“The bedrock belief of the modern pro-gun movement is insurrectionism—the perverted notion that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to shoot and kill elected officials, law enforcement officers, and military service members when one personally senses ‘tyranny.’ And pro-gun activists are never shy about indicating they are prepared to use violence to get their way if the policy and lawmaking process moves in a direction they don’t like.” So, according to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence’s article PRO-GUN ACTIVISTS FANTASIZE ABOUT ASSASSINATING PRESIDENT OBAMA IN DALLAS, gun rights advocates are proto-terrorists at best, terrorists-in-waiting at worst. To back up this assertion, the unnamed author at CSGV scraped comments from Gun Rights Across America Texas’ Facebook page . . .

Gun Rights Across America Facebook page

Their plans for President Obama were . . . unsettling. Making reference to an Overpasses for Obama’s Impeachment protest planned in conjunction with the President’s visit (the founder of Overpasses is James Neighbors), a thread at the page called for supporters to give President Obama a “Texas size welcome” when he arrived in Dallas.

Commenters on the thread made it clear what they envisioned.  “Take him via Dealey Plaza,” suggested Rosemary Barajas Carr of Daingerfield, Texas, referring to the site at which President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963.

Can he have a parade just like jfk?” asked pro-gun activist Jennifer Prater

Drive him past the old book depository,” saidDerek G. Roesler of The Woodlands, Texas.

I wonder if he will get the same Texas welcome as JFK..,” speculated Blake Meche of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Eggs anyone or better yet bacon since he’s Muslim,” said pro-gunner Matthew Boles.

The folks at the Texas Gun Rights Facebook page had no intention of being outdone, however. They, too, posted information about the Overpasses protest and received some colorful commentary in return.

take bacon with you,” said pro-gun activist Terry Wydick.

Maybe another president will be sworn in on Air Force One as in the past,” dreamed Russell Boyd of Houston, Texas. “Everyone say’s that history repeat’s it’s self.”

21 gun salute maybe ?” mused Bee Jay Aron of Hurst, Texas.

You and I know none of these pro-gun commentators were serious about harming the president of the United States, thereby fomenting insurrection. We also know that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects their right to make these comments, despite various laws aimed at curtailing that speech in the name of public safety (e.g. Missouri’s Chapter 574 Offenses Against Public Order Section 574.115).

BUT…GRAA-Texas doesn’t have to publish them. In fact, they posted this warning on the site, after the pro-assassination musings hit their servers.

Gun RIghts Across America Texas warning to commenatators

This brings us back to an issue with which TTAG’s editorial team has wrestled: do we remove comments that lower the tone of the “discussion” over gun rights? You may recall we put that question to you, our readers, after some of our regulars posted personally insulting remarks about gun control advocates—which were picked up by the CSGV as proof that pro-gunners are well-armed Neanderthals. After contemplating your views, we decided to allow some “horseplay.” Up to a point.

The Gun Rights Across America Texas contretemps clearly indicates that the CSGV has fully embraced this “cut the assholes from the herd and make them representative of the gun rights movement” strategy. I’m not saying that pro-gun flamers are assholes, but that’s how it looks from the outside. More to the point, the out-of-context smear technique is an effective ploy that plays to preexisting prejudices. If not in the mainstream, then certainly amongst the liberal elite.

Who cares about them? Good point. But not as good a point as my own person preference to take the high road. Ish. In other words, I’m walking it back. You can make fun of gun control advocates, but no flaming. No sexual innuendos (Dirk). Nothing rude or personal. Take their argument to pieces, not their dress sense, body type or way of speaking. Here’s another reason why we’re clamping down on locker room rants:

This video shows a random Evie Hudak supporter threatening to kill Coloradans gathering signatures to force her recall. The drive-by threat got big hits; the gun blogosphere is doing its level best to make sure that it’s seen by The People of the Gun. I’m thinking, big friggin’ deal. Bicycle man isn’t a non-attorney spokesman for Hudak’s camp. He’s no more representative of his peeps than any of the Obama-averse commentators at GRAA-T’s Facebook page. Hopefully less.

Why play that game? I think it makes us look petty. Besides, we should keep our powder dry for when we really need it, in that “I’m not an insurrectionist but I’m not a pussy either” kinda way.

I apologize in advance to those of you who enjoyed playing the dozens here on TTAG. But I want this website to be a place where the uneducated can learn the importance of their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. At the same time, I don’t want to give ammunition to those who would disarm Americans and, thus, destroy our freedoms.

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231 Responses to Housekeeping: New Anti-Flaming Comments Policy

    • You can’t ever just kill the evil off – please don’t do it. Because there’s always a worse evil waiting in the wings… Himler. BIDEN. We must only use our firearms for defense.

      • True, some people were out of line. And what is needed is a legal way of dealing with Obama. The problem though, is less Obama than his followers, such as the author of this article. Ignorance on the part of the Anti-Gun lobby shows the caliber of followers he has.

        • “legal way of dealing with Obama.”

          There is, and it’s been in place since the Constitution was ratified. It’s called Nullification; not only juries can find laws unconstitutional, states and even municipalities can do it as well.

          Governor Moonbeam recently signed a law nullifying NDAA indefinite detention – I wish he was (were?) as adamant about the rest of the Constitution.

  1. I think that since pretty much every President within the last century disgraced the office of President of These United States, that people really don’t care what happens to the crooks in power, wether they be Donkeys or Elephants.

  2. Robert, I see your point, that being said the other side just makes stuff up to suit their purposes if they can’t find a comment or statement from our side they thinks makes a point of some type.

    • And when they make kwap up we enthusiastically and precisely cut it to shreds. But we don’t call them names that may or may not apply simply because it adds nothing to the intelligent discussion of the issue at hand. I’ve often replied to namecallers in posts that namecalling is the go-to postion of those that have no viable intelligent response to the argument presented. We’re better than that.

  3. Your site your rules. What constitutes a verboten statement, just so I know and to prevent confusion if my post lingers in moderatorville?

