Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.

Friday, June 24, 2011

"Rules of engagement"

Hey everyone. Check out my new "rules of engagement" on the right hand side of my home page. Because some of you just can't stop yourselves from making rude, offensive, threatening, harassing, crude, sexist, racist, etc. comments, I have decided to spell out yet again how this is going to work going forward. I have had to remind readers in my own comments about what is acceptable and sometimes I tell someone to stay off my blog or block people from getting onto my blog. I suggest that some of you temper your comments. You are not doing your gun rights movement any favors with your immature behavior. Many of my readers don't make comments and agree with what I am writing. They are not interested in your demeaning and inappropriate comments. Nor am I. If you disagree, you can disagree politely and civilly. So, have a nice week-end everyone. And think twice about making comments here if you don't follow the guidelines for commenting.


  1. So far, only comments complaining about my rules about comments. Disappointed in you all.

  2. Here is a blogger complaining about your rules about comments. Any comment?


  3. Interesting to note that you don't see such horrible comments from the pro-control side on their blogs. They have no need, even, to post such rules.

    No surprise that the ones advocating peace and safety are respectful, while those who prepare for killing people are rude. Just sayin'.

  4. Thanks, Jay, for the link. Perhaps if Keith wanted to comment he should do so on my own blog and we could have a give and take. I know he has commented here before. I am willing to bet that he doesn't receive any comments like the ones I get that I refuse to publish. That is because it is your side that is making the type of comments I will not publish. And if he saw the comments I have received to which I refer I am betting the hair would stand up on his arms and he would do something about them.

  5. Many of my comments are not published although they are civil, polite, and on-topic. They don't at all appear to violate your "rules of engagement".

    Why is this?

  6. I applaud your efforts to have a reasoned discourse. I would really appreciate any attention to facts that are truly non-partizan.

  7. I was wondering when you would weigh in, Bryan. You are one of the most published commenter on my blog. I got tired of you making so many comments the other day that I asked you to take a rest. Maybe that's why not all of your comments get published. Have a nice week-end, Bryan. It is finally beautiful summer weather where I am and I am planning to enjoy it without having to read a lot of rude and inappropriate comments- not yours, of course.

  8. Your house. Your rules.

    Can we discuss the rules and some of our observations?

    1. and 3. and 6. spot on and dead right.

    2. I've seen some good discussion here where the topic wandered because that's where the discussion led.

    4. Repeats 2. Of course, thread jacking shouldn't be encouraged, but inquiring minds can lead to interesting related discussion

    5. Very similar to 3. However, what is your definition of incivility if it is not that discussed in 3.? Am I missing something?

    7. Is criticism allowed if it pertains to the subject or discussion?

    8. and 9. sounds like a blog comment thread to me.

    and 10. is standard for blogs.

    So, any discussion or clarification?

  9. Cargo- thanks for the very reasonable comment. This is what I'm talking about. #2- sometimes that is true but when it drags on and one thing leads to another and then to another, it goes past it's expiration date and serves no purpose. #4 yes, could be true. #5 you are right but I may not have included everything so I created an incivility category to catch the things that come up that don't fit into the other definitions. It could be arbitrary but then it is my blog. #7 Yes, if done without including derogatory, demeaning, rude, crude, etc. remarks.( constructive criticism?) Next one- you could be right and sometimes it will be a comment thread. It may depend on if the commenter before you attacked me or called me a crudeor sexually explicit name or threatened me- that does change my mood and my willingness to keep publishing more comments.

  10. Bob S.- I believe I stopped publishing your comments quite a while ago.

  11. "I am willing to bet that he doesn't receive any comments like the ones I get that I refuse to publish."

    The pro-gunowner bloggers actually defend your right to block obscenities and personal attacks. It's the blocking of comments for reason of factuality or pertinence that can easily go too far. I do not use obscenities and personal attacks, but many of my comments are blocked by anti-gunowner bloggers, probably because I point out contradictions and implications in their posts that they don't want to discuss.

    "That is because it is your side that is making the type of comments I will not publish."

    Sadly, no. The pro-gunowner bloggers often cite such things from their opponents.

