Randy Cassingham's "This is TRUE"


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pax
May 5, 2003, 01:29 PM
From the April 27 copy of This is TRUE email. Subscriptions are available at www.thisistrue.com

Please note the material below is copyrighted, and is quoted here under the fair-use laws for discussion purposes only.
LAST WEEK I RAN several stories of women refusing to be crime victims; they protected themselves with guns (twice) and a baseball bat (once). I theorized that I'd get a lot of angry mail. I tried to blunt that a bit by running a letter from one of the Premium subscribers, Paul in New Jersey, who challenged readers with "I wonder whether you'll get any arguments that are NOT based on fear, ignorance, and junk science."

There wasn't much. There were plenty of people who accused me of being "pro-gun". While it's nice to have a change from being accused of being anti-whatever, it's not much of an improvement. VERY few of the letter writers understood that the stories and commentary weren't pro or con anything at all; they were, rather, meant to do what TRUE does second best: provoke thought and debate. (I'd like to think that its "first- best" function is to provide entertainment.)

Yet here's a few examples of the kind of mail I got. David in Illinois: "You've crossed the line from amusing to propagandist, and so I'm going to unsubscribe." John in the U.K.: "I've enjoyed your fairly level- headed and straight view of the world until you got on to the NRA podium and took up the good old American 'I've got a gun therefore I'm right' attitude. I'm unsubscribing." Duane in Ontario, Canada was eloquent with: "You a--hole, take a look at the murder stats. I actually feel sorry for people like you. People who don't recognize that their need for guns is their own fear and inadequacy." Yeah, name-calling is a thoughtful debate technique! Let alone jumping to conclusions: I have a "need for guns" because of my "fear and inadequacy"? Gee: I haven't carried a gun since I was a sworn sheriff's deputy, and that lack has caused me no negative emotions whatever. No, the emotion here is quite obviously Duane's.

Most people didn't bother to write, but just voted with their feet --
*hundreds* of people unsubscribed, which I just can't quite understand. They love the stories in issue after issue, but when ONE issue has a two or three stories that hit a hot button for them, even though the stories take NO position whatever on the topic, they can't stand the thought of debating the issue -- they have to run and hide their eyes from the possibility that someday there might be another one. That's awfully sad; they can't just enjoy the stories they like and skip the ones they don't? Who loses? They do. And society loses when its voters can't risk the chance of witnessing a brief debate on an important topic. Oh well -- I tried, even though I knew what would happen.

I really did get a huge amount of VERY interesting mail, including some thoughts on why I shouldn't have been surprised by the reaction. Normally by now I'd have the letters up on a page on TRUE's web site, but since I'm out of town I'm quite behind on things, so watch for a URL next week. The page will have the three stories in question too, so (if you missed or forgot them) you can judge for yourself if people went overboard. Sorry to be a tease, but when you're meeting and schmoozing 17 hours a day for several days straight, something has to give....


Up until this point, I've gotten only the freebie edition from him. But I'm signing up for a Premium (eg paid) subscription, and telling him why. Anyone want to join me?

pax

REGARDING THE "UPSKIRT" story, I hear that the public outcry over the politicking caused the Washington politicians to get the bill passed -- proving once again that an angry block of voters can get the right thing done. Now all I have to do is get enough people mad about "zero tolerance" and.... -- Randy Cassingham

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jsalcedo
May 5, 2003, 01:37 PM
Thanks I'm subscribing too.

Since when is telling the truth propaganda?

Does everyone crave being told how to think?

This guy needs our support.

MonkeyMan
May 5, 2003, 02:10 PM
I'm with you. I've been reading "True" for a while and this morning when I read about the grief he's gotten for having the audacity to "print" positive uses of firearms I went and signed up for a year. I also sent him a note telling him why.

Powderman
May 5, 2003, 02:27 PM
Just subscribed. This should be fun! :D

dav
May 5, 2003, 05:53 PM
Thanks, Pax.

I'm not sure I'll really be able to stand the frustration of reading too many 'true' stories of the idiocies people can manage. But I'm subscribing, too.