      • Roger that. Although what I think of as flaming is pretty rare here on TTAG. I’ll keep my posts polite and relevant.

      • I think that, as the owner of this forum, you (Mr. RF) have a right to set rules. There are lots of blogs and fora that clearly state the limits on what’s acceptable. I would have no problem with that.

      • And I’ll put FLAME DELETED where the comment was.

        *If* one must moderate flames (your house, your rules… I ain’t complaining), that is much better than the comment disappearing into the great beyond leaving the commenter to wonder WTH happened to my comment. It’s especially nice for those nearly senile-ish, such as myself, who can’t find their own posts when its right in front of them. 😀 But, sifting through and replacing is going to take a lot more man hours, methinks.

        A serious question… I rarely curse but if I were to post, “Fuck so-and-so!”; is that a flame that will be moderated?

        • I got this one. How the system currently works is that most, if not all comments get seen eventually. Most any post I comment in also gets subscribed to, so any subsequent comments end up in my mailbox. On the WordPress back end there’s a screen that is just a continuous scroll of every comment left in every post on the site, so if there’s a lot of activity it’s easier to watch that than to watch emails. So to address your point, there’s really not a lot of sifting and replacing.

          In answer to your question, the way I currently have the spam filter set up is that there’s about a half-dozen words that are common to both occasional use and potential spam words, so any comment with those words gets sent to a moderation filter, and you’ll get a message saying “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” At the present time, those words are FOAD, fuck (and derivatives), casino (and derivatives), and whore. It’d be really awesome if people could develop the vocabulary to get beyond them, but hey, that’s life, right? FOAD gets a whole lot of use around here, to the point that it kind of exhibits a lack of imagination, but that’s just my opinion.

          There’s a whole very large list of other things that will send a comment to the spam filter, instead of moderation. Those are the comments that disappear into the ether. I will eventually catch them and fish them out. I’m still tweaking the filter, because sometimes there are comments that get spammed for no reason I can discern. As an example, this: http://imgur.com/rOFCxmJ Rich’s comment got caught by the blacklist because of “car insurance,” which is the subject of a lot of spam. But John’s comment… NFC. Somewhere in that comment is a word or partial word that matches something on the blacklist. If I can figure out why things like that are getting spammed, I will tweak the list further. It’s a work in progress (perpetually). It took me several weeks to figure out that a bunch of disparate comments that all mentioned socialist or socialism were getting spammed because Cialis was on the blacklist (along with a bunch of other drugs). People in the hearing protection thread talking about ambient noise getting spammed by Ambien was another one.

        • Addendum: I just figured out John’s comment. Slots. Goes with casino. Anything to do with gambling is a pretty popular topic for spam, unfortunately, so it’s a balancing act.

        • @Matt in FL: Thank you for that in-depth reply. One thing I didn’t get from it, though, was if my comment, “Fuck so-and-so!”; would have ended up as FLAME DELETED in the final posting? I’m not saying that you didn’t answer it but at third pass over your comment I still don’t grasp an answer.

        • Sorry. I suppose that would depend on who it was directed at, and in what context. It’s a fluid system. If it was “Eff Feinstein!” then there’s no particular reason to delete it (in MY opinion), although if that’s all the comment said… Well, I’d just hope people would have more to say than that. I mean, it’s heartfelt, I know, but it doesn’t really add anything to the conversation, y’know? I’m low man on the totem pole, though, so obviously someone else may feel differently.

          However, if it was directed at another commenter (“Eff you, John!”), then yeah, it’d probably go away, and that’s always been the case.

        • “Eff Feinstein!”

          Why would I want to wish her my favorite thing in the world? (see Elayne Boosler)

        • @Matt in FL: The example that I originally was going to use had DiFi as the subject also… Small world. 😀

          That clears it up for me; thanks. It was what I assumed… reasonable enough, IMHO.

      • I have to say that if your level of discourse has been reduced to insults and calling people names or trivializing with sexual innuendo then perhaps you have already lost the debate.

        (Sorry Dirk, some of your stuff WAS funny, but there is a limit.)

      • Robert/TTAG:

        The level of crudeness seen in the comments on the Facebook page you illustrated is so far beyond what I would expect to see on here that I don’t think you have to worry about this yet. I have seen a couple “flame deleteds” but they seem to be few, and far between.

        Theres a healthy mind-set here of respect, and I think people are careful to think their comments through.

        I’ve also seen people not afraid to to question staunchly held beliefs – usually when a really chauvinistic attitude is presented…

        I was going to post something here about how awful Glocks are and how awesome 1911’s are, but I’ll leave that conversation for another day.

  4. Fine by me, RF. In the interest of intellectual honesty, is there any record of the other side doing something similar?

      • No argument from me on that point.

        There are loonies on both sides, and I think it’s very telling how they are addressed by their respective parties. I don’t want to be blind to wrongdoings on my side. It’s encouraging to me that TTAG takes being decent seriously.

    • Re does the other side do this … Aside from banning pro gun comments? Or honest questions?

      Seriously, if we’re going to have to play the game of find-the-nastiest-comment with the banners, I’d rather they win in terms of generating sick soundbytes or tweets. (Or is that twits?)

    • IMO, almost everything posted by the anti-2A groups would be considered a FLAME by any site interested in honest discourse. Trivializing, marginalizing or demonizing anyone or anything pro-gun or pro 2A is what they do.

      • Apparently, the antis have no problem summarily deleting anything that doesn’t religiously toe the anti-2A line, not that that has anything to do with us.

        I guess my only input on filtering is, I’d post the rules before enforcing them. I’m reminded of George Carlin and the 7 words you can’t say on TV – they never tell you what those words are, but if you do say one, POW! “Hey, at least gimme a list!”

        Everything in moderation, including moderation itself!

        • Rich, it’s not as if you’d face criminal prosecution for anything you’d post here. At least I’d hope not. The problem with expecting a “list of transgressions” beforehand is clearly that all possible transgressions cannot be foreseen.

          The very worst that can happen is a “FLAME DELETED”; I would hope that you or anyone else would be able to learn from that and modify future behavior. No one can anticipate all the kinds of things that might be posted here. Do you see what I’m saying?

