TFL I am still a member.

A culling of the herd could happen and it would be deserved. That isn't our call as members on TFL though.
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Old September 15, 2008, 01:19 PM   #11
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Another member in one of the other threads remarked that the biggest issue he saw was not enough mods, four, to properly monitor the L&P forum. I kind of agree.

I was banned from L&P for 2 months for when I want over the top, so why not do the same for these people who are causing problems? I didn't think the problem was as bad as the mods seem to think. If anything, more mods to monitor and also encouraging members to report posts they think go over the top would have brought things back down a bit.
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Old September 15, 2008, 03:10 PM   #12
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I've seen calls for more moderators, and while I agree it would probably help, I can't imagine it would be easy to come up with them. Most of our existing moderators seem to have day jobs, are not paid for this and expecting more would be unreasonable. I also think that moderators on a forum such as this need to be carefully chosen. Just think how it might run with some of our more flamboyant members in charge.
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Old September 15, 2008, 04:52 PM   #13
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More mods to police for personal insults, racist and homophobic slurs combined with a thicker skin for any who go in there. I can't help but think most complaints are from people whose particular of was gored effectively so it is easier to cry foul than admit error, respond effectively or shut up. I say let L&P roll.
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Old September 16, 2008, 12:48 PM   #14
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Political arguments often deteriorate into personal mud-slinging. In the past, in real life, people have been beaten or killed for voting a certain way. Most people feel very strongly about who will govern them and what laws they might make. Discussions about Palin's new "action figure" or Obama's heritage are not appropriate. Their views on guns ARE.

But...don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

L&P contained many interesting and informative threads dealing with our rights and laws concerning firearms. These subjects need a place to be heard and discussed. Perhaps a replacement thread could be "GUN LAW", and concern only that subject.

Frankly, seems to me the closing of the forum was the final act of the Moderators in admitting they'd let it get out of hand and couldn't control it any more. They couldn't do their job, so they eliminated the problem.

Y'all gave in...and the whole Forum population lost.
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Old September 16, 2008, 12:52 PM   #15
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Another member in one of the other threads remarked that the biggest issue he saw was not enough mods, four, to properly monitor the L&P forum. I kind of agree.
I agree. OK, I'll volunteer to Mod a new L&P-type of forum. Maybe something in the style of my suggestion in my recent post here.

I have experience in being President of a large radio control club, a retail store manager, and several other areas. Decision making-type jobs. You give me firm rules and I'll enforce them. And even abide by them.
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Old September 16, 2008, 12:59 PM   #16
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It'd be nice to have the forum back. There's quite a bit of information coming out that would help refute some of the statements that have are now part of TFL's archives and thus "on the record".

If the goal is to clean things up, then any sanctions or punishments applicable to L&P need to be applicable to every forum because the same problems exist there.
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Old September 16, 2008, 01:23 PM   #17
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IMHO with no disrespect intended the mods on this forum are the heaviest handed of any I've seen anywhere. There's too many with the I'm right you're wrong concept and somebody always wants to start an argument. It's not going to change no matter how many new rules or how many more mods you add. Most forums I belong to have already done away with any and all political discussions because it simply doesn't work.
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Old September 17, 2008, 06:40 PM   #18
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One thing that keeps a mod from being "heavy handed" is one I have employed against myself on forums that I have moderated in the past:

I would never attempt to moderate a thread in which I was a participant. I find that it is much more difficult to be objective when you are immersed in the discussion at hand.

Of course, I was the lone objectivist on a Liberal-leaning board that dealt with credit issues and financial advice. The policy there was "no political threads." I noticed that threads frequently were political, and that other mods and administrators were participating. The other mods would only close threads or delete posts that were not in keeping with the liberal viewpoint they all shared. In trying to keep dissension amongst moderators private, I pointed that out in the mod-only forum. I was removed as a mod and banned from the site.
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Old September 17, 2008, 09:17 PM   #19
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Many parallels to gun rights.

Closing L&P is not the solution. More rules are not the solution. Just enforce the current rules. Ban people that don't follow the rules. Just like gun crime, we don't need more rules, just enforce the existing rules.

