Sunday, November 29, 2009

Replying to Posts on Firearm Forums: What's the Real Motivation?

Hello. I doubt that I am alone in noticing that it is not unusual to see some poor soul, new to shooting or not, ask a legitimate question on a firearm forum only to be pummelled with worthless responses, be ridiculed or made the butt of jokes. Thankfully, some people genuinely attempt to provide a relevant answer or at least something tangentially-related to the original poster's topic. I truly appreciate those who provide meaningful responses. On the other hand, my contempt for the seemingly-increasing number of smart alecks is growing exponentially.

"Smart aleck" seems appropriate when we look at the definition as provided by the "Merriam Webster Dictionary":

"an obnoxiously conceited and self-assertive person with pretensions to smartness or cleverness"

Some reading these words are folks who have made long-term efforts to help others within the shooting community, provide information believed to be of interest and therefore enhance the quality of that firearm site (or sites). Kudos to these fine folks.

Sadly, others have selfish motivations such as:

1. trying to make themselves appear clever with some snide remark of exactly zero value to the original post, or

2. inserting their own opinion or belief regardless of the OP's original parameters.

Example: "I only own a XYZ caliber handgun and cannot afford another at the present time. It is my sole option for self-protection. What would be the best ammunition or load?" Some will offer different answers pertaining to specific loads in that caliber that they believe to be best in XYZ caliber and answers will probably be differ; in my view, that is fine. Hopefully, with the information presented, the original poster can read and maybe make a better decision than before. However, there will be some "genius" posting tripe like, "XYZ sucks. Get ABC caliber. 'nuff said.", or

3. trying to stimulate "spirited debate" which is actually an easily-spotted lie. It is clear that they are really only trying to ignite an "e-fight" and they usually succeed when rather than ignoring these trolls, people engage them in a "battle" that quickly becomes little more than "verbal masturbation". Intended or not, they help the troll hijack the OP's thread. In the vernacular of younger folks, "That sucks." I reckon that means people doing it suck as well, doesn't it? "Spirited debate" usually turns out to be nothing more than an infantile fight in which correct answers are no longer relevant, only winning. We see the carcasses of such threads bearing the little padlock symbol indicating that the thread has been locked. Think about it for a minute; supposedly mature men (and women) with a common love of firearms posting in such an infantile manner that they caused someone else's thread to be locked...if not their own?

I have pretty much given up on trying to communicate with the smart alecks, as are previously defined, but hope that maybe I might encourage others to:

1. not "feed" the trolls. (How can I put this? Hmmmmm? Ignore the arrogant, tasteless bastards.) I suggest that engaging in this behavior not only lowers the quality of the site, but possibly plays into the hands of the anti-gun tripe browsing gun forums not from any interest in firearms...other than to separate honest Americans from them,

2. and keep trying to provide helpful information and encouragement for folks legitmately asking a question, sharing a new prized firearm or revealing their latest "epiphany"...even if it is "old news" or has been known for decades.

There will always be differences of opinion and legitimate mistakes of fact but we should be able to consider the merits of differing opinions and either accept or reject them after doing so. Factual mistakes can be courteously corrected and the right information provided in my opinion.

If we can ignore the trolls and individually try to be helpful instead of hateful in answering firearm/ammunition-related queries, I bet we would see the gun forums become more interesting and useful than cess pools for "spirited debate" in which the participants too frequently appear to be finalists in a hydrophobia contest.


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Hanging Together...

At the signing of this country's Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin asserted, "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

That was true advice then and I believe that it still applies to gun owners and firearms enthusiasts today.

"Gun control" efforts are at their lowest approval levels in decades, something that has got to irritate those who would gut the Second Amendment and eventually the entire Bill of Rights. It is a time when gun enthusiasts from quail hunters to IPSC competitors, benchrest rifle shooters and black powder fans should be united but in my opinion, we simply are not.

If the shooting/gun-owning community in general would understand that if any one section or type of firearm ownership and use is threatened, all are.

But, no. We do not. If a gun control proponent begins a jihad against handgun ownership, magazine capacity, etc, some shooters not interested in handgun disciplines are frequently not too quick to join in the opposition. It appears that far too many of us refuse to react, much less be proactive unless we see our own particular "ox being gored".

That is sad.

It is also stupid and in my opinion, inexcusable. What happens is that a minority of shooters have to carry the complete burden and wage the entire fight that the lazy take no part in ... but gladly reap the rewards of.

How often do we hear things like (insert whiney voice here), "But the NRA (or whatever group) doesn't do everything the way I think it should be" or "They're always wanting money" and so forth?

I agree that some groups do push limits it seems on begging money but how many use this as their excuse to never financially help those who do fight the fight?

Folks, it is much easier to keep a freedom than to regain it if lost.

Please do not respond with, "Why should I have to fight for what is clearly supposed to be a Right?" Folks, I AGREE. We should NOT have to do this, but it is what it is and if we do not, we will lose this Right.

It really is that simple.

I hope that more and more of us will refuse to lay down to the anti-freedom politicians from federal to local levels and stand up for the Second Amendment. If we do not, it will be gutted and soon after its demise, the antis will be wiping their asses with what's left of the Bill of Rights.

Are you doing your part and at least carrying your end in the apparently neverending fight for what is supposed to be a Second Amendment Guarantee? If not, it is never too late to start. I've been doing this since the late '60's. I'll never quit fighting the elitist bastards who would deprive honest Americans of their Right to keep and bear Arms.

Remember in the '90's before the libtards lost control of both Houses of Congress? Schumer, et al, were smiling for the cameras and grinning about all of the gun prohibitions that they had planned?

I'll never forget these laughing, smiling, treacherous bastards.

We are still fighting them today. The only reason that we are NOT seeing their continuing attempts at gun control (and eventual gun prohibition) is that they fear for their jobs as gun control at this moment is not a popular idea when compared to the past. Further help came with the panic buying of arms and ammunition when The One was elected. Even though, these actions were individual, there were enough to show that these separate buyers would probably be united voters against pro-gun control politicians. Imagine what would happen if we as pistol shooters, or rifle fans, or hunters or trap and skeet shooters would REALLY make an effort at uniting behind each other! Think of what could be done if EACH of us signed up just one new NRA member! (It would at least double in size, wouldn't it?)

I believe that we within the shooting/gun community really do need to unite. If someone begans an assault on shotguns as "area weapons" (happened under Clinton) or begins referring to scoped sporting rifles as "sniper rifles", we should all vigorously oppose them tooth-and-nail. We should contact our elected officials over it and donate to those organizations opposing them. I personally am a "one-issue voter" and Second Amendment freedom is the issue. Rest assured that my elected representatives know that.

Instead of being separate, warring "shooting discipline tribes", let's unite and help guard all areas of firearm freedom. Let's do our legal utmost to protect the Second Amendment.

In short, let's help each other.

Are you doing your part?