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Metafilter Proxy Wars: Good or Bad? September 18, 2013 12:51 PM   Subscribe

I am concerned that it seems posts are being made that, deliberately or accidentally, are serving to act as proxy wars for fights that people have wanted to have in other places, but were prevented from by moderation. It is most visible in this thread, and currently the gun debate, but I feel has occurred other times as well. I would like to suggest that the bar for potential proxy war subjects be raised, particularly when emotions are high.

In the recent thread about the Navy Yard shooting, cortex posted: Would be brilliant not to have folks descend into rote recital of various gun- and violence-related arguments and meta-arguments in here, which seemed to stop a lot of those that usually happen right after some flashpoint. However, a day later, the post about the Starbucks CEO popped up, and it seemed to act as a proxy war - everyone who had arguments about the Navy Yard shooting just headed in there. The Navy Yard shooting and mass shootings in general were mentioned here, here, here, for example.

Of the thread itself, just a quarter of the way down the page, I count 35 comments as having absolutely nothing to do with the actual subject of the FPP, but more about personal feelings about guns or people with guns - many of them disparaging. It feels as though people entered the thread less to talk about the subject, and more to talk about how they feel about gun people, particularly since they couldn't talk about it in the other thread.

I think this overall does not contribute to a better community - it encourages people to sling insults -or barely veiled insults - at fellow mefites at a time when tempers are raw, and it seems a way of kind of winking at the request not to have a repeat of the same wars we've always had.

I have certainly been a part of those wars, and I find them exhausting. I was really happy not to see much of them in the Navy Yard thread, and I think it markedly improved the conversation and kept upset feelings to a minimum. But I think having a proxy war thread removes all of that good intention, creating hot-button arguments doomed to rile people's feelings and get them into a good old-fashioned free-for-all, which seems like the purpose.
posted by corb to Etiquette/Policy at 12:51 PM (398 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Is it just me or is every example given an instance of someone RESPONDING to a previous pro-gun point?
posted by Curious Artificer at 12:55 PM on September 18, 2013 [20 favorites]


It's not just you.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 12:56 PM on September 18, 2013


I have seen a number of deletions of posts like this that have given deletion reasons like, "it seems like there's not much substance here except to extend the grar-[angry thing]/lol-[stupid thing] debate. If you'd like to discuss ways to reframe this post, please use the contact form," so I think for the most part this isn't a problem. I haven't been following any of these threads you mention, but now that you point it out, it does seem weird that this Starbucks one stayed up.

I have certainly been a part of those wars, and I find them exhausting.
You know how you can solve this, right?

posted by phunniemee at 12:58 PM on September 18, 2013 [13 favorites]


'Gun People'? Shit, somebody call Randy Newman's agent.
posted by box at 12:59 PM on September 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


corb: "I have certainly been a part of those wars, and I find them exhausting."

The solution to this MeTa occurs to me, but I'm not entirely sure what it might be.
posted by scrump at 12:59 PM on September 18, 2013 [15 favorites]


more about personal feelings about guns or people with guns

Which is the subject of the FPP.

Narrowly defined, the FPP was about how the CEO of Starbucks asked people not to bring guns into Starbucks. I don't think its a derail to talk about how Mefites feel about being near guns in public places in a discussion about a CEO asking people to not bring guns into his stores because it makes people uncomfortable.

In short, the FPP was partly about how people feel uncomfortable when other people carry guns into public places. We're not supposed to discuss how guns make us feel uncomfortable when people carry them into public places?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:01 PM on September 18, 2013 [46 favorites]


I feel like the reason the gun-control derail was discouraged in the Navy Yard shooting thread was because we didn't actually know most of the facts surrounding the shooting, so immediately launching into debates about gun control, when we didn't even know whether it was really a factor, wasn't the best way for the thread to turn.

The topic of the no-guns-in-Starbucks thread isn't really a developing story with missing facts.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 1:02 PM on September 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


That thread could have been a discussion, and it still actively trying to be a discussion, about concealed/open carry.

It is necessary to cycle back to various other arguments about guns when discussing concealed carry but most of what I read did not deviate from the 'lets talk about concealed/open carry' line.

What I found truly, horridly frustrating was watching people roundly ignore the more inconvenient questions and comments to the point that they would quote sentences directly below, written by the same poster.

It's like arguing with filter paper.
posted by Slackermagee at 1:02 PM on September 18, 2013


I have certainly been a part of those wars, and I find them exhausting.

That's funny, I find many of these discussion exhausting because of you.
posted by DynamiteToast at 1:02 PM on September 18, 2013 [18 favorites]


I think it's just MeFi as usual. In the absence of knowledge of the specifics, people will take up a more general topic that they can say something about. It kind of sucks sometimes when a thread suddenly turns into an uninteresting rehash, but that's just how disorganized crowds work.
posted by Nomyte at 1:02 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


The ones I grabbed were specifically what seemed like proxy-war stuff. From my view, it looks like the first generalizations from "guns in Starbucks/with coffee" to "those guys overall" was here, here, here, here, and here. So somewhat of a mix.

You know how you can solve this, right?

Yes, definitely - but at the same time, I think that, like many other members of various groups, when you belong to a group that it seems is being disparaged for fun, it is harder in reality not to speak up for them. It's something I'm working on, but at the same time, is something I feel I shouldn't have to be working on as hard, if you see what I mean.
posted by corb at 1:02 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


However, a day later, the post about the Starbucks CEO popped up, and it seemed to act as a proxy war - everyone who had arguments about the Navy Yard shooting just headed in there.

For what it's worth I completely skipped the Navy Yard shooting thread but read all of the Starbucks CEO thread, and at no point did I feel I had missed part of the conversation or that people were responding to things that were not contained within the Starbucks thread.
posted by jess at 1:03 PM on September 18, 2013 [11 favorites]


I was about to post more or less exactly what MisantropicPainforest just posted. The thread is about gun control. People talking about gun control should be expected.
posted by jaguar at 1:03 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think it is natural that FPPs on controversial subjects will derail into a general discussion about that subject. This is how MetaFilter has always worked and I suspect how it always will. If you do not like arguing about that subject, you should stay out of those sorts of threads, or at most, make your comment and then remove the thread from your Recent Activity. This is what I do. I do think that this particular FPP is a bit weak for MeFi, and that requiring stronger posts overall would help reduce the arguments, but let's face it, we are going to continue having these sorts of arguments if (and more likely when) these sorts of subjects show up in posts.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:04 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'll let the mods speak for themselves, but I don't think the policy is "you can't talk about gun control in threads about gun tragedies", it's more "please give it some time, and then we know that many of you want to talk about it anyway, so we won't stop you." From my reading of the Navy Yard thread, the reason for heavier moderation in the early going is that it's a recent tragedy, so it's not cool for everyone to jump in right away to use the tragedy as a way to advance their beliefs and have an argument about gun policy until more facts are known.