        • “all possible transgressions cannot be foreseen.”

          Yup. That’s precisely why top-down control can’t possibly work and that Free Will is the only intelligent way to design a Universe.

          Or “run” a country.

    • I’d say there’s probably not, but that’s because they either don’t allow comments, or just delete the ones they don’t agree with.

  5. Welp, I have a feeling Dirk Diggler won’t be too happy about… Dirk? Stop fooling around, man. Now, take that rope off your neck and get down from that ceiling fan!

    …Dirk?

    DIRK, NOOOO!!

    • I believe the “DD + SW” commentary and all it’s humorous fallout is still protected under tradition and common law. As for myself, when I’m a douche, feel free to call me on it. Only standards are: (1) adjectives may have no LESS than four syllables each, (2) only one may be from the urban dictionary, and (3) no “!@#$%^&*()_-+=s” may be used. That is all.

        • Yup, they’re all in Urban Dictionary.

          Please consider revising the limit to only apply to the ones that are only in Urban Dictionary.

          😀

        • Having contemplated the issue, the only change I’d make would be to include a clause in that “Please use your real name instead of you company name or keyword spam.” line, something like, “If you wish to post terroristic threats, don’t forget that we have the unique IP number of your computer on record in case the NSA or DHS wants you.”

          Otherwise, when the idiots post idiotic crap, assuming it doesn’t crowd out the real posts, leave their idiocy up for all the world to see. Or better yet, do something like “‘Rich Grise’, at IP #93.184.216.119, says …”

          But if you start hacking into the S/W, the first change you should make is to put the “reply to” input box under the post they’re responding to, a la Matt’s wwwboard.

        • @Rich Grise:
          Or better yet, do something like “‘Rich Grise’, at IP #93.184.216.119, says …”

          Then the worst individuals would probably use Tor and/or a proxy. The IP would become meaningless. Undoubtedly, a savvy troll is using these measures already.

        • @Rich Grise: It was otherwise a good idea, though. (lol@ the video clip)

          If IPs were posted, I would also use Tor or proxy for commenting, btw.

  6. Insurrectionists is the code word by CSGV to round up all of their opponents and imprison them. Their viciousness and duplicity makes MDA look like Girl Scouts.

    We do have to be careful what is posted. Comments like those give our enemies ammo (no pun intended) to show undecided that we are a bunch of violent rubes. At least MDA and CSGV outwardly shows some restraint. You cannot get them to go on the record endorsing the use of violence and deadly force to accomplish their goals. They know if they openly make such statements, they will become much more of a fringe organization than what they are.

    • I believe the “you can’t possibly fight the government they will kill you” is just such a threat.
      The implication is “well, when we pass the law and you refuse to obey us WE will kill you…”

    • The most potent argument when faced with the “Insurrectionist” label is to hand over a copy of The Declaration of Independence”.

      The other argument is a statement of the truth: “You, sir are the insurrectionists. We are only trying to take our government BACK.”

    • “At least MDA and CSGV outwardly shows some restraint. You cannot get them to go on the record endorsing the use of violence and deadly force to accomplish their goals.”

      Give it time; their true agenda will pop out sooner or later. And no, there is no way to prevent them from taking even a sentence fragment from this site or any other site, “editing” and adding to it, and presenting it as veritas. Do not ever forget that deceit is the stock-in-trade for all anti-2A groups, since rational beings would never support their true position.

  7. I like how you gave it a good shot Rob. I honestly have to agree with your decision in the end.

    We need to put our best foot forward and acting immature/mean, even if it is understandable, is not neccesary nor helpful. I think most of us here all share a great kinship and love for our rights, all of them, but we have to recongnize that we need to try and be adult about our topic and it’s advesaries.

  8. TTAG’s popularity means it has to be careful about what they allow. I think it’s a smart move. When anything you say will be misquoted and then used against you, it pays to either say less or say only what cannot be misinterpreted.

    No it’s not fair. No, liberals don’t play by the same rules. The deck is unfortunately stacked against us.

    Good rule of thumb; If you wouldn’t say it to your friends/immediate family, probably best not to say it at all.

  9. …I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in rage and were suddenly silenced.

  10. Unfortunately, gun rights now appear to be up for popular vote. That said, if we are going to be keeping and recovering our rights, then marketing is going be a part of the process. We need to present a reasonable face to voters and explain how gun rights are in every ones’ interest.

    Gun control groups often make up “data” and are all about exploiting emotions. We need to challenge the fake data, but whenever we make slurs about people’s appearance or intelligence, it flares across the far left media and often winds up in the main stream. The more they can portray us as barbarians, the more they can manipulate voters emotions to justify the removal of our rights.

    • Actually, we need to go on the offensive and call them out; shame them in public and expose their funders to the searchlight of truth. This site is one way to do that.

  11. Personally, I think those comments by GRAT were way out of hand.
    While I haven’t seen anything like that here, I don’t get to read every one.
    This is your site. Keep it how you want it. If it means deleting posts… Folks will get the hint that what they post or submit went too far and hopefully back off a bit.

    • In all honesty, there are very few comments that get deleted or edited now, and even if this new policy doubles the existing number, the number we’re talking about can still probably be counted on one hand, and definitely less than two. That’s <10 out of several hundred each day. Of course, some posts can account for double digits all on their own, but it’s pretty easy to predict which ones those are going to be and monitor them more closely.

        • Whenever I hear the term, “insurgent,” I want to ask, what exactly are they insurging against?

        • Best I can tell, an “insurgent” is some guy fighting on the other side. Once one is called an “insurgent”, that term is bound to stick. There is no way to “uninsurgent” oneself.

          Mostly, it’s political name-calling, i.e., propaganda.

    • Hmmm. I don’t seem to recall any reports of Jesus threatening or making implied threats of violence against public officials. Did I miss something?

      • Aside from that time when he cleared out the temple, Jesus didn’t need to use violence to get his point across. The Jewish religious leadership did not feel their power was threatened because of violence/threat of violence on the part of Jesus and his followers, but because the people were flocking to him and the truth of his message in droves.

