Going back to our "forum roots"
I guess this is another of "those posts" where it's necessary for me to encourage our members to read the rules and understand what we are all about. This time, I'm not going to send the whole membership back through the rules to make the few that are breaking them comply. Instead, if things don't improve rather quickly, I am going to direct forum staff to start vigorously enforcing our rules in such a way that many of you will decide this is not where you want to be.
Specifically, we have been having a large number of threads that fall into the following categories that are becoming devisive and sidetracking us from the intent and purpose of the forum:
1. Open Carry vs Concealed Carry. While most of us have no problem with those that open carry (including myself), there always seems to be those that would like to argue the virtues of one method of carry over another. Since adding an open carry area to our forum, we strongly discourage arguments over which is the "better way" to carry. If you feel strongly that one way (or the other) is the only way to carry, please understand that we routinely delete arguments and comments meant to demean the opposing method or "evangelize" your belief on the rest of us. I am getting extremely tired of these arguments working themselves into the forum on a daily basis. They drive a wedge between many of our members and that is not going to be allowed to happen. Our trademark is civility and those that come here to introduce chaos will not be tolerated. People need to keep in mind that we are all, ultimately, on the same side and agree to disagree on the concealed vs. open carry debate without going for each others throats.
I am tempted to say, as before, that we are a concealed carry forum, but have come to realize that the argumentative few among you will say, "Yeah, then why do we discuss shotguns and rifles?" To leave that argument behind I will say, instead, quite strongly, "We are NOT an open carry forum" and leave it at that. There are other forums, with open carry as their focus where these posts would be more applicable.
If you want to discuss open carry topics, I would encourage you to, as suggested above, to post them on a forum that focuses on open carry. Starting today, all threads that are primarily meant to extol the virtues of open carry will be removed without warning or apology from me or forum staff. If you feel so strongly about open carry that you cannot, or will not, refrain from trying to force us to include open carry in our focus, you will probably not be here much longer.
2. Bashing Law Enforcement Officers. I will preface this by saying that I have never been a paid, full time law enforcement officer. I have been, in the past, a reserve police officer, which took the respect I have for them to a whole new level. I, personally, found it interesting how I could be treated normally when I was serving in my regular job, but be cussed at, spit on and attacked once I put the uniform on. Law enforcement is made up of people like you and me and should be treated individually rather than as a group.
Statistically, there are some officers that are bad, just like there are permit holders that are bad. If someone came on and started bashing permit holders, in general, our entire membership would weigh in on the argument. Bash a "cop" on the forum and it is like pouring blood into shark infested waters. Emotions and reactions often come pouring out like acid. The factions then seem to get drawn into a battle line and tensions get even higher. The "us and them" attitude comes into play and downhill we go. Many of you, without question, apply the bad experiences you (or friends, or friends of friends) have had with law enforcement to everyone that puts on the uniform.
This has never passed muster here, and never will. The specific DC forum that includes law enforcement in it's focus is not meant to be a place to jump up on a self-righteous pulpit and start ripping law enforcement apart. These threads are also starting to divide the forum membership into factions and need to stop and you will find our tolerance to these kinds of posts to be at an end. I encourage you to take it somewhere else.
3. Second Amendment Issues. I am very concerned about our 2A rights as are our staff and most of our members. I have, from the first day the forum opened, felt it was important to have an area to discuss these topics. For 3 years, we have had little problems in this area, but something seems to be evolving in this area that I don't like. It has surfaced in several threads here recently and although some of you may think it's constructive, I don't. What I'm referring to is the "in your face" style of confrontation and "civil disobedience" being applied to 2A issues. I believe this method of carrying on is damaging to us, as gun owners, and I want the forum to have nothing to do with it. The place to challenge 2A issues is in the state and federal legislature, not out on the streets.
Related to this, if you have a "rights" situation that occured while you were legally concealed carrying you are welcome to post about it here; we want to hear about it. But, if you were out looking to create a situation or broke a law (whether you agree with the law or not) to make some kind of political statement, it will not be allowed to run. We have always been focused on the forum in presenting a responsible, law abiding face to those that would attack gun rights. We have the Constitution on our side and should apply our energy to arguments to Federal and State legislatures and the voting booth rather than trying to set the whole world on fire, burning up the progress we have made so far.
If you believe the "in your face" approach is the way to go, by all means be my guest, but there are other forums that it would be more appropriatley placed in. This is not the place. If that seems intolerable to you, you may also want to consider another forum home.
If the tone of this thread makes you think I am about at the end of my string, you're correct. I am. While it may sound harsh; it's harsh reality as far as this forum is concerned.
New members often get the impression that this is simply another "no holds barred" gun forum and it isn't. New members are always welcome here, of course, but the forum is fairly narrow in it's focus and may not be the best place to advance an individual agenda. I encourage new members, and old ones that have forgotten, to take some time to familarize yourself of what goes and what doesn't go in the forum and respect that whether you agree or disagree. If you are here to "stir the pot", exercise your rights or specifically like heated debate and arguments, I will also encourage you to take this elsewhere. Most of our members like the forum the way it is (or was?) and we're going to maintain our original vision and mission. I expect we will lose some members over the stance I am taking. I expect it, I am prepared for it and I believe will be stronger as a result of it. Any loud and bold oratory on your part before throwing yourself on a sword will be promptly removed from the forum.
You're welcome to open another thread, in this forum to voice your opinion, but I will tell you my tolerance is zero right now for dissent or ignoring the intent of this thread. The forum rules will be modified over the next day or so to accurately reflect how strong my feelings are on these "issues".
This is my line in the sand......