Reasoned DiscorseTM Part MDCCCXLVII

By now it’s an old formula, pro-gun people find an anti-gun blog, pro-gun people engage anti-gun blog, anti-gun blog heavily moderates comments in an attempt to shift debate away from topics they’d rather not address. Common Gunsense has not completely shut down comments, but she’s also pretty clearly not interested in debate, only parroting the talking points:

The idea is to harangue and harass and hope I will go away. There was an early complaint that the Brady Campaign didn’t allow comments. I completely understand why. It is overwhelming and would require at least a full time staff person to publish and respond to comments. And to what end?

No, that’s not the idea at all. The idea is to show your ideas cannot stand up to open debate, and ultimately fail in the court of public opinion because of that. The idea isn’t to get you to go away, but to show that for all the accusations that have been flung at gun owners in the past decade, that they could not think for themselves, that they were essentially manipulated by the “evil gun lobby,” and could only regurgitate talking points, that is in fact more true about your side than ours. I’ve run into a few Brady staffers who know how to make an argument, but for the most part, any time I’ve pressed down on the astroturf, I don’t sense much in the way of depth below the surface.

If you were only moderating nasty comment, or even only moderating ridiculous comments, I wouldn’t have thought poorly of it. But it’s quite possible to talk through the unreasonable people and get to the folks who have something worthwhile to say. It doesn’t take a full time staffer to speak with commenters. I’ve floated at least one opportunity in the thread on private sales, where I once again proffered a slight variation on this idea, and asked her whether she would find this an acceptable idea, and if not, what was wrong with it?

I can only assume, since the comment was never approved, that it leads to an area that the Brady folks would rather not talk about, because it addresses the problem they claim to be concerned with, but doesn’t amount to much in the way of restricting law abiding people form purchasing guns. That’s also, I would point out, not a proposal you’ll see from the NRA any time soon. I’m sure a lot of folks there cringe every time I discuss such things. But where are your internal disagreements? Where are your debates? Ours are increasingly happening out in the open, because that’s what you’d expect when you have millions of opinions, thousands of activists, and hundreds of soap boxes.

Ultimately, I think we have come to the point where we have to agree to disagree. I think Joe is probably right about this whole circumstance, and I don’t see anything to be gained by further engagement. So I shall declare Reasoned DiscourseTM, and move on.

14 thoughts on “Reasoned DiscorseTM Part MDCCCXLVII”

  1. I understand what she means, and she’s correct—probably the only thing she’s right about.

    Years and years ago, when I updated my blog several times a day and had thousands of readers, I’d on occasion make a pro-gun entry. My readers, being predominantly anti-gun, would engage me, and I knew that whenever I made an entry like that, that I would spend the next two days defending my post.

    Often, there would only be 3 or 4 people really sticking it out and going back and forth with me after the first 8 hours the post would be up, but that small handful of people really ate up my time—I’d neglect my work, and go home and argue with them all night.

    And that’s being on the side that has the GOOD arguments haha.

    By the time people stopped responding after a few days, it’d have gone up to 500 comments. So honestly, she’s right when she says responding to every valid argument one of our people makes is a full time job.

  2. I called it on the 24th. You can’t argue with a irrational person.

    How I arrived at that is simple. I am an old hand at electronic communications going back to the early days of Usenet (also Compusrve, Source, Delphi and some company internal networks). We had a name for the result you see, flamewar. Usually as a result of a troll posting either due based on ideology or as Joe posited cognitive failure . I know a few other bloggers that have similar experience and can read the signs and often even catch the shills. The difference here is the blogger controls the turf where Usenet was an open field usually.

    So we have the Bradys using really old tricks. Those that repeat history are doomed to learn it again.

    WOPR was right, the only way to win is to not play the game.

    By making it clear posting there was agenda loaded and highly censored and taking it back to the home court everyone took control away from her. In short, she was “disarmed in a dangerous place” to use a metaphor. That left here the only option, get out of Dodge.

    The only thing left is give the failing grade and look at the next paper. Or as my brother would say it wasn’t a total failure as we can use it as an example of what not to do.


  3. Yeah, but it takes no insignificant investment in time to keep up with it—especially when faced with the excellent arguments we provide :)

    I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect a single anti-gunner to adequately respond to all of our comments and arguments we delude them with—even if the facts were on their side, which they are not—unless they had a LOT of free time.

    I almost feel bad for them, sometimes.

    Of course, that being the case, they could avoid that by taking one of the prominent Pro-2A bloggers up on their offers of one on one debate—a much easier format, and more time-forgiving—but they never do.

  4. I think in this case if she had answered her own questions that would have been a pretty easy way, time and effort wise, to respond. I know she probably feels she has done so in her blog but I have had a hard time distilling clear positions out of her posts.

  5. I think the questions themselves make clear what her positions and/or answers would be, no?

  6. An example of something that isn’t clear is Question 4 “Do you believe that I and people with whom I work intend to ban your guns?”.

    She presents many reports of shootings in her blog and then says or implies if you removed the gun there would be no death in that situation. But she never presents how she would remove the gun in those cases where the shooter bought and owned the gun legally. She has however claimed that there is no danger of guns being banned so she doesn’t understand why people keep auguring against banning guns.

    Thus she ends up seeming to advocate banning gun while claiming that no one wants to do so. Maybe she has some other licensing or testing plan but I haven’t seen her talk about it.

    If this is an intentional stance then the last thing she should want is clear position. But if it is just sentiment against gun violence clashing with her actual policy positions then a clear statement on that issue would help any discussion greatly.

  7. Guav @12:33

    Um, you might want to change that ‘delude’ to ‘deluge,’ since it alters the message rather substantially.

    (I’m assuming you meant the latter, of course)

  8. DOH!

    Yes, I meant deluge of course. They’re already deluded enough without our comments :)

  9. I’ve asked some very polite questions that she did approve.

    Her response was what seems to be her standard dismissal “I’ve already answered that somewhere else so I won’t again”. Of course no amount of searching will ever produce those answers she allegedly gave.

    Now she’s crying we’re a big bunch of meanies. Just like was called.

  10. “Of course no amount of searching will ever produce those answers she allegedly gave. ”

    Bob did a whole thread on that on “Guns just going off”, she claimed she had documented several instances of guns discharging without external stimulus. I assume it was her thought that Bob would just go away. He searched and linked every example on her site….she of course ignored him.

    Don’t look at the man behind the curtain!

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