      • He overturned the tables of the money-changers in the temple; there’s no account of him threatening to do so beforehand. So it wasn’t a threat, he just up and did it. It’s a pretty dramatic and memorable anecdote from the Life of Jesus (trademark).

    • “Jesus was a terrorist to the Jews in power at the time. What some call a terrorist, others call a fighter or savior.”

      Is that why he was resurrected to carry out 9/11, or was that the lizard people?

    • They had Roman sandals on their necks. Jesus just wasn’t a major issue in the near term. The Sanhedrin probably felt more threatened by Biggus Di##us and the rest of Roman officaldom.

  12. This is the trap that is social media. Who knows if those people were even who they said they were? Either way, social media allows the ignorant to chime in on your behalf and it allows your enemies to impersonate a sympathetic person and misrepresent your views to the world. It is a weapon and was developed as such.

    I think most of Dirk’s stuff is pretty tongue in cheek, but it does take on a life of its own. I don’t really see this site as needing to conform to the same standards as social media though, that is unless you want everyone to start posting under their first and last name. That only serves the cause of political correctness.

    There is nothing wrong with not fully identifying yourself online, the people who want to tie your name to everything you put out there are the same people who want to tell you what you can and cannot say. Those who plot behind closed doors need the power to ostracize those that oppose them. Anywhere people can gather and speak freely is a threat.

    I don’t think your new policy is that big a deal, just don’t allow it to undermine legit debate or necessary vitriol. We don’t want to give the impression we hate women or something like that, because it isn’t true. But harsh criticism is sometimes necessary and I think it is fair to assume that includes a certain degree of mockery.

  13. If you fly the us flag upside down you may be a terrorist. If you fly the Gadsden flag you may be a terrorist. If you fly the “come and take it flag” you may be a terrorist. Well, according to the government.

  14. I am calling in Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and throwing the racism flag. . . . . . hard enough for a black man to not get get emit till’d for whistling’ at a pretty white woman, but damn, I can’t even lust after my SUNSHINE??

    Bullshit.

  15. “Free speech is meant to protect unpopular speech…Better a thousandfold abuse of free speech than denial of free speech.”

    Probably Some Idiot

  16. “The bedrock belief of the modern pro-gun movement is insurrectionism—the perverted notion that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to shoot and kill elected officials, law enforcement officers, and military service members when one personally senses ‘tyranny.’”

    Aside from the “perverted” part, I have a hard time disagreeing with this statement. Isn’t that what happened in 1776?

    It’s always someone’s personal sense of tyranny that incites righteous violence. In this case, the personal sense of a whole host of freedom-loving individuals who know what America is really all about.

    Without our personal sense of tyranny — which is another way of saying “our personal sense of LIBERTY” — we’d all be enslaved sheep like the CSGV author. WE are THE PEOPLE. The government serves us, and with every action and act of legislation it should fear the personal sense of tyranny of the free people of the United States of America.

    But it doesn’t. It knows it can get away with whatever it wants and that we’ll never do anything except say “vote them out.”

    I am not advocating violence, btw. I am saying that using violence against tyranny has its place. That’s the whole point of 2A.

    • “Without our personal sense of tyranny — which is another way of saying “our personal sense of LIBERTY” — we’d all be enslaved sheep like the CSGV author. WE are THE PEOPLE. The government serves us, and with every action and act of legislation it should fear the personal sense of tyranny of the free people of the United States of America.”

      The People ARE the government, if you examine the original intent of the C&BOR.

      • A coupe has been successful somewhere along the way. The People’s safe word has been ignored and the rogering continues.

  17. I’ve often referred to my own web forum as a benevolent dictatorship. Free speech is not a protected right when someone else is footing the bill for the venue and assuming responsibility for what is posted thereon. Doing this is in the best interest of the site. The problem will be in setting boundaries administratively and finding them congregationally. But given the core readership here, there shouldn’t be much of a problem.

  18. Apart from the fact that any angry rants on my part would probably result in the police kicking in my door and taking away all my guns (yes, they can do that in NZ), I prefer to discuss issues with gentlemen and gentlewomen who understand the niceties of polite society, and can debate issues without tearing the throat out of any dissenters. But come on, we’re guys, we talk shit sometimes.

    • I think the hard part is drawing the line between talking shit and advocating violence.

      “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.-”
      http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

      “duty to throw off such Government” is a far cry from “the perverted notion that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to shoot and kill elected officials …”

      But how does one combat The Big Lie?

    • As I read it, talking shit is still recognized behavior; what Robert’s trying to do is establish what’s out of bounds and what is not.

        • Matt in FL,
          I truely look forward to your comments. One always knows where one stands with you. Got a couple of friends like this. I expect nothing less from them.

      • It’s like the difference between p0rn and art. It’s hard to define in so many words, but we all know it when we see it.

        Now, as far as shit talking goes, we’re guys. Ban shit talking and there’ll be maybe 2 comments per post.

        • “It’s like the difference between p0rn and art. It’s hard to define in so many words, but we all know it when we see it.”

          I have seen a lot of so-called “art” that is shit (or piss-Christ), and I’m not talking about the picture of the Madonna made from elephant dung. I’ve also seen some pronography that has almost risen to the level of real art. The two are not mutually exclusive. Some people even consider Michael Moore’s pseudo documentaries to be art, others of us think they are the worst sort of political pronography.

          And yet I think we all know a FLAME when we see it (or write it).

  19. I disagree with this policy. I would support removing posts like some in the article, things that threaten (even jokingly) actual people. As this piece shows, you can get in actual trouble for that. However, other comments, even ones that might come out as rude, personal, or sexual in nature, should be left alone.

    “…CSGV has fully embraced this “cut the assholes from the herd and make them representative of the gun rights movement” strategy.” They aren’t cutting the assholes from the herd, they are simply trying not to get into trouble with the powers that be. The way that post is worded, it sounds like they are only removing comments that are threatening in nature. And I’m down with that. But if you start censoring or controlling what is said in the comments to the degree you’re talking, you might wind up with an empty comments section.

