I’m having a hard time understanding why members of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia think I shouldn’t have posted MikeB302000’s polemic. Perhaps they reckon I should heed Margaret Thatcher’s warning that democracies mustn’t give terrorists “the oxygen of publicity.” MikeB is many things, but a terrorist is not one of them. And there is no belief so strong that it doesn’t bear scrutiny. In fact, our Second Amendment rights must be challenged, so that we understand their true meaning and importance. If those of us who value our gun rights aren’t willing to question our beliefs, why should we expect our opponents to do the same? If we are not willing to leave our comfort zone and avoid echo chambers of assent, why should we expect our opponents to do the same? And yet . . .
I stand accused of pimping for MikeB. And profiteering. “Trolling” my own website for traffic. While I’m old enough to fully appreciate the plausible reliability of my critics’ suspicions, I reject the charges in their entirety.
I make my editorial choices based on a simple criteria: does this post bring us closer to the truth about guns? That’s how I’ve been running the site for the last year. I’ve been operating it that way when TTAG had as much traffic in one month as we do [now] in one hour (true story). I will continue to do so should TTAG sink back down to that level or rise to new heights.
TTAG is what it is. We tell the truth about guns. Sometimes that means that I let others tell their version of the truth so that we can better understand ours. In other words, while I disagree with MikeB’s stance on gun control, I will defend to the death [of this website] his right to say it. And mine to publish it.
When I started TTAG, I was determined to create a safe place for all sides of the gun control debate to meet and exchange ideas. I believe that MikeB’s presence here furthers that goal. Until and unless it doesn’t. If he violates that spirit of open-mindedness and descends into flaming, he’ll earn a spot on our banned list, right next to his pal JadeGold. The same requirement for civility holds true for ANY member of our community.
All that said, it’s not ALL gun control debate hereabouts. I’m making sure that we have plenty of reviews and general fun stuff. And I know that this is your website. Not mine. Without your patronage it wouldn’t exist. So what say you? Leave gun grabbers like MikeB out in the cold or set ’em up so you can knock ’em down?