In the aftermath of previous gun tragedies (and how fucking depressing is it that we have so much practice on these) the moderators have relaxed their moderation of gun policy fights after some bit of time, because, as it turns out, gun control policy *is* relevant to the shootings, seeing as they involved guns, so it's not really sensible to say we can't possibly discuss the social policy that governs the use of the tools that were used to cause the tragedy.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:04 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not in love with that Starbucks post in the first place because, yeah, gun arguments tend to be gun arguments and they look mostly the same and it's a frustrating thing.

That said, the Starbucks story is sort of an interesting one and there's no indication that it was posted with bad intentions or to deliberately create a relocation of Navy Yard arguments; I think it could have gotten nixed as a "this stands a good chance of just going in circles per usual" vein, but it's not really insta-delete territory. I came on shift about an hour after it went up, and it was going okay at that point. It's gotten more tedious since then in places, though there's also been some decent substantial discussion of cultural and economic factors that play into the current state of gun ownership in the US and elsewhere, and the intersection between corporate and political/activist culture in this specific case.

It would be nice if folks inclined to really entrench in an argument or string out a specious analogy for all its worth would just check themselves and not do that; I feel like that's as big a source of escalation from discussion to argument as anything that happens in these.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:04 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


From the first comment you linked to:

"It's the dudes who wander around with assault rifles slung over their shoulders to make some sort of point about gun rights or penis size or what have you who can fuck right off."

You do realize that dudes wandered into a Starbucks with assault rifles slung over their shoulders to make a point, right? Like last week this happened, that is why the CEO said what he said.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:05 PM on September 18, 2013 [26 favorites]

You know how you can solve this, right?
By shooting the opposition of course.

Ho ho! It is to laugh. Sorry.

On subject: I'm trying to imagine mods deleting stuff with reasons like "this seems like a proxy to argue about [issue]" and it kind of seems like that would be stirring up a poopy firestorm. Especially because literally every single decision the mods make is minutely parsed for perceived consistency with every other decision they've made ever and general panicked flailing about rules.
posted by kavasa at 1:06 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


In addition to what Cortex said, it really isn't (or shouldn't be) a post on gun control. Its a post on concealed and open carry. The control part is the derail, the 'feelings' part is the meat of the thing. Feeling safe with ccl vs feeling safe when no one with declared ccl is present.
posted by Slackermagee at 1:07 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is a great place to post that link to Ice Cube's 'Man's Best Friend' (spoiler: it's a gun).
posted by box at 1:08 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Make MetaFilter Proxy Love, Not MetaFilter Proxy War
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:08 PM on September 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


corb: "Yes, definitely - but at the same time, I think that, like many other members of various groups, when you belong to a group that it seems is being disparaged for fun"

I seem to remember someone in a recent thread disparaging a group, but it was okay, because that group was choosing to engage in a particular behavior, so the protections for other groups shouldn't apply to them.

Oh, here it is:
(Also, from a moderation level, there has also been a lot of talk in MeTa from mods about how things people choose are treated differently than things people were born into and cannot avoid. People are born women, they are not born sociology majors.)
Are people born gun owners?
posted by tonycpsu at 1:09 PM on September 18, 2013 [14 favorites]


Like jess, I skipped the Navy Yard thread, just finished reading through the Starbucks thread as this MeTa appeared, and did not feel like I was reading a proxy conversation at all. A handful of comments aside, that seemed like a remarkably on-topic discussion, expanding on the initial topic but no more than many a less hot-button-y thread will do.
posted by Stacey at 1:10 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


when you belong to a group that it seems is being disparaged for fun

It's remarkable that you not only insist on the right to carry your weapons everywhere, you also insist on the right to do it without comment or criticism by anyone who feels threatened by you. Apparently, you value the right to speak much less than you value the right to shoot.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:10 PM on September 18, 2013 [80 favorites]


I agree with jess - I mostly avoided the Navy Yard thread after the crisis was over, and I don't see any kind of hidden agenda in the Starbucks thread. I was one user who admitted that guns make me feel uncomfortable in public spaces. That sort of comment would have been a off-topic in the Navy Yard thread, because the Navy Yard thread wasn't about a CEO asking patrons not to bring guns into his stores.
posted by muddgirl at 1:12 PM on September 18, 2013


It's remarkable that you not only insist on the right to carry your weapons everywhere, you also insist on the right to do it without comment or criticism by anyone who feels threatened by you.

I don't actually personally own or carry any weapons - nor do I think people should not be able to criticize or comment about people owning or carrying weapons. I do think, however, that people being snarky or mean about other Mefites does not make good threads in this voluntary community.
posted by corb at 1:13 PM on September 18, 2013 [16 favorites]


corb: when you belong to a group that it seems is being disparaged for fun

octobersurprise: It's remarkable that you not only insist on the right to carry your weapons everywhere, you also insist on the right to do it without comment or criticism by anyone who feels threatened by you. Apparently, you value the right to speak much less than you value to shoot.

Well that's not fair. corb finishes that sentence with it is harder in reality not to speak up for them, as a response to comments about how she could step away from the conversation. So she's specifically saying that speaking about these issues is important, not trying to stifle criticism.
posted by Lemurrhea at 1:14 PM on September 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


octobersurprise: "It's remarkable that you not only insist on the right to carry your weapons everywhere, you also insist on the right to do it without comment or criticism by anyone who feels threatened by you."

Corb isn't the representative for all gun owners, and I don't think she made that argument in that thread. Perhaps you are confusing her with somebody else, or a generalized pro-gun argument?
posted by boo_radley at 1:19 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


A comment that argues for gun owners being the oppressed equivalent of women and minorities won't get deleted, but another comment that points out that this is not a rational thing for a human being to say will get deleted.

It's not at all hard to see how gun owners really do own the conversation: here, there, everywhere.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:20 PM on September 18, 2013 [12 favorites]


I am concerned that it seems posts are being made that, deliberately or accidentally, are serving to act as proxy wars for fights that people have wanted to have in other places, but were prevented from by moderation.

People post for a variety of reasons. Including to grind axes. If a post is framed in an inflammatory way or devolves into a flame war then yes, the mods are more likely delete it.

If not, then I think posters should generally be allowed to make FPPs without having their intentions second-guessed unless they're being seriously disruptive. Posts about contentious (and non-contentious) topics give rise to interesting discussions. That's a feature, not a bug.

I would like to suggest that the bar for potential proxy war subjects be raised, particularly when emotions are high.

The bar is already quite high. The mods already monitor threads closely and delete posts and comments freely that they feel they are inflammatory and axe-grindy. I don't think we need a higher frequency of deletions.
posted by zarq at 1:21 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I do think, however, that people being snarky or mean about other Mefites does not make good threads in this voluntary community.

I don't see where any of the comments you've linked to do that, except perhaps after one MeFite in particular doubled down on some really strange analogies that I suspect make sense only to that person.

Are there MeFites who are in fact mall ninjas? Quite probably, but I don't think calling the mall ninja mentality paranoid and weird is out of bounds for MetaFilter. There are MeFites who are misogynists. Can we not express disapprobation about sexism? Can we not snark about sexism?

Can you help me see where there is mean snark about other MeFites?
posted by gauche at 1:22 PM on September 18, 2013


she's specifically saying that speaking about these issues is important, not trying to stifle criticism.