    One other point:

    “He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.”

    If you are really serious in your mission statement, I think you’ll recognize that the “insurrectionists” are just one part of the culture of guns. Like or not, they exist, and pretending they don’t on this site won’t make them go away, and won’t change the anti-gun movement whatsoever. Sure some of them are assholes. But you know what? Everyone has an asshole. Are you going to cover up the fact that you have one? No, because even if you tried, nobody would take you seriously.

    • You don’t cover yours when you leave the house? Personally, I use pants, usually over some underwear for double layer coverage of the hole and surrounding area. I won’t deny that I have one, but I don’t think it makes a good impression if I drop trou and wave it at people.

        • Hey, it’s all in good fun. I know what you meant, we can’t pretend the darker side of our movement doesn’t exist. But here, in a public forum, we can’t give them the opportunity to make us all look like the worst of what the opposition fabricates.

    • I think you’re expecting more editing than will actually turn out to happen. Give it a minute. I’m pretty certain most people won’t see any difference, unless you were really a fan of Dirk’s fascination with Ms. Watts.

      • I thought Dirk’s fascination with that. . . thing was lewd and disgusting however also quite hilarious. I liked to imagine it made her uncomfortable to read reports of what he said. It’s this derision, this sense of disdain that so many decry as being inappropriate that we use to normalize one another and keep people moving with the herd. A single person isn’t much to be concerned with, our power (whether political or absolute) lies in collaboration with one another and in order to secure it we must compromise, not with our enemies, but rather with those whom we in principle agree and disagree only in the detail.

        That said, and while insisting that I, like every citizen, reserve the right to liberty not only when it’s there for the taking but even when it must be wrested from the hands of tyrants, some things that have been said here about have caused for me no minor concern regarding the tone and temper of the post.

        I suppose that each of us may view ‘those essential tripwires’ that Jefferson spoke of differently and while I have no doubt that many have been crossed it’s just as important to remember that the means to redress those grievances still very much lies in the ballot box and the jury box, that is, within the process of peaceful government and not yet with the cartridge box and violent revolt from without.

        It may be that there is coming a time to fight but it is not assured and this isn’t that time. Our right to speech is surely infringed but no so severely that we cannot make such political speech as influences elections and thus tempers the actions of those elected to govern.

        Our right to arms in certainly infringed, but not so severely that each of us cannot, by lawful exercise of his liberty, possess a rifle of military utility, a sufficient supply of ammunition and the freedom to train with it and bear it with him nearly enough for rapid use.

        We are certainly saddled under so many laws that none of us may be sure when he is afoul one of more of them and at risk of the further loss of liberty and this is its self a form of tyranny severe enough to call one to action, but not yet to arms. Before you take up the rifle take up the pen, the keyboard and the microphone, take up a sign and take to the street, take up the phone and use all of these to influence seated executives and legislatures, influence others to vote for liberty, vote with ballots, dollars and feet, but not with bullets.

        There are surely those who fear that the time for revolution will pass without one and that the moment when resistance would have been effective will be lost. I sympathize with you but I worry more that those who already advocate revolution would have one too soon, when peaceful means to resolve their concerns are still available. Consider this: those who would use violence to accomplish their ends when peaceful means exist are themselves and by definition tyrants and despots. Violence is its own form of tyranny.
        If the political process seems convoluted, difficult and expensive imagine then the struggle, the cost and the confusion attendant on even ineffective violent revolution, then imagine what a successful one might look like. The hardest fight of all may not be a war of rifles but the political process of winning the peace that comes after since there is no guarantee such a peace would be won and violence, once started, can be very hard to end. Then there is this; there is no guarantee that what follows a revolution is more security of liberty, in fact history is replete with examples of how moderate governments have dissolved into tyrannical dictatorships at the hands of internal violence and insurrection.

        Hyperbole is what it is, and the internet could be considered the greatest vehicle ever conceived for its use, but for those who are earnest in their yearning to tear down what greater men have made, paid for in blood, and defended on all fronts, please, save your anger, indignation and energy for a time when it’s appropriate, for now is not the time for revolution.

        • Not only what you said, but with one notable exception, every time in history that there has been a successful revolution, the liberators have themselves become the new tyrants. That hasn’t happened here yet, which is clearly because of the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms. The current regime and its predecessor, the Dubya, have been doing their darnedest to repeat history, but we’ve got the 2A, plus, as you’ve pointed out, there are several layers of nonviolent ways to curb their power or strip them of it entirely with little or no bloodshed. There’s not just the Bill of Rights, but as you say, jury nullification, and something that has just appeared on the horizon, state nullification.

          Another thing that really makes my heart swell is the rag-tag Liberty Movement, and the dawning of the Libertarian era. I think when the 5th Dimension sang, “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius,” they weren’t that far off the mark.

    • I believe it’s the asshole itself that has to be covered up, not the indisputable fact that they universally exist.

  20. After watching the IQ2 debate, there was a point made, that in Freud’s opinion the man who first threw an insult instead of a rock, was the founder of civilization. The further point being, you can kill a man, but you can’t kill an idea. A web debate should be a contest of ideas, not a conflict of personalities. I think that should be remembered more, as the acrimony of politics in America escalates.

  21. Sad really. This is by title The Truth about Guns. And the truth is…often ugly in all its forms. Filtering that speech however well-intentioned, moves you further from the naked truth into a version somewhat resembling the truth.

    I understand this site is more about business and self promotion than being a bastion for gun rights. By all means take the high road if it makes business sense as that is your right.

    Just remember rule #1 in a gun fight, is there are no rules in a gun fight. By taking the route of overt political correctness you have effectively tied one hand behind your back, by self imposing a restriction that opponents have and will use against you with great effect.

    • Well, there kind of are rules in a gunfight.

      Watch your backdrop.

      Identify the threat (no shooting at dark shapes (yes, I know, NYPD take note))

      Get your family clear if possible.

