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 After a series of horrific IRA attacks, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had this to say to the electorate: “Democratic nations must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend.” Fortunately, the anti-British violence abated. Equally important, the British press emerged from the crisis unmuzzled. The Land of Hope and Glory didn’t sacrifice freedom of speech on the altar of expediency and ideological purity. Unfortunately, American gun blogs have adopted the Thatcherite position on gun control advocacy . . .

For years, some members of the gun blogging community has followed an unwritten rule regarding websites antagonistic to the Second Amendment: no links. The policy was born during dark days, when local, state and federal governments opposing Americans’ right to armed self-defense were triumphant. Gun bloggers felt that starving pro-gun control websites of traffic would isolate them and, thus, ensure their oblivion. The policy was, at least in part, successful.

In that sense, the anti-gun control website blacklist is entirely understandable. It was a practical response to a grave danger. Given the Second Amendment’s importance to the cause of liberty and personal safety, you could even say that the information war was a matter of life or death. Make no mistake: we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the pro-gun Internet voices who kept the faith during one of the worst periods of gun control in this nation’s history.

When I started The Truth About Guns (TTAG), I was lucky enough to do so as gun rights regained the moral and then legal high ground. I felt no sense of embattlement, no compunction to shun gun control advocates. Quite the opposite. From the outset, I encouraged input from pro-gun control writers and commentators. I felt then, as I do now, that the unexamined belief is not worth holding. That the open and free exchange of ideas only strengthens the cause of truth. Which is not relative. Not to coin a phrase, let me be perfectly clear . . .

For me, the truth about guns was—and is—that we have the God given right to armed self-defense. The right to keep and bear arms is the bulwark against criminals and government tyranny. It’s integral to the past and future success of this nation and the predominance of the rule of law. I share the Founding Fathers’ conviction that the government should make no laws infringing upon that right.

But I also know there’s a reason the Second Amendment followed the First. Freedom of speech is the bedrock of democracy. Without it, we are slaves. If we—all of us—lack the freedom of speech, we cannot manipulate the levers of democracy to protect any of our other rights.

The idea of excluding gun control advocates and leaving out links to pro-gun control websites never occurred to me. How can I respect the freedom of speech while restricting readers to one point of view? By the same token, how can I deny readers access to original source material so that they can judge the integrity of my analysis? The truth flourishes in a vigorous marketplace of ideas. It lies fallow in the cold sterility of an empty echo chamber.

This is not an opinion shared by all members of the gun blogging community. They’ve concluded that The Truth About Guns’ inclusive editorial policy harms the cause of gun rights. They believe I’m giving aid and succor to the enemy. They have blacklisted TTAG. They will not link to this site.

In the interests of fairness and fraternity, I won’t burn bridges and name names. Suffice it to say, their opposition has not—will not—change my stance. I will continue to provide safe harbor for all points of view on gun rights and gun control. I will continue to link to sites whose opinions on firearms I find abhorrent. Abandoning this editorial policy would render meaningless nearly two years and over a million words of effort. And the hard work and passion of the writers and commentators who’ve generously donated their time and energy to this website.

I invite participants in this unofficial blacklist to reconsider their position. While I understand and appreciate their motivation, times have changed. To defend and extend the gains that the Internet pioneers fought so hard to achieve, gun rights advocates must reach out to the mainstream. In this endeavor we must not be afraid to engage our detractors. To prove that we are fair-minded. That we deserve a willing ear. To open the general public’s minds to the truth about guns.

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  1. I give you a lot of credit for sticking to your guns and doing what you believe is right. I would rather make all the gun grabbers go away forever but that will never happen, so we just have to learn to live with them and kick their butts legally whenever possible. Just remember to NEVER NEVER give in and you’ll always come out on top.

    • I would rather make all the gun grabbers go away

      OMG JOE MATAFOME wants to kill people against guns rights. See, the gun community is crazy!

      /sarcasm off
      Sadly, this isn’t much of a stretch for our current media so it wouldn’t surprise me if somebody actually took it this way

      • Your right Scott, I just reread what I wrote and it does look bad. The gun grabbers would have a field day with some of my comments, because I’m not always to good at getting my point across. You did a great job pointing out how others could interpert what I wrote.

        • I wouldn’t have a field day with it. I generally don’t take things like that and exaggerate the offense and act all indignant. I leave that trick to you guys.

          About Robert’s post, I loved it. I do think you’re too generous with the gun bloggers who ban and don’t link to people like me. I don’t think their intentions are good, not in most cases.

          And then they boycot you for tolerating other points of view. That’s shabby bullshit, in most cases. Some may be sincere, but not most.

        • “And then they boycot you for tolerating other points of view. That’s shabby bullshit, in most cases. Some may be sincere, but not most.”

          You’re being a little disingenuous here Mike. I don’t know of anyone who has banned you strictly for your points of view. I know that you have been banned from many websites for your drive-by trolling behavior. That is, posting outrageous comments on blogs, leaving a link to your website, and then never following through with the inevitable conversation that ensues. It was and is apparent that you like to use that tactic to drive hits to your own website.