  12. Jay- here's one of your first problems- " anti-gunowner bloggers". You guys cannot resist calling us that though we assure you many times over that that is, indeed, wrong. I have a hard time believing that "pro-gunowner bloggers" get very many comments at all from the gun control side on their blogs. I would guess that there are a few out there but the vitriol comes mostly from your side of this issue. Have you ever, for example, seen me comment on one of your blogs? Have you ever, for example, seen me make a demeaning, rude, obscene, or inappropriate comment on one of your blogs? The answer is no. I don't feel a need to read your blogs in the first place so I am not even tempted.

  13. Joan,

    You stopped publishing my comments when I make them as Bob S.

    But I can show proof that you publish my comments when I make them as Anonymous.

    Doesn't that show you are censoring not based on the comment but who makes them.

  14. Joan and Baldr - You've never read many comment sections on the Huffington Post, have you? I've seen comments wishing death on gun owners, calling us all sorts of uncivil names (inbreeds, rednecks, idiots, murderers, psychopaths, etc.) Things that you claim only we gun owners say.

    I'm also curious as to why, if these comments bother you so, do you continue to allow reader discussion when writing on such a contentious topic? Why not just turn commenting off?

  15. I'm curious as to why you even have a comment section given your views. Isn't part of having a forum such as this inviting opposing viewpoints? Civility and politeness should be expected in any discourse - oral or written - so I have no issue with that request, although I didn't see the word tolerance anywhere in your rules. I find it sad that people need to be reminded of that however.

    Regarding your list, what struck me reading them was number 10 when you refer to the facts as "my facts." Facts are facts aren't they? By saying facts are yours invites suspicion of their accuracy in my mind. Perhaps that was just a slip on your part.

    Nosce Hostem Tuum

  16. And you didn't think I didn't know that? I don't publish many anonymous comments.Presumbaly some of those were yours, Bob. Many bloggers won't publish anonymous comments at all. That would be my preferance. Perhaps that, too, will be a new rule- no anonymous comments. Then you all would have to identify yourselves, at least by name, and perhaps you wouldn't be so free with your attacks and your offensive comments.

  17. Good question, Alcade. Then you guys would claim that we refuse to engage with you "rednecks, idiots, inbreeds, and murderers". Actually most of the comments I see on the liberal Huffington Post site come as a result of offensive comments made by your side in the first place. Since the Huffington Post doesn't publish articles from the gun rights side, the articles are usually in opposition to what the gun rights activists want. Then the gun rights activists come out of the woodwork and start in on their offensive comments and ad hominem and other sorts of attacks against the writer of the article. One such writer told me that he had received over 1000 comments on one of the articles he wrote for HP in favor of reasonable gun policy. And the majority were attacks on him. When that happens, it brings out the worst from some on my side who may not be very judicious with their own comments but who get so angry with the ridiculous comments from your side that they become offensive themselves. I don't advocate for that, by the way. But I know it to be true.

  18. Yes, Mark, you make a good point. I will change that to "the facts". But when I present "the facts" the gun rights activists like to fault them and claim they are my facts vs. their facts. One would think that facts are facts but given the polarizing nature of politics these days, sometimes the facts are not the facts. It is distressing to me but true, nonetheless. Thanks for the suggestion though. I always appreciate constructive criticism. Read my response above, to allowing comments. I have also said that I did not expect the vitriol and hatred coming in the comments section of my blog when I started this venture. I have been surprised by it but also think it is a good idea to allow people to express their own opinions which are not the same as mine, if expressed in a polite way. I really had hopes that some sort of exchange through comments would lead to some middle ground. I am disappointed that only the very extreme usually choose to comment and then they poison the atmosphere for anyone more reasonable to jump in. But I persist in my belief that there could be some common ground amongst us. That is why I do this. I hope that helps.

  19. Dear readers,
    Based on some of your comments and questions, I have edited by "rules of engagement" about comments.

