Housekeeping: Should TTAG Delete Conspiracy Theory Comments?

“Sandy Hook is fiction,” TTAG reader Gordon Wagner posted underneath Anti-Gunners Launch Pro-Gun Ads to Mark Sandy Hook Slaughter. “The perp left zero Internet footprints, the elementary school had zero Internet traffic… on and on. I realize how bizarre this sounds. No photos, no videos, no evidence? This has as much evidence as the extrajudicial murder of Osama bin Laden. And the gun grabbers are raging about ‘assault weapons’ when a news helicopter clearly showed an AR-15 clone… in the perp’s car trunk, untouched.” Uh, no. On a number of levels. Sandy Hook was not Capricorn One [above]. The question here . . .

Should we delete comments that are, how do I put this gently, Loony Tunes?

At the moment, TTAG only deletes comments that are obscene, threatening or abusive. And racist – which is a form of abusive. We implement this policy to deny the antis ammo – the Campaign to Stop Gun Violence and others trawl TTAG and other sites for “extremist” comments to post on their social media. We do this to keep the site (and our Facebook page) family-friendly.

Should we extend this policy to delete comments that say Sandy Hook never happened? Holocaust denial? Islamophobic comments? My gut says yes, for the reasons stated above. But then TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia do an excellent job b-slapping all forms of inaccuracy and stupidity. Leave it be or send them to the memory hole?

comments

  1. avatar Greg says:

    Yeah, delete them. They have no value.

    1. avatar mirgc says:

      {thumbs up}

      1. avatar DJ9 says:

        Yes, delete all that are obviously fringe-clinging.
        Waste of pixels, and makes TTAG look like a home for these types.

    2. avatar Bill C in w. tx. says:

      Laughter has value.

      1. Yeah, they’re entertaining. Harmless fun. Rule No.1 about conspiracy theories: Always bet against them.

        1. avatar Joelstr says:

          I would prefer they were left alone. Both for the entertainment value, and because ttag’ers do an excellent job of debunking false ideas.

          However, people with an agenda love nothing more than a juicy quote taken out of context.

      2. avatar Cliff H says:

        I believe the best response is to leave the comment and let these folks make fools of themselves. At most you should add an editorial insertion as to the ridiculous and unsubstantiated nature of their theory and let the rest of us lambaste them into the dark recesses of their mother’s basement where they can enjoy their paranoia in peace and quiet.

        On the other hand – History is replete with conspiracies and the cemataries are full of people who refused to believe in them until it was too late.

        Just sayin’.

        1. avatar Rick the Bear says:

          “History is replete with conspiracies and the cemataries (sic) are full of people who refused to believe in them until it was too late.”

          Cliff,

          My thought is that, when the purported “facts” don’t either answer the questions and/or fit the “official” story, our brains try to fill in the missing details.

          After way too much time had passed, details came out regarding Waco, Ruby Ridge, Benghazi, Obamacare, etc. that clearly contradicted the “official” stories. So I wonder why we’re suspicious?

          It’s easy to dismiss these theorists as nutters…until we discover that they weren’t completely wrong.

    3. avatar Kevin says:

      Agreed. All they do is fill comments with people trying to argue with them. Better to keep it constructive.

      If they want to write about their theories they can start their own blog.

    4. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      Except……….they are part of the truth about guns, aren’t they? That some gun folks do believe in some kooky stuff is a fact of life. Do we ignore it because it’s unpalatable? Do we deny it because it’s unflattering? That’s hypocrisy! After all, we celebrate and denigrate the gun grabbers’ fanciful fallacies, such as “gun free zones” prevent spree shootings, the police are sufficient to protect you, and, my personal favorite, the 2A only authorizes militias to be armed.

      Let people post their goofy theories. Let others pounce on them and discredit them, too. Let a hundred flowers bloom.

    5. avatar notalima says:

      And what standard is used by which to determine what is ‘tinfoil hat’ time?

      I find it funny that the argument used for censorship here is the same used by the anti-gunners.

      Again, TTAG, it is your site, but if you don’t see the slippery slope here…

      1. avatar Roymond says:

        Is referring to Democrats as communists a conspiracy theory? How about calling Obama a Muslim?

        Your point is sound: no matter where such a line is drawn, it will be arbitrary to a significant portion of the population. Hence, draw no lines.

        1. avatar int19h says:

          >> Is referring to Democrats as communists a conspiracy theory?

          It’s not a conspiracy theory, just an outright falsehood. Consult the dictionary for details.

          >> How about calling Obama a Muslim?

          Yes, it is a conspiracy theory.

  2. avatar Jake says:

    My mother used to be a holocaust denier. “Nope, never happened, Jews just want us to feel bad for them and buy their things.”

    Finally, we had an intervention. We showed her photos of all the shoes from the Holocaust Museum, sat her down and made her watch documentaries, the whole nine yards. And she did a complete 180.

    Now, instead of denying it ever happened, she can’t believe it only happened once.

    1. avatar Martin B says:

      It didn’t. There were pogroms on and off for most of Russian and Polish history. If they had harnessed Jewish createvity instead, Eastern Europe could have been a powerhouse from the Middle Ages onwards. But they went for option exterminate, and remain a backwater.

      1. avatar Big E says:

        ….And then they came for the Jews, because, let’s face it, they ALWAYS come for the Jews.

        1. avatar int19h says:

          They always come after the social groups that are segregated from the rest of society for whatever reason (be it self-imposed, like European Jews, or enforced by the society, like Dalits in India). Note how Jews were doing pretty well in Japan even during WW2, for example. That’s because Japanese had other convenient targets that were more in line with their cultural perspective.

      2. avatar int19h says:

        Persecution of Jews happened all over Europe, not just in Eastern Europe. Spain was particularly notorious for it, but many German states retained anti-Jewish laws on the books well into the 19th century.

        1. avatar Joelstr says:

          It happened in America as well. Maybe not on a government level, (or maybe so?) but Jews have always been persecuted. And always persevered.

        2. avatar Publius2 says:

          Pogroms were started in csarist Russia, and later by Lenin and Stalin to kill aand drive out Jews, gypsies, the kulaks, or any enemy of Freedom, including trainloads of Red Army officers who after winning WW2, were driven straight on thru to Siberia. Read Solzhenitsyn. He was there.

          Here is a post from Volokh talking about blogs, from 2003:
          http://volokh.com/2003_10_19_volokh_archive.html

          And another,

        3. avatar int19h says:

          Pogroms predate the existence of Russia as a state…

  3. avatar Excedrine says:

    Send them to the memory hole, says I.

    It doesn’t matter what kind of hellacious beating we give said “Looney Tunes”. Those sexist, racist, anti-rights, and anti-Humanist gun-grabbers will simply crop all of that out and conveniently ignore it. We must’ve willingly give them any ore ammo than we already do (and we do simply by believing what we believe).

    1. avatar Christian says:

      I disagree. Everyone has a right to an opinion, loony and misinformed as it may be. Additionally, opinions that seem loony and misinformed can turn out to be correct.
      “The CIA experimenting on American Citizens? Mind Control? pfft.” and then we discover that MK Ultra was actually a thing.

      So yeah, I’m officially against deleting “conspiracy theorist” comments.

      1. avatar Darren says:

        Sure, everyone has a right to an opinion, but does everyone have a right to slather that opinion on someone else’s blog? No, not any more than you have a right to put campaign posters in your neighbor’s yard.

        I say nuke ’em and keep TTAG comments clean. There’s enough twitter-rage from the antis without giving them even more ammo…

        1. avatar george from fort worth says:

          if a comment looks like a “looney tune”, require the writer to provide a government ID that certifies the poster is licensed to exercise the first amendment. if the poster does not have an acceptable credential, that person should be banned from posting anything, anywhere. speech can kill. we need to ensure reasonable safeguards are in place so the only responsible people can put forth conspiracy claims !!!

  4. avatar Adam Tyler says:

    I think those comments detract from the conversations that need to be intellectual and reality based about what is happening in today’s world. Blatantly false ideas help no one. Those people can find one of many other places on the internet to share those thoughts.

  5. avatar Hal says:

    Deleting the comments only lends credence to the fringe crazies. I agree that they have no value, but all comments should be left to air out in the light of day. Allow the AI to refute them.

      1. avatar CGinTX says:

        +1 (x 2) – sunlight is the best way to kill the crud – and avoid having to make judgment calls (let’s face it, some pretty crazy stuff has happened that would be hard to believe when first aired).

    1. avatar Scrubula says:

      Or allow the site moderators to flag the comment as spam/hate speech/conspiracy but let us readers reveal the comment with a click. I would rather be warned of certain statements than prevented from seeing them at all.

      1. avatar Don says:

        +1, I like this, if it’s an option! Otherwise just leave them, 1st amendment is as important as the 2nd, and as long as there’s no apparent motive to inflame or incite I think they’re harmless.

