What is the history of THR?


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NoirFan
April 26, 2012, 02:11 AM
Forgive me if this is not strictly gun-related, but this site has been such a huge part of my firearms education for so long, that I finally got around to wondering how it got started in the first place? I feel like doing some online archaeology. Is there a place where one can read about the history of the site and its founders? Is there an older archived version of THR from the 90s floating around out there somewhere?

Also, what is the relationship between this site and The Firing Line? They seem to have a similar focus and a lot of poster overlap.

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Telekinesis
April 26, 2012, 02:52 AM
Oh, this could get interesting real quick...

I'm not gonna say anything but I'm definitely tagging this to see where it goes. It depends on who's story you get, but there's a good bit of history here.
NoirFan, given your join date, I'm a bit surprised you're asking this question. It just seems like you would have been at least part of some of the history you're asking about.

Shoobee
April 26, 2012, 03:34 AM
I too was wondering about this. So I will tag it as well.

NoirFan
April 26, 2012, 03:57 AM
NoirFan, given your join date, I'm a bit surprised you're asking this question. It just seems like you would have been at least part of some of the history you're asking about.

Well I've been here a long time but intermittently, and it's only recently I got to wondering about the subject. I always just took this place and its origins for granted.

Zak Smith
April 26, 2012, 04:10 AM
The short version is that the owner of TFL decided to disable that board in late 2002 and the community sort-of moved to THR when it came online in Dec 2002.

You can still read the very first THR thread, http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=1

A few years later, the owner of TFL decided to re-enable that forum, and now both communities exist with some overlap.

Shoobee
April 26, 2012, 10:04 AM
Is there any particular brand of firearm or ammo that is associated here that we need to know about so that we don't accidentally insult it?

hso
April 26, 2012, 10:18 AM
Is there any particular brand of firearm or ammo that is associated here that we need to know about so that we don't accidentally insult it?

I know that that happens on other boards, but not here. Being outrageous or flaming won't be tolerated, but honest objective criticism is found across the spectrum here.

Derek Zeanah
April 26, 2012, 11:12 AM
Is there any particular brand of firearm or ammo that is associated here that we need to know about so that we don't accidentally insult it?
Zombie Max. Use it for everything. ;)

snakeman
April 26, 2012, 05:52 PM
^^^^That's great! I subscribed to this thread. Would be great if the founders got on here and did some posting.

Cosmoline
April 26, 2012, 06:07 PM
Wow that old thread brings back memories. What's really amazing is how much things have changed since even the 1990's. I can barely remember the days when I had to laboriously hunt through catalogs for parts or try to track down technical information. Now I can get answers in minutes that could have taken *years* to track down.

It also boggles my mind that this forum actually younger than the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

Walkalong
April 26, 2012, 11:29 PM
I learned everything about reloading from books and magazines.

Now it seems everyone just asks on the internet.

blarby
April 26, 2012, 11:45 PM
What are these "books" you speak of ? I thought they burned all the good ones....... Most of my reloading information I got from my father. I couldn't wait to get better information !

Art Eatman
April 26, 2012, 11:53 PM
Rich Lucibella started The Firing Line sometime in 1998. I joined up in November. Sometime the next spring, Dennis Bateman suckered me into becoming a moderator.

Rich bought SWAT magazine. He figured that in order to do a proper job of resurrecting it, he'd have to shut TFL down. So, I guess all (?) the mods agreed that we should just start over with The High Road. We did. After Rich re-opened TFL after a couple of years, several of us went back and so we moderate at both sites.

So, a lot of similarity, although they aren't identical. Membership has grown in a satisfactory manner. Both sites are pushy about courtesy and politeness, and about keeping the language clean. I figure that's contributory to our reputation on the Internet. Doesn't hurt to have knowledgeable people, of course. :)

dprice3844444
April 27, 2012, 01:26 AM
rich lives down here in florida

CoRoMo
April 27, 2012, 06:01 PM
Whenever I mention this site to someone who is unfamiliar with it, I always get the same reaction.

They say, :confused: "Why is it called 'The High Road'?".

hso
April 27, 2012, 10:08 PM
Taking the high road instead of getting down in the gutter.

CoRoMo
April 27, 2012, 11:30 PM
They know what 'taking the high road' means. They just wonder why a "gun forum" would have to name itself this.

Ya know... they'd never ask why 'GlockTalk' is named what it is, why TFL is named what it is, why YouTube is named what it is.

They wonder why a forum of gun owners would carry a name that doesn't initially lend itself to something firearms oriented. Rather, it has a name that conjures up something else entirely.

9mmepiphany
April 27, 2012, 11:52 PM
The obvious question would be, what image does it conjure up for them?

Perhaps that is the intent

rbernie
April 28, 2012, 12:13 AM
They wonder why a forum of gun owners would carry a name that doesn't initially lend itself to something firearms oriented. Rather, it has a name that conjures up something else entirely.

The obvious question would be, what image does it conjure up for them?Smoking dope, mostly.