She'd prefer not to have the conversation at all. She'd rather everyone only talked about the topics she wants to talk about in the manner she wants to talk about those topics. She tried to stifle that discussion at the start and her comment was deleted. At that point I gave it about a 90% chance she'd wind up over here.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:22 PM on September 18, 2013 [19 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon: "A comment that argues for gun owners being the oppressed equivalent of women and minorities won't get deleted, but another comment that points out that this is not a rational thing for a human being to say will get deleted. "

What what? I saw the former, but where was the latter? Please tell me you are kidding.
posted by Big_B at 1:22 PM on September 18, 2013


A comment that argues for gun owners being the oppressed equivalent of women and minorities won't get deleted, but another comment that points out that this is not a rational thing for a human being to say will get deleted.

Yours was one of several comments in a chain that got deleted to stop a derail from taking off. The comment you're complaining about not getting to respond to also got a very direct response from a mod saying to cut it out, so unless your complaint is that you, specifically, need to be the one allowed to snarkily rebuke something there's not a hell of a lot to say there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:23 PM on September 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


Lemurrhea: "So she's specifically saying that speaking about these issues is important, not trying to stifle criticism."

I don't see how you can say that when this MeTa is explicitly asking that cortex's original "Would be brilliant not to have..." request into an iron-clad law that applies not only to threads about tragedies, but other threads about gun policy that might mention the most recent tragedy involving guns.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:25 PM on September 18, 2013


It would be nice if folks inclined to really entrench in an argument or string out a specious analogy for all its worth would just check themselves and not do that; I feel like that's as big a source of escalation from discussion to argument as anything that happens in these.

I don't know if I would fall into the entrenched category but this rings true to me in various ways.

I mean I'm a gun owner (via inheritance, not purchase yet) from a family of gun owners (of the hunting [sustenance and recreational], collecting, heirloom, competitive shooting, military, and pretty much any other non-criminal flavor you can name, variety), one of my family members was the subject of an attempted assault and their concealed carry weapon was involved, but not discharged, in resolving the situation (well they weren't harmed and the assailant wasn't caught but you understand), yet another friend-of-the-family that was the victim of a stalker/abusive spouse and now has her concealed carry permit for a weapon she keeps in her home and with her if she feels the need, mostly because if he breaks in the cops can't get to her home (rural setting) fast enough.

... and yet I'm still well within the camp of being both for more stringent requirements for ownership yet against limiting folks rights to own/utilize them. I'm for heavy mental health restrictions to ownership but also for only enforcing reasonable and useful paperwork/time requirements on applicants for ownership. I believe people should be able to have concealed (and open) carry but only if it's supported by their local government and subject to the stringent training and mental requirements I mention above. I also believe these training sessions should be essentially free to those who can't afford them. Ditto for mental screenings.

Anyway, what I'm getting at (and poorly I admit) is that I like to think of myself as a reasonable party in this discussion but all too often the discussion devolves into a shouting match and penis measuring contest, and not just from the pro-gun rights side of the discussion. So I stay out of them. And, sadly, I feel like it turns said discussions into a bit more of an echo chamber along the way.

I don't know what I'm getting at besides the fact that I agree with cortex that the gun discussions bring on such a heavy dose of entrenched righteousness from both sides of the issue, are usually the result of someone somewhere having something shitty happen to them, and are stuck in such a quagmire of vocabulary and semantic and intent misinterpretations as to make participating in them nearly toxic by definition.

It's something metafilter does pretty poorly and that stinks because there's a good discussion to be had with valuable things to learn and absorb from either viewpoint, we just stink at having it.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:26 PM on September 18, 2013 [11 favorites]


The comment you're complaining about not getting to respond to also got a very direct response from a mod saying to cut it out

I don't see the same response, maybe you can point it out. I still see a comment equating gun owners with women and minorities on the basis of shared oppression, but no response was allowed to it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:26 PM on September 18, 2013


From my view, it looks like the first generalizations from "guns in Starbucks/with coffee" to "those guys overall" was here, here, here, here, and here.

The first link was specifically adressing the concerns of the subject of the OP, the second referenced nobody, the third expressed concern over the CCL worldview, the fourth is from a gun rights advocate, and the fifth was a factual rebuttal of a blanket statement made by a gun rights advocate.

I do think, however, that people being snarky or mean about other Mefites does not make good threads in this voluntary community.

It should be noted that a lot of the early GRAR in the thread came from people claiming that viewing the world around them as a potential threat was OK, but being worried about those people themselves constituted a potential threat was completely unwarranted. And now, unfortunately, a number of latecomers are reigniting conversations from over several hours ago as if they were still germane to the conversation.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:27 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Looks like both the pro- and anti-gun sides feel like MeFi is unfair to them, so I guess everything is properly calibrated and balanced. Guess we're done here.
posted by Etrigan at 1:27 PM on September 18, 2013 [15 favorites]


It's remarkable that you not only insist on the right to carry your weapons everywhere, you also insist on the right to do it without comment or criticism by anyone who feels threatened by you.

Corb is indeed not making that argument, though there were other people in that thread saying that which I tried not to respond to further once I made my own point about it... (Not sure if corb linked to my comment there). It's too bad that people who carry concealed weapons feel bad that we are judging them, I don't like making people feel bad for doing things they believe are right. But what the Starbucks CEO was saying is exactly what I'm saying: I don't want private citizens carrying around me, and I think it's a sign that the carrier is being either paranoid, or aggressive, or irrational, or just plain silly. And if you carry a concealed weapon you have to deal with my judgement of your action, and my polite, not-legally-binding, request that you leave your gun locked up in your house.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:28 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


If this is about that space post I made and another argument over robot vs manned space flight, I agree.

If we're talking about something else, then this slice of pizza looks good.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:29 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Looks like both the pro- and anti-gun sides feel like MeFi is unfair to them, so I guess everything is properly calibrated and balanced. Guess we're done here.

This is like saying monkeys flinging poo is just as desirable as a discussion of things between friends or equals.

I'm not saying one or the other isn't entertaining but that's just me.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:30 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey, don't let us keep you from your pizza.
posted by boo_radley at 1:30 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


zombieflanders: "And now, unfortunately, a number of latecomers are reigniting conversations from over several hours ago as if they were still germane to the conversation."

If they have something to add to the topic, then why wouldn't that still be relevant?
posted by zarq at 1:30 PM on September 18, 2013


We're grownups and can talk about whatever we like.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:32 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't see the same response, maybe you can point it out. I still see a comment equating gun owners with women and minorities on the basis of shared oppression, but no response was allowed to it.

Here is me shooting down the "what about race or sex!" hypothetical; I removed some knock-on comments tied to that, there's a followup comment from corb talking more generally about protected classes, and some responses to that from other folks talking about protected classes, and another comment from me reiterating a "let's maybe flag questionable analogies instead of perpetuating them" comment, and then things basically moved on without needing further underscoring.

If you are not happy with that as sufficient response, I'm sympathetic I guess because lord knows I'm unsatisfied with shit sometimes as well. But you not getting to make some arch remark about someone being "not quite right in the head" is not the level at which I'm going to bother engaging today.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:33 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


If they have something to add to the topic, then why wouldn't that still be relevant?