      2. avatar MrT says:

        let the readers tag them, and the mods approve the tags(to prevent trolls from killing valid comments).

        edit: do not delete them, 1A of unpopular opinions trumps personal/social/cultural sensitivities.

    2. avatar Matt in FL says:

      Agreed. Leave ’em for the world to see. They don’t usually last long unchallenged anyway.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Yup.

        Delete ’em, and Viola!

        Proof of a censure conspiracy

      2. avatar Roscoe says:

        Agreed Matt; let the off the wall stuff stand or fail on its own merits.

        It’s easy enough to dismiss illogical unsupported conspiracy chatter either by ignoring it, embarrassing the submitter, or dispelling the claim with facts (and sarcasm if necessary).

        Opinion, logic and reasoned thought are all strong here, and I personally would not like this forum to become too proactively suppressive on the comments. Over the top comments will usually be reasoned or criticized down quickly enough.

  6. avatar Model 31 says:

    So if somebody said “TTAG is a website setup by the NSA as a tool for big government to use for identifying pro gun Americans”…will it be deleted?

    1. avatar Texsylvanian says:

      danger zone!

    2. avatar TT says:

      The NSA doesn’t need to set up the site to use it as a tool.

    3. avatar Dan Zimmerman says:

      Damn! He’s on to us!

  7. avatar John Broderson says:

    Delete em. A few crazies make the whole group seem crazy.

    1. avatar 277Volt says:

      Almost to a person the rest of the TTAG community repudiates fringe theories so I don’t see where the occasional whack job paints the entire community. If anything it shows cooler heads prevail around here.

  8. avatar scott says:

    your policy seems fine as is…no need to stifle someone if it isn’t obscene, threatening, abusive or racist. you should encourage free thinkers.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      Another +1.

      Mostly harmless.

    2. avatar Frank says:

      OK, but I’m calling them out with no mercy if they post crazy crap just like I do to the “truthers” and liberal dingaling Occupy Wall Street types.

    3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      +1

  9. avatar PeterK says:

    I don’t mind much either way. I don’t think they actually hurt anyone.

  10. avatar Mark N. says:

    As you say, “But then TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia do an excellent job b-slapping all forms of inaccuracy and stupidity.” Which is at times quire entertaining. So why would you take away our little fun at the poster’s expense?

  11. avatar Jon in CO says:

    It’s your website RF, do what you like. Being one of those “looney toon” people, I keep it to myself. Same thing with my religious beliefs, and 95% of my political ones. We all strive for firearms freedom, yet we alienate people who don’t believe the same things we do. I think that is not only counter-productive, but I feel it drives those of us who think differently, or see things differently, underground. I visit this site via mobile multiple times a day and will continue to do so. I don’t comment very often for the reasons of backlash, especially if my opinion differs from the majority. I think we just all learn to get along. A brother in arms is still a brother in arms, until they turn coat and become an anti.

    1. avatar Maineuh says:

      Nicely put. I’m with you on all that, except for the “I’ll continue to read” part. Closed mindedness is ugly. And it leaves you to wonder who gets to decided what is “conspiracy theory” and what is not.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        Your last sentence is what would concern me about a “no nutjobs” policy. Who decides what’s too “out there”? I think the current policy of deleting racist and misogynist garbage is fine, but I wouldn’t want the moderators to start getting too free with the censorship.

    2. avatar Hack says:

      +1

      I’m a bit surprised at the smugness of the AI. We all admit that the press is made up of ideologues who are without a single moral among the lot of them, and are frequently spoonfed the stories by government “press statements” with zero investigative follow-up; the government is power – hungry and willing to manipulate the public to achieve its own ends; there “happened to be” a federal response team “nearby,” and the spokesman was not the local CLEO but a recycled crisis-response puppet.

      In light of all this, why are the doubters scorned for doubting?

  12. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    What you mean to tell me that I can’t post the truth that the alien technology at area 51 led to the beautiful cartridge that is the 300 blk, and that the wolfman is only afraid of copper bullets instead of silver, thats why there has not been any wolfman sightings because the use of fmj killed them all.

    No the really out there stuff is more likely trolls attempting to draw negative attention to our 2A rights and hurt us. If they really wanted to educate the public regarding the conspiracy stuff they would do it the right way and post it on YouTube!

    1. avatar AllAmerican says:

      Right? And the first word of that title on you tube will be REAL in all caps to make sure that we know the illuminati planning to depopulate the earth is 100% real.

    2. avatar Independent George says:

      Could werewolves theoretically get literal lead poisoning from repeated non-fatal shots by lead bullets? I mean, it doesn’t happen to people because we’d die from blood long before the lead became an issue. But werewolves are immune to those ballistic effects, but where does it say they’re not prone to heavy metal poisoning? I mean, they’re not undead, and they’ve got functioning nervous systems, so who’s to say they couldn’t end up with a toxic exposure despite being immune to the physical trauma?

      1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        Frangible ammo for the win! Leaves behind a lot more lead dust.

  13. avatar Jim says:

    Delete. And if you want to make TTAG family friendly, delete the racy photos in posts and ads too.

  14. avatar AllAmerican says:

    “The murder of Osama Bin Laden”- good lord talk about a hopelessly uneducated, ignorant, useless, and most likely drunk or high, waste of a brain. Don’t do conspiracy theories kids- they rot your brain.

  15. avatar SouthernPatriot says:

    Conspiracy theorists, Alien invasions (other than what is happening across our Southern border), and such just need to be ignored. I know there is thought about not giving them a platform, but I just dislike removing the comment unless it is blatantly offensive and even then I have qualms about it. Let free discussion be free.

    Some years back I was advocating strongly at LSU for “free speech” since there was no where on campus that free speech from students was allowed. Then we won a “free speech alley” where speech was truly free. Most early mornings good thought and anarchist thought was expressed, and then there was David Duke. He spouted the most vile racism I had ever heard. So many protested and threatened to have him removed. With several African-American friends, I went before the Council and advocated that nothing be done and allow him to speak.

    Students and others became familiar with the same things he would say over and over again until when he was there, students would just walk on and ignore him. Finally, David got the point and was not there nearly as often and when he was the was not nearly as long-winded.

    1. avatar Drew says:

      Let’s not underestimate the benifit of letting the fools destroy them selves. Where legislation failed to curb the klans popularity allowing their vile talk and deeds to be widely known was the largest part of their downfall. Allowing that hate speach probably affirmed more tolorance than bigotry among the general population.

    2. avatar Swarf says:

      Good for you, man. For all that stuff. Seriously.

    3. avatar MrT says:

      good on you and your friends. Freedom of the speech we don’t like, is that one that needs the most protection. One day it may be our speech that is not liked by the majority or bodies in power.

      1. avatar AnonInWA says:

        +1. Speech that is hidden from view is still out there. The way this things are resolved is to be shown to the people and be shut down by argument and rational thought.
        And please forget about the “trigger” warning suggestion. Really?

  16. avatar Gwen Patton says:

    There’s a point at which not deleting them makes you look like you share their opinion, or at least condone them espousing such nonsense using YOUR forum. If they want to get their story out, let them pay for the hall themselves.

  17. avatar LarryinTX says:

    I think deleting would make the crazies crazier. But to balance that, let’s look at length. Some posts here get pretty long, and that is often just wonderful when a position is well-thought-out and clearly explained. But I can imagine a post going on forever about looney-tunes conspiracy theories, massive madcap ranting and so forth. Your blog, RF, at least long craziness wouldn’t be missed, not sure you ought to worry about quickie “Newtown is fiction” drivel.

  18. avatar savaze says:

    I suppose you should be asking “what is truth?” One man’s truth might not be another’s, but is it right to prohibit them from having their own views if they aren’t hurting another?

    1. avatar Phil says:

      Isn’t censure of opinions the beginning of dictatorship?

      As long as it doesn’t violate the netiquette (racism, insult, porn, etc…), it shouldn’t be deleted at all, even if it’s the most stupid thing we could read on earth. Let the fools be fools…

      Before the Second Amendment, there’s a First one…
      Being for “Comment Control” is no different from being for “Gun Control”.

      I’m just saying…

      1. avatar MrT says:

        +1

        I would even include the speech you excluded(even though I despise it) but then again, it is not my website, it is a commercial website owned by a company, with admins and mods to protect their business plan….far from a ‘protected free speech zone’. nothing wrong with that.

        However, considering that the site does advocate for constitutional rights around firearms, any censorship is easy to be viewed as hypocritical, when the 2A is the ultimate means to protect the 1A.

  19. avatar Model66 says:

    Leave ’em be. Censorship will become a slippery slope. Don’t take a page from the MDA Facebook playbook. Personally, I don’t like thought police.

    1. avatar Phil says:

      Fighting “Gun Control” with “Comment Control”… Second Amendment trumps the First I guess?