        • that’s total bullshit, RuffRidr. That’s what my detractors say and you support them by repeating it at every opportunity.

          The reason I get banned is because people don’t like what I have to say. Usually they try to bully me into submission or use their best logic on me and when I don’t acquiesce, they begin with the name-calling and the personal attacking, and then they ban me.

          That’s the way it’s gone time and time again.

  2. Are you sure it wasn’t because of that shameful hit-job you did on pro-gun academics because you were too ignorant to understand their statistical methods, even though you yourself admitted that the final results supported our position? And you never did issue a retraction or correction or give them an opportunity to reply and defend themselves. So it’s kinda’ funny to hear you talking about the importance of hearing alternate voices now. Apparently pro-gun academics who make the mistake of talking over your head don’t give the same consideration you give to those who would deny us our fundamental human rights.

    Curious, no?

      • Still there, under the slanderous title of George Mason University’s Freedom Index is Anti-Gun. It is not anti-gun, they produced great results, which properly rank pro-gun states as higher in freedom. Robert’s just unfamiliar with the technique they used, and jumped to the wrong conclusions. Mistakes happen. But it speaks very poorly of his character and his professionalism that he couldn’t have corrected it by now.

        • Umm, a bunch of academics create an arbitrary index and you believe their “technique” is sound and Robert made a blunder? Really? The index is ARBITRARY! They just assigned a point system based on whatever they thought was appropriate. And, Robert called them on it. Robert’s bias is no more valid or invalid than theirs. If I could fault Robert it would be in that he wasted brain cycles arguing that the bias should be slanted more towards gun rights when the whole study is irrelevant.

        • You’re missing the point, pun intended: it’s not a point system. This is what I’ve been saying all along. It’s not a point system, and no, it’s not arbitrary. It’s a coding system for objective data. (Yes/No on various restrictions, the price of a CCW permit, etc.) The method they are using is one for identifying correlations (aka, similarities). There is no value judgment implied, except in how similar states are clustered together. (Pro-gun states on one side, anti-gun states on another.)

          Y’know, liberals like to stereotype gun owners as banjo-picking yokels who never got out of the 8th grade. In the real world, gun owners tend to have higher levels of education. (People with more education make more money, and shooting is an expensive hobby.) But between Robert and you, you’re really working hard to prove them right. If you don’t understand the math, would you at least shut up and stop slandering people on your own side?

        • It’s not a point system… It’s a coding system for objective data.

          That reminds me of this exchange:

          Milhouse: Hey Bart, nice belt!
          Bart: It’s not a belt, it’s a tactical pants retaining system.

        • There are real, functional differences between “points” and “codes”. For one, no value judgement is implied. It’s simply a measurement. That’s like saying, “You measured Joe to be 6’6″, and Bob to be only 5’8″! Why do you think Joe is better than Bob! You’re anti-Bob!” But of course, height is not a point system. More inches is not better. It just is. And we can line people up in order of ascending or descending height, and create a nice spectrum. Then and only then do we make a value judgement. If your goal is to put a man into a tiny space capsule, then shorter is better. If your goal is to fill a basketball team, taller is better.

          These researchers used these codings and this statistical technique to create a spectrum of states, then they labeled the ones with fewer restrictions as “free” and the ones with more as “not free”.

          The codes do not matter. They’re just a means to an end.

          If you’re not able to understand this, please go back to playing your banjo.

    • I’m curious too; Seeing as I only recently found this blog, I am unlikely to be able to find the post you refer to without your assistance….

  3. I could not agree more, probably why I read TTAG every day and only peruse the other sites.

    Take people like David Duke. The best thing you can do is give him a megaphone. Once he really starts articulating his position it will do him more damage than either ignoring or attacking.

    I think the same is true of gun control people. Let them articulate their position. If there is a Truth, as Robert has indicated, it will be seen more clearly juxtiposed to their misinformation or at least misguided ideas.


  4. Hmmn, I run a gun blog and I’m not blacklisting you.

    Musta gotten caught in my spam filter or something…

    Highlighting the views and opinions of the anti-gunners is extremely important, because if we don’t know what they’re doing, we can’t beat them.

    “Know thy enemy, know thyself, and you will be invincible.” – Sun Tzu

    P.S. Although putting the drama llama back into its stall every once in a while ould help things a lot, IMO

  5. Ok, there’s no sinister cabal managing these sorts of things, so you’re obviously talking about specific blogs.
    Would anyone in the know care to name them? I’ve seen a fair bit of hostility to TTAG, but mostly in comments rather than blogposts.

  6. I believe your policy is correct. Shutting down debate is silly and short-sighted. You definitely come off as more open-minded than many other gun blogs which is why I read your site and only a few others (Snowflakes, Firearm Blog, Gun Nuts). Many other gun blogs would view most of my family and friends as the enemy, which is ridiculous.

  7. “I felt then, as I do now, that the unexamined belief is not worth holding. That the open and free exchange of ideas only strengthens the cause of truth.”

