1st Amendment


January 11, 2013, 01:51 PM
I am relatively new to THR. What is the role of a moderator? I thought it would be to watch for abusive language and anything that may bring legal ramifications back to THR.

It seems clear to me that you try to control what is being discussed. I have noticed several attempts to snuff out conversations about the possible results of the current administration using EOs to control guns.

This is a genuine question, what is the goal of the moderator in locking threads that discuss certain topics? If you stop this one I have my answer and I will drop my membership.

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January 11, 2013, 02:29 PM
Welcome to The High Road.

The Staff intends to allow freedom to discuss topics here, but there is no first amendment on THR. This is a privately owned board, and when it was founded the owner and the Staff decided to have a place that required a code of conduct for discussion, and that level of discourse exceeds most gun boards.

To ensure we live up to the ideal of a board where civil, focused discussion occurs the Staff may guide the discussion by direct input into it, or closing the discussion in cases where a conversation can't be salvaged.

If you have a problem with how a particular thread was handled, the usual course is to PM the Staff member who closed it or ask another for a second opinion.

We expect there to be an influx of new people because of the recent activities. Concurrently, we also expect there to be some learning curve as the new folks learn the differences between THR and other gun boards. If you didn't receive a warning or an infraction, consider it a learning experience.

January 11, 2013, 03:30 PM
It's Happening Folks - is the thread and I do not understand how the conduct in the discussion merited closing the thread.

That is why I asked what other criteria, mandate, or goal a moderator has for determining when to close.

If you would please read over this and let me know what caused it to be closed I would appreciate it.

After this thread was closed I glanced through the locked threads and it seemed like any that discussed EOs was being closed. Why is that? Again, I just want to know what the general basis is.

This will help me determine if I really want to be a part of this blog.

January 11, 2013, 03:35 PM
It seems clear to me that someone didn't read the rules (http://www.thehighroad.org/announcement.php?a=20) when he registered. That's a shame, because (1) the new member has to agree he has read and agrees to follow the rules before he can become a member, and (2) it would answer some questions and let you have a reasonable expectation of what to expect as a member here.

This is not a blog, it's a bulletin board. Blogs exist to allow a single person or small group to post news. Online bulletin boards exist for discussion. As far as whether you stay or go, I suggest you go here ( http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=370999) and read the section marked "goodbyes".


January 11, 2013, 03:40 PM
I thought I read them, but what rule did I specifically miss that applies to my question? Please enlighten me, that is your objective right? Cut and paste a portion or give me a link to what I missed.

Your last response was very flippant if not inflammatory. Why?

January 11, 2013, 03:40 PM
It seems to me that with lack of a source to verify, the thread was nothing more than speculation. Yes we have all heard on the news that he would like to use EO to get his way but without something in writing to verify we have no way of knowing what will happen. THR does not do speculation threads. The closing posts would seem to indicate that as well.

January 11, 2013, 03:41 PM
You'd have to pm Justin about what he posted. None of us can answer for him.

January 11, 2013, 03:52 PM
I posted a wiki source concerning Bush and Clinton's use of EO regarding gun control in a follow up reply.

And again, all blogs are based on opinions whether they reference external sources or not, that's what blogs are for.....opinions.

As a director of a Fortune 75 company I am not accustomed to being snapped at with such condescending remarks. That could be one of the drawbacks of leading a large organization. You get used to giving and receiving a certain level of respect that may not be obtainable in the blogosphere.

I was genuinely trying to learn the (unwritten) rules so I could continue to enjoy this site. I have recently joined, but I have used it as a resource for several years. I am not liking what I am seeing with these responses.

January 11, 2013, 04:03 PM
THR generally doesn't exist for someone to post opinion just for opinion's sake. Use your own personal blog for that.

Part of a "higher level of discourse" means we don't make a lot of room for hand wringing. We do try to be a bit more fact-based and don't allow the board to blow with wherever the wind of the day takes it.

Yes, your issue has been discussed in the media as an alternative to get around Congress. However, right now it's just being "floated", just like Susan Rice's name was floated to replace Secretary Clinton. That never happened. It remains to be seen what will happen here.