    2. avatar Publius2 says:

      +1. Except for the most obscene and abusive posts, that you already ban per your TOE and family friendly guidelines, I would not censor comments. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut, and crazy is amusing, and what isnt, is interesting. I recall a couple of things that first surfaced on 2A sites I would NEVER have believed, pre 2008.

      I mean, who would believe the President would promise a group dedicated to denial of citizen constitional rights that he’d do something under the radar, soon, in exchange for their support. Then send his Secretary of State to spread already proven falsehoods about law abiding small businessmen, and launch a secret program to smuggle illegal goods into a sovereign country, to be used by criminals to kill innocents, just to target those small business people as the judas, to satisfy the anti constitutional group denying rights to all citizens. Crazy!

      And then suppress the investigative journalists by tapping phones, hacking computer, attacking job with owners, etc etc. Only in the USSR? Right?

      I mean, you couldn’t sell that yarn to a b-grade movie producer…and I remember how many mocked F&F early whistleblowers, or gun journalists as tin foil hat wearers…

  20. avatar Tribey says:

    I wouldn’t bother to delete them honestly, while they aren’t exactly a positive thing and I agree with not giving anti’s any extra “ammo”, it isn’t like those types of comments can’t be found elsewhere if the anti’s truly care to find examples for their crazy crusade. The few examples of those comments I’ve seen don’t have anything to offer in terms of facts, and are generally succinctly and thoroughly refuted, so they are plainly visible as being BS as well as not reflective of the opinion of the community as a whole.

    However, if someone were able to present some interesting facts to consider (on the subject of any conspiracy theory, etc), it would be a shame to see those types of comments deleted simply because they are “conspiracy theory related”. I think your current policy covers the important things, and I hate to see free speech (even crazy free speech) stifled in any way, although at some points I do recognize it is neccessary to keep things civil and foster productive conversations.

  21. avatar Ralph says:

    The problem with deleting “conspiracy theory” comments like the patently absurd “Newtown never happened” is that some conspiracy theories that seem equally absurd later prove to be true.

    If I had written several years ago that the NSA was eavesropping without warrants on average Americans, I might have been laughed off the digital pages of TTAG. But as we now know, the NSA program not only occurred, it’s still ongoing.

    The result of deleting ALL conspiracy theory comments is that the occasional live baby will get thrown out with the big overflowing tub of bilgewater.

    However, that doesn’t let every conspiracy theory off the hook. TTAG deletes comments that are obscene, threatening or abusive. Newtown deniers, like Holoaust deniers, are the epitome of abusive and their comments should be deleted. But if someone wants to postulate that Kennedy was shot by aliens from a grassy knoll at Area 51, who cares? Hey, maybe they’re right.

    1. avatar Timmy! says:

      The grassy knoll is area fifty TWO!

  22. avatar Josh says:

    IMO, get rid of them. It’s your website and you have every right. On one of the small local gun forums I visit, a guy came out of nowhere posting dozens of times a day with this debunked nonsense. We were worried that eventually some anti’s might pick up on this and use it to tar all of us as ‘truthers’. Eventually he was banned, but not after stirring up one sh**storm after another, which I think was what they’re really after. An audience, a reaction, the feeling that they are spreading ‘the truth’. There are plenty of places online for them to go nuts and this shouldn’t be one of them.

  23. avatar LJM says:

    RF, my first blush would be to delete them. I want the Pro 2A crowd to not seem fringe, but rational. However, censorship is a slippery slope. Perhaps instead of deleting them, there is a standard “shaming” and “truth” post that is immediately responded to it. That way we aren’t seen as just brushing potential looney tune posters away, but trying to call them out and perhaps educate them.

    You call, I’m good either way.

    1. avatar I_Like_Pie says:

      People keep using the word “censorship”

      It isn’t censorship to kick someone out of your house. This is RF’s house. He can do whatever he pleases.

      1. avatar Phil says:

        Yeah and the US are Obama’s house, Bloomberg’s house, Feinstein’s house… that’s how they think about it.

        In the case of RF, that’s indeed his website; But fighting “Gun Control” with “Comment Control” is not any better. The Second Amendment doesn’t trump the First one. Let be fools the fools… maybe some might not be completely fool after all.

  24. avatar Gordon Wagner says:

    Yes! Delete “conspiracy” comments at once! Hell, it was MY comment in the example. Things like that just upset people. Delete them at once without giving it a thought. Seriously. People just don’t know what to do with information like that. God, don’t get me started on 9/11/01.

    1. avatar AllAmerican says:

      Hey guy, you should look into the creator of “Loose Change”s personal life, why he made the movie, and what he’s said about it since. That’s the real conspiracy. Hint: it has nothing to do with Bush, the illuminati, or the grey aliens standing outside your window.

      1. avatar Gordon Wagner says:

        Not too big on videos. I do wonder about the skyscrapers that burned for days on end, yet somehow didn’t collapse… Madrid, Moscow, Shanghai… a few others. The Wizard of Oz… pay no attention to the man behind the curtain… he is merely a technician…

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          Gordon, I like you and welcome you as I welcome most gun guys, so please accept this advice in the spirit in which it is offered — stop embarrassing yourself.

        2. avatar AllAmerican says:

          Yeah. Those building weren’t hit by massive planes resulting in massive explosions. Listen man, I get it. I have a few friends that are probably more into this nonsense then you are. You know why they believe these things? Because they’re scared. They’re scared of the idea that the world is random, chaotic, violent, and without real structure. So they build these huge mental wall around global events to give life a sense of order and purpose. Being that there’s a vast web of conspiracy that controls the world. Even though they believe those in power to be malicious, it makes them feel better. they would rather believe in an all powerful evil than the reality that is chaos. So essentially, heavy belief into these conspiracy theories is much like religion. It’s a fairy tale to help such people sleep at night and comfort their fear of the random chaos.

        3. avatar IAB2 says:

          Gordon,

          I agree with Ralph, in that there is a fine line between telling the truth as you see it, and creating a cause for real pain to someone, in this case, if you accuse the grieving families themselves of deliberate deception.

          I despise MDA and other progressive shills – what TTAG and others call “the blood dancers” on the left who cynically and deliberately exploit the horrific images of innocent children, and cause more pain to the grieving families, simply to advance the blatantly anti-gun progressive political agenda that deliberately obscures the truth about what works- that good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns.

          Don’t join that group by default, or impugn other POTG here, or the reputation of TTAG by using the same despicable tactics, or if you do, dont be surprised when someone calls you out for the method, if not your belief system, and conclusions about the events.

          IMHO, you have a right to your opinion.
          But you can also be respectful about how you say it. Respect their pain, let them grieve in peace.

          If you truly believe there is a conspiracy, you can find a way to leave the families out of it. Or go someplace else- there are scores of websites online devoted to conspiracy theories.

  25. avatar Sammy says:

    Censorship is unbecoming Mr. Farago antithetical to the tone of TTAG. All a reader need do is to keep scrolling down past anything deemed non sequitur. Besides, in the current environment, who’s to say what’s possible and what’s not.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      When someone has proof positive that there’s no mountain of dead babies in Newtown, let them post it here. Otherwise, they should take their innuendo and bvllsh!t and stick it somewhere else.

      1. avatar Sammy says:

        Perhaps a mountain of dead babies is a bit hyperbolic. Newtown is just one of many events that have trouble with consistency, evidence, and those pesky non disclosure contracts/orders. Such factors prevent transparency leaving the door open, for lame reasons, to conjecture and speculation. S/H aside, I find the “facts” regarding the Ben Laden operation and the Muslim burial at sea bit especially murky, yet we have veterans validating what we were told. Non the less, I find that story unbelievable.

        Happy Holidays

  26. avatar iCONOCLAST says:

    Sure, you delete everything else with abandon, with no rhyme or reason. Queue the sycophants with the ” if you don’t like it get your own website rap”

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Do NOT start your own website, or your state will know that you are a prohibit person and take away all your shiny things and make you trade your suit for one that buckles in the back.

    2. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “Sure, you delete everything else with abandon, with no rhyme or reason. “

      Is that a conspiracy? Hmmm….

      I’d rather see RF leave the kookie conspiracies up for open discussion and choose to delete posts that are pure, unsubstantiated fantasy. That’s the stuff that looks crazy.

      IMO, of course.

  27. avatar Wielsucker says:

    delete ’em. Life is too short..

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Life is too short to make some poor bastard spend all day looking for nutball comments and deleting them…

      1. avatar Timmy! says:

        I was just thinking the same thing. How often does anyone go back and re-read the comments on old threads? I know I don’t even go back to see what others have said about my comments. Some wacky theories are going to slip through the crack that way anyway… IMHO. So, I say leave them up… Oops, the NSA’s mind control chip sensed I was commenting and triggered my bladder. Gotta go NOW

  28. avatar m in nc says:

    To all you in R.F.s choir of looney tune detractors- I would like to know how much research any of you have done regarding Sandy Hoax? Check out Veterans Today website- Fetzer and friends have done a LOT of research here. Study Top Ten reasons why Sandy Hook is a hoax- instead of buying lamestreams medias B.S narratives so readily. To axe alternate views says more about your unwillingness to look outside your little neat safe world view.