Perhaps I should have been clearer: they were reigniting conversations without adding anything of value. Specifically, one talking about assault weapons (which is not the focus of the OP and 99% of the thread) and another talking about distrust of police, both of which had already been discussed and in the case of the latter, was dismissing a strawman argument.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:33 PM on September 18, 2013


Some people just aren't as pro-murder as you, you're just going to have to live with it.
posted by Artw at 1:35 PM on September 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


Ah. Makes sense. Thanks for explaining.
I'm still plowing through the thread. :)
posted by zarq at 1:36 PM on September 18, 2013


Some people just aren't as pro-murder as you, you're just going to have to live with it.

This doesn't seem very nice...or accurate. Can we at least agree that this type of interaction is bullshit?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 1:39 PM on September 18, 2013 [20 favorites]


Artw: "Some people just aren't as pro-murder as you, you're just going to have to live with it."

Ye gods, this is such an asshole thing for you to say. And it's not the first time you've pulled this shit, either.
posted by zarq at 1:40 PM on September 18, 2013 [5 favorites]



corb: when you belong to a group that it seems is being disparaged for fun


It's not "for fun." We have an atrocious amount of gun violence in this country and it's fueled by an extremely wealthy and powerful gun lobby that has been able to actually block serious study into the effects of gun violence. It's terrifying.

I'm sorry, when the major arguments are "guns are an undergarment" and "you wouldn't say the same things about women or X race so who's discriminating now?" it's just kind of ridiculous. I know people who are gun advocates who would consider themselves not intellectual or geeky enough for MeFi who would make smarter arguments than that. It's just nonsense.
posted by sweetkid at 1:40 PM on September 18, 2013 [64 favorites]


Some people just aren't as pro-murder as you, you're just going to have to live with it.

Not really elevatin' the discourse, dude.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:41 PM on September 18, 2013 [15 favorites]


it's fueled by an extremely wealthy and powerful gun lobby that has been able to actually block serious study into the effects of gun violence

Quoted for emphasis. Not only are we not supposed to talk about, we can't even scientifically study it. It's absurd and horrifying.
posted by rtha at 1:42 PM on September 18, 2013 [45 favorites]


It's worth remembering that the proposed change in moderation would apply much more broadly than this specific navy yard/starbucks/gun control situation, so arguing the specifics of it are of limited utility. As a broad, site-wide policy change I just don't see it having a good outcome.
posted by kavasa at 1:43 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I mean I really want to come back to that with some zinger about how all Americans are pro murder given the last 50 years of our foreign policy....but meh. How about we just agree that the world is made up of disparate individuals and that anytime someone tries to make sweeping statements about a group of individuals they are probably full of shit.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 1:43 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Some people just aren't as pro-murder as you, you're just going to have to live with it.

If Superman is starting to kill people, I don't see why shouldn't do the same Batman.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:43 PM on September 18, 2013


But you not getting to make some arch remark about someone being "not quite right in the head" is not the level at which I'm going to bother engaging today.

This is not really a full and accurate account of what I said. But equating poor gun owners with women and minorities is still not something a rational, thinking person would or should say.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:43 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


when you belong to a group that it seems is being disparaged for fun

It's not "for fun."


Back up a few comments from yours and try to tell us that some people -- on both sides -- don't just want to make wisecracks.
posted by Etrigan at 1:44 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Can we at least agree that this type of interaction is bullshit?

Yup, I agree totally. Bullshit bullshit bullshit.

In the thread, there were some very disingenuous arguments on the pro-guns-everywhere side, I thought, and plenty of people called them out well and without too much rancor...but yeah, that "pro-murder" shit just brings us all down.
posted by neroli at 1:45 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


BP, are you asking for an opinion handed down from the Mod Bench stating that corb was not at that time rational and thinking? What's your plan here, barrister?
posted by kavasa at 1:46 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


when you belong to a group that it seems is being disparaged for fun, it is harder in reality not to speak up for them.
I don't actually personally own or carry any weapons

so - what group do you belong to that is being disparaged (we'll agree to disagree about the just for kicks part) if you aren't a gun owner?
posted by nadawi at 1:47 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


The real question here is if he is Phoenix Wright or Miles Edgeworth
posted by elizardbits at 1:47 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


nadawi, please don't get her started about how she's intersectionally oppressed along such axes as being a libertarian and liking guns and so on.
posted by Corinth at 1:50 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


The entirety of the deleted comment was this:
If a hypothetical someone calls gun owners a protected class, like women or minorities, then I think that hypothetical someone is not quite right in the head not thinking things through rationally and is therefore likely not to operate a gun in a safe manner.
Which, again, was in a chain of responses that got deleted to try and nip a derail in the bud. You then wanted to talk about what had and hadn't been deleted in-thread and had to be reminded, after having been here for more than a decade, that Metatalk's the place to do it.

As far as I can tell I agree with you in broad ideological terms on a ton of stuff, I just wish you would not insist on doing some of this stuff where if you don't get your way the way you want to, then to heck with being non-snarky or using the site the way it's meant to. You were being kind of a pain, you got a comment deleted, let it go.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:53 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


a group that it seems is being disparaged for fun

Look, I'm a huge fan of deleting the shit out of comments from people who come into a thread about X fandom and want to just go on about all the ways it sucks. But when the point of the post is discouraging a certain behavior - carrying a weapon into Starbucks - and it's a behavior that is largely one being conducted by people making a big public point of it - open carrying in various Starbucks locations - I don't see how you avoid any expressions about that group and their underlying aims.

And really, that would be kind of a double standard. The groups of people engaging in these open carry events are doing it because they're advocating for their own position. They are saying "we are right." I guess you could say that attacking their underlying reasonings is beyond the pale but I don't see how that's equitable either. The gun restricting crowd asserts certain things about gun dangers and it seems okay for Jacq. to critique those as not right. How do we restrict reciprocity and still have anything resembling a discussion?

the world is made up of disparate individuals and that anytime someone tries to make sweeping statements about a group of individuals they are probably full of shit.

I don't see how that's universally true when some groups of individuals are self-selected. Can I not make some sweeping statements about people who ascribe to beliefs about state-run socialism or absolutely unrestricted capitalism? Yeah, slagging all christians is a wide brush and unlikely to ever be right.

But the thread criticisms tend to be pretty specific about people who choose to take specific XYZ action. I don't see how I can reconcile my approval of calling anti-vaxers misguided sociopathic morons with restricting people from saying they think folks who believe they need their weapon for Applebees are dumb.
posted by phearlez at 1:53 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe we should just have a neutrality policy on gun violence topics by banning them from MeFi entirely, kind of like we do with FPPs about I/P and cat declawing? I mean, MeFi is in no way a news site, we don't lose anything by eliminating FPPs about gun violence when it happens.
posted by Nomyte at 1:54 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Can we add the War on Drugs to that list, please?
posted by Melismata at 1:55 PM on September 18, 2013


Also, cats and kittens.
posted by Nomyte at 1:55 PM on September 18, 2013


when you belong to a group that it seems is being disparaged for fun

And furthermore, when mass shootings have become a way of life and I have to wonder just how crazy the person next to me in the coffee shop with a gun strapped to his or her side might be and then some yahoo says "Oh, but I wear my gun like I wear my underwear!" then you bet your sweet bippy I am going to disparage.

