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FN FiveseveN (courtesy fnhblog.com)

TTAG’s posting policy: no flaming the website, its authors or fellow commentators. I’ve noticed an increasing number of flame wars in our comments sections. In some posts, readers ripped TTAG a new one re: our editorial stance and style. In others, they called each other names. These interchanges are unacceptable. Where and when Dan, Nick, Matt or I discover them, they are – and will continue to be – deleted. TTAG’s size makes it difficult to douse all the flames. If you encounter an ad hominem or personal attack please email a link to [email protected] with the word FLAME in caps in the subject field. Meanwhile, I am now officially extending this policy to the subjects of our posts. In other words . . .

No more calling Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Josh Horwitz “the biggest turd in the Huffington Post punchbowl,” for example. Or telling the world that you want to have sex with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense jefe Shannon Watts.

Horwitz, Watts and others have taken to trolling TTAG and other pro-gun internet outlets for comments that cast the pro-gun position in a deeply unfavorable light. (Click here for Horwitz’s HuffPo character assassination piece.) There is no need to provide the antis with ammunition in this ongoing battle for the hearts and minds of 2A fence sitters.

So, from this point forward, commentators can tear apart anyone’s logic or opinions but not in a personally disrespectful way. We are going to take the high road here. And why not? We don’t need to resort to low-brow “humor” to skewer those who would deny our natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. To quote America’s Gun-Grabber-in-Chief, we’re better than that. Really.

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342 COMMENTS

  1. What’s the policy on the N bomb usage such as on the post about shooting up the mickey d’s drive thru over bacon?

    • I didn’t actually read that post (Should I?), but I find that most rational people (that is, most around here) know where the line is. They don’t cross it accidentally.

      • Nothing at all accidental about this. Paints gun owners as low class white trash. The greatest insult my grand father could have come up with. And he lived in the old south.

        • I would put a wager on the fact you have freedom crushers trolling. Most likely paid trolls, but they are here.

        • DHS has recently contracted for “Social Media Services,” so it’s a safe bet that a DHS contractor or two are here. If they’re active is anyone’s guess.

          DoD CYBERCOM has had boyz ‘n girlz watching (and maybe trolling) for nearly half a decade.

      • @Shawn,

        The antis don’t need to come here and post anything: this place is a gold mine for them, insofar as finding ignorant, nonsensical comments.

        There are some very logical, intelligent people here, but there are also plenty here who exemplify the stereotypical, racist, caricature-like gun owner.

      • might want to go back and take a look at those comments in the thread jwm mentioned again; if nothing else, i think Al got skipped.

  2. This will be difficult for some because the entire gun control movement is essentially an ad-hominem attack.

    • TTAG, you are playing into the hands of the progressive gun grabbers. By being politically correct and censoring some of the more colorful comments you have given them the satisfaction of disrupting every day life. They already hate us and it wouldn’t matter if we talked about rainbows and lollipops, they would find a way to turn it. What you have done is infringe on the people that support you and come here regularly by censoring foul language like a pressing mommy. I am a grown man and having people telling me to watch my mouth because I might offend others that hate me anyway rubs me the wrong way.

      • Ok then, if not to avoid offending others sensibilities, how about just because I (and I know I’m not alone) get tired of reading flame wars and yet another person thinking he’s clever when he calls Shannon Watts (or some random female legislator) a stupid whore (or some variation). It’s not all about them, some of it’s about keeping this an enjoyable place to be.

      • Chad, since when did common decency and courtesy become political correctness? If I was one of the uneducated masses and I read some of the posts on many pro 2A sites, I would think that a good percentage of gun owners are right wing extremist nut cases. Some of the posts are really over the line. We have the hi ground already, why give it up by posting obscene, sexist or racist material. (Yes, I have seen all three) As an example, when you drop the N bomb when discussing Obama, you have provided ammo to the left who loves to claim that anyone who disagrees with his policies, is “racist”. Some of our fellow 2A supporters are our worst enemies when it comes to PR. Education and logic will win this fight, not childish name calling.

  3. When I read “Click here for Horwitz’s HuffPo character assassination piece” I was worried that I’d click over there and find my words repeated. Ending up on MDA’s twitter feed was amusing, but I don’t really want to make a habit of it.

  4. Mr. Farago,

    I agree by and large with your stance.