      Don’t use suppressing fire (at least in the military sense).

      Stop firing when the threat is ended (walking up to a wounded bad guy and saying “plea bargain this” before delivering a head shot won’t end well).

      Don’t shoot yourself while trying to reload.

      And for the obvious joke answer, have a gun.

    • “Overt political correctness”? Man, I’m gonna have to read the “housekeeping” proposal again…

      NOPE, “overt political correctness” was not proposed.

      • I’m walking it back. You can make fun of gun control advocates, but no flaming. No sexual innuendos (Dirk). Nothing rude or personal.. = An entire sentence of political correctness.

        overt
        [ ō vúrt ]

        1.unconcealed: done openly and without any attempt at concealment

        Is reading comprehension not taught any longer?

        • Mack, you ********! Just kidding. Personally I see nothing overtly “Politically Correct” about keeping the discourse civil and on topic. Name calling, flaming, ad hominem personal attacks, sexual innuendos are not really conducive to a free discussion. Pointing this out and suggesting that such pointless exercises will not be allowed is hardly politically correct.

  22. If the objective of the site is to be one of education and political activism, then yes, comments should be kept to a standard to support that cause. There are plenty of forums out there were backyard comments are more appropriate, and probably better appreciated.

  23. Personally, I’m always as polite and respectful as a Boy Scout, so this new policy has no effect on me.

    (Heads reenacting a scene from “Scanners” in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 . . .)

  24. One must always be on guard that one does not become too PC. In today’s news was a story of a young woman who wrote to the president of Apple complaining about the definition of the word “gay” in apple’s on line dictionary–specifically referencing the current vernacular among teenagers that uses the expression “That’s so gay”–and arguing that the definition should be removed because it was insulting to gays. (Her mothers are lesbians.) In my view, silly–the word and the usage exists, and eliminating the definition of the word in this usage will not change behavior, any more than more gun laws will reduce crime. I would ask this child, “By your rationale, should we also eliminate the words nigger, kike, wetback, spic, bohunk, and all the other insulting and derogatory words humans hurl at each other? If they are not in the dictionary, will people stop using them?”

    Will eliminating speech here that is merely insulting eliminate the people and their beliefs that utter such words? While I agree that words that threaten the commission of a felony are rightly banned, and that some speech may be counterproductive to the aims of the diminishing of gun control laws, we, TPOTG are a law-abiding if vociferous bunch. Cut lightly.

    • Wait, “bohunk” goes along with those other words? The only way I’ve ever seen it used was as slang for a “bohemian” type.

      • It’s an offensive reference to any Eastern European immigrant who is a laborer or uneducated person. Interesting that Jimmy Hoffa often referred to himself (approvingly) as a bohunk even though he was reputed to be Pennsylvania Dutch (which means German-speaking, not necessarily from the Netherlands) and Irish, which would make his ancestry Central and Western European.

        • My folks said that we were Pennsylvania Dutch. Supposedly, it comes from “Pennsylvania Deutsch,” but the Svenskas and Norskis and Finns in Minnesnowta couldn’t pronounce “Deutsch.” Or maybe it was the Ojibway and Sioux.

          I’m a native Iowanian, but we became Minnesot’ns when I was very young.

        • We Czechs also refer to ourselves as bohunks or bohocs. The phrase does drive from Bohemian, but some “bohemians”, such as the majority in the (current) Czech Republic are of Germanic/Austrian lineaget, while the majority in the other half of the former country, now Slovakia, are slavik in decent, more closely related to Poles and Russians.

  25. I like your idea. I would miss Dirks comments, as I miss links to young ladies with guns, but understand what you are saying. There is no need to insult someone, just disprove his comments or ideas with the truth.

  26. I don’t mind the censorship, not because Obama doesn’t deserve to die, he does, many politicians do. It’s just that we should not stoop to the state’s level. Everything the state is pleased to call the “law” is backed up with a threat of lethal violence if you disobey. We’re better than that. I am ALL FOR noncompliance on a large scale. Ignoring the state is our best option. Unfortunately, too many are comfortable with their chains. Adam Kokesh wanted to lead a peaceful protest, but he was demonized, even by many gun owners. We’re a long way from freedom.

    • Obama does not deserve to die. He deserves to be audited by the IRS, have his phone and email monitored, denied the use of arms for protection and have to sign up for Obamacare. That’ll teach the b@stard.

      • I think he deserves a long prison stay. Do you not? And war criminals have been executed, and he certainly is one. But I’m not suggesting it, necessarily. 2000 years in prison would do, with no parole, no commutation of sentence, no removal of the remains until they’ve served their sentence.

        • No prison. Being a dumbsh1t isn’t a crime. If it was, Evie Hudak and Diana DeGette would be in prison.

          Which, come to think of it, doesn’t seem so bad after all.

  27. I support this policy. One of the most important lessons history will take from the rise of the internet is how quickly communication devolved into speech designed to be as offensive as possible under the guise of psuedo-anonymity & the propagation of half-truth conspiracy theory. When everyone has a voice, the exceptional is drowned out by an ocean of absurd mediocrity.

      • I used both in the course of studying for my B.A. and M.A. As you can imagine, both required that I be able to express myself and an intended byproduct is the ability to wax poetic about subject matter I find compelling.

        🙂

    • “Pseudo anonymity” would not be a “guise,” as it does nothing to conceal the true nature of the writer’s intent.

      • That is my point. People throw racial epithets and (mostly) idle threats around that could never be uttered in person but because they feel hidden on the internet. What they have is a false sense of anonymity. In the case of the comments on sites such as this one, people act as if their outlandish words are somehow furthering the cause of free speech when what they are so often doing is testing the bounds of protected free speech and hate speech.

  28. Good policy, but I would advise ‘returning the favor’. If you read some if the comments on, say Daily Kos (a site with which I mainly agree, outside if gun rights) they are as bad as the examples above.