    1. avatar Mark says:

      You want research? One of my co-workers had two children in the Sandy Hook Elementary School on that day. Thank the Good Lord they weren’t hurt (physically that is). It happened……. It was real……

      If you believe otherwise Mel Blanc has a job for you.

      1. avatar Gordon Wagner says:

        [Slapping one hand off the keyboard with my other hand]

        1. avatar Merits says:

          No, please type. I’m genuinely curious about what you would say about the 20 plus families, extended families, friends of those ‘supposedly’ killed. Who all is in on it, and who is just being fooled? Where does the line stop?

        2. avatar doesky2 says:

          Hell Merits, dismissing 20 families is childs play when idiots like him write off the families of PLANELOADS on their asshattery 911 conspiracies.

          One of the worst aspects of the internet is that it allows mental defectives to get support from other mental defectives with the same insane ideas. In the old days these idiots would just sit at home in a dark corner and wank off all day to their bizarre fantasies. Unfortunately the internet allows idiots, crazies, and pedophiles to find each other and support and reinforce each other in their perverted and twisted thoughts.

        3. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          “One of the worst aspects of the internet is …”

          Careful, guy…this entire point is exactly what the anti’s say about US for the mere act of wanting to own EVIL GUNS.

          How you are looking at Gordon is exactly how they see us; they are equally as dismissive and derogatory in their comments.

  29. avatar Nate says:

    Who decides what is crazy? The world is flat! This was a fact for centuries until Aristotle, I believe, started telling people it was round. Deleting comments because they seem crazy I feel goes against this websites purpose. All great truths start as a seed planted in persons mind that grows while they educate themselves further on the matter. Then eventually enough evidence is gathered to prove that what was once considered crazy is actually fact. Now this obviously is not true of all situations but everyone deserves to at least be exposed to all the potential truths in the world, so they can make up their own free mind without TTAG determining what is crazy for them.

    1. avatar I_Like_Pie says:

      The owner if this site determines the content….and can delete whomever he deems crazy.

      He is just trying to build some consent among peers. This isn’t a slippery slope or some other “rights” based issue.

      Why are people confused over this?

      1. avatar Nate says:

        The owner of the site can do whatever he wants. It is his site that he created. However, he asked his readers opinion and I gave mine. I believe this site posts the good with the bad and does an outstanding job of representing the truth. As a reader and consumer when this site or others start deleting comments for no other reason than they don’t like what the custome is saying I feel that site or company starts to loose credibility and accountability.

  30. avatar gloomhound says:

    Yes please.

  31. avatar Another Robert says:

    I think if you go beyond obscene and abusive you are on a slippery slope. The present policy is fine.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Telling grieving moms and dads that their kids didn’t exist and the whole thing is a scam seems pretty abusive to me.

      1. avatar Wendy says:

        ^^^ This.

      2. avatar chotto says:

        Like this “grieving” father?

      3. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Yes. Some things should be off limits.
        This is a very public site and, I’m sure, monitored by more than a few “anti’s”.
        We don’t need to prove to be crazier than they think we are.

      4. avatar Another Robert says:

        If it’s abusive, then delete it as abusive. Not because it’s a wacky conspiracy theory.

      5. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        The guys that say that stuff get smacked down pretty hard for it, too, usually. It might be good for the ‘other side’ to see our side policing itself, so to speak.

        That’s something they certainly don’t do (that’s I’ve observed). They can be as vile and hateful as they choose, and they continue to support each other. Our side sticks up for “right” and “truth” even if it means spanking our own once in a while.

        Another side of the coin…we have some high ground on this type of thing, and it should be visible and pointed to.

        The anti’s lie about everything. We don’t need to give them fuel….they make stuff up. If we have facts to refute their lies (ie, “gunners don’t support x crazy idea”), it hurts them all the more.

        There are lines; some things are over those lines. It is up to RF to decide where those lines are. But, I do think our group’s transparency and the response to nuttiness is a bit plus.

  32. avatar Mark says:

    While conspiracy theorist may be considered “Looney” in their beliefs, the gun grabbers in my opinion are “Uber Looney” in their beliefs. Seeing as how the gun grabber may very well copy and paste a far out post to further there attacks against POG, I think it best to delete the TTAG conspiracy theory comments. Not a fan of censorship but I’m a bigger fan of not giving the other side the fodder.

  33. avatar ropingdown says:

    I come to this site as respite from excessively dull production reading, and, indeed, writing. It would save me time if you would remove ridiculously counter-factual posts. Perhaps you could say “POST DELETED AS AN INSUFFICIENTLY CLEVER CONSPIRACY THEORY.”

  34. avatar Accur81 says:

    Obviously the Holocaust and 9/11 occurred. I’m more than a little bit upset that virtually zero Sandy Hook pictures were released. The school was dozed to the ground and the construction workers were forced to sign non-disclosure contracts. Gun control was the immediate narrative before the bodies had even cooled. I’ll tell you what, that stinks to high heaven.

    As Ralph mentioned, we have conspiracies leveled against us. Gun control is definitely one of them. Banning the civilian ownership of JHPs, restricting standard capacity mags, the denial of carry permits to responsible taxpayers, and the like are all control schemes.

    It’s your site, delete what you want. If it was up to me, I’d say to stay as free as possible. That’s what I’m trying to do.

    1. avatar bob says:

      ++++100000000

    2. avatar Yellow Fang says:

      Okay, you said it WAY better than I did!

  35. avatar David says:

    I would if it was my site, certainly the hate comments of Islam and the Holocaust denial stuff too. If a comment is off topic or without merit then why allow it. At the same time, off topic and without merit are subjective.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      “Hate from islam”
      FIFY

    2. avatar doesky2 says:

      Yeah because we all know Islam is “the religion of peace”. Gotcha.

      (Trigger warning) Some facts about Islam are incoming….

      Not all Muslims are terrorists….but essentially ALL modern day terrorists are Islamist.

  36. avatar PeterW says:

    At what point are we not allowed to question the status quo?
    Complete denial may be a stretch, but certainly “big events” such as Sandy Hook, Aurora, Columbine, 9/11, Boston marathon, Oklahoma, etc, because of their dramatic impact and now explosive (maybe I should say pervasive) use of social-media-as-factual-news-feed creates an atmosphere of incredulity, especially in these days where many people from all walks of life question what they are being fed by the Main Stream Media news. And why would they not? Considering we are told contradictory (not paradoxical) things in a rapid-fire fashion and then never go back to correct them, skepticism is certainly a natural reaction as much as denial and sticking our heads in the sand so not to hear it at all.

    All I’m saying is there are a ton of unanswered questions about these events and rather than try to answer them, people who ask are shouted down, insulted and called foolish and crazy for even asking them. Calling someone names for asking a question is anti-Christian and for the secular: very rude and immature.
    So absolute denial or absolute acceptance are both wrong on principle. We don’t have enough information for absolutes.

  37. avatar GuntotinDem says:

    You could delete them as off topic but then, youd have to the same to the abortionists and the obummer crowd. Oh no I used a But, comment…

    The articles are one the thing. Your house, your rules. The comments can be fairly free for all of which i probably only connect with a few of the posters. I think i’ll stick around.

  38. avatar Texas Anomaly says:

    This is a tricky one that has required some thought. On one hand, I say delete them, not for being “Looney Tunes,” but for the harm they might do to our cause. However, this runs strictly against the primary reason I lurk on the site: the comments are largely unmoderated, giving us the good the bad and the ugly. As others have said, censorship is a slippery slope. And since most of the “stories” on TTAG are really just comments and links to other sites, everyone here is really in it for the comment section.

    That said, it I ran the site, I would have deleted some of the comments posted by TTAG staffers as being derogatory, ignorant hate speech. So I would venture to say that if you go down the road of censorship, step up your self-policing. Comments made by the staff are far more harmful to our cause than some random internet troll.

  39. avatar Nathanael says:

    I’d say this should be done on a case by case basis, taking a couple factors into consideration.

    1. How offensive is the conspiracy theory? After all, every conspiracy theory is also an accusation, and some are a lot nastier than others. For example, the usual implications of “the moon landing was fake” aren’t as vicious as “the Holocaust was fake.”
    2. How badly does it reflect on the gun rights movement? Bear in mind, there’s nothing stopping gun control advocates from posting crazy comments on here in order to subsequently cherry-pick them as examples of how nutty gun owners are. Someone burbling about the moon landing begin fake: meh. Someone raving about how “Sandy Hoax” is a gun control conspiracy: delete.