    That said, please do not implement a brainless “zero tolerance policy”. By all means I encourage the site administrators to exercise good judgment and delete ad hominem attacks as they see fit.

    Just realize that there are times when it is necessary and appropriate to call a spade a spade. Furthermore, we need to be able to express passion on our side. Being passionate in a constructive way is a positive character trait. Passion also shows that we are not pushovers. The last thing you want to do is present us as intellectual wimps. After all, what do the gun grabbers have to fear from our positions of truth if we come across as lacking the intestinal fortitude to enforce those truths?

    • Often, it’s been easy to discern, because those that left inappropriate comments did that alone, absent any constructive conversation to even accompany it. But lately, the tenor of the conversation has often changed, with people jumping straight to namecalling and vitriol at the first sign of disagreement. (Even I’ve been guilty of that on occasion.) We’re just trying to correct the course before it goes too far off baseline.

    • “The last thing you want to do is present us as intellectual wimps. After all, what do the gun grabbers have to fear from our positions of truth if we come across as lacking the intestinal fortitude to enforce those truths?”

      Enforce, root word force. The truth does not need to be forced. The truth just is. Anything you force on to anyone will have the opposite effect that you intended.

      • Rambeast,

        Here is one example of a truth, a moral truth at that: I have no obligation to give anything to a stranger who walks up to me and demands my money. So where does enforcing that truth come into play? When I tell the stranger, “NO” and the stranger refuses to accept my moral and truthful response. While you may be content to let scumbags abuse you, the rest of us are not.

        Along the same lines, when we tell the gun grabbers that it is our inalienable right to keep and bear arms (the truth), we are morally justified to enforce that truth when a gun grabber proceeds to use force to disarm us.

        Gasp! But the gun grabbers will jump up and down and scream and yell! And they will promise to use government goons with guns to take away our guns because we refuse to let them take away our guns! Newsflash: that has been the gun grabbers’ plan for the last 100 years. Being nice brought us to the brink of losing our entire right to keep and bear arms. No more.

        Passionate and truthful responses to threats — and sometimes even force — are necessary to defend our rights and liberties. The sooner you can accept that, the better for everyone.

    • Bingo… !!!

      “Spade is a spade” “Say what you mean mean what you say”, “no brag just fact”..

      If ya mute the an author for the words of opinion, fact, and subject, your no better than Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot, the Party Line, and so many others. But the fence still gets PC white washed! Purty fence ain’t it.don’t mind the weeds.

      Being super duper overly zealot like PC is whats kicking US in the Zipper today. To quote a few words of a song lyric “They smile in your face” but there’s always that hind thought they have.

      • I am astonished that you just drew a corollary between a stupid internet blog and Stalin, Lenin, and Pol Pot. I mean, I’m literally dumbfounded. That is quite possibly the stupidest thing I’ve read in memory. Unless you expect Robert to send minions to your house to “disappear” you and possibly put a bullet in the back of your skull for what you said on this site, I suggest you recalibrate the living shit out of your hyperbole meter, because that thing is flat broke.

      • Matt, I have to agree with Denny. If I have to have ” a reason “, to carry, it is another fence to hurdle . Also being nice doesn’t mean squat to Progressives, read communist . I was raised in St Louis, and a baseball bat, was a good way to stop bulling, believe me it worked. If everyone on this blog, can’t see Pol Pot, at work in the U.S then we are in deep ” Shit “.

      • +1 I’m shocked by how many people think the bill of rights apply to interactions between private entities.

        • Actually… I’m not surprised at all given how long it’s been since civics was a central curriculum element.

        • @John L. I have no doubt that if civics were to make a comeback, it would be taught with such a progressive slant it would essentially be just a different packaging of the same garbage they teach now.

          Imagine if you will a civics class based on the (unstated) proposition that a big corporation has government-like power and the BOR needs to be enforced on it. Or that the 2A is for militias only. etc.

      • The real problem seems to be that the other side doesn’t really censor their own. Liberals will be free to tear us down with rule 5, we will be “gagged.” Not that I agree with the sentiment, but there it is.

      • Correct, a private entity that makes a living off boasting the second amendment, can absolutely censor the populace of which they make coin off of. Thats the American way!

    • You do realize that freedom of the press is the only applicable portion of the first amendment here, right?

