Larger scale for THR-new idea-please provide your input


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Yo Mama
January 11, 2011, 03:45 PM
I have been really doing alot of thinking about inviting politicians to look at THR. Congresswoman McCartney's office was very receptive to the link, and I attempted to inform them that the website is intelligent, and provides responsible dialogue.

As Congresswoman McCartney's past history of anti-gun legislation demonstrates a passion for erradicating gun violence, I thought this web site does the best job of explaining our side of the issue rationally. As it is a passion, I would imagine that she may take the time to come here or at minimum have a staff member do so.

Your thoughts on my recommendation to her staff, as well as giving this information to your representatives. I think right now is a very important time to educate others on our need to continue addressing laws that will harm innocent victims instead of protecting them.

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BullfrogKen
January 11, 2011, 03:57 PM
I wouldn't expect busy staff members to come here unless they were already interested in the mission of THR.


Frankly, I'm not a proponent of recommending an internet discussion forum to someone as an answer to a question, unless the question is "what internet forum for _____?" I'd recommend you take the time the have a conversation, and tell them how you feel about an issue rather than telling their office to come here searching for it.

You educate them, personally. That makes a difference. Recommending an internet forum does not.

Rail Driver
January 11, 2011, 04:13 PM
... So then it's NOT a good idea to make a conscious effort to bring politicians and their staff members to THR, whatever their politics may be? Aside from the obvious defect of career, what makes them any less deserving of the referral?

I do see your point to the OP on doing the informing himself, and that's going to be a big step in getting them here... Discuss an issue or two with the person or people, and refer to threads here as well as other sources (ideally mostly sources that are reliable and traceable - no wiki anything). When/if they decide to check out the threads and read more into the issue, then we're here to show them we're not crazy gun toting anti-government militiamen, only American citizens banding together to defend ALL of our rights.

But back to my original point... It's never a bad idea to refer people to THR unless you're doing it just to point out all the petty arguments about mods locking threads and the 50k threads on 9mm vs. .45ACP or the drive-by news reports that are so prevalent.

Personally, I think the OP had a good idea in referring politicians and their staff here, though it needs a bit of polishing. In any case, the OP didn't refer the politician's office here as an answer to a question, but as an informational resource.

Yo Mama
January 11, 2011, 04:14 PM
See, my thought on this was I'm just calling, maybe a few others. I wanted to show it's definately not just me, and that there is a really great group to point to in showing that firearms are necessary.

Rail Driver
January 11, 2011, 04:18 PM
I wanted to show it's definately not me, and that there is a really great group to point to in showing that firearms are necessary.

I don't understand the highlighted part... :confused: Do you mean you're "definitely not" a person qualified to explain why firearms are necessary? I know I can come up with a lot of reasons just off the top of my head... Firearms are necessary to different people for many of the same reasons, but for many different reasons as well.

Yo Mama
January 11, 2011, 04:31 PM
^ sorry, fixed it, not just me :)

CoRoMo
January 11, 2011, 04:47 PM
I think they are smart people. They know that strict gun laws don't/won't affect violent crime rates. They know that criminals are not measurably affected by new legislation.

If they didn't know these facts, they would simply be ignorant, but most all of them are not at all ignorant. Which means they have an altogether different intention or motivation behind their agenda.

They want to control the liberties of those who will abide by the law, period.

BullfrogKen
January 11, 2011, 05:12 PM
... So then it's NOT a good idea to make a conscious effort to bring politicians and their staff members to THR, whatever their politics may be? Aside from the obvious defect of career, what makes them any less deserving of the referral?

It's not about someone's politics, or anything to do with their career choice.


It's about being effective. I don't even expect a politician to read a well-researched and documented briefing I might hand him or her about a proposed piece of legislation. Their staff might, but unless the representative has specific and personal interest in the matter, my experience has been they don't.

If I make an appointment I can usually get 10 to 15 minutes maximum to discuss a matter of interest. If I can tell they take interest, and need something more to go into the full committee with, I'll give them something well-prepared. What I won't do is waste a staffer's time with "go to this website", especially if that website is a general discussion forum.

Their time is valuable. But more importantly my credibility is more valuable. If I squander it, they won't pay attention to me anymore. It's not that this place isn't credible or valuable. It just isn't appropriate to give as a resource to a staffer when they need specific information on proposed legislation.