    • When Shannon Watts called RF a mysogynist pig or whatever all I could think was how many liberals we could get banned from such appearances by pointing to the TRULY vile and disgusting things the commenters on their sites post. TWEET: I understand you are going to have Markos Moulitsas on your program today to discuss Obamacare. You should probably go to their site (link to ANY article on DKOS) and consider if that is really the kind of thing you want to lend your national platform to.

  29. (shrugs)

    My thoughts are unchanged. And I assure you the other side’s thoughts aren’t changed either. I understand and agree with removing posts that make specific threats; but also understand that this is nothing new.

    Only history is new, and even then after a nasty tendency to repeat itself.

    This is a fight against (among many other things) a culture of victimology. Besides, our elected officials are merely a symptom of an even more insidious enemy, and that is mass media. Until THAT is dealt with, the general situation will not improve.

    Dirk/Shannon? Big deal. Amusing, yes. Tiresome? Eventually, sure. But there are bigger fish to fry.

    Carry on, and by all means think hard, hard thoughts.

    Tom

    *Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord….he hath loosed his terrible swift sword”

  30. My only comment is to the last section in regards to ‘taking the high road’.

    This is a political war. No political war was ever won by fighting a cleaner fight than your opponent.

    Lets be honest: People in general are stupid, apathetic, and unmotivated. Facts, dry honesty, and logic are boring and uninspiring, while vitriolic attacks, hatred, and raw ignorance are the kind of drama that gets you the best weeknight timeslots on basic cable. If you want to preserve some intangible and meaningless sense or honor or moral superiority, feel free, but do so at the cost of your freedom.

    • This is a political war.

      Actually, it’s a culture war. Like Hutus and Tutsis, Europeans and Native Americans, English and Aboriginals — culture wars are to the death. One culture dies, one lives. That’s it.

      • Well when you put it that way, I need to stop wasting my time reading blogs and go buy more guns and ammo….

      • That’s correct. And we don’t have to sink to the gutter to win this culture war, and in fact, staying away from the dirtiest personal insults and death threats is one tactic that works, as that kind of talk only reflects back upon the author.

        The proof is MDA, MAIG, OFA and others of their ilk are sinking as fast as CNN, MSNBC, and WAPO stock, viewership and ad revenues – and we don’t need to get in the way of that, just keep focusing on the facts because that’s what’s worked, winning over the independents and moderate middle as they become interested in the truth about guns.

        Remember the woman at the WY college who faked her own rape threats. She was finally busted for it, and there’s dozens of similar examples, but it doesn’t matter- give someone the ammo to make a hysterical accusation like MDA has, and by the time you get done defending yourself, the meme has been spread by the State Run Media, and the damage is done.

        As the gun-grabbers and leftist thought-Nazi’s get even more desperate circling the bowl we should EXPECT more dis-info, sock-puppetry and trolls seeking to discredit TTAG with that kind of stuff, posing as gun-owners.

        Keep it classy, and let the editors nip any strange weeds in the bud, because they will stand out even more as odd and atypical.

        Remember, this is a private site, run by Robert, Dan and the writers- its their barbecue- I trust their judgement, and if you don’t like it theres plenty of cesspools online to hang out and spew hate – Daily Kos, Huffpo, DU, Wonkette, you get the drift.

        • Good post. We might think their decisions are bad or misguided (I personally don’t), but they have to run it the best way they see fit, and that’s the long and short of it.

  31. We are all adults here, I think we can handle some flaming amongst our own. Can we really say we support the 1st if we’re willing to moderate what some of us say? Last I checked, nobody likes the FCC.

  32. “This is not to say we are censoring, but if ANYONE here wishes to speak of harming another person, whether kidding or not, that post will be taken down and the poster possibly banned from the page. The reason for this is 2 comments were made last night that got 2 of our admins homes visits from agents of the imperial federal gubment. This is not acceptable.”

    I didn’t like this statement above made by GRAA. It says we aren’t taking your comments down not because they aren’t supporting our cause or look bad from the outside or the opposition is using them for support, but because we are afraid of federal agents. Great courage fellas.

    Honestly, I believe the anti-gunners will call us “insurrectionists” as long as we have “guns”, regardless of what we say. I wouldn’t let them shake you with statements like “insurrectionism.” Insults is all these anti-gunners have – they don’t have reason or facts to back their statements. They fabricate, misconstrue, and twist statements and events into whatever they like.

    You have to also keep in mind that as the voices of “insurrectionism” thunder from the sheer numbers – that in itself is a deterrent to violations of civil rights. Keep in mind that the difference between patriots and terrorists or insurrectionists is simply which side you are on. To us, they are destroying this nation, to them, we are destroying their dreams of what this nation could be. To me, we all have our own points of view and our voices should be heard. In my opinion, since the United States is so different and unique (or once was) in our rights, our views, our tolerance, and our freedom, it is a shame the anti-gun crowd, the statists, the welfare-state lovers, etc, seemingly want us to be the same as many of the other countries. If they didn’t like guns there are many places they could go around the world that would be perfectly suitable to them. But to us – where are we going to go? What other country on earth is like ours in regard to our rights? They are not seeking us to leave – because we have no where to go – they seek to annihilate us.

    Robert it is your site, your place, your rules. If you feel comments with threats of violence, joking assassination statements, and crude behavior is found not wanting – then by all means remove it.

      • So is Paul McCain your real name? I would say the great majority of TTAGers post under a pseudonym or similar. Surely they must also fit in the same group you have placed me. How exactly does anonymity equate to courage or the lack thereof?

        GRAA did nothing wrong and they should have grown a pair and told the Feds how it is. How are they responsible for comments that visitors put on their blog?

  33. No bad how a person is unless they are trying to do physical harm to me, family, or my friends, I would never wish any form of death on them. And, yes, some of those gun owners are serious.

    • My position on such matters is similar. I’d never wish death on even my worst enemy, but I’m sure as hell not going to light a candle and go stand in my front yard after they croak, either.

  34. I don’t have a problem with it. In the words of General Mattis:

    “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”

  35. The problem is, the game is rigged.

    This kind of stuff has gone on before, and much more overtly, without any hysterics. And, IIRC, the Federal Government was rarely, if ever, involved.