    • I believe “flaming the website” means insulting the website for no other reason than to insult the website.

      An example would be a post where someone says “The TTAG website is garbage and the contributors are all (insert slur here)!”

    • I’m guilty of this, so maybe I can help. I used to do it all the time (just ask RF). Flaming the website kinda goes hand in hand with the “questions about editorial stance/style” thing. Like me saying that we give MDA way too much press, or pointing out that a particular post is undeniably clickbait with no redeeming value, etc. Basically, if you have a problem with the type of stories being run, send an email, don’t blow up the comments section.

      • “Basically, if you have a problem with the type of stories being run, send an email, don’t blow up the comments section.”

        Because if it’s in the comment section, then others might see when TTAG does something bad, so let’s keep everything hush hush where no one can see it.

        Come on Rob, I thought you grew up and got over this “NO CRITICISM ALLOWED!” BS. It’s been several months (probably a year or more, actually) since you’ve acted like that. I guess the complaints about the flaws in the R51 review really got to you.

        • As I said in response to your first comment, to my knowledge, not a single comment about the R51 got edited or deleted due to the comments about any perceived bias.

          Was there something you didn’t like that didn’t get addressed, or are you just bitching to bitch? You have a lot of complaints, but I don’t see a lot of substance. That is, if I wanted to fix whatever it is that bothers you, I wouldn’t know what to do, because it’s just a lot of noise without signal.

        • I already answered the first part below. As to what to fix? How about not having a policy of “no criticism allowed”, such as the one Rob put front and center in this very post?

          • The criticism that this is mainly focused on is things like the guys who have to insert a comment in every single post about Kirsten that her shots aren’t that big a deal, and that RF must have a thing for her, and the like. Even if someone is pointing out a perceived bias on the part of a reviewer, there are ways to do that without calling them a “1911-hating jackass” or something like that, and the problem is, that’s apparently the only way a few folks around here can express themselves. I really don’t recall seeing any of your comments get nailed, so I’m still not sure what your issue is. You’ve been posting here for quite a while, and this policy is really no different than it’s ever been, and it’s not something you’ve ever really run afoul of. But having been here that much, you have to have noticed the change in the tenor of the conversations, and it’s not a good thing.

        • “I really don’t recall seeing any of your comments get nailed, so I’m still not sure what your issue is.”

          Apparently you don’t get why someone would be against poor behavior, even if they’re not the target of it. Robert did not say anything about “insulting” TTAG contributors, he flat out said that no criticism will be allowed. THAT is the problem, because Nick and Rob deserved all of the complaints they got about that R51 review and attacking your readers in response to it is NOT the way to run a business. Fix the problems with the people who caused the complaints, don’t attack the people who pointed out the flaws.

          • I believe the “no criticism at all, ever” is an oversimplification. At least I would hope it is in practice, anyway. I agree with the rest of your comment. Problems should get fixed. If there are material errors in an article or review, by all means point them out. But if the “problem” is more along the lines of “I just don’t like his style” or “I don’t like the way this was done,” then those are the kind of comments that ought to go to email. If for no other reason, then because if you’re trying to influence the decisionmakers, emails get read, but comments don’t always. RF doesn’t see all the comments. When I see one directed at him, I’ll bring it to his attention, but I also don’t see all the comments. So a comment left in an effort to bring about change may or may not do any good at all. Emails always get read.

        • I hope but it sounds like Toetenglocke has a point… and if it’s actually carried out that way they’ll be a lot of deleting going on.

        • I think Totenglocke has a point too.

          I am self aware. I know I’ve had my hand slapped for flaming before, but I think I’ve contributed a good number of informative/interesting responses as well.

          I have an adverse reaction to censorship. If this policy of no publicly pointing out errors is enforced, I will stop coming to the site. ::shrug::

      • Is that like when you guys would be days if not a week behind on news stories and would call you out on it and then Matt would say some smartass comment. Those were the days.

        • That’s because you’d point it out like because you’d already read about it a few days or a week before, we shouldn’t bother to talk about it. Nevermind that probably 90% of those who read it here had not seen it before it was published here, and even some of those that had were still taking part in the comment conversation here. But oh no, if shawn’s seen it, we can’t ever talk about it again. My snide comments were in direct response to your sneering arrogance that you shouldn’t be made to read something twice.