Seriously. That what most new folk tell me.

hso
April 28, 2012, 12:47 AM
Might leave the 'splaning to a plank holder, but the mission was for the site itself to be a form of activism in support of RKBA in contrast to far too many sites that reinforced the lies of the antis. The vision was for a place where rational mature discussions about firearms, shooting, self defense and RKBA were carried out in a civil manner to show the world that gun owners were people that others could trust instead of the blood-lusting misanthropes antis wanted people to believe we were.

IOW, we'd take the high road.

Mal H
April 28, 2012, 01:52 AM
The origin of the term as it is used here came from Rich Lucibella in the early days of TFL. He would ask members and Staff alike to "take the high road" when arguing, debating, moderating, etc. For example, when someone had to be banned, he suggested taking the high road, that is, let them know why they were banned, but don't rub their noses in it, and don't make them subjects of public ridicule. That tenet was ingrained in us, and it was a natural for the name of the new website that was to take over when TFL turned out the lights.

If memory serves, the name was originally suggested by Matt Guest since it was a guiding principle of TFL, maybe it should be the actual name of the new forum. It was immediately and practically unanimously agreed to by the TFL Staff members.

oldfool
April 28, 2012, 12:26 PM
"Smoking dope, mostly.
Seriously. That what most new folk tell me."

no offense, but the "new folk" you are hearing that from might not be the group you most want to share range time with ;)

"old folk" perspective, I guess :)

JustinL
April 28, 2012, 09:11 PM
It is nice to see so many members from that original thread still around.

sm
April 28, 2012, 09:27 PM
That first thread sure brings back memories!

I also noticed some names that have since passed on. *sniff*

While they are gone, they are remembered, and one can still find their quality posts in doing searches.

Steve

V1ROT8
April 29, 2012, 12:09 PM
Fascinating history. Thanks for sharing.

Hacker15E
April 29, 2012, 01:37 PM
Unfortunately, I think that the forum has lost a little bit of it's "High Road" flavor over the last 2-3 years.

When I first joined, it was a refreshingly different type of forum that did not get dragged down in a lot of the idiocy that gets played out on most other firearms forums -- mostly in relation to the political and ideological persuasions of a certain sect of firearms owners who felt that such views went/go hand-in-hand with firearms ownership.

Those ideological differences generally lead to that name-calling and other forms of irrational discussion that just don't belong in interaction between logical, thinking, free men who believe in their right to keep and bear arms.

LawScholar
April 29, 2012, 01:50 PM
I post at both. Though a bit more at TFL under the name LockedBreech (Al Norris actually switched it for me from LawScholar, which I've grown to hate).

I get spoiled by the courtesy and professionalism at both sites, and am reminded when I poke a toe into the flaming festival at

Interesting thread! Thanks for helping me understand more about where I spend so much time reading.

Art Eatman
April 29, 2012, 02:46 PM
Hacker, please recall that political speech in the US has become more shrill and strident in the last few years, with more stronger emotions. And, this election year's campaigning began over a year ago--and there is always more hostility in an election year. It was a problem at TFL in 2000, and at both sites in election years thereafter. SOP, IOW.

sm
May 5, 2012, 07:35 PM
Art wrote:
Hacker, please recall that political speech in the US has become more shrill and strident in the last few years, with more stronger emotions. And, this election year's campaigning began over a year ago--and there is always more hostility in an election year. It was a problem at TFL in 2000, and at both sites in election years thereafter. SOP, IOW.

Hence the reason Shiner Bock is the official beer of both sites.

Well...they did ask for "history" and I just gave them the "official beer".

*grin*

Art Eatman
May 5, 2012, 11:20 PM
That Shiner Bock became the official beer of TFL was all Dennis Bateman's fault. Then Rich shanghaied him over to SWAT Magazine. :)

sm
May 6, 2012, 04:34 PM
"Metal and Wood"
by Dennis Bateman

The following essay was originally published at www.TheFiringLine.com

It is a rare person who does not attach some sort of value or emotion to some physical object or to an event. A home becomes more than a building. A statue of the Virgin Mary, a crucifix, a flag or a song, or even a photograph can stir emotions greater than the value of the material item.

I have a piece of paper showing I served in the military until I was discharged honorably. But, oh, the memories that piece of paper conjures up. The friends, the fun times. The bad times. The times when we were bound closer to strangers than to our own families and, in frightening chaos, our lives hung by a thread.

Many of our friends died far from home. Ask us about the feeling of "American soil" upon returning to the land we loved. Ask those returning soldiers about America.

Remember the old, faintly humorous band of American Legionnaires, wearing out-dated military uniforms straining at the buttons. But, God how proudly they marched. Grinning, waving to friends and families, and always, always "The Flag!" Ask them if the flag is mere cloth, I dare you.

See the elderly lady sitting in a lawn chair watching the fourth of July parade. Three flags carefully folded some forty years ago into triangles now rest in her lap - one for each lost son. Ask her if those flags are mere cloth, I dare you.

Look at the old man quietly crying, leaning against the Iwo Jiima Memorial at Arlington Cemetery. As he turns to you, smiles with some embarrassment, and says in a choked whisper, "I was there." Ask him, "Is it just metal and clay?" Ask him. I dare you.