    They even had t-shirts printed up, for heaven’s sakes!

    https://www.google.com/search?site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1280&bih=606&q=kill+bush&oq=kill+bush&gs_l=img.3..0l2j0i24l8.2376.3605.0.3860.9.9.0.0.0.0.242.919.6j1j2.9.0….0…1ac.1.31.img..2.7.599.H2MOTgEy1OI

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2009/08/20/media-didnt-care-about-protest-signs-threatening-bush

    Why was this never called insurrectionist?

        • Where I live, “roof rats”. There’s a mini-war here every spring when I plant potted vegetables. When they see freshly-turned soil, they invariably think some other competing squirrel has hidden some choice morsel for later on, and they act on that belief. The property management would freak if they saw me with a pellet rifle, so I have to be as sneaky as the goddamned squirrels are.

        • Because I wouldn’t be there to see them electrocuted. What’s the point, if you don’t see it?

        • They’re due for a population cutback. Last year was a Mast Year for acorns; that’s survival strategy for the trees – every 7 years or so, they produce so many acorns, they virtually cover the ground entirely. That probably induced a population boom among the squirrels. This year, hardly any acorns, so a bunch of them are going to starve. I think the squirrel population tends to match the acorn population of the previous year.

          That’s my theory.

  36. I, for one, welcome our new censorious overlords! 🙂

    Seriously, I think this is a move in the right direction. As the political situation has gotten uglier in the last year, the quality of discourse around here has definitely declined. Go back and read the comments on articles from a couple years back, the general tone is much more civil and intelligent.

    And to those who are complaining, keep in mind this cuts both ways. I’m convinced that some of the more egregious comments we see aren’t from real pro-2A folks, but from those on the other side playacting an oversized caricature, to make us look bad. Yes, our side has some real asshole nutcases. But in a completely open, anonymous forum, you’re giving your enemy the opportunity to drag you down from within. Removing the dreck has two benefits: it makes the comments less tiresome to read (sorry, Dirk, the Shannon Watts stuff was getting pretty stale), and it takes away a potential weapon to be used against us.

    If you can’t make your argument without degrading your opponent (no matter how richly they may deserve such treatment), then maybe you don’t have a very good argument to begin with.

    I only have one request: suspend the no-flaming policy for 24 hours on the day that Feinstein finally kicks the bucket…

    • On the other hand, Dirk’s Shannonquest could have elevated itself to the level of performance art. Not Andy Kaufman-level performance art, but there was potential.

  37. Insurrectionism: the perverted belief that if the government ceases to perform its duties and attacks the rights of the people in order to expand its own power without the peoples consent then the people can overthrow said government and replace it with one that truly derives it power from the governed.

    Their fixed it

  38. Hey,these Bozos think nothing of trying to ‘common sense ‘ aborting the 2nd amendment by making guns owners out to be fanaticle wackos ,when the antis completely miss all points on crime and metal health.They are the uninformed wackos Breaking Federal,are you ready,here it comes,LAW!

  39. We do not know that any of those implied or hoping for violence types of comments were made by pro2A individuals in this case. Apart from the 2A there have been and are currently a number of cases of individuals creating ‘false flag’ events indirectly attacking their opposition in attempts to support their cause and for personal benefit.

    Examples of what I am referring to where the perps were caught:
    *black students secretly placing burning crosses and nooses in and around campuses.
    *a woman at an inter-college convention to prevent rape and domestic violence hiring a man to beat her up and have intercourse with her which she reported as rape.
    *a lesbian waitress allegedly being left a note stating she wasn’t getting a tip because she is gay. Feel-sorry gifts piled in at more than $10,000 for her. The handwriting on the note did not match that of the customer who came forward being blamed for the note.

  40. In my view, at the core of it all, the liberal elite, not the everyday working type, are scared poo poo less over anybody having firearms but their own troops ( their private little soldiers). Why is that? They do not want to rid us of firearms to save anybody but themselves. I have no intention of overthrowing the government, doubt any of us do. There are people out there that will break the law no matter what, all too often insanity is not a reason, but an excuse. How many people legally own firearms in the US? How many go on killing sprees? If 90 million(?) firearm owners are crazy gun nuts, then we have more than a constitutional question here. (My numbers there are probably in error). Remember, owning a firearm for defense is trampling on the rights of criminals/would be criminals to do whatever they please. I do not wake up in fear of my life, I never have, and I never will, (have had a few concerned moments) firearm or no firearm. But, it is a choice, let them have their own personal ban, I will respect that, not sure everybody will. Wonder how many people were not shot today?

  41. Matt, regarding the adware spam, have you even looked into that hosts file? It will get rid of an awful lot of scams and malware based on where it’s coming from, relieving you of a lot of wasted time keeping your spam filter up to date. I guess you call it “vetting.” It’d be interesting, to say the least, to just check and see if the sources of the adware spam are in that file. Heck, email me some of the bad URL’s and I’ll check them for you, just to see if the special hosts file works.

    For example, it could probably have caught and blocked the source of the i-n-s-u-r-a-n-c-e and c-i-a-l-i-s type scamware, such that they wouldn’t have needed to have been included in the textual spam blocker. And I’d think the POTG would be more likely to self-police the flamers than not..

  42. TTAG is a business: first, foremost and lastly. That it overlaps with the owners’ hobbies and supposed passions is incidental. It isn’t our collective club house. This “flaming policy” is just about preserving RF’s mainstream media acceptability. He wants to be taken seriously as a spokesman and invited to hobnob with the beautiful people. That can’t happen if a few of us make the occasional off color remarks that anti’s can hold up as typical and total of our views.

    The proof? There was no anti-sexism push from him when it HIS obsession with models at issue. That came from us. Now that others’ comments are tweeted about by anti’s and TTAG as a whole is supposedly besmirched by us, NOW all locker room talk is verboten. Curious, that.

    Fine. I get that, too. Still, is it absolutely necessary to lie and dress up one man’s image-shaping as some sort of crusade to bathe the stupid unwashed masses of the firearms freedom movement? Good grief.

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