    Wow, Well written Sir!

  8. I’m not sure that is much point in holding back… why not “name names” regarding who has blacklisted TTAG?

  9. Not quite sure what you are talking about, but I do find that I come to this site three or four times a day. I peruse a few times a week, actually, that’s where I picked up this site. Definitely this is the best site for posing the questions and doing the reviews. Keep up the good work!

  10. Why would they do that? Maybe it was the idiotic attack on Oleg Volk that you tried to stick in the memory hole? Or the claim that kids only get rarely shot in gang fights? The obnoxious stupidity of the OFWG article and it’s insane claim only minorities in high crime areas needing guns? Odd how those Norwegian kids weren’t minorities in a high crime…

    Funny how these kind of articles are always credited to you and never any of the other people on this site.

  11. I appreciate being able to come to this blog with educated editorialists and linked sources to both sides of the argument. I’ve become much more educated about both sides of this very heated debate and it’s allowed me make my own educated decisions regarding the second amendment and other political ideas. My hats of to TTAG and if I ever get the courage to write my own blog, TTAG will be at the TOP of my link-to list!

  12. Please just keep doing what you’ve been doing Robert. You don’t have a thing to worry about. Especially from any other gun blog or firearms / news website. There is no other source out there that achieves as high a level of quality writing, reader participation or positive messaging to the firearms community as TTAG does.

    Someone is blacklisting you? Let ’em. Methinks they might be getting a bit worried.

  13. That’s silly that they won’t link to you over that. But, I don’t enjoy looking at the tyrants’ positions unless it’s to mock or excoriate them. Their arguments are boring and easily demolished by morality and common sense.The extreme tyrants have psychological issues. I figured that out day 1. I found this site via keepandbeararms. So that, NRA and GOA email alerts, and, and this site are the only political gun sites I frequent. Oh, and david codrea’s war on guns.

  14. What shame full all counrty that are ant gun counrty blame USA for right have guns free speech becuase guees what they can not cannot control desmick violence issues with way doing this . Uk what ant gun goof balls use for prime excuse have gun control can not do after roits took place there of late. Just for fact prove there was enough police go round stop what happen there. Infact of note news media over here did spend alot time over there cover story may becuase did show rosey pic how well ant gun control work over there in UK.

  15. As the first writer to sign on with the Good Ship Farago, indulge me if you will, and allow me to put in my two cents…

    When we started writing TTAG, neither Robert nor I came from a “gun background.” Both of us were relatively new to guns, but both of us were experienced writers (RF more so than me). Most gun publications employ writers who have seen everything, done everything, and know everything. (Well, at least that’s how they seemed to me.) We’re different. We’ve acknowledged from the get-go that we don’t know everything, and in our quest to tell The Truth About Guns, we’re willing to make some mistakes – and own up to them when we do. Our first month, I think we had 100 readers. Not 100 per day. 100 readers. Period. It takes some serious cojones to stick to something when you’re a lone voice in the wilderness. Today, TTAG gets around 30,000+ page views per day. That’s a lot of growth in just a year and a half. There’s got to be a reason we’re the fastest-growing gun blog out there. And if you ask me, it’s because I think we’ve struck a chord in the gun community.

    See, one thing that we understand (coming from this as marketing guys and writers) is that sites where everybody agrees with you can get to be pretty boring, pretty quickly. On the other hand, having contrarian voices pipe up now and then makes for some pretty lively discussions ’round these parts. add in our willingness to present stories from those who take the other side, and you have a blog that makes for some compelling reading.

    What struck me as RF shared the correspondance that triggered this little dust-up, was that it reminded me of an old Twilight Zone episode – the one entitled The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street. The story centered around a boy who was reading a pulp story about an alien invasion, and how they cut the power to a city to isolate them. Then their street loses power. Soon, power comes back on – but only for one home. Then another resident car starts – without turning the key. It doesn’t take long before the residents are all accusing each other of being alien infiltrators in disguise. The scene devolves into open warfare with neighbor killing neighbor. The payoff at the end is when the camera cuts to two aliens watching the action from a nearby vantage point. They discuss how easy it is to defeat the humans, by letting them fight amongst themselves.

    To put it another way, as Pogo once said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” If we spend all our time fragging fellow supporters of our 2nd Amendment rights, we’ll lose. Gun Rights is – and should be – a big tent. Hunters, self-defense proponents, Constitutionalists, sportsmen, and those who want to keep our government in check can and should agree that we’re better off with the right to keep and bear arms. For any gun rights group to attack another is not a wining strategy.

    I agree with RF – we don’t exist to placate the other gun blogs. If they want to blacklist us, that’s their prerogative, and their right to do so. It’s also a big mistake. We’re on to something here. We didn’t get here because of them, and we won’t get to where we are going by kow-towing down to them.

    So now back to that voodoo that we do, so well.

  16. I bought my first firearm in 2010. I’ve been reading your site regularly since then. It is my favorite gun blog. Keep up the good work! You guys are great.