As Fate said to Leslie on the melting iceberg: "Oh, of course I'll keep it to myself. Until the water reaches my lower lip, and then I'm going to mention it to *somebody*!"
posted by octobersurprise at 1:55 PM on September 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


"guns are an undergarment"

No one seriously said this. Everyone on mefi is smart enough to know what an analogy is, and what a metaphor is. Treating them as if they were meant literally to mock people you disagree with is a cheap rhetorical trick that drops the level of discourse.
posted by tyllwin at 1:56 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


banning them from MeFi entirely

I don't see why that won't work!
posted by Curious Artificer at 1:56 PM on September 18, 2013


And gosh almighty it'd be great not to turn this into a Let's Talk About Corb session. That goes for corb and for the not-corb's.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:56 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


To be fair, that thread is pretty obsessed with underwear though.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 1:57 PM on September 18, 2013


I don't see why that won't work!

I guess we never have FPPs summarily deleted, since I never see them on the blue and everything.
posted by Nomyte at 1:58 PM on September 18, 2013


The entirety of the deleted comment was this

Thank you. /not_snark
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:58 PM on September 18, 2013


It's America. You can expect an obsession with underwear and the size of your... gun.
posted by tyllwin at 1:58 PM on September 18, 2013


Treating them as if they were meant literally to mock people you disagree with is a cheap rhetorical trick that drops the level of discourse.

The level of discourse dropped just like a dirty pair of tightie whities
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:59 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


actually Jacqueline DID say she puts on a gun just like she puts on underwear, and resents having to take either of them off to enter a business
posted by Curious Artificer at 2:00 PM on September 18, 2013 [18 favorites]


Ye gods, I hate repetitive, ideologically-rigid arguments. Gun control threads all might as well be the same.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:00 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


If Superman is starting to kill people, I don't see why shouldn't do the same Batman.


I...think I agree with this?
posted by Alexander J. Luthor at 2:00 PM on September 18, 2013 [5 favorites]



"guns are an undergarment"

No one seriously said this. Everyone on mefi is smart enough to know what an analogy is, and what a metaphor is. Treating them as if they were meant literally to mock people you disagree with is a cheap rhetorical trick that drops the level of discourse.
posted by tyllwin at 4:56 PM on September 18 [+] [!]


What? No, that was actually said. Here.
posted by sweetkid at 2:01 PM on September 18, 2013 [13 favorites]


Happiness is warm underwear.
Happiness is warm underwear.
Happiness is warm, yes it is... underwear.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:03 PM on September 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


To be fair, that thread is pretty obsessed with underwear though.


Again, leave me out of it.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:03 PM on September 18, 2013


I...think I agree with this?

Yeah, you WOULD say that, Luthor.
posted by Curious Artificer at 2:05 PM on September 18, 2013


I don't see how that's universally true when some groups of individuals are self-selected.

Ok well all republicans are insane. Is that the level of discourse you want to have here?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 2:05 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, the gangs all here.
posted by clavdivs at 2:07 PM on September 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


waves to the commish and alefy
and to clarify mrmoonpies' point of tolerance and open discussion

posted by clavdivs at 2:09 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


salve, clavdivs
posted by boo_radley at 2:09 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Her comment to me still sounds as if she is simply talking about a specific way in which it is similar to a piece of underwear (difficult to remove), not like she thinks it is a piece of underwear. Re-reading it, it's ambiguous. But the way to clear that up is to put it plainly to her: Is this, or this not what you think?
posted by tyllwin at 2:10 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hi, clav!
posted by Curious Artificer at 2:11 PM on September 18, 2013


> salve, clavdivs

That's "salve, clavdi." Now write out the second declension fifty times and have it on my desk by the time the bell rings. And make sure your handwriting is legible!
posted by languagehat at 2:14 PM on September 18, 2013 [47 favorites]


Guess what guys, gun owners are not all raving murderous psychopaths. Also, people who are anti-abortion aren't all cackling monsters who have "destroy the happiness of women" at the top of their daily to-do list, and people who want to dramatically lower taxes do not all have dartboards covered in photos of homeless people in the rec rooms of their opulent mansions.

That doesn't mean you have to AGREE with any of these people, but completely ignoring everything they say in favor of your own worst-case-scenario interpretation of what they PROBABLY ACTUALLY mean is utterly pointless and smug. What's there to lose by actually engaging with what people SAY?
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:15 PM on September 18, 2013 [23 favorites]


you're the best, languagehat
posted by boo_radley at 2:15 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


To be fair, twyllwin, jacqueline was analogizing a firearm to underwear. She was not literally saying she wears a gun as underwear.

But lampooning this analogy by saying "she says guns are underwear" is completely within bounds given how ridiculous this analogy is in the first place. So it's not that people don't understand the difference; they just think the analogy is dumb.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:16 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]



Her comment to me still sounds as if she is simply talking about a specific way in which it is similar to a piece of underwear (difficult to remove), not like she thinks it is a piece of underwear. Re-reading it, it's ambiguous. But the way to clear that up is to put it plainly to her: Is this, or this not what you think?


I did that, and her answer was linked here.
posted by sweetkid at 2:16 PM on September 18, 2013


Ye gods, this is such an asshole thing for you to say. And it's not the first time you've pulled this shit, either.

Meh. It's not like Americas pro-murder folk aren't getting all the guns amd subsequent deaths they want. Getting called on the shit they support from time to time is nothing.
posted by Artw at 2:17 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]



But lampooning this analogy by saying "she says guns are underwear" is completely within bounds given how ridiculous this analogy is in the first place. So it's not that people don't understand the difference; they just think the analogy is dumb.


Yes, this. The analogy is incredibly dumb.
posted by sweetkid at 2:17 PM on September 18, 2013



Guess what guys, gun owners are not all raving murderous psychopaths. Also, people who are anti-abortion aren't all cackling monsters who have "destroy the happiness of women" at the top of their daily to-do list, and people who want to dramatically lower taxes do not all have dartboards covered in photos of homeless people in the rec rooms of their opulent mansions.


Yea I know. I'm really confused by what you're trying to say here.
posted by sweetkid at 2:19 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


That doesn't mean you have to AGREE with any of these people, but completely ignoring everything they say in favor of your own worst-case-scenario interpretation of what they PROBABLY ACTUALLY mean is utterly pointless and smug. What's there to lose by actually engaging with what people SAY?

I participated in the thread at hand, and everyone in the discussion was listening and paying attention.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 2:20 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Artw it's not about your viewpoint it's about how you're expressing it, and the way you expressed it was really assy.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:22 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Guess what guys, gun owners are not all raving murderous psychopaths. Also, people who are anti-abortion aren't all cackling monsters who have "destroy the happiness of women" at the top of their daily to-do list, and people who want to dramatically lower taxes do not all have dartboards covered in photos of homeless people in the rec rooms of their opulent mansions.