  20. Excuse my typo- "my" rules of engagement.

  21. One can not have it both ways with respect to facts just because an issue is polarizing. By choosing to blog on the topic of gun rights, I think one has to expect each side will consider the other as extreme. In my experience that leads to a lack of tolerance, or even hatred for others opinions. What one person sees as "middle ground", the other sees as a restriction, or control.

    Additionally, responding to commenters to re-read what you wrote, or saying they missed your point is akin to insulting their intelligence, and I think that's why it irritates some folks. If you wrote it, you have to give your readers the benefit of the doubt that they read it, and do not agree with it. Perhaps it would be best if you do not allow comments.

    As a first time visitor to your blog today, I have to say from the comments I've read it seems to me that most are lucid, well-docuumented, and logical arguments to your viewpoints. What I haven't seen are many commenters supporting those viewpoints. None actually. That is something rarely - if ever - seen on blogs. At least the ones I read regularly.

    That said, I appreciate you allowing my comments.

    By the way, have you considered adding the National Rifle Association's Eddie Eagle link to your "Other Sites of Interest" sidebar? It is a fabulous gun safety organization for children.


  22. Jay- here's one of your first problems- " anti-gunowner bloggers".

    1) The fact that my comment appears at all is a good sign -- let's see how long that lasts. At least we are getting away from the idea that your comment policy affects only obscenities or personal attacks.

    2) Are you demanding that I not use the phrase "anti-gunowner blogger" as a condition for commenting here? It's a small price to pay, so just say "yes" and I will comply.

    3) If "anti-gunowner blogger" is prohibited, just what is permissible when I refer you you? I would guess that you might prefer "gun violence prevention blogger," but while I do believe that to be your intent, I don't believe that is what you actually accomplish (whereas I do believe that those efforts will indeed have a negative impact on lawful gunowners).

    So using "gun violence prevention blogger" would concede in advance something that is open to debate.

  23. "I have a hard time believing that "pro-gunowner bloggers" get very many comments at all from the gun control side on their blogs."

    That's true - because there aren't all that many people who are active on the gun control side.

  24. I am someone who is against people getting shot. That should be agreed to by most. I think there are ways to accomplish. You guys don't like the ways I am suggesting. That's that. You can call me a gun control advocate or an advocate for preventing gun deaths and injuries. By the sounds of it, you don't think that is even possible but that is your opinion versus mine, Jay. I do think it is possible but we haven't tried it yet. That's what I'm blogging about.

  25. They are active, jdege. They are just not on blogs. As I have said before, people on my side may read the blogs and agree but they choose not to comment because they know that some on your side are going to attack. They would rather not take that risk. It would be interesting to know how many people on your side of the gun issue troll through the blogs and articles vs. how many do the same on my side. People just want sensible gun laws and they support the organizations working towards that but they are not wanting to argue with you guys. They leave that up to people like me who have chosen to take the plunge.

  26. "I am someone who is against people getting shot. That should be agreed to by most."

    I agree.

    "You can call me a gun control advocate"


    "By the sounds of it, you don't think that is even possible"

    I think that it's possible and I have supported some proposals to that end. My overall position is that I will support proposals aimed at preventing gun deaths and injuries if I believe that they will be effective, will not unduly infringe upon the rights of gunowners, and have not led to overly harsh further restrictions when tried elsewhere.

    I suspect that we will often disagree about whether any given proposal meets those criteria.

  27. JayF writes":
    "My overall position is that I will support proposals aimed at preventing gun deaths and injuries if I believe that they will be effective, will not unduly infringe upon the rights of gunowners, and have not led to overly harsh further restrictions when tried elsewhere."

    I would concur with this position as well.

    Japete writes:
    "I am someone who is against people getting shot. That should be agreed to by most."

    I would agree with this with the caveat that I have no moral issue with individuals using deadly force to protect themselves or others within the law. Though, I wish that didn't have to happen.