  40. avatar JonFTC says:

    Yes,

    Conspiracy Theorists nuts hurt our cause they don’t help it. if they start rambling about chemtrails, haarp, 911 truth, sandy hook being fake, annunaki, planet-x, etc delete the comments.

  41. avatar Martin B says:

    Well, what if:
    One day you woke up and discovered that everything you had thought your entire life was wrong;
    What if you learned something that changed your whole perspective.
    We are all imperfect, fallible people with growing minds (most of us). Usually those who rely on conspiracies for their opinions, have abandoned the task of thinking, leaving it to others.
    However, it still behooves us to gently reprove the bewildered and confused, and use the facts to illustrate our point.
    Until a few years ago I thought religion was a fraud, and only used to dupe people out of their money. Then I read the Bible and discovered the Truth. My world changed, and is now brighter and more hopeful than ever. I came into the Light of the Lord.
    Not everybody will feel the same. I accept that.
    If there are genuinely convinced folk who support a popular myth for whatever reason, those with the best grasp of the facts can put the full picture before them.
    The exchange of ideas is one of the best features of this forum.
    As long as we all play nice together and separate a persons opinions from their character, we should avoid the type of controversy which could endanger the future of this website.
    I enjoy reading how other people think.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Morpheus, is that you?

  42. avatar H says:

    Use your judgement in relation to the image you wish your site to maintain.

    Here’s a reason not to delete.

    Above one of our fellows states the it was believed that the world was flat until Aristotle started saying otherwise. What’s a bigger story is that this narrative, ”
    the world is flat”, is coming only from those who believed it was. They can only speak for themselves. They aren’t speaking for the millions who lived on other continents and before them. Wait! There’s more.:) It is now known that King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella thought the globe was far larger than Columbus thought it was.

    So the opportunity to clear up misconceptions is welcome.

  43. avatar Doug Knaus says:

    TTAG is doing too much focus-group navel gazing.
    You’re wasting too much time reading the comments. (Perhaps looking for positive reinforcement? Having second thoughts about leading?)
    Have an intern or computer program do it. Or just check the ones readers flag.
    I’m pretty sure Gloria Steinem said she NEVER read reader letters or reviews.
    An (inaccurate, I’m sure) Internet meme had Henry Ford saying “If I asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘Faster horses.'”
    Did Gates, Jobs, etc. ask people what they wanted (at first, before they hired MBAs)?
    P.S. Do not hire an MBA.

  44. avatar former water walker says:

    It’s your site RF. I am personally much more offended by the anti Christian comments than any so-called “islamiphobia”. I have no problem with the present policy.
    As far as conspiracy goes-we see through a glass darkly…we wrestle not with flesh and blood but with principalities and powers. NOBODY knows everything. How do ‘splain Barry Soetoro?!?

    1. avatar Texas Anomaly says:

      I find the pandering to Christians, coupled with those that find any and all other religions to be a threat to them to be extremely offensive. The conflict in views that you and I have is a case in point that if TTAG starts to go to far in censorship, we all lose.

  45. avatar Ken Bach says:

    I agree that they add nothing of value, but I think they should stay because deleting them will only draw more attention to them. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect.

  46. avatar m in nc says:

    Hey Ralph watch the grieving dad Robbie Parker laughing and then switch to bad actor mode- total con

    1. avatar chotto says:

      video posted above of the “grieving” father.

  47. avatar Swarf says:

    Leave ’em. Warts and all, man.

    You already do a good job of not reporting on stories that show gun people in a less than flattering light, such as the NRA attempting to block anti elephant ivory legislation.

  48. avatar Vonhawk says:

    I think it would best if we had a way to tag comments. I am tired of seeing +1 comments eating up space with out really saying something. Most people don’t wan’t to eat up space they just want to vote on a post or comment. What we need are some pre-set tags that can make things easier and more informative.

    “someone writes a comment” (then underneath are the tags and tallies)
    Agree 452, Disagree 308, Liked 355, Disliked 204, off topic 9, you nuts 375, inappropriate 1

    it is possible to disagree and like a post and vice versa so that is why I have them separate.
    inappropriate post are flag quickly for TTAG to rip out.
    off topic (I mean way off) and you nuts get auto kick off after the 100 tags or some other arbitrary number. The other possibility is is to just leave the post up so everyone can see how everyone else thinks there crazy.

    What are some other possible tags?

    As stated earlier I would also like to see more family friendly adds

    I would tag most of the Police Militarization fear mongering artices as “your nuts”

    1. avatar Taylor TX says:

      +1 comments will disappear as soon as there is an upvote system similiar to what Disqus uses. Sometimes an “atta boy” or a pat on the back/affirmation is a good thing, showing solidarity and all that. I do like your tagging idea though, a variety of simple responses would definitely be useful.

    2. avatar AllAmerican says:

      Your on to something… Yet, it would be cool to have a few “up votes” to select from that could be in caliber form. Like, you could give this comment a .38, other better comment a .44 mag… Do it from .17hmr all the way up to .50cal. That would be pretty cool. “Hey, nice comment, I give it a .45” That would be a cool unique thing for a gun blog.

  49. avatar Jake Tallman says:

    Leave them. First of all, they will be thoroughly debunked by other commenters. But secondly, I’d be pretty careful about laughing at conspiracy theorists, or writing them off because what they claim is too insane. I’m not saying every tin-foil hat idiot is automatically correct, but crazy things have happened. Hell, look no further than MKUltra if you don’t believe me. That shit is so insane that if it were proposed today as a theory, Alex Jones would shake his head in disgust and walk away. And yet it happened.

  50. avatar Nomad57 says:

    One question for you. Why was the car Adam drove to the scene registered to a registered sex offender? And the trunk contained a Saiga 12.

  51. avatar Taylor TX says:

    At what point does the deleting end? I like the present policy as it allows the conspiracy comments to be countered, and the “we dont delete comments unless theyre ad hominem or flames”, abusive etc as to not give the antis ammo I am a huge fan of. It seems RF,imho of course, you have always prided yourself on not deleting comments like SO many other online venues.

  52. avatar Big B says:

    They don’t really bother me, I just shake my head in disbelief. What bothers me is all of the comments that have no regard for authority or the law (as in its enforcement or those who enforce it) because a small percentage of them are bad apples. Also when Dick Metcalf penned an article that was unpopular, there were endless comments on here like, “just die already” and you had no problem leaving those on here. Dick Metcalf did more to promote the 2nd than 99% of the posters on here. I’m not saying you should have agreed with him but damn, wanting him dead?

  53. avatar Ddub says:

    There is no tolerance like zero tolerance. Case by case basis, one man’s conspiracy is another’s reasonable skepticism. As for Islam…….there is enough bad press out there already.

  54. avatar Alex P. says:

    I agree, censor away. While you’re at it delete any pro-gun control posts, that way we will be just like Mom Demand Action. Who doesn’t want that?

  55. avatar Evan in Dallas says:

    Unless they insist on hijacking a page by leaving conspiracy comment after conspiracy comment, I say leave it alone. Plus it’s a slippery slope to draw a line between heavy speculation and conspiracy. And to the conspiracy theorists credit, I wouldn’t put it past the government to do evil stuff in secret, but unlike the conspiracy guys, I don’t attribute government officials with that much intelligence or an ability to shut up about it for long.

  56. avatar Carry.45 says:

    Seems like you gave yourself all the necessary info for making a decision in your post. Leave your rules the same with one exception. Abusive comments are allowed and encouraged in response to the holocaust/sandy hook denying islamophobic bigotted douchenozzles who are silly enough the reveal themselves. Won’t take long before they feel foolish.

  57. avatar int19h says:

    Leave them. Censorship is an extreme measure that requires extreme justification. In most cases, even the most stupid and repugnant views are best being publicly represented; when they go underground, things get worse.

  58. avatar ADC USN/Ret says:

    Is Robert Farago, the author of this piece, a murderer by proxy who wants to disarm victims?

    This is exactly like the left leaning statements that the anti-gun crowd uses.

    The anti-gunners do not use logic. I personally would appreciate your getting rid of their blatherings. If I wanted to read that I could visit their websites, watch MSM, or find another way. I’m only here because the majority make sense.

  59. avatar Kyle says:

    The problem as some have pointed out is that certain things that seem like a conspiracy can later turn out to be true. Like the IRS targeting conservative and Tea Party organizations.

  60. avatar BluesMike says:

    Didn’t read all the comments. However, something feels wrong about deleting them. There are a lot of things that are worth looking into. The group does seem to self-police. Also, there are some things about certain events that seem very wonky. Read up on Dunblane. It’s pretty strange. Now one could say that something that odd could only be truth and that governments are not able to do (cover up) things that well. I still wonder if they are able to luck into things once in a while.

  61. avatar Alexander says:

    Leave em’. They’re entitled to express themselves as long as it’s not offensive to someone else and leave it to the reader to do the research if they’re interested but if it is that crazy then it likely won’t get much attention.