Put yourself in their shoes. They need good information to help them make their decision on the merits of supporting or opposing a bill. If they only pay attention to the demographics that will get them re-elected, you won't change their mind with facts. If they are interested in more than re-election demographics and actually want to make an informed decision, then they need a well laid out resource to find it. As good as THR is, this isn't that well laid out resource.

Carne Frio
January 11, 2011, 06:30 PM
Speaking for myself; I trust no one who wants to mess with
any of my rights, period. The constitution and it's amendments
should not be trifled with.

Yo Mama
January 11, 2011, 06:59 PM
Speaking for myself; I trust no one who wants to mess with
any of my rights, period. The constitution and it's amendments
should not be trifled with.

Sorry, but this is trivial. It means nothing if the elected officials we send don't agree with us. Hence this is an activism forum, vs. a Constitution forum.

coloradokevin
January 11, 2011, 07:25 PM
Personally, I think a discussion forums such as this one are a great place for enthusiasts to share an interest in a given topic. However, I think these forums are of limited value when it comes to shaping a law maker's agenda. Occasionally we get the opportunity to pass along information to people who haven't really thought much about this subject, and we often get an opportunity to provide educational information to new shooters who are interested in learning.

However, with that said, I agree with the others in saying that this isn't the best medium from which to sell a political agenda. The people who sit on the other side of the political fence have already formulated an opinion on the subject, and having access to a discussion forum filled with the opinions of enthusiasts is not likely to change their minds.

Put slightly differently, if you were against gun ownership, would you really be swayed by the following hypothetical thread titles (all of which have probably shown up around here repeatedly):

1) Which is the best gun for home defense against multiple attackers?
2) What assault rifle should I buy?
3) What ammo to use for bear defense?
4) What defense load do you recommend for my .44 Magnum?
5) The anti's are at it again!
6) Someone spotted my CCW gun today!
7) If I get in a shooting should I talk to the police?
8) How do I refuse a search?
9) How do I bury a gun for long-term storage?
10) What guns would you want if society collapsed?


Seriously, do you think those topics (all of which have repeatedly existed around here in one form or another) would really be the best avenue with which to convince an anti-gun politician to change their stance on this issue?

Personally, I think well-written letters from responsible gun owners have far more leverage than the bantering that usually exists on ANY website filled with energetic enthusiasts! In other words, would you be swayed by an invitation to visit a web forum that was being run by the VPC or the Brady Campaign?

hso
January 11, 2011, 07:34 PM
Another politician who hasn't based their carrer on getting rid of all guns might get some benefit from coming here, but even the most junior Congresscritter has a huge number of resources at their fingertips to gather facts and educate themselves on an issue. With those resources at their disposal they don't have much need to go elsewhere for information. The other problem is that we're not their constituants so it is difficult to persuade them that paying attention to our opinions and our facts is important to them.

Where your idea has the greatest merit is with websites based on grassroots RKBA groups within the Congresscritters district or state. A local group similar to THR would be important to the elected officials in their area of influence and could get their attention very well if they coupled real face to face meetings like BullfrogKen described with a very active internet based state/local group.

benEzra
January 11, 2011, 08:10 PM
Hmmm. THR is one of the most civil forums on the 'net, so it would probably have a better chance of working here than a lot of other places. Still, my biggest fear would be that if a Carolyn McCarthy staffer were to identify himself/herself here, they would be dogpiled by critical posts that would drown out any chance of productive discussion before it got started.

I can recall a couple of times that we have had reporters and on-the-fence anti's come here before with honest questions, and unfortunately many of those conversations became very hard-edged on our end, due to people who thought making pointed accusations was striking a blow for freedom, or who tried to shift the topic to broader left/right issues instead of keeping it solely confined to RKBA, or whatever. Were that to occur, I don't think that would be a net benefit for our side.

I would plead with the other members here that whenever an anti does ever come here with honest questions, please be civil, don't stereotype, don't divert onto peripheral issues, and don't be edgy or rude. That doesn't help our case at all.

TriTone
January 11, 2011, 09:47 PM
Well said in post number 8.