That doesn't mean you have to AGREE with any of these people, but completely ignoring everything they say in favor of your own worst-case-scenario interpretation of what they PROBABLY ACTUALLY mean is utterly pointless and smug. What's there to lose by actually engaging with what people SAY?


Y'know, telling people not to generalize and misrepresent arguments by going ahead and making generalizations and misrepresenting their arguments isn't particularly useful. Most of the discussion in the thread in question is people actually engaging with what other people say, even when the comment(s) they're responding to are worst-case interpretations themselves. There's even a significant number (maybe even a majority) of gun owners and even a CCL holder or two in that thread siding with those who agree with the Starbucks CEO by using reasoned arguments.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:23 PM on September 18, 2013 [14 favorites]


For the record I don't agree with the assessment that all gun owners are pro-murder, or that all concealed weapons carriers are pro-murder, or that anyone who has ever posted on Metafilter is pro-murder unless they work for the NRA, in which case, yeah, they are pro-murder.

In that thread I think most people were saying "I agree with this Starbucks guy, I don't want guns around me and here is why."
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:24 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Guess what guys, gun owners are not all raving murderous psychopaths.

Hi, I'm a gun owner. Some of the scenarios and desires of the "pro-carry" contingent in that thread are bizarre and scary to me, and make me question their grasp of reality. Thanks for playing though.
posted by Big_B at 2:24 PM on September 18, 2013 [21 favorites]


"Jacqueline DID say she puts on a gun just like she puts on underwear"

ONE LEG AT A TIME
posted by klangklangston at 2:26 PM on September 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


Not to belabor the point, but the original phrase was "A concealed handgun is effectively an undergarment..." I don't read that as simile or metaphor, personally.
posted by gauche at 2:26 PM on September 18, 2013 [7 favorites]



waves to the commish and alefy


can we stop fannying around and get back to using original usernames ? Honestly, live with the shame and baggage of your old one or not at all ..... i have changed my username to zen twiglet in order to.....blah blah
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:27 PM on September 18, 2013


Artw: " Meh. It's not like Americas pro-murder folk aren't getting all the guns amd subsequent deaths they want. Getting called on the shit they support from time to time is nothing."

Supporting gun ownership is not "pro-murder." Supporting concealed carry of a firearm is not "pro-murder." Gun owners are not "pro-murder." You're being an ass.
posted by zarq at 2:28 PM on September 18, 2013 [9 favorites]



Not to belabor the point, but the original phrase was "A concealed handgun is effectively an undergarment..." I don't read that as simile or metaphor, personally.


Thank you!
posted by sweetkid at 2:29 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


And for the record, I'm very anti-gun. I'm at a point now where I personally think we should repeal the second amendment entirely and make gun ownership a privilege, not a right -- one that is incredibly difficult to achieve. One that requires extensive psychological testing, community approval and advanced training.
posted by zarq at 2:29 PM on September 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


Hi, I'm a gun owner. Some of the scenarios and desires of the "pro-carry" contingent in that thread are bizarre and scary to me, and make me question their grasp of reality. Thanks for playing though.

And they are winning. Look at the last few days, look at Geoege Zimmerman free to kill again. Sandy Hook didn't change shit, and of that didn't nothing ever will.

I see no reason to stand back and give polite applause while they do victory laps and absolutely no reason to put up with crocodile tears bullshit when they don't get that.

Supporting gun ownership is not "pro-murder." Supporting concealed carry of a firearm is not "pro-murder." Gun owners are not "pro-murder."

Every thread where we have this discussion and every time some NRA creature opens its mouth says otherwise.
posted by Artw at 2:30 PM on September 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


I see your point Artw but I kinda think you should cut it out as that's not going to help this thread and we're soon not going to be able to discuss anything but pro murder/not pro murder.
posted by sweetkid at 2:32 PM on September 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


Hi, I'm a gun owner. Some of the scenarios and desires of the "pro-carry" contingent in that thread are bizarre and scary to me, and make me question their grasp of reality. Thanks for playing though.

I was talking to people who say things like, for example, "some NRA creature." Not you. I'm not sure why you're being hostile to me.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:32 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


well, it was totally unclear whom you were talking to or what comments you were referencing.
posted by sweetkid at 2:33 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm done pretending the NRA are in any way defensible as well. They are about as anti-murder as they are anti-racist.
posted by Artw at 2:35 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Get a room you two.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:35 PM on September 18, 2013


That's "salve, clavdi." Now write out the second declension fifty times and have it on my desk by the time the bell rings. And make sure your handwriting is legible!

Can't we just once, just once have a thread about guns that doesn't degenerate into a dispute over the grammar of dead languages?

And Latin at that. Barbarians.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:37 PM on September 18, 2013 [14 favorites]


I think this conversation is getting a little shrill and strident. Can we please moderate our tone, please?
posted by Nomyte at 2:37 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


ONE LEG AT A TIME

Check your panty privilege, it could be a bra.
posted by elizardbits at 2:39 PM on September 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


elizardbits: "panty"

You are fined one thousand gzorbniks and may God have mercy on your soul.
posted by scrump at 2:41 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think this conversation is getting a little shrill and strident. Can we please moderate our tone, please?

No, let's not open up a new can of worms.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:42 PM on September 18, 2013




I think this conversation is getting a little shrill and strident. Can we please moderate our tone, please?


Wait what?
posted by sweetkid at 2:43 PM on September 18, 2013




ONE LEG AT A TIME

Check your panty privilege, it could be a bra.


Seriously IT will not give me a new computer if I get water all over yet another one.
posted by sweetkid at 2:44 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Artw: " Every thread where we have this discussion and every time some NRA creature opens its mouth says otherwise."

No, they don't.
posted by zarq at 2:44 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nomyte, if you have something you actually think substantially needs discussing, you need to make it a whole heck of a lot clearer what it is and why, because that looks like a random driveby.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:45 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think this conversation is getting a little shrill and strident. Can we please moderate our tone, please?

I think that's a joke about tone arguments? This thread is getting really weird.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:45 PM on September 18, 2013


For fuck's sake, concealed handgun carriers are not a class.
posted by planetesimal at 2:48 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


klangklangston: "ONE LEG AT A TIME"

elizardbits: "Check your panty privilege, it could be a bra."

I presume technically speaking you COULD put on a bra by stepping into it and then pulling it up, no?
posted by Hairy Lobster at 2:48 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


This thread is interesting from a meta level. The question that was asked was whether we should allow proxy fight threads. This then became a proxy fight thread, and by example, suggests they are ugly and unproductive.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:49 PM on September 18, 2013 [24 favorites]


showbiz_liz: "I was talking to people who say things like, for example, "some NRA creature." Not you. I'm not sure why you're being hostile to me."

The generalizations that people engage in annoy me. For example, as stated I'm a gun owner. I'm very anti-NRA. I'd probably be the guy looking at someguy's piece strapped to his leg and ask him why he thinks he needs it to order coffee. And I loved Artw's "Pro-Murder folk" label. I realize there are some problems with this stance.