  62. avatar Don says:

    Clearly Robert is tipping his hand as a Michael Bloomberg anti-gun sleeper agent sent to infiltrate the pro-gun community. They are both from the northeast, and would have known each other in the Jewish-American-ish community. I have seen pictures of each of them on the internet using Mac products. Coincidence? I think NOT! None of us have actually seen Robert’s voter registration, WHY IS THAT? Is he a secret Democrat? Hey I’m not saying anything, Just Asking Questions(TM).

    With regard to conspiracy theory comments, the comment section seem to take care of it pretty well themselves. 1) If the conspiracy has no merit then the rest of the community has an opportunity to set the person believing the crazy stuff straight, 2) Maybe the conspiracy theory has merit, people will think about it, 3) If no one learns anything, then at least it’s entertaining to watch the conspiracy nut get a social beat down.

  63. avatar John M. says:

    “At the moment, TTAG only deletes comments that are obscene, threatening or abusive. And racist – which is a form of abusive. We implement this policy to deny the antis ammo – the Campaign to Stop Gun Violence and others trawl TTAG and other sites for “extremist” comments to post on their social media.”

    Why does the Left never, ever, ever, ever denounce others on their Left, all the way over to Stalin and Mao? And all this while we busily play the Left’s game on the Left’s field by the Left’s rules and wonder why the Left is winning? Should we also participate in the regular Two Minutes Hate exercises that our Progressive overlords regularly demand of us in order to curry favor with them and the rest of the mob?

    More specifically to the question at hand, I think the conspiracy folks should present their evidence. Let them be heard. I don’t find them convincing, but I believe a lot of weird stuff myself and appreciate the opportunity to be heard.

    “We do this to keep the site (and our Facebook page) family-friendly.”

    Umm, somebody posted a picture of a nude Israeli the other day on here. You might want to find out who that was and remind them that this web site is supposed to be family-friendly.

  64. avatar Don says:

    Would it be a conspiracy theory to point out that in the Michael Brown AND the Eric Garner cases, the one thing we know for sure is that tobacco products are a health risk?

  65. avatar tdiinva says:

    A long time ago I suggested that certain comments could come back to haunt the community if the particular person went ballistic. It was a particular self proclaimed neo-Nazi that led to my suggestion. I was roundly hooted down So it may surprise you that I would not ban crazy conspiracy theorists unless they showed enough signs of instability that they may go on a spree shooting. Now Robert can do anything he wants and I have no objection to it because it is his private property but I would let the tinfoil hat set post away.

  66. avatar Spaceman Brown says:

    Delete anything that makes assertions without evidence to back them up. I’m not interested in conspiracy theories. I’m extremely interested in conspiracy facts.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “Delete anything that makes assertions without evidence to back them up. “

      So, delete 90+% of the anti-OC comments, then?

  67. avatar TonyJude says:

    Be a bastion of free speech. Don’t censor.

  68. avatar Hannibal says:

    Deleting them would just make the posters think they’re being oppressed by the Men in Black (internet style). I never understand why they think there’s this huge conspiracy out there that won’t bother to kill them if it can do everything else.

    So I’d say don’t delete them… just mock them as much as possible. They like to think they’re special and enlightened… remind them that they’re a different kind of special.

  69. avatar Brandon says:

    Delete ’em

  70. avatar chotto says:

    I’m normally at the office when I read TTAG and thus never really post. But for this topic, I feel like I should. Now at home.
    We question alot of things on this forum. Police shootings, The government overreaching, MDA and Bloomie. How is questioning the official narrative a bad thing? We do it all the time and on a daily basis on this site. Who knows how different the world might have been in the German people questioned the Reichstag fire rather than just buying into the nazi story of a loner, mentally disturbed communist setting fire to the building. Most probably would have disappeared into a camp, but you never know. If we don’t question the world around us, whats the point? The world is flat. We are the center of the Universe. Angels are real. We all know(at least some of us) that the world is not flat, we are not the center of the universe and angels are on par with the tooth fairy. If no one challenged the official narrative, we’d still be in the dark ages. One might as well bow down to the demands that were made following the newtown shooting. Common, think about it. What kinda of event would be a gun grabbers dream? A mass shooting at an elementary school by a mentally derranged individual with an evil black rifle? That one instance had everyone of the people on this forum on the defense immediately. Did it happen the way the media portrayed it? I can’t say for sure, but alot does not add up when you start looking into it. To accept everything that is fed to us by the media is ludacrious. IF we did, we know that George Zimmerman would be guilty, cops only shoot the bad guys and guns are only meant for the cops and military. We refute every one of these arguements. Why? It’s in our nature to question the narrative, especially when it concerns firearms. That’s what brought all of us here in the first place. The TRUTH about guns. So do we (or more specifically RF) take a page out of MDA playbook and start to delete any opinion that is not “in line” with the way we think? As an avenue of public discourse (which this forum is), I don’t feel that comments should be deleted unless they are obscene, offensive, hostile or threatening. Yes, some people are passionate about their views, as we all are when it come the second amendment (or the first for that matter as it directly relates), but to drown out a dissenting opinion because “we don’t like it” is poor form and I would hope that TTAG does not become the MDA of gun rights, shouting down anyone that isn’t with us.

  71. avatar Yellow Fang says:

    “At the moment, TTAG only deletes comments that are obscene, threatening or abusive. And racist – which is a form of abusive. We implement this policy to deny the antis ammo – the Campaign to Stop Gun Violence and others trawl TTAG and other sites for “extremist” comments to post on their social media. We do this to keep the site (and our Facebook page) family-friendly.”

    Okay, I take exception to this, for the following reason. ‘Family-friendly’ means I don’t have to explain to my nine year-old son about your two divorces, your child custody issues, and your obsession with Israeli models. While you may consider these ‘family-friendly’ topics because they are common (and carnal), I assert that the mainstreaming of these topics only undermines the family. If I teach my son that it is okay to sexually objectify women, how then can I teach my daughters not to be sex objects? While I can’t believe that you consider your two divorces to have been casual, low-consequence events, I certainly believe that it is your business and yours alone, and if you need to air your grievances, you should do so within your direct social circle.

    Our hearts’ being far from God is what separates us from Him. Whether you’re an Old or New Testament believer, we should strive to live as Jesus did, honoring God and his commandments, and grateful for His forgiveness of our failures.

  72. avatar Irish says:

    There was a time when I would have said delete them….then I watched “A Noble Lie” about the Oklahoma City bombing. This wasn’t made by conspiracy nuts. Oh my God, something is VERY VERY wrong with that entire story as told by the Federal Government. This documentary shifted my entire worldview into being far more doubtful about the official explanations about anything involving the Federal Government.

  73. avatar JasonMfromSoDakota says:

    Please don’t sacrifice the integrity of this site out of fear to offend another person’s delicate sensibilities, especially when those people wish death upon us and our families for being responsible for our own safety. Deleting posts because they may add fuel to the anti-gunners hatred of American citizens exercising their constitutional rights is LOONY TOONS. The anti-gunner statists already equate we gun owners as baby killers with small packages who are fearful racists, so why are you going to censor far-out of the box comments that provide entertainment and get shredded by regulars.
    This site is the best for the changing articles and the comments are a chance to interact with people from all different walks of life and learn. Some of us are passionate in our comments when addressing others because we can’t fathom their personal views but we try, sometimes not so eloquently. I enjoy that you don’t try and make us all conform to the same narrative and since some of us are vastly different, and it allows for learning new things.
    We are in a fight with people that espouse un-American views so why not let freedom ring through continued free speech.

  74. avatar DerryM says:

    Delete the obviously outrageous ones because even if other Commenters B-slap the original poster all to hell, anti’s trawling here for juicy looney toon stuff to post on their sites as examples of “how crazy those gun people are” will quote the original post and not the rebuttals and refutations. For less crazy posts, you’ll have to make a decision and delete as you see fit, but you might be accused of being inconsistent, but , hey, isn’t that part of the fun of being the Editor-in-Chief?

  75. avatar Jack says:

    Delete them! Only allow people to repeat what is said on CNN.

    1. avatar TheSleeperHasAwakened says:

      Or Fox News or what the great and almighty Glenn Beck says.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        I would like to point out that if you listened to CNN you would have thought that O-care was the greatest thing since sliced bread and that “if like your insurance, you can keep your insurance,” and ” if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” and “you would save $2500 per year on health insurance.” If you listened to Fox News you would have known those claims were BS. Perhaps Fox was like a stopped clock, right twice a day and the all the other things you heard on CNN were right.

    2. avatar m in nc says:

      and I hear over at Camp FEMA they have a Kool Aid that cures us Loony Tuners- then I’ll be well again!

  76. avatar TheSleeperHasAwakened says:

    Robert, this is the most disgusting Post I have ever seen on TTAG.