  28. It seems as if there is some room for agreement here, Bryan and Jay. Or did I misread your comments?

  29. Will the person from Creswell, Oregon cease and desist his crude, sexist, sexually explicit comments? What kind of mind would write the things he writes on my blog? I can't publish his remarks because they are so offensive. He is giving you all a bad name. It's no wonder people on my side don't leave remarks. Who wants to be abused in writing? But I will continue blogging and not stay in my kitchen where a woman belongs, among the other things this guy suggested I should do. Really? How old is he anyway? What world is he living in? I'm sure he thinks he can intimidate me. It's not working. Instead, it makes me more determined than ever to let the world know what kind of people represent the gun rights activists. Have a good day everyone.

  30. Those are decent rules, but my observation based on past history is that they could all be replaced by one rule:

    1) if you feel like it.

    I have never violated any of your rules (except for #4 on occasion), yet many posts go unpublished. I’d say 2/3rds of mine are published, which I understand is a pretty good ratio. Conversely I have seen many posts published that clearly violate a number of your rules. Often this is prefaced with a reminder that gun control is a struggle of good vs. evil and we are the bad people. I would like to see you follow the rules in earnest and leave the conversation to the adults.

  31. " It's not working. Instead, it makes me more determined than ever to let the world know what kind of people represent the gun rights activists."

    Perhaps he is actually a good person, but he has been driven to use these sorts of comments and language by your side. When viewing these insults, it sometimes happens that those on my side who may not be judicious with their own comments get so angry that they have become offensive themselves.

    I certainly don't advocate that, but I do know that it could be true.

  32. Thanks for the advice TS but then there would be very few comments.

  33. I doubt that you would say that, Alcade, if you saw some of the comments that come from your side. So getting angry at me is license to use racist, sexist, sexually explicit, offensive, crude and threatening language? Sorry- I don't buy it but nice try at excusing a dirt ball for his stupidity and his total crudity.

  34. @ Baldr Odinson: Would you say that the Chinese have less to complain about with respect to their government, or would you say that censorship merely gives the illusion of civility and harmony?

    The reason gun bloggers aren't afraid of comment policies is because statistics and the law support the case for a respectful, armed populace. Just sayin'

  35. "It seems as if there is some room for agreement here, Bryan and Jay. Or did I misread your comments?"

    I am eager to find things to agree upon and I believe it can be done, but I have found it more difficult than I thought it would be.

    Of course, I blame the other side.

  36. "So getting angry at me is license to use racist, sexist, sexually explicit, offensive, crude and threatening language?"

    No, of course not. I was merely paraphrasing what a wise person once told me; a wise person whom I know to be a very caring individual that would normally never excuse such behavior. I can see now that you are correct. I apologize.

  37. Japete, I don't understand why you are so picky at what gets posted, and what doesn't. You'd be far better off if you publish *all* the comments, from both sides, and then let us see for ourselves just how bad they are. Let the chips fall where they may.

    I would understand it if you don't want profanity on your blog: in which case, just star out the bad words, and show the world how awful gun freedom advocates (or gun control advocates, for that matter) are. If the comments are irrelevant, publish and let us see for ourselves that they are irrelevant.

    Why should we believe you when you say that someone made a sexist, hateful comment? How do we know that you aren't just making things up? And if you're blocking "irrelevant" comments, how do we know that they aren't just valid comments that you disagree with?

    If you really dislike the cause that pro-gun people represent, then you should display their comments in all their glory, or lack thereof; it is only then that we could see the "big picture", and make up our own minds, based on the merits of the comments made (or lack thereof).

    Otherwise, we'll be left to assume that you're hiding something.

  38. Believe me, Epsilon. No one would be better off if I let you guys attack me with your brutal and inappropriate remarks. It would turn into some kind of cesspool for the extreme gun guys to swim in. That is not how this blog is going to run. If you want to blog, you can have your own rules about comments. Mine have worked pretty well so far. There are more that don't get posted than do for very good reasons. I am just not into the language used by you guys. I would prefer the high road and I hope you all will, too. I do keep most of the comments however because sometimes I use them to make a point about how extreme and crude some of guys are.

  39. Maybe you should consider having a special one time only post where the comments are totally open, censuring profanity if you like. That post can stand as an illustrative example for anyone who seems to think all commenters are angels. You shouldn't need to repeat the exercise for years to retain it's illustrative validity.