  17. You lost me at “God given right”. It is a funny thought, though “tooth fairy”or “Zeus” would be more relevant.

      • I’m not an Atheist blogger but I am an Atheist and I read TTAG everyday, multiple times a day. I’m am also gun, owner, rights advocate, self-defense advocate, etc, etc. TTAG is one of the best, most insightful blogs I read.

        That said…

        It bothers me when people bring religion into a debate where it need not be. The deep rooted religious ideology is what keeps me from supporting various gun rights groups with my money – most of them would likely not give me the time of day if they knew I didn’t believe in their god.

        I’ve written to a couple of gun rights groups asking them to realize that there are Atheists (typically thought to be left leaning) who support gun rights and it might behoove of them to tone down the religious rhetoric. You do not need to invoke your god to support the Second Amendment, or an individual’s right to defend themselves. “God given right” my ass. God hasn’t given you or me anything. Good men and women have fought and died to protect our rights, intrinsic rights that exist outside of any religious ideology. To bring in religious ideology, fairy tails, into the argument only muddles the issue and alienates people who would otherwise be fighting with you.

        The view of the “gun world” from outside is of old, fat, white, religious zealots. I’d like that to change.

        TTAG has so far been pretty good at keeping religion out of the issue. But that stupid “God given right” phrase pops up every-now-and-then. It’s annoying.

        I felt then, as I do now, that the unexamined belief is not worth holding.

        I’m sure you see the irony that in the following paragraph you invoke god…

        • It is impossible to prove the negative; for instance, I can say that I have an invisible, fire-breathing unicorn in my apartment. Prove it’s not there. I invite you to prove the positive. Please refrain from using your religious texts, as those have at best circular logic (God exists because the bible says so, and the bible is god’s word because he said it is – it’s right there in the bible! Circular.)

        • I don’t think Rebecca’s point was that it’s all relative: it seems to me she’s saying the burden of proof is on the believer.

          In any case, I don’t think this is the place for a religious debate. As an atheist gun owner myself, I’ve long since gotten in the habit of taking the phrase “god-given right” as a metaphor for human right or natural right and getting on with my day.

          Adam made some good points about inclusiveness, but beyond that, I don’t see much reason for believers and non-believers to try to convert each other. At least not here.

        • Do you even know what you are talking about?

          Don’t throw around stupid stuff like this seriously.

          His argument is its not a God given right, and that brave men and women(huh?) are who give us our 2nd amendment right.

          Which is a easy argument to dismiss. Its called every country has a military. Not every country has 2nd amendment rights.

        • Good post. I particularly agree with this part: ““God given right” my ass. God hasn’t given you or me anything. Good men and women have fought and died to protect our rights, intrinsic rights that exist outside of any religious ideology.” Well said.

        • Atheism is your personal position, a belief not to believe. Why seek to remove God all around you, then? Other people have faith, and it offends you when they publicly state it?
          You are in the minority in the US, Europe probably the other way around. It’s OK to align with secular points of view, but it’s not reasonable to expect TTAG to adopt a position not shared by a majority of US residents, where the 2nd amendment applies.

        • “Good men and women have fought and died to protect our rights, intrinsic rights that exist outside of any religious ideology.”

          If there is no God, then there is no such thing as intrinsic rights or any other rights for that matter. Our laws, rules, and rights would be nothing but man-made agreements by the majority of society (i.e. those with all the power). Since your rights are defined by law, all it takes is a new group of men and women come along and change the law (ex: make it illegal to own a gun) and your rights just changed.

          Also, for people who are truly devout in their belief in a supreme God, there is no separation in their lives. God has relevance in everything. To remove or omit God from any area or activity of their life, would be to deny him and therefore counter to their faith.

      • What I think is important for atheists or people with other beliefs to realize is one thing… that the state is not where we get our rights. We derive our rights from our humanity or our God (or god[s]). However you want to see it. I believe that we as individuals have rights. These liberties include free speech, freedom of association, freedom to own property, freedom to defend one’s property and livelihood, freedom from coercion… The arms that we use are part of it (if there were no guns this site could be called The Truth About Crossbows or something).

        If our rights were something that the State granted to us on a piece of paper then they would only be as strong as the parchment on which they were inked. Not only that but what the State gives it can definitely take away (not to include a Biblical reference or anything).

        Let’s not get caught up in the minutiae of someone’s language in describing an essential liberty. We are indeed on the same side here.

        • Doesn’t “God-given right” infer that that since rights are given to us by God then they are not given to us by another entity (like government), therefore they cannot be taken away by government.

          Religious obsession is stupid; please stop it.

  18. I think this site is a great forum for politics and debates. I will say that I do go elsewhere for pure information on the use, treatment and basic use of any firearms/laws I am not familiar with. There is, as I have found, many armchair experts on this site. There are a lot of folks with good knowledge and hands on understanding of things (sighting, cleaning, testing) I like to know of (Cujo, Ralph, and Nick, to mention a few that come to mind) but by and large the site is fueled by politics and drama – it happens to be the reason I don’t bother with the site as much anymore.