    Call me a pejorative term or whatever you like…but censoring one Right while trying to promote another is about as lame as one can be. Not to mention you (TTAG) playing into the hands of the Anti’s by letting them dictate the rules doesn’t show a whole lot of confidence in one’s position.

    A lot that was once called “Conspiracy” has been undoubtedly exposed as Fact. To all those who tow any “Official Story”, I say…Ceci n’est pas une pipe (this is not a pipe) The treachery of images is in fact a very real principle.

    To sum it up, I’ll quote the prophet George Carlin, “I don’t take very seriously the media or the press in this country….who most of the time function as kind of unofficial public relations agency for the US government.”

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      While I agree with you that the tin foil hat posts should not be censored, there are no Rights at stake here since this is blog is private property.

      1. avatar Phil COV says:

        Yet…

  77. avatar SteveO says:

    Leave ’em.

    And I say this with the full knowledge that most of the folks posting these comments are actually antis who want to make pro-gun folks look dumb.

  78. avatar Grindstone says:

    Your blog, do what you want. I’m all for free speech, but those that abuse it should go elsewhere.

    I have ZERO time for racism. Homophobia, you’re probably just trying to deny your true self. Islamophobes are hypocrites. Insults are just words. Holocaust deniers are just straight neo-Nazis. Tinfoil stuff is entertaining so long as it’s properly called out. Sandy Hook is extremely relevant to gun politics, so maybe the nuts should be shown the door.

  79. avatar Phil COV says:

    You’re question offends me. Now I’m gonna pout.

  80. avatar Phil COV says:

    Free speech is like open carry. If you don’t exorcise a right then people forget they had it in the first place.

  81. avatar S.CROCK says:

    Yes at once. But who will decide if someone is mentally stable enough to own a gun…. Ooops, I meant who will decide if someones comment is intelligent enough to not be deleted? I am just not a fan of getting rid of others views/ opinions if the differ with yours.

  82. avatar London says:

    Kooky conspiracy comments serve only to make us look like the paranoid psychotics gun-grabbers accuse us of being. This isn’t Infowars for God’s sake. Those kinds of comments are not only inappropriate here, they aren’t even germane to the topic.

    Delete them.

  83. avatar mike says:

    There are people who still think the moon landing was fake, even after undeniable photos. Hell, there’s even an official society for idiots who actually believe the world IS flat! So no matter what you censor, there will always be conspiracies in every little detail of the world brought forth by paranoid, disrespectful morons.

  84. avatar Gregolas says:

    Leave the looney tunes alone. The “Armed Intelligentsia” can take care of itself.
    Besides, what the heck is an “Islamophobic” comment? CAIR says it’s any accurate quote from the Q’uran or fact about Islam they find embarrassing. we gonna use their standards, or say, Mark Steyn’s or Pamela Geller’s?

  85. avatar gunclub says:

    Why delete them? Is everyone afraid of the truth? For all of you uninformed people, do a little research. Washington insiders know sandy hook was a hoax. Its amazing how stupid, intelligent people can be.

  86. avatar Roymond says:

    Leave ’em in. Such things make a nice reminder that being irrational is not necessarily a debilitation with respect to owning firearms.

  87. avatar Anonymous says:

    Oh no. Don’t delete that. It was super entertaining. For everyone.

  88. avatar MadAnthony says:

    Lots of thoughtful comments here and the comments sections add value to the content of the site.

    My vote is keep, don’t delete. We are adults and can come to our own conclusions. There typically is good policing by other commenters.

    However, if particular commenters or types of comments are excessively hijacking the spirit of the conversation then deleting may be needed. As with many things in life, quantity is the difference between healthy and pathology.

  89. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Wow RF…way to stir the pot. Ist with the too right wing thing-now this. Part of the reason I spend way too much time here is entertainment. Thanks for that.

  90. avatar Panzercat says:

    If you deleted the conspiracy theory commentary, where would that leave you and the police conspiracy TTAG regularly ascribes to? I mean, you would have to self-censor at least, what, half your own articles given how far off base they routinely are?

    1. avatar int19h says:

      What police conspiracy? If you mean the “Blue Code of Silence”, it has been documented so thoroughly that it has long ceased to be a conspiracy theory.

  91. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    There are some conspiracy theories that are absurd while there are others that aren’t absurd. Conspiracies do exist, although not in the profusion that people out on the fringes think. Basically, conspiracy theories usually function as a kind of intellectual short-hand for people trying to grapple with complex ideas that are a bit beyond their abilities to understand. My take on this is that you don’t have to be in a conspiracy to act conspiratorially. I mean, let’s face it, with social media’s ability to instantaneously bring together crowds of anarchists and commies to protest in Ferguson, Mo., who needs furtive conspirators meeting in back rooms anymore?

    It’s your site, Robert. TTAG has a distinct, if sort of discrete, editorial policy that gives this site it’s character. Some things just don’t fit. Exercise your own discretion to keep the bad stuff off the site and we’re all good to go.

  92. avatar NinjaTED says:

    Leave em, at least the conspiracy theories. As ridiculous as I find Gordon Wagner and his fellows’ theories, they’re usually (at the least) polite, and can use correct spelling and grammar. Besides, as so many have already said, society needs people who question the official narrative. They’re wrong on Sandy Hook, (dear god, are they wrong) but they may be right on the next one.

  93. avatar george from fort worth says:

    i think all comments on this forum should be moderated/reviewed/edited/weighed against societal norms/altered to ensure no one (anti-gunners) can be offended. it is the amount and regularity of “looney tune” comments that build support for requiring mandatory training and certification in use of the first amendment. words have consequences, and we can’t have every loose nut on the internet being allowed to say whatever he/she wants. having a right to free speech doesn’t mean you have a right to hurt other people with it !!

    1. avatar chotto says:

      wow….just wow. How on earth does someone saying something actually hurt people? Sure, I find lots of things that are written on here offensive, as I do entertaining, and we are on the cheery side of the internet.
      Sometimes what someone says or posts can sting, but that doesn’t hurt anyone except the emotionally weak. The internet is one of the few venues that ones ideas might gain traction in challenging what is spoon fed to us. My god, you sound like a delegate from New York that wanted to keep licking the boots of the British Monarch. What is said on the internet might scare you, but it might make you challenge what you think you know so well.
      God forbid you open your mind and do some research for yourself. But to say that we need to limit free speech on the internet is absurd! The Antis out there say some of the meanest, vile, rude, disgusting lies about gun owners and we take it in stride. Why? Words don’t hurt us. But legislation can. And how better to enact legislation than to play up a national tragedy. How outrageous is it to think that some lifetime politician couldn’t have cooked something like this up?
      You beg for Tyranny when you wish to silent the opposition.

    2. avatar Nate says:

      Weighed against societal norms? Everything about this site is abnormal to modern day city dwelling society.

    3. avatar george from fort worth says:

      uuuhhhhmmm, like, you know….speech is dangerous (do i really need to point to adolf and gang?). if one amendment can be infringed in the name of public safety, shouldn’t the next most dangerous right granted by the government be regulated? shouldn’t everyone be vetted when exercising any legal right? how else to prevent bad people from taking advantage, and wreaking havoc on those of us who only want to be allowed to live in peace to enjoy our legislated rights? speech can incite a person or group to kill someone (or a bunch of someones). guns can be used to improperly kill someone (or a bunch of someones). heck, even the 5th amendment can cause a death, by refusing to tell police where a gun is hidden, or the name of accomplices who will go on to kill. so….why shouldn’t people be required to submit to certification and licensing of their mouths (and keyboards)?

  94. avatar JK says:

    Heck no! Why would you want to delete the true colors of the 2a crowd?

  95. avatar Nate says:

    The amount of pro 2a people on this site saying that we need moderate comments in order to not piss off the Antis is astonishing. Pissing of the Antis is basically why TTAG exists. If you own a gun, by definition you are pissing off the Antis. Why are so many people who reportedly “fight” for the 2nd amendment in order to protect the 1st so willing to to give up the 1st on this site? Yes, the owner of the site can do whatever he wants, but if he wants to be respected he will leave deletions to abusive comments. Deleting comments because you disagree is something the Antis do. We should hold ourselves to a higher standard. Oh, and shooting stars were chariots of the gods until some crazy jack off realized they were actually giant rocks burning up as they entered earth’s atmosphere. Christians used to kill crazy people for saying that the earth was not the center of the universe. Crazy isn’t always crazy, until it is! Let people form their own opinions otherwise we are just a bunch of assholes jumping on the nearest bandwagons.

  96. avatar Aerindel says:

    I have zero tolerance for Censorship. I don’t care how bad the comment, once you state dictating your version of truth this is no loner THE truth about guns but simply becomes just YOUR truth. I’m disgusted by the very suggestion. Its bad enough we have to put of with ads that redirect you to the app store and less savory places. Censorship would be the final straw.