        • And you missed the point entirely. You guys are the pros as such be leading and be in the forefront and not be late to the party. Nothing about me having to read the news twice. That is petty and shallow. And, just having fun as stated “those were the days.” You personally told me to back off and did as such.

          • Point taken. For what it’s worth, stories sometimes get written, and then get pushed, and pushed again by more “pressing” stories and so sometimes they don’t publish a day or two after they’re written. Sometimes they just get pushed right into the Trash. If they were time-sensitive, they go away, but if they’re not, and they’re interesting, they’ll go live. And sometimes, it doesn’t show up on our radar ’til a week later. Again, if it’s interesting, even if it’s a few days old, we’ll write it. I don’t like reading stuff twice, either, to be honest, but I read so many different outlets that it happens a lot. Many people who read here don’t read anywhere else.

  5. By the way anyone who wants to continue to comment however they please is more them welcome in GD at arfcom. That place is no holds barred.

        • Toten,

          It’s just that many of your comments and ideas seem to feel more important in your own mind than when they are read. I rarely see you having anything substantial to say, despite your thoughts to the contrary.

      • toten- I have to agree with a couple others- there was a time there early on, when you had a lot to contribute- then it got a bit off track, and here again you seem to be missing the point.

        You are certainly entitled to say what you like, but when it gets pointed at other people here, personally, as opposed to debating ideas and facts, thats when it starts to stink the place up.

        And I’ve sensed a change and applaud the reminder from Robert, lets all try to do better- I have probably stepped across the line, and apologize if so-
        and if we help one another, without becoming the speech nanny, as peers, then that takes a bit of work off the editors who have better things to do than point out the obvious.

        Now, lets be clear- there can be plenty of snark and non-PC fun here- if we just stick to the Truth, and avoid the personal insults.

        And remember, half the fun and utility of the site like this is the folks who have a lot of experience or insight to offer- and those are most often busy people- they dont have time to wade thru the boring back and forth of juvenile insults – and
        conversely, those who engage in the petty insults dont have much else to offer, usually, IMHO.

        We are all adults and can tell the difference. Those who continue to repeat juvenile insults, are likely not adults, or worse, trolling- and just need to be banned, if a couple polite warnings dont suffice.

        Clean and well-lit room…. Hemingway

  6. How will this rule apply to heated discussions over the serial comma and proper use of the possessive with nouns ending in -s? Can I flame someone for blind adherence to Strunk & White? (Seriously, the policy seems fine.)

      • So, it’s all about being subtle? Got it. Good night, y’all. I’m going to go gift my wife a kiosk for Valentine’s Day.

        • Not sure whether you are being sarcastic or not. I believe you missed Matt in FL’s point. In any case, TTAG’s policy is no different from other blogger’s policy out there, even on those whose subject is not about guns. It would be best for the whole community (TTAG community) to argue the comments/opinions vice attacking the person. Attacking the person will only show to the world that we don’t know how to respond with a good and sound response.

        • This was meant as a joke relating to a thread from yesterday when William Burke, who I respect, commented about the word “gift” not being a verb. Or the word “kiosk.” All is good.

        • What I’ve learned from this thread: if you don’t stop verbing “gift,” William Burke is going to give your kiosk the old Oxford comma. Is that about right? 🙂

  7. Good.

    Some of the hateful comment I see here make me cringe when I see them through a fence-sitter or an anti’s eyes.

    No point reinforcing negative stereotypes.

    If that’s the way you really feel, go play on Stormfront or /b.

    • You ever considered a job as a RINO in Congress? Seems we’ve heard the exact words you use from folks up in D.C. who are afraid of their own shadow as well.

  8. And all of this inspired because people pointed out Nick’s biases in your response to the R51 review. Sounds like this will be the beginning of the end of TTAG if you’re going to ban criticism.

    • No, it’s inspired because, as I said above, people are getting in the habit of jumping straight to namecalling and vomiting obnoxious vitriol all over the page at the first sign of disagreement. The most minor version would be the couple folks around here that call anyone who disagrees with them a libtard or a leftard or the like. That’s the fairly tame end of the scale.

      To my knowledge, not a single comment referencing Nick’s biases (or lack thereof) got edited or deleted.

      • “To my knowledge, not a single comment referencing Nick’s biases (or lack thereof) got edited or deleted.”