  19. I don’t know why other gun blogs should care about your content. It’s none of their business. Seems very Junior High cafeteria.

    • I used to like Junior High Cafeteria.

      Tater tots, green beans, pizza squares, and ice cream sandwiches. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm………………Tater tots……………..

  20. I was curious to the fact that for 9 articles I would read, I would agree with the post or become better informed and on the 10th, I would wonder “what the …….?”. While I do support our freedom of speech ( I defended it for 20+ years ), I wonder if a continuation of allowing gun grabbers to post might require a web site name change to The truth about Guns and some other B.S.?

        • I was only as vague as Boats1 with his silly suggestion about changing the name to “The truth about Guns and some other B.S.”

          Robert and Rebecca, did you really not understand what I meant because it was too “vague?” It’s the old idea that there’s some good in the worst of us and some bad in the best of us. Same goes for the comments on this blog. That’s what I think anyway.

  21. So we’ve established that TTAG is open to examining multiple views on gun issues. Here’s what amazes/confuses me: Robert uses the phrase “God-given right,” and it’s like throwing gasoline on a fire for our readers that consider themselves atheists. Why?

    Robert is Jewish. I’m a Christian. Know how many times we’ve gotten into a knock-down, hand-to-hand, winner-take-all debate over religion? It’s never happened. Not once. Zero. Bupkis. Nil. Nyet. Why not? I mean, it’s not like Jews and Christians haven’t had their little dust-ups over the years. I think it’s because we both take a “live and let live” attitude, and are willing to “agree to disagree” on religion. I respect RF. A lot. He’s a great writer, a dedicated entrepreneur, and a good friend. I don’t agree with everything he says, but I’m sure he feels exactly the same way about me. But here’s the thing – he has a right to his beliefs. I have a right to disagree with him. TTAG is his baby. I feel honored to be allowed to play with his toys on a daily basis. But I don’t try and play over at ‘his house,’ and then tell him that he’s a schmuck for not believing what I believe. Nor does he mock my beliefs that differ from his.

    I can tell you that I know quite a few people that are atheists. I can also tell you that I’ve lost a couple of friends – close friends – over their attitudes towards my religion. In my experience, I’ve found Christians and Jews to be MUCH more tolerant of other viewpoints regarding spirituality than atheists. Dramatically more tolerant, in fact. I’ve found many atheists to be amazingly thin-skinned, intolerant, and downright mean, when the subject of religion comes up. Again, I ask “why”? I’m pretty secure in my beliefs. I don’t find a need to defend them unless I am provoked by someone mocking them to the point of rudeness. If someone writes about “Earth Mother” or “Zeus” I don’t go all Cotton Mather on them. Doesn’t bother me one bit. Why are atheists generally so touchy? Seriously, does the phrase “God-given right” really send you into an apoplectic fit? And why do you feel as if this site needs to edit out any and all references to religion? Dear God, (sorry) our money says “In God We Trust” on it? Is that a problem for you?

    If you’re going to take that attitude, where does it end? We have several TTAG readers that are in gender roles that are not the ‘de facto standard,’ man + woman thing. I don’t see anybody mocking them here. They have a right to live their lives as they like. And frankly, if someone here did flame them, they’d get banned just as quickly as someone that flames another reader or writer for any other reason. And that’s as it should be. So why should someone’s belief in God be any different?

    People, let’s not take ourselves too seriously. Let’s all agree, we’re not going to mock your beliefs (unless you’re a gun-grabber – it’s open season ’round here on YOU guys), and howzabout you acknowledge (tacitly is fine) that we’re entitled to our beliefs. That work for you?

      • Durn Right. I come from a Scots-Irish background, which means my family got kicked out of two perfectly good countries because we couldn’t play nice with the state religion.

        Oh, and we were probably cattle rustlers. That too.


    • Yes. The whole judgment/persecution thing goes both ways. Thankfully/fortunately 😉 we live in a country where there is room for all kinds.

    • “howzabout you acknowledge (tacitly is fine) that we’re entitled to our beliefs.”

      Yes, we are all entitled to our beliefs, then howzabout you acknowledge (tacitly is fine) that we’re not entitled to use our beliefs to justify our positions.

      I really do not care what you believe in, I just do not want you or anyone else to use it as a justification of your position.

      Yes, “In God We Trust” bothers me, “Under God” bothers me also, both are/were knee jerk reactions to perceived threats. Something that we are all too aware of when it comes to our 2A rights.

      • “…we’re not entitled to use our beliefs to justify our positions. “

        Of course we’re entitled to do that, why on Earth wouldn’t we be? Everyone uses their beliefs to justify their positions, atheists included.

        “Yes, “In God We Trust” bothers me, “Under God” bothers me…”

        Well, your fellow atheist here is saying you need to get over that. More than 92% of the country believes in some kind of god and that’s unlikely to change in your lifetime. If it makes them feel better to say “in God we trust” and it’s not hurting me any (which it isn’t) I don’t see what the big deal is.

        • I can’t imagine any scenario where, under a representative or democratic government, a 92% majority wouldn’t rule. Can you?