  97. avatar Pete S says:

    I say let the looneys have their comments, determining what to remove will be too subjective. Remember historically there have been a number of iconoclasts who were derided by society as a whole who were later proven correct.

    Now let me tell you how the mossad in conjunction with the Chinese government committed 9/11….

  98. avatar Andy Lowry says:

    If we’re voting, I vote to leave the wackaloon comments as they are. Deleting posts can be a bad road to travel; it puts the moderator in a position of having to judge the intent of every post. If it’s going to be done, perhaps a warning at the bottom of every article, outlining what sort of thing will be deleted, would be in order.

  99. avatar New Chris says:

    I would vote no, so long as the comments are not threatening they should be allowed.

    We must recognize that one generation’s weird idea may be the next generations accepted truth.

    That doesn’t mean these conspiracy theories are correct, or even likely, but sometime the truth sounds crazy and we often cannot distinguish between the two.

  100. avatar Yngvar says:

    Conspiracy theories are tedious and off-topic. I have no strong opinion about deleting or leaving them, but what if some enthusiasts began debating various aspects of the science of thunder and lightning every time you wrote about things that go BANG! Conspiracy theorists are like that.

  101. avatar Pg2 says:

    Yes you probably should, then you can lay off the agenda trolls that get called in every time 9/11 or Sandy Hook is discussed.

  102. avatar Pg2 says:

    Even suggesting it gives the impression that TTAG is scared of something. Discussing non authority/establishment views bad for the bottom line at TTAG? and don’t forget, the truth doesn’t need laws to protect it, only lies need laws to protect them.

  103. avatar Ben says:

    lets consider a few things.

    this is not 4chan or redit or twitter. this is a serious web page that posts articles and discusses matters of serious importance (most of the time).

    we do not need to show any signs of extremism, foolishness, ignorance, paranoia, fear mongering and stubbornness that our anti-gun nutso brothers and sisters do.

    there is plenty of disinformation to be had in this world. unchecked facts that cater to delusions and conspiracy theories (like our anti-gun nutso brothers and sisters do) have no place here.

    so this is a big fat “yeah! delete that horse hocky!”

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “unchecked facts”

      There’s the difference, though, and why some of us DON’T want them deleted.

      They are resoundingly debunked and even often ridiculed (especially if facts are not forthcoming to back-up the claims).

      So, you are right; this is not 4chan or reddit. It’s also not MDA’s faceplant page that is essentially an echo chamber.

      I see nothing wrong with letting our ‘odd uncles’ out to play once in a while.

  104. avatar Pg2 says:

    One final note, wasn’t this the site that gave it’s approval for Alex Jones a few months back? He’s the official king of false conspiracy disinformation. What a joke. You guys afraid of a little truth finding it’s way into the the TRUTH about guns site?

  105. avatar ChrisFL says:

    While I agree that not every nutjob needs a podium here, there is something troubling about suppressing voices in what is supposed to be a marketplace of ideas.

    Clams that the FBI annual reports show no deaths in Sandy Hook and the like keep popping up, and I am as quick as the next person to dismiss them as “conspiracy theories.” Claims require evidence, after all. So do convincing counterclaims. I often find myself asking, “Why doesn’t a reputable journalist investigate this, so it can blow all the way up, or just go away?”

    That’s where you come in, TTAG. You have a staff of reputable journalists that specialize in gun-related matters. Rather than censor minority opinions, which we frown on here in the USA, why not put somebody on the case to investigate? You’ll either break the story, or it will be debunked by a source that no one could claim was liberal or anti-gun.

    Exploring whether an idea has merit by investigating it seems more American than silencing a dissenting voice, and either way, it generates content for the site.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      You’ll either break the story, or it will be debunked by a source that no one could claim was liberal or anti-gun.

      If the TTAG journalist found that the conspiracy theory was indeed a load of hooey, and reported that, it would do no good whatsoever. The conspiracy theorists would simply claim that TTAG had been bought off and is now part of the conspiracy. I kid you not.

      In essence there is no actual evidence that they would accept, so solid is their belief in the conspiracy.

      Some of the ones who comment here already do so with undertones of “and you know it’s a lie, Robert!”

  106. avatar 1st&2nd says:

    Sure lets sensor and delete all the comments you don’t agree with because you are scared of Bloomberg, Watts and Co. Unless you witnessed said event live and in color, your version of speculation about said event is just as crazy to them as theirs is to you. To the conspiracy nut, your the crazy one.

  107. avatar Preston B. says:

    No, everyone has a theory, and some firearms-related statements could be considered conspiracy theories.

  108. avatar waldo says:

    Leave conspiracy theories. We’ll call out the psychos and who’s to say what’s conspiracy theory versus conspiracy fact.

  109. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    As Supreme Court Justice Brandeis once said, the solution to evil speech (and, by corollary, crazy speech, wrong speech, etc.) is more speech, not restricted speech.

    The real problem is not that such comments are conspiracy theorist, but rather that they generally only serve to hijack the comment thread. They’re almost always off-topic, and divert from discussion of the actual topic at hand. So, I would favor nipping thread-jacking in the bud, regardless the content of the thread-jack.

  110. avatar int19h says:

    What I would suggest is implementing an upvote/downvote system for comments, in the vein of Slashdot, Reddit etc. The community can then effectively police the comments by downvoting the inappropriate ones, which do not disappear, but are collapsed to just the title and the score by default (so you can still read them if you want to… but that low score serves as a warning that you probably don’t want to).

  111. avatar Timmy! says:

    Whew! I finally made it all the way to the bottom. Ok, here’s my take on the “Antis will just cut and paste the original crazy theory” meme: If they manage to do that in the (however brief) time between post and removal, and the crazy theory post, with any rebuttals, is removed from TTAG, then there is NO proof that the crazy theory WAS rebutted on TTAG. However, if it is all left up on TTAG, then someone reading a “See what these crazy gun nuts think!” story can come see just what we have to say about it… of course that assumes they will come check it out but I think it is better to go ahead and take that risk.
    On the other hand, if they managed the C&P during the brief interval it was up, and it is no longer there when some reasonable person comes looking for “our side of the story,” it MIGHT undermine the credibility of the anti-site.
    I say leave them.

  112. avatar Jeffro says:

    This is your playground, your rules. If we don’t like them, we don’t need to come here.

    Do as you see fit.

  113. avatar JT says:

    Your website, do as you see fit.

    Personally, I think they don’t bring anything to the discussion and aren’t needed.

  114. Your comments section, your choice.

    However, I would maybe approach it from a different angle. Get some CSS guy all rev’d up and create a special color/layout for posts deemed “Loony”. Maybe other readers get to vote. Once a post is deemed “Loony”, the poster gets a special badge that will forever appear after them name. Maybe with a number indicating how many times they have achieved this honor. Or maybe the badge/icon changes as the poster moves through the ranks of crazy. Make those posts appear in the list as collapsed, force readers to actually click an expand button to see the crazy posts. Allow readers to have a setting to not show at all the posts that have been designated “Loony” or by posters who have earned the “Loony” badge. Posters who earn the loony badge could work it off with posts that are not designated loony.

    Could be fun.

  115. avatar preston says:

    tough call because how do you know which conspiracies are true? by sheer statistics, some of them have to be somewhat true. or not. im not saying i believe any of them, which i dont, but the point of a conspiracy is to not leave evidence and not get caught so “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

  116. avatar Silver says:

    You can’t lump them all as conspiracy theories. Saying aliens stole my brain and replaced it with a meatloaf is not equivalent to stating mistrust in the evidence of Sandy Hook.

    Say to yourself, “is it ridiculous to think that several pounds of seasoned meat were beamed into this guy’s skull?” And then say to yourself, “is it ridiculous to think that a government that’s been proven to show fascist, illegal, murderous, and clandestine tendencies orchestrated a false flag event to disarm its populace?”

    I’m not saying Sandy Hook was a hoax, by the way. I’m simply saying I don’t find the prospect of the left perpetrating a false flag to be ridiculous.

    Take them on a case by case basis.

  117. avatar meh donalds says:

    I see where this is going.. and I lament the fact that so many of our ‘armed intelligensia”, including Mr. Farago, only seem to be “armed” in that regard. You are so concerned with keeping your rkba but completely fail to see the very real methods/conspiracies that are designed to threaten that that right. Sandy Hook was a huge lie. I find it hysterical that you all would believe such a lie. You who believe the pre-packaged state propaganda out-of-hand are the real kooks. Critical thinking much? No. Still. At all. Whatever. Nevermind. Scares the sh!t outta me, really.

    So before you decide to censor or relegate this former, avid reader of 5 years to the ‘fringe’ let me just say that I am done spending any more time on this site. Think I’ll go research non-fiction somewhere else.

    And for all you real patriots who dare question the official media/administration bullsh!t ‘stories’ I salute you.

    1. avatar int19h says:

      Don’t forget your tinfoil hat.

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