When the President issues an Executive Order they don't take effect immediately. There is always a period of public comment.

That would be an appropriate time to focus your efforts. Otherwise it's just speculation and hang wringing about what might happen.

January 11, 2013, 04:09 PM
We are all equals here. None of us are better or higher than anyone else, even mods.

The addition of the Wiki page is good supporting doumentation, though I am a little leary of wiki, but it does not speak to the primary issue of the current president using an EO to reach his stated goals. Without something in writing speaking directly to the current attempt to outlaw firearms we have nothing more than speculation.

Far too often we have seen a thread based in opinion or speculation take a course that is not appropriate for THR and as such we tend to guard against those kinds of threads. Speculation tends to, for whatever reason, lead folks into fantasy worlds of their own creation. THR tries very hard to operate based on facts and verifiable opinion and sources help our members do their own investigations.

At the end of the day THR is private property and as such the 1st amendment has no bearing here. We try very hard to allow free and open discussion whenever possible, but that is not always possible. Perhaps we need to update the rules to reflect current issues and standards but that is a matter for the staff.

January 11, 2013, 04:37 PM
You guys are exercising censorship, which I hate, and you even claim I have no 1st Amendment Rights here which is hilarious. The first amendment applies to all Americans on this soil. It is the very reason you are allowed to have this site. I travel a lot but today I am typing from US soil and with that comes my free speech. If this freedom ever goes away your little site will fall quicker than a lead Zeppelin.

When my thread got closed your moderator said I was trying to make Obama and Biden into "boogermen". I never said ONE negative word towards either of the gentlemen nor would I. While the fiscal cliff decisions saved most, it cost me approx $100k in additional taxes so if I chose to show irritation it would be somewhat understandable.

The very name of your site is ironic, but I am going to give you a little lesson in taking the high road. I would like you to close my membership on this site please. I would prefer to not be associated with it.

January 11, 2013, 04:47 PM
Goodbyes: If you decide for any reason that you will no longer share your time with us here, posting a public goodbye will only make us think you are an attention-seeking drama queen. If you decide to go, do so quietly and with decorum. You may always change your mind at your leisure.

Happy Trails.

January 11, 2013, 05:31 PM
OK. I think we've addressed the concern.

Thread closed.

January 13, 2013, 05:06 PM
I know it's poor form for a mod to respond after another mod has closed a thread.

However, since I was the guy who closed the original thread, I may as well give my reason why.

First of all, the title of the thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=694950) was terrible, giving no indication of what the actual content of the first post would be, while making a claim that something "is happening."

The content of the first post was, quite frankly, thin. Full of nothing but conjecture and FUD while citing no actual sources to back up the poster's claim of what "<b>is happening</b>"

Later, the OP posts a response about how Executive Orders have been used in the past to increase gun control; a topic which has been discussed to death on this forum, and that everyone is already aware of, including the people who are unaware of how executive orders are supposed to work.

While many threads are all about opinion, and everyone is welcome to hold an opinion on any topic that they want, I, and a many of the other staff here, take a fairly dim view of people who simply want to post about how the sky is falling.

That said, could the OP have made the thread he started into something worthy of actually discussing?


He could have started off with a coherent title. Perhaps something along the lines of "Executive Orders and Gun Control."

Further, he could have also started with citations of where EOs have been used to further gun control, and then used that as a jumping off point for a discussion about how this administration might engage in the use of EOs for the purposes of gun control.

In fact, at that point, it would have even been appropriate to link to a news article pointing out that the current administration is considering EOs as a way to get what they want. (http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/world/obama-executive-order-gun-control-laws-executive-action-can-be-taken-biden-says-on-gun-control)

From there, a discussion could have been held about actual tangible action that each of us can take as individuals, rather than some disjointed rant about how the NRA needs more members, and there should be a massive march on Washington.

TL;DR version:
If you want to discuss executive orders, or any other form that gun control might take, do it in a way that makes sense and leads to a constructive conversation, rather than just engaging in barely-sourced fear-mongering.

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