        Not what I’m talking about.

        In some posts, readers ripped TTAG a new one re: our editorial stance and style. In others, they called each other names. These interchanges are unacceptable. ”

        That’s what inspired the crackdown on people being able to state their opinions without being censored, and it’s what’s going to drive readers away. Be an adult and accept criticism when you do something wrong, don’t scream “I CAN DO NO WRONG!” and delete comments pointing out your flaws.

        • I don’t think it is that complicated, really. If someone comes into my house, and calls me names, I ask them to leave and don’t invite them back. It is, after all, my house. If they don’t like my rules, don’t visit. That doesn’t mean one shouldn’t be open to criticism or comments, but there are ways to do it and ways not to. Someone doesn’t like something, drop Dan or RF an email. Taking potshots in public is cheap grandstanding designed to inflate the public opinion of the commenter and not to elicit corrective action on the part of the writer of a post in question.

          Civility and mutual respect for differences of opinion is not being PC, weak, or any other silly thing. Granted, I am older than many of the people on this site, but I’ve always considered those two things a sign of being an adult.

          I do recognize that the anti-gunners would not follow these rules, but so what. Since when did it become normal for strong people, firm in their convictions, to regularly resort of defensive, ad hominem attacks, particularly when the facts are on our side?

          Just my opinion, not the truth of the ages.

  9. I’ve never flamed the website, I think it’s fine. I do need to tone down my fein(stein) type stuff though. I hope this doesn’t get too serious here.

  10. I, for one, think this is overall a good policy. And the reminder is timely. I’ve noticed a recent slide in the civility of the comments around here, and hope this corrects the course before things get too unpleasant.

    Also, you guys doing the moderating (Matt in FL, do you even have a day job?) are greatly appreciated. It’s not a fun job, but it’s very necessary. Thanks!

  11. I can see why we should mind our p&q’s with the anti ‘s and such, but does mean we can’t make fun of the “FFL Nazi”? The guy writes articles crying about his customers and we can’t complain about him? I realize pricing is hard and all.

    • I think that the only comments that got cleaned up (deleted, edited, whatever) under his posts are those that offered only a flame, but nothing constructive. If it says nothing other than “You’re an obnoxious douchebag,” it probably went away. That said, he seems to revel in others disdain, so I think there’s a little more latitude there.

  12. I have a question about what y’all consider a flame; An example; some one said that when I say that gun grabbers are statist; that they despise personal freedom; that when they promote GFZ they are being delusional and in denial; and that the end game for most of these gun- grabbing statists that worship big government is citizen dis-armament that almost invariably leads to tyranny and mass death.

    I can’t remember who, but this person said I was “hurling epithets”, ie (flaming) when I was saying I was simply telling the truth

    So how about it; do you moderators say I’m flaming or just being factual?

    • Facts are facts, and are on your side. Let them say what they say. I personally believe that most ant-gun activists are cowards, unwilling to accept personal responsibility for the safety of themselves and their families. I don’t think that’s an ad hominem attack, though they might disagree. Calling someone a hag is probably flaming. I hope that I am interpreting things correctly in terms of the difference.

      • I find there is no need to resort to personal attacks; partly because; for me; when I feel the need to do that it’s because I’m feeling defensive at what someone said about me I don’t like to hear; (the truth hurts) or because the other person made a better argument and I’m losing the debate. The other point is that very fact; when you can say like I did in the post above about most gun-grabbers as simple fact; the truth does hurt! Why resort to name calling when the truth works so much better.

  13. So, if someone acts like an ass you can’t call them out on it?

    We can talk about shooting people, but saying Horwitz is a turd, Watts is being an ass, or whatever is where we draw the line?

    I think Yeager said this one best, paraphrasing, if you can’t handle some cursing or someone messing with you probably can’t handle a fight for your life with a gun.

    • +42

      I also love how they’re using “gun grabbers will get angry!” as their reason for censoring, yet everyone here knows that no matter how polite we are, the grabbers will be furious and attack us.

        • Not for nothin’, but I’ll take naked aggression (like Totenglocke, but significantly worse) over snide condescension (which is usually in your wheelhouse) any day. I can deal with disagreeable, angry people, no problem, but the moment someone starts acting contemptuous, I’m done talking to them.