          But more to the point let’s use your own logic. You say that the religious shouldn’t alienate athiests who share the same core beliefs, and I agree. But that’s gotta go both ways, because they can get along without us a lot easier than we could get along without them. So I believe in picking my battles, and “in god we trust” just does not strike me as being worth fighting over.

        • I agree that the “in god we trust thing” is not a huge issue… should it be printed on government issued money? I would say no because it stands as a government endorsement of a religious icon. But it does not keep me awake at night.

          My point though is that just because 92% of the population (BTW – cite your source) believes in god does not make it right to force that belief on the other 8%.

        • I used this site specifically:

          But if you google “number atheists USA” you’ll see a wide range of sources that put the American atheist population at between 3% and 11%.

          And no one here is trying to force their beliefs on us. No one is trying to force us to worship or doing anything else in violation of the 1st Amendment.

        • @James Felix

          You were speaking of the issue of religions verbiage on money and in the pledge. I was speaking to that. I was not saying that anyone here on TTAG was forcing anything.

        • Oh I know, that’s what I’m referring to as well. I think you and I have the bar for “forcing a belief on us” set at different heights.

        • To a certain extent, The Majority does rule. You as an individual have the right to protest, yell, scream and claw your face if it makes you feel better.

        • “Everyone uses their beliefs to justify their positions”

          So the belief of a perceived communist threat can make me change the way I pledge my allegiance to my country and how my money is made, and you have no problem with that.

          But, someone has a perceived threat of gun violence and wants to ban firearms and that is a problem?

          I think the problem is a consistency of reasoning or lack thereof on all sides.

      • “In God We Trust bothers me, Under God bothers me also, both are/were knee jerk reactions to perceived threats. Something that we are all too aware of when it comes to our 2A rights”


        A big +1 on that point… a lot of people forget, or aren’t even aware that much of the god mentions on our money, in the pleadge etc. stemmed from the red scares in the ’50’s

    • Brad,

      As an atheist I can say that I see both sides to this issue. There are some fairly thin skinned atheists, and there are some overzealous atheists as well.

      I think there are a few reasons for this.

      1. in the name of building community or multiculturalism many people choose to say god (little g) as in some god not necessarily my god but whichever god you might believe (the boy scouts do this when they literally say the only people that can not participate are atheists). I think this attitude can be a bit frustrating because it essentially says that everyone else is worth acknowledging and including except atheists. Seeing this very often can be grating especially when it is obvious what an under represented minority atheists sometimes are.

      2. We atheists are to some extent a product of their environment. Some of us had fairly permissive families that didn’t particularly care about religion and we just sort of came to atheism. Most of us however had much more negative experiences with religion and religious people in our lives. Fundamentalism seems to be more prevalent these days and pretty much guarantees that the majority of atheists have had to deal with someone preaching fire and brimstone at them. That can make it very difficult to take religious references with a grain of salt

      3. Finally I think that among atheists there is a much clearer understanding that ethics are extremely important. If you imply that some religion or some god has the market cornered on morals and ethics, then we are at the mercy of that religion to show us the truth and in many instances (because there are so many different takes on each religion) that backfires and you have theocratic zealots running the show. To say that something is a god given right opens the door for someone to say “well I talked to god, and he didn’t mean this when he was talking about rights” I think it is a much stronger more stable statement to say that some rights are pre-existing and due to all, and can never be touched by any government.

      As to the level of religious discourse…as I said I can only speak for me in saying that a little god talk here and there doesn’t bother me all that much, but if you want to be inclusive it’s something you all should think about. I can certainly understand why some of the other atheists are a bit touchy about the subject.

    • @Brad Kozak

      You misunderstand what I’m saying.

      All I’m saying is that religion, any religion, has no place in the debate over gun rights (it has little place in most debates). For a variety of reasons I think that it’s best to not bring it into the debate. The fact that the comments have strayed off into a debate over religion is a good example of why.

      Your not supposed to mix bleach and ammonia for a reason.

      Example – you may say you have a “god given right” to own a gun, but that means noting to me. It’s not a data point I can do anything with. You have to give me reasoning and data beyond your personal belief. Anecdote means noting if you can’t back it up with verifiable data. Your beliefs might inform your opinion one way or another but your beliefs are not in and of themselves facts.

      What do you do when someone comes up to you and says “I have a god given right to take your guns.”. Where does it end?

      It’s not that it offends me when someone refers to god, it annoys me because it can’t be used as a debating point – “god given right” means nothing to me – and it can alienate people (Atheists and people of differing faiths) when religious ideology is thrown into the debate. In the fight for gun rights I think we need as many allies as we can get, best not to alienate anyone.

      I don’t care what god anyone believes in, I really don’t. I’m a former (recovering?) Christian, I’m not out to offend anyone. I’m all about live and let live. Most atheists are. I draw a distinct line concerning issues of Church and State but I really don’t care what anyone else does so long as they are not harming others.