But this oh-poor-me-why-am-I-being-persecuted nonsense by the person who posted this meta is bullshit and we should stop tolerating it.
posted by Big_B at 2:50 PM on September 18, 2013 [19 favorites]


I presume technically speaking you COULD put on a bra by stepping into it and then pulling it up, no?

no because hips
posted by sweetkid at 2:50 PM on September 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


Corb, I guess you see a class, where I see a deleterious way of interacting with other people. That is, you see gun rights activists as a minority POV, which it is, on this site. Thus, when people get on their high horses and the piling on begins and the best one-liners get scads of favorites, it might seem quite unfair.

So, that's class, and here's my view on gun ownership in the U.S.: a manifestation of certain values, ones to which I am very unfamiliar so I can't speak to them well, but I suppose a shorthand would be self-sufficiency and lack of regulation. I think the argument against regulation has paranoid aspects to it that make it especially vulnerable to scrutiny (especially a metafilter crowd's scrutiny). I think that the self-sufficiency argument is misguided, in that gun rights activists buy the idea that they're safer with a gun strapped on, when more often, they are in fact less safe.

If gun rights activists had a better hill to stand on, historically, legally, or in terms of safety, I might say, hey, let's hear them out.

As it is, we are to take the word of a member that because two of her sons carry guns, this Starbucks thing is flawed.

That's an emotional argument. Those don't fly that far, especially when we've got Newtown and DC and God knows in the rear view mirror.
posted by angrycat at 2:51 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's Raining Florence Henderson: "This thread is interesting from a meta level. The question that was asked was whether we should allow proxy fight threads. This then became a proxy fight thread, and by example, suggests they are ugly and unproductive."

Becuase this was a proxy fight meta. Someone didn't like the way they were being treated so they brought it to meta under the guise of a different complaint.
posted by Big_B at 2:52 PM on September 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


I would be OK with more threads just being deleted, even after several hours, if they turn into fighty fightfests. Once a thread goes really bad, it doesn't usually redeem itself. Meanwhile, the negative impact that these threads have on the community is huge. Of course it's a judgement call whether any given thread has enough redeeming qualities to avoid deletion, but I would be comfortable letting the mods make that call. Of course, I'm sure they would get no end of shit for it.
posted by Scientist at 2:53 PM on September 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


Becuase this was a proxy fight meta. Someone didn't like the way they were being treated so they brought it to meta under the guise of a different complaint.\

Exactly. I thought the thread itself was going fine. And we did have some gun owners in that thread who thought some of the hyperbole about underwear, turbans and protected classes was ridiculous. It wasn't gun owners vs anti guns at all. it was fine.
posted by sweetkid at 2:53 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


sweetkid, that would be a fine response to the original meta post, but the idea that corb and her two comments in this thread are what caused it to be a proxy seems silly. It's 100+ comments of mostly proxyish stuff and almost 0 attempt to actually engage with the meta question.
posted by kavasa at 2:57 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


It seems to me like there were several comments that addressed the meta question. Asked and answered, as it were. After that is chaos, which is sort of the Meta way.
posted by muddgirl at 2:58 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


what original meta post? Isn't this the original meta post?

Seriously people are being so unclear today what is happening
posted by sweetkid at 2:58 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's an emotional argument. Those don't fly that far, especially when we've got Newtown and DC and God knows in the rear view mirror.

Yeah but

It's okay to just let a bad argument fail to fly very far

Everybody doesn't have to take turns picking up its fallen remains and twisting its feathers into funny shapes and being all "CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS SHIT" about it

But that's not really something that can be moderated in anything resembling a consistent fashion and I guess it's not fair that only the first person to respond gets a shot at all those sweet having-cleverly-expressed-the-prevailing-opinion favorites so nevermind
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:59 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


...several comments at the beginning, I mean.
posted by muddgirl at 2:59 PM on September 18, 2013


if it were a better MeTa to start with, the quality of the discussion in the MeTa may have been better too.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:59 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Seriously people are being so unclear today what is happening

I think kavasa means that no one is talking about corb's posted question - the "OP" or "Original Post" or "That text at the top of the page."

having-cleverly-expressed-the-prevailing-opinion favorites

Turn off favorites! My personal engagement with Metafilter is so much better when I assume that others are posting in good faith and not as favorites-generating-machines.
posted by muddgirl at 3:02 PM on September 18, 2013


I would be OK with more threads just being deleted, even after several hours, if they turn into fighty fightfests.

I'd prefer to see them closed, a la MetaTalk threads, so that we don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, but I believe that is Not An Option as far as Team Mod is concerned (and I do understand the reasoning behind that decision, but I still think it is a good option, personally).
posted by Rock Steady at 3:04 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


I still don't think the thread was or is that bad. Just because corb says it is?
posted by sweetkid at 3:05 PM on September 18, 2013 [9 favorites]


The underwear comparison brought to mind a possible ad campaign pitch to women:

'Smith & Wesson -- for the days you need extra protection.'

But I thought it was a bit sexist, and probably too personal and too mean to post.
posted by jamjam at 3:06 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


With deleted threads, the baby and the bathwater are still sitting in the tub, it's just that the tub has been moved to the back room where you have to look them up in the card catalog or track them down by the things people were saying about or in them. Possibly commenters are each a baby and or a unit of bathwater.

This has been an accidental lesson in why analogies aren't very good a lot of the time. But yes, not planning to add a close button to non-Metatalk sites.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:06 PM on September 18, 2013 [13 favorites]


In the interest of dealing with the MeTa taken at face value, and without assuming any bad faith on corb's part, let's consider the remedy that she is requesting:
I would like to suggest that the bar for potential proxy war subjects be raised, particularly when emotions are high.
My response to this is that the bar is already raised in threads about gun tragedies, especially in the early going before facts come to light. To me, increased moderator scrutiny of gun arguments is warranted in these threads, out of respect to the deceased, their families, etc. and also because many details aren't known early on in these threads.

I think most of us understand that the immediate aftermath of tragedies isn't a great time to discuss gun policy, but that doesn't mean there's never a good time to discuss it, and, to me, it doesn't mean we shouldn't ever discuss gun policy in threads about gun tragedies.

What corb is asking for is to extend this raising of the bar to unrelated FPPs (or FPPs that are only related in the sense that they both involve firearms) even if those FPPs are primarily about gun policy, simply based on a subjective impression that the comments are carry-over from another thread where moderators had to step in to cool things down.

Does anyone else here, on any side of the gun rights issue, think this kind of increased scrutiny is warranted, and if so, why?
posted by tonycpsu at 3:06 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


This thread is as bad as an elephant racing a golf cart through a mushroom farm.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:09 PM on September 18, 2013 [6 favorites]



This has been an accidental lesson in why analogies aren't very good a lot of the time.


I was gonna say
posted by sweetkid at 3:09 PM on September 18, 2013


Sometimes the baby is bad and should be sent to baby prison.
posted by elizardbits at 3:10 PM on September 18, 2013 [20 favorites]


Check your panty privilege, it could be a bra.