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity!

pax
May 10, 2003, 02:00 AM
More on the subject, from this week's edition:
SPEAKING OF LARGE VOLUMES of e-mail, I'm *still* not caught up with the mail I've received about guns. It was sparked by three stories two weeks ago, which led to hundreds of the free edition subscribers canceling their subscriptions. (Only one Premium subscriber did.) Those three stories, and the most interesting of the responses I've read so far, are posted at http://www.thisistrue.com/guns2.html

A number of people predicted that those hundreds of unsubscribes would be more than made up for by people who *liked* the stories and passed the issue around. That hasn't happened. In the two weeks since the 20 April issue, despite nearly 1000 new subscriptions, the subscriber count is still down by 381 people. (That doesn't at all mean 1400 people quit in anger; some number quit every week, and I have Lyris set to automatically delete addresses it can't deliver to two weeks in a row. But such a trend down is certainly atypical.) So to those who have told me how word of mouth will replace those people, my reply is: saying so won't make it happen. I need *your* support to make up for the exodus. Please do help spread the word about TRUE. If you really loved those three stories about women protecting themselves rather than lying down to become victims of criminals, a good start is to point people to the web page noted above and give your encouragement to subscribe. Thanks!

Which is what I've done. Btw, really interesting letters page at http://www.thisistrue.com/guns2.html -- well worth the read.

pax

People who object to weapons aren't abolishing violence, they're begging for rule by brute force, when the biggest, strongest animals among men were always automatically 'right.' Guns ended that, and social democracy is a hollow farce without an armed populace to make it work. -- L. Neil Smith

MicroBalrog
May 10, 2003, 05:38 AM
SPEAKING OF LARGE VOLUMES of e-mail, I'm *still* not caught up with the
mail I've received about guns. It was sparked by three stories two
weeks ago, which led to hundreds of the free edition subscribers
canceling their subscriptions. (Only one Premium subscriber did.) Those
three stories, and the most interesting of the responses I've read so
far, are posted at http://www.thisistrue.com/guns2.html

A number of people predicted that those hundreds of unsubscribes would
be more than made up for by people who *liked* the stories and passed
the issue around. That hasn't happened. In the two weeks since the 20
April issue, despite nearly 1000 new subscriptions, the subscriber
count is still down by 381 people. (That doesn't at all mean 1400
people quit in anger; some number quit every week, and I have Lyris set
to automatically delete addresses it can't deliver to two weeks in a
row. But such a trend down is certainly atypical.) So to those who have
told me how word of mouth will replace those people, my reply is:
saying so won't make it happen. I need *your* support to make up for
the exodus. Please do help spread the word about TRUE. If you really
loved those three stories about women protecting themselves rather than
lying down to become victims of criminals, a good start is to point
people to the web page noted above and give your encouragement to
subscribe. Thanks!

Could (and should) we help?

joeislove
May 10, 2003, 08:19 AM
I subscribed. I've actually been forwarded a couple of this guy's articles by a friend of mine, and they're usually pretty interesting. In my subscription note, I mentioned that I found out about his pro-2A piece by reading a thread here at THR.

Don Gwinn
May 10, 2003, 08:30 AM
Sure, join up and tell your friends. I did, and I only joined because Pax told me about This Is True. Nothing wrong with supporting someone you think is doing a good job.

I still find it amazing that he lost so many more subscribers than he gained! Even by anti-gun soccer-mom standards, the stories he posted were pretty straightforward. The most tell response said, in part:

I am troubled by the implications: Is one completely responsible for one's own safety and protection? Are not law enforcement and criminal justice a function of civilized society?
Of course, to you and I it seems terribly obvious that human beings have always been ultimately responsible for their own safety and protection. She wouldn't hold the state responsible for protecting her from a tornado, she'd go into the basement. And she wouldn't wait for the firemen to carry her out of her burning house if she could run out herself (at least, I didn't!) But let a criminal appear and she has convinced herself that she has the right to sit dumbfounded hoping for rescue and still survive. Once she began to believe that, anything else became awfully scary. The only thing more scary than finding she was wrong about something so important would be the realization that she was wrong about it for years and only survived by dumb luck.

And of course, to you and I it would seem terribly obvious that "law enforcement" is only tangentially related to personal protection.

Maddock
May 10, 2003, 08:40 AM
Just subscribed. Seems pretty good.

larryw
May 10, 2003, 12:35 PM
This is True has been a weekly favorite for years; some of the funniest stories about Darwin Award winners you'll ever read. Randy also has a list called The Stella Awards named after the lady who dumped some McDonalds coffee in her lap and sued; care to guess the subject matter?

Everyone here should subscibe. As pax did, I'm upgrading my free subscription to paid and letting him know why.

BowStreetRunner
May 10, 2003, 01:25 PM
I took out a free subscription and sent the guy a well done email.....too bad some people get so upset over the truth
BSR

MikeK
May 10, 2003, 02:01 PM
I also subscribed (free) and mentioned THR and the self-defense stories. Maybe he needs a few thousand more to tip the scales.

TonyB
May 10, 2003, 04:40 PM
I signed up too.:cool:

If you enjoyed reading about "Randy Cassingham's "This is TRUE"" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!