      I don’t think I mocked anyone – I referred to god, not even a specific god mind you, as being a fairy tail but that’s an opinion, much like I’m sure many think Zeus is a fairy tail. If someone referring to god, and not even your specific god, offends you then maybe you should be a little less “thin-skinned”.

      You asking me and other to not mock others while you mock us is a bit… hypocritical. You touting the virtues of open debate and then threatening to ban people of differing opinion/belief is a bit… what’s the word I’m looking for? Oh, yeah – hypocritical.

    • I agree completely. The First Amendment guarantees our freedom of religion, including a lack of any religion. I would never insult any religion or belief, including atheism. Why would I? Tearing someone else down does not build me up. It just makes me smaller.

  22. Why are atheists generally so touchy?

    Speaking as an atheist I don’t think we really are. The problem is that, as it is with the religious faithful, it’s the screaming madmen who catch your attention and stick in your memory. The overwhelming majority of perfectly nice atheists who aren’t interested in your faith one way or the other have no reason to register on your radar. Either that or you’ve been very unlucky in the ones you’ve come across.

  23. Boycotting the other side of the debate is only useful if your goal is preaching to the converted.

    If someone comes here who’s on the fence or knows nothing about firearms I want them to see comments from people like MikeB, because the best way to discredit their arguments is to simply let rational people get a look at them.

    • I honestly don’t think that’s true, James. It’s a witty slap at me, but think about it for a minute. If there are two sides and some folks on the fence. Doesn’t it stand to reason some are gonna fall on my side, you know the delusional ones like me, the ones who hate freedom and all that.

      Don’t you think?

      • “Doesn’t it stand to reason some are gonna fall on my side, you know the delusional ones like me, the ones who hate freedom and all that.

        I believe I addressed that in my original comment :

        “…the best way to discredit their arguments is to simply let rational people get a look at them.” (emphasis added)

        As to the irrational, your side is welcome to them.

      • “Doesn’t it stand to reason some are gonna fall on my side, you know the delusional ones like me, the ones who hate freedom and all that.”

        And wouldn’t it also stand to reason that some of those individuals would comment on this blog in support of your positions. Yet, all I see is you and your co-blogger Magold.

  24. Perhaps the reason that Robert and Brad believe in God is the reason that they might reference God in their articles here. In case any of you haven’t realized it yet, TTAG is not nor is it represented as journalism, it’s all editorials. Editorials are the author’s opinion. Are you guys catching on to this?

    TTAG is, as has been stated repeatedly, an open forum. If it so offends you to treat gun rights as an inalienable right descended from a higher being, then write your own article about it and submit it to TTAG. They’ll publish it. That would be a far better and more effective way of getting your point across rather than bitch and moan (INVISIBLE PINK UNICORNS! I’M UNSUBSCRIBING!) about it in the comments section.

      • You know what’s funny? The actual Rep. Carolyn McCarthy had me removed from a town hall meeting in 1996 because I pointed out that she wanted to ban something she couldn’t define, that being assault rifles. I have no problem believing that she’d actually say something like this.

        Adam has a point though, Ma’am. Saying it’s an open forum and then castigating someone for using it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

  25. Representing two sides of a debate does two things. It either affirms your beliefs, and bring to light some of your own darkness.

    When the second happens (and it should, not everything is truth or you know everything) you do your research instead of going to a corner and yelling bloody murder at the other side. When you’re done with your research, you’ll be better off.

    It’s what these people boycotting you are doing. They aren’t so different from ivory towered grabbers themselves. They’re just in another tower.

  26. If I might be permitted to play devil’s advocate for a moment…

    Without knowing where to find the other side’s [the gun blogs who have blacklisted TTAG] version of why this kerfluffle happened, none of the non-TTAG insiders can claim to know the whole story.

    We only have one side of it. While I appreciate the desire to avoid picking fights, every TTAG reader deserves the opportunity to hear the other side of this story.

      • How many blogs are we talking about?

        I mean, the internet is a big place. There is bound to be at least one person pissed off about any blog, who refuses to go there. Look at how many people refuse to visit Little Green Footballs since the owner went off his meds.

        I, for one, will not visit or link to a particular gunblog whose glass-house-dwelling owner said some snotty things about my co-blogger and I when we first started out. But that is one blog, and there was a specific reason for my steering clear of it. I wouldn’t call that a blacklist, more like “live and let live”.

        If someone put me onto a blacklist of some sort, I would want to know how many people were part of this blacklist, and what their reason for creating the blacklist was. If it was one lone blogger, who cares? And if the reason was stupid or incoherent, well, who cares about them?

        But, if it’s a bunch of people, and their complaint has merit, I would need to re-examine what I was doing. And that’s tough to do. The one person that we should never lie to is ourselves.

  27. I got here from, one of the better aggregator blogs of firearms links, IMHO. I got to his website years ago from Kim du Toit’s blog, now retired from the internet. I got to Kim’s from, and found him from, IIRC. I have spent hours daily, over years and years reading blogs, often pro-gun blogs, and some anti-gun blogs (when I could stand the folderol they serve) even the eponymously syndromic Joan Peterson’s blog.