Many times, L&P is the only forum that has any topics worth discussing.

Don't let a few idiots ruin the forum for the rest of us. Just like we don't want a few irresponsible gun owners to ruin our 2nd Amendment rights.
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Old September 18, 2008, 05:16 AM   #20
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I saw the announcement that declared the L+P closed and went through the follow-up thread (it got closed down) which led me to a search where I found this one still open.
As several other newcomers here have said before me, I was drawn to this forum partly by L+P and the fact that the mods seem a bit more lenient than at THR, my next choice forum, and I don't believe closing it is a good choice for TFL as a whole.
(Reading the closed threads is a priority to me.)

Already mentioned by others is the possible need for more mods. This, along with enforcing existing rules banning violators temporarily or permanently sounds very reasonable to me.
But what I got really enthusiastic about was Jimpeels suggestion of changing the colour of your name in the box on the left from the present blue to, say bright red for those who are in trouble and then clearly indicating them as "banned", when they are banned. This would be a very clear, tangible step and could be extended to include threads which are in danger of being closed as well.
I suppose people will argue that this would be a beacon for trolls who would congregate at these threads like flies, but that's precisely the point. It would (I assume) be very easy to run searches on members who contribute to such threads and subsequently ban them as necessary.
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Old September 18, 2008, 05:55 AM   #21
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The idea that politics and the discussion of politics can be held to some sort of civil tone is frankly wrong. Politics is just as contentious as religion, and probably more so because it includes religion and a host of other topics that people are more than willing to kill over. Any discussion of politics that does not end in violence is a civil one. Any future L&P forum should either be wide open or not exist at all.

I liked the L&P forum, but I don't think there will ever be one that meets the current standards of the moderators and owners of the site. The idea that people can respectively disagree with each other is asking more than any human being is capable of. If you disagree with someone on a point you think that on that point they are wrong. I don't respect someone I believe is wrong, and I find it hard to believe anyone else does either. People may act like they respect each other, but deep down when they disagree each thinks the other is an idiot, at least on the point of disagreement, and that opinion of that person is going to taint their entire view of that person.

In the end, I don't think the owners' and moderators' goals for L&P are realistic and as such we are better off without it. We all wanted to go into that forum and share our opinions on legal and political subjects, but the fact remains that TFL is not a free speech zone and as such we were hoping for something that wasn't going to happen.
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Old September 18, 2008, 06:18 AM   #22
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I would never attempt to moderate a thread in which I was a participant.
Excellent, "divemedic"! That should be a rule for ALL Mods.
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Old September 18, 2008, 08:23 AM   #23
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I guess perhaps I'm a minority in my view here, but I see no reason to fear such a forum or what is in it. To say that not having it is better than letting it go on because some may find it offensive in some way seems illogical to me, given that everyone is free to keep themselves out of it if they do not like it.

That is true on a thread level as it is on a forum section level. Less choice is almost never better than more choice.
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Old September 18, 2008, 09:14 AM   #24
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I would never attempt to moderate a thread in which I was a participant.
Excellent, "divemedic"! That should be a rule for ALL Mods.

It might just be best if mods avoided all highly charged topics. but in some cases, they are in a good position to give valuable insight.
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Old September 18, 2008, 12:01 PM   #25
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Why do gun boards need a political section? I have it on good authority that there are tons of right wing political blogs on the net you can visit...and lets face it, that is what this political section had become.

There are tons of left wing blogs too so everyone should be able to find someone to argue with or agree with if they want to do so.

The purpose of this board was to promote responsible gun ownership and to paint a positive picture of the gun owning community. The right wing and sometimes quite radical slant of the political discussions in L&P pretty much prevented that. It is hard for newbies to find this forum non-threatening when thay are slapped in the face with a ton of "Obama eats babies" or "liberals hate America" threads every time they hit the new posts button. Especially if their political standpoint is anywhere left of Carl Rove or Rush. I have personally had several friends decline to become active on the board after lurking for awhile.

It has been nice to come to the board and hit the new posts button and be flooded with information, anecdotes, and discussions about firearms, shooting, and tactics for a change instead of suffering hits to your personal beliefs.
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