The Wall. My God, the Wall. See the young man lightly tracing the name of his father there inscribed. Ask him if its just rock. Ask him. I dare you.

My guns? They’re of little real value compared to my family and my home. They are toys, or tools, or both. But what those guns represent to me is greater than all of us, greater than myself, my family, indeed greater than our entire generation. What could be of such value?

The freedom of man to live within civil, self-imposed limitations rather than under restrictions placed upon him by a ruler or a ruling class.

Imagine the daring, the bravery of a few men to declare they intended to create a new country, independent of the burden of their established Rulers!

Those men we call our forefathers were brilliant men. They could have maneuvered themselves into positions of influence within the structure of the times, but they did not. They struggled to free themselves from tyranny. They wrote the Declaration of Independence. And they backed up their words and ideals with metal and wood.

They knew the dangers of such dreams and actions. They knew it was a frightening and dangerous venture into the unknown when they dared reach beyond their grasp for a vision - for an ideal. But they dared to dedicate themselves to achieve Liberty and Freedom for their children, and their children’s children, through the generations.

Imagine the dreams and yearnings of centuries finally being reduced to the written word. The Rights of "We the People!" instead of the "Powers of the Monarchy."

Our forefathers dared to create a new government - a new form of government. And they knew that any organization has, as its first and foremost goal, its continued existence. Second only to that it strives to increase its power. It plots, it devises, it maneuvers to achieve control over its environment - over its subjects.

Our Forefathers decided to make America different from any country, anywhere, at any time in the entire history of the entire world. This country, this new nation of immigrants, would be based upon the concept that people could rule themselves better than any single person or small group of persons could rule them.

Other countries have had outstanding documents with guarantees for its citizens - but the citizens have become enslaved. How, these great men pondered, can we ensure this new government will remain subject to the will of the People?

They wanted limits upon this new government. Therefore, our forefathers wrote limitations into the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And one of those Rights was that metal and wood, as the final power of the people, would secure this country for the future generations.

Metal and wood were the means by which we won our freedom.

Metal and wood were the means by which we kept our freedom.

Metal and wood may be the means by which we regain our freedom.

Metal and wood are the final power of the people. Take away the metal and wood and the people become powerless - they can only beg, they supplicate for favors.

We are unique in our ability to rule ourselves but we are letting it slip away. Today we compromise. We try to appease man’s insatiable appetite for power by throwing him bits of our freedoms. But the insatiable appetite for power can not be appeased. The freedoms we feed him only make us weaker and him stronger. We must conquer him and again ensure the "Blessings of Liberty" won for us by our forefathers.

We must be ready to use metal and wood again, for if we are ready, truly ready, we may be able to conquer the monster with words - for in its heart it is a coward. But if we continue to feed the monster our freedoms, we will become too weak to win, to weak even to fight, and we will become a conquered people. We will have sold ourselves and our future generations into servitude.

If words fail us, we will use metal and wood, we will regain what we have lost, we will achieve what we seek, we will guarantee the America of our forefathers for the future generations.

So you see, our guns are more than metal and wood. They are our heritage of freedom. They are the universally understood symbol that the government, no matter how big and strong it may be, answers to us! They are the tools we will use to prevent tyranny in the land of our forefathers and our children. So, ask me what my guns mean to me. Ask my children what our guns mean to them. Ask us. I dare you.



THR bore out of TFL, and I post this most excellent essay to pass forward some more history.

Steve

Art Eatman
May 6, 2012, 07:14 PM
Thanks...

Voltia
May 6, 2012, 09:38 PM
Just out of curiosity, is the censorship any less over at the firing line? Seems that "the high road" = moderators deleting anything that doesn't fit their vision.

Not trying to be inflammatory, but it's hard to like a community that has speech police.

Mal H
May 7, 2012, 01:05 AM
It's about the same at TFL, but this is not the thread to go into that.

Nappers
May 7, 2012, 09:49 AM
I enjoy THR, thanks for the bit of history.

There are some sour apples in a case, but that doesn't mean the whole case is bad.

I like pro-active mods, they keep us on the straight and narrow and keep it family safe as far as I can tell.

Art Eatman
May 7, 2012, 10:24 AM
We continually try to make it clear to the members that part of our deal is to persuade folks who aren't into guns that gun-folks are rational, mature grown-ups and aren't given to macho chest-beating and bravado--and are courteous and polite.

Go to the main page. Look down toward the bottom at the number of people who are logged on. Compare the number of members with the number of visitors. Quite a few more visitors at any one time, compared to members. Many of those visitors are curious as to what sort of people we are. Me, I always try to act like a grownup when out in public. THR is indeed "out in public".

If I can fake it, so can you. :D

cyclopsshooter
May 24, 2012, 01:42 AM
Go to the main page. Look down toward the bottom at the number of people who are logged on. Compare the number of members with the number of visitors. Quite a few more visitors at any one time, compared to members. Many of those visitors are curious as to what sort of people we are. Me, I always try to act like a grownup when out in public. THR is indeed "out in public".

Just had a Pavlovian response to shut the blinds..

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