    Joan Peterson has not been blacklisted by pro-gun bloggers, and she is a person incapable of determining the truth or falsity of a statement with a guidebook, expert assistance, and neon lights to mark the way. Why would you think your blog would be blacklisted if hers is not?

    That your blog is ignored may not be a blacklisting, it may be lack of interest.

  28. Huh. Never knew anything about a blacklist. Just never saw anything worth linking to here. But then again, I am pretty new to the blogging thing.

    But this is not a nice first impression.

  29. I won’t link to you because you do not respect intellectual property rights and you have been caught lying about it in the past.

    I don’t link to MikeB302000 (and I mock his comments and suggest he go away) because he’s a liar and hostile to basic human rights.

    “Freedom of speech” means you can have any forum you can afford — a blog, for instance. It doesn’t mean you have any right to expect links from anyone — and certainly doesn’t mean you can steal their content.

    –And don’t come on all confused. Tam K lives in my attic.

    • The post in question was a mistake. We scraped too much content. I have apologized to the author there, and I do so again here.

      TTAG adheres to the principle of fair use. This was a regrettable exception. It won’t happen again.

      Also, I don’t believe that anyone has an obligation to link to us ever. I simply feel that the policy of not linking to sites that link to pro-gun control sites (or not linking directly to pro-gun controls sites) is a practice that should be exposed, especially as it affects the readers’ ability to discern the truth. As the editorial maintains.

      • “Exposed?” It was never hidden — and never a formal policy except as individual bloggers decided for themselves.

        I have seen you repost entire (different) articles from the same blogger twice — and get snippy when called on it.

        You’re a lousy netizen. If folks don’t like you much, you earned it fair and square. Man up and accept it.

        • “I have seen you repost entire (different) articles from the same blogger twice — and get snippy when called on it.”

          Links? Again, this is NOT our policy. I will clean up any violations and ensure against future ones. More than that I can not do.

  30. “…The Land of Hope and Glory didn’t sacrifice freedom of speech on the altar of expediency and ideological purity. Unfortunately, American gun blogs have adopted the Thatcherite position on gun control advocacy . . .

    For years, some members of the gun blogging community has(sic) followed an unwritten rule regarding websites antagonistic to the Second Amendment: no links…”

    This example of blogarbage is moronically and eminently-mockably incorrect on several levels:

    1) It represents a total misunderstanding/misinterpretation of what Margaret Thatcher stated,

    2) It attempts to expound upon the existence of an “unwritten rule” that not only exists exclusively in the somewhat-fevered imagination of the writer (and perhaps that of his alleged “good authority”), but is clearly controverted by visible evidence,

    3) And, finally, it leads into what is a clearly absurd misapprehension of the plain meaning of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

    If you wish to achieve even some small measure of actual enlightenment re: Thatcher and her statements or the aforementioned First Amendment, you must revisit each in turn – try to do so without the confusion you presently exhibit obscuring what each actually means.

    Unfortunately, I fear that you will have great difficulty with this – since, currently, you appear to be such a fool as to be beyond understanding that you are being foolish, and are therefore totally incorrect in what you wrote.

    Consider, if you will, the simple fact: No one, either pro- or anti-gun (or even somewhere in between) is or should be under any sort of obligation via the freedom of speech principles expounded in the First Amendment to provide any sort of forum to those who oppose their views. This includes “links” to the opposition’s statements and/or locations.

    Conversely: No one, either favorable to or in opposition to your particular viewpoint(s) or statement(s) is obliged to afford you any such “link” – though they may do so if they so choose.

    “I simply feel that the policy of not linking to sites that link to pro-gun control sites (or not linking directly to pro-gun controls sites) is a practice that should be exposed, especially as it affects the readers’ ability to discern the truth.”

    That is quite obviously not what you wrote, nor is it, objectively, what you appear to have intended to mean.

    And your “good authority” (if such actually exists) is full of bull excrement, to put it politely.

    Best of luck with TTAG – with your current attitude, you’re going to need all you can get.

  31. Forgive me for dropping in..I won’t be back. But this has to be probably one of the dumbest threads I’ve ever perused. Since I have a “gun blog” (so to speak) that probably no one knows about, I guess I should be pissed off that TTAG has not linked to my blog. Got something against me, dude? What’s your problem, anyway?

    Did that sound stupid? It should have. I link to a lot of other blogs, but not yours. And after looking at TTAG, I figure I won’t waste my time. And that is NOT black-listing you; I’m just not going to give anyone a “click” to a blog I don’t like. If I wanted to black-list you, I’d start posting articles detrimental to your views and telling others to stay away from you. I’d deliberately bad-mouth you and point out your “obvious weakness for pro-gun control groups.”

    It sounds to me like you’re a spoiled child who doesn’t think it’s fair because he’s not included in the group he’d like to be a part of, so he cries “foul” and “unfair.” And then the spin-off to religious stuff just made the whole argument turn “nut-so.” I hope you find someone who will link to your site, since so many of us are obviously against you and your ideas. Good luck!


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