788Ham
January 11, 2011, 09:54 PM
No, I think not, they can stay in their own mess. If Bull-frog-ken wants to come on here and express himself about primers, as an example, he's more than welcome. Rep. Snake Y. Breath can pay for those options when their term is about up, not on here! The papers, TV, internet and grocery stores are all full of this crap, I came onto this web forum site to get away from all of that, please don't let them come on here too! JMHO !

coloradokevin
January 12, 2011, 04:05 PM
Hmmm. THR is one of the most civil forums on the 'net, so it would probably have a better chance of working here than a lot of other places. Still, my biggest fear would be that if a Carolyn McCarthy staffer were to identify himself/herself here, they would be dogpiled by critical posts that would drown out any chance of productive discussion before it got started.

I can recall a couple of times that we have had reporters and on-the-fence anti's come here before with honest questions, and unfortunately many of those conversations became very hard-edged on our end, due to people who thought making pointed accusations was striking a blow for freedom, or who tried to shift the topic to broader left/right issues instead of keeping it solely confined to RKBA, or whatever. Were that to occur, I don't think that would be a net benefit for our side.

That's part of what I was trying to drive at. While we are civilized around here, when compared to many other forums, we still have very energetic bantering around here from time-to-time, especially when we feel like our rights are being threatened. I also doubt any anti-gun politician would have their opinion swayed by simply reading this forum, simply because the normal threads are obviously geared towards enthusiasts (and not a debate team), as I stated above.

Moreover, I wholeheartedly agree with you in saying that I believe that these politicians would be "dogpiled" if they ever tried to post here. That's the reason that I advocated a letter-writing campaign with these folks, as opposed to trying to sway an opinion on a web site. Frankly, I think people just take more ownership of their statements when they mail them to someone personally, as opposed to posting them under the effective anonymity that these forums provide.

Perhaps a web forum debate could work on this subject, but I believe that it would have to be fairly regulated in nature, lest it quickly drift from the topic and become a mud-slinging contest. Maybe it could work if it was done in a format where the questions that each side wished to ask were presented in advance, and answers were screened (to some degree) for appropriate content before being posted to the discussion? That degree of moderation would be far greater than we normally experience on this site, but we sure wouldn't want to blow an opportunity to have an intelligent debate with a sitting U.S. Senator on this website!

If we ever were fortunate enough to have a senator come out publicly, and in an official capacity, on this forum (which I doubt we will be, given the nature of politics), we certainly wouldn't want to drive them away with anything less than our absolute best "high road" behavior. Time is very valuable to these people, and we'd want to provide them with a reasonable, concise, and intelligently written statement of our case.

Needless to say, convincing someone to make a policy shift when they've built their entire political career around a certain agenda would not be easy. We won't win any points in such a debate if we come across as hard liners, and it is their perception of us that matters on that issue, not ours. Stated in another way, I obviously don't think that gun owners are nuts in 99.99% of the cases, but many people who are opposed to these rights do believe that to be the case... To change such an opinion I believe that we'd have to essentially roll out the red carpet around here, and show them who we REALLY are at heart.

mewachee
January 13, 2011, 01:21 AM
out come the moderators, good question. As anywhere, you will find some eccentric thoughts and people here, but people here are generally good people wanting to do the right things. Most discussions, which might be considered moral discussions, are about doing the right thing, or within the bounds of the law.

I think this is a great place for none 2nd amendment / gun people to understand the rationality of most of us. It is amazing what they think on their own.

However, I have swayed more to consider personal defense, just by talking it out sensibly, one on one. I have convince 9 families through talks about safety and storage to purchase their first gun in the last couple of years. I share "corneredcat.com" whenever I can, and I found it here.

I say do both.

Yo Mama
January 13, 2011, 11:38 AM
Thanks for all the comments folks. I'm just trying to think outside the box here on this.

If we ever were fortunate enough to have a senator come out publicly, and in an official capacity, on this forum (which I doubt we will be, given the nature of politics), we certainly wouldn't want to drive them away with anything less than our absolute best "high road" behavior.

I agree with you, but wouldn't that be really cool to have the opportunity to discuss our major concerns with them? 116,654 members (at time of my post). That is a major audience to have, and I think if I was a politician I'd jump at the opportunity.

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