ONE TIT AT A TIME
posted by klangklangston at 3:10 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's turtles all the way down in here.
posted by kalessin at 3:11 PM on September 18, 2013


ONE TIT AT A TIME

How would you even do that? *wanders off, boggling quietly*
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 3:11 PM on September 18, 2013 [11 favorites]


In this situation is the baby's diaper a dirty bomb? Need to know asap baby is approaching at high velocity TIA
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:11 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


After that is chaos, which is sort of the Meta way.

He sends one of yours to the MeTa, you send one of his to the disabled accounts.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:12 PM on September 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


remember: we cant has analogies without anal
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:13 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


I contributed to moving that thread away from a specific Starbucks discussion, so mea culpa. (Please let that be grammatically correct!)

The thing is, there just isn't that much to talk about, that I can see, without moving into wider gun culture issues. So the CEO says, "please no guns." What do we say in response? It's either "Good for him, for these reasons," or "I don't really like that, for these reasons," and inevitably, the reasons are going to connect to the bigger picture. I don't see that as a proxy war for anything, just a natural move in the conversation, one that I wouldn't want to see stopped. But maybe I'm missing something.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:13 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


How would you even do that? *wanders off, boggling quietly*

Are you asking for a mansplanation?
posted by Nomyte at 3:15 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


what original meta post? Isn't this the original meta post? Seriously people are being so unclear today what is happening

We are currently four levels down. Blue post about Starbucks -> blue comments about guns in general -> this meta post about whether discussion of guns in the blue thread was a proxy war -> comments here about whether this meta thread has become exactly what the meta-post was originally about.

It's usually not difficult to determine what level of comments about comments about comments we've descended to. However, despite the fact that incorrigible confusion is statistically unlikely, it makes me feel more secure if I carry (concealed) a small metal top at all times. For the record, it's still spinning.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:15 PM on September 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


The top was a maguffin, his real totem was the wedding ring, i will fight anyone who disagrees, thank you goodnight
posted by elizardbits at 3:17 PM on September 18, 2013 [9 favorites]


How would you even do that? *wanders off, boggling quietly*

Scoop and swoop, sort of!
posted by Corinth at 3:18 PM on September 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


was it an egg maguffin? those are delicious
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:18 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

I think kavasa means that no one is talking about corb's posted question - the "OP" or "Original Post" or "That text at the top of the page."
This is correct, specifically the idea of increased moderation (presumably deletion) with regards to "proxy threads".

And yeah I mean sure, muddgirl, but then there's a whole thread of "let's argue about guns here too," which sucks and I don't think it has to be how meta works.
I still don't think the thread was or is that bad. Just because corb says it is?
This is a good response to the original meta question.
posted by kavasa at 3:18 PM on September 18, 2013


Only when they're fresh eggs from a Maltese falcon.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:19 PM on September 18, 2013


what original meta post? Isn't this the original meta post? Seriously people are being so unclear today what is happening

We are currently four levels down...

posted by Wordshore at 3:20 PM on September 18, 2013


The thing is, there just isn't that much to talk about, that I can see, without moving into wider gun culture issues. So the CEO says, "please no guns." What do we say in response? It's either "Good for him, for these reasons," or "I don't really like that, for these reasons," and inevitably, the reasons are going to connect to the bigger picture. I don't see that as a proxy war for anything, just a natural move in the conversation, one that I wouldn't want to see stopped. But maybe I'm missing something

I think the thinness of the post was partially what contributed to my perception that it was in many cases a proxy war. It seemed a link about "Here is a thing, that is related to something that has been trying-not-to-be-fighty-lately, without much more context." And so the lack of more context contributed to it being not much more than a reason to discuss gun culture and whether it was good or bad. I think in context or staying on subject it could have been good - examining the motivations of CEOs who make political statements, if this counted as a political statement, etc. There was some commentary in thread about what his motivations might have been in doing so, but certainly not a lot.
posted by corb at 3:21 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Only when they're fresh eggs from a Maltese falcon.

I can't eat those. They give me the Kessel Runs in less than twelve parsecs.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:21 PM on September 18, 2013 [11 favorites]


I think it's really naive to expect a FPP about a CEO statement to discuss the meta environment of CEO statements but not the actually mentioned CEO statement.
posted by Corinth at 3:23 PM on September 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


Also, I mean, the motivation was pretty clearly people going to Starbucks with guns?
posted by Corinth at 3:24 PM on September 18, 2013


can't believe nobody has posted this
Begun, the proxy wars, have.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:26 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Calling the thread thin because you don't approve of the direction it took is not particularly a good faith argument. If people had applauded the decision to allow guns carried in their stores, mentioned in the original article, made by WalMart and Target and Home Depot, I very much doubt you would make the suggestion that the post was somehow "thin".
posted by elizardbits at 3:27 PM on September 18, 2013 [16 favorites]


Gunderwear.
posted by mikurski at 3:28 PM on September 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


If gun rights activists had a better hill to stand on, historically, legally, or in terms of safety, I might say, hey, let's hear them out....As it is, we are to take the word of a member that because two of her sons carry guns, this Starbucks thing is flawed.

No, not at all.

I really appreciate your argument above - no kidding. It was really thinky, and whatever your personal feelings, didn't feel like you were personally angry at anyone or trying to Show People How Terrible They Are or anything like that. I appreciate that you can make a statement that calm, even in the wake of a tragedy when everyone's emotions are running high. Even though I'm sure I disagree with you on some things, I appreciate your restraint. And I would never suggest that you should take the word of a member that because X personal experience, you should change your mind Y, without questioning it.

But I do think that not everyone has been able to show that restraint. For a lot of people, statements like Alia's, or Jacqueline's, seemed very hot-button, and they seemed to set off not just a "I think that is not convincing, because" response, but a "I am emotionally upset about this, and this is why I am going to let you know how wrong you are, and how ridiculous your ideas are." And that seems like not really conducive to good discussion. I don't think it adds anything positive to the conversation.

I'm not even suggesting that people shouldn't have emotional responses to these things. God knows I have emotional reactions to things myself often. But I think that imposing a time period between these sorts of things would allow people's emotional reactions to calm down, and maybe let them make less "pro-murder" statements, and more "this is the historical and social context I am thinking of" statements.
posted by corb at 3:30 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


But I think that imposing a time period between these sorts of things would allow people's emotional reactions to calm down, and maybe let them make less "pro-murder" statements, and more "this is the historical and social context I am thinking of" statements.

I can't speak for everyone, but I barely noticed the Navy Yard stuff and am pretty confident that my emotional reaction to guns and their supporters is the same today as it was three days ago.
posted by jacalata at 3:36 PM on September 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


With deleted threads, the baby and the bathwater are still sitting in the tub, it's just that the tub has been moved to the back room where you have to look them up in the card catalog....

Guys, look what you did! You made cortex start channelling Dan Rather!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:50 PM on September 18, 2013 [9 favorites]


But I think that imposing a time period between these sorts of things would allow people's emotional reactions to calm down, and maybe let them make less "pro-murder" statements, and more "this is the historical and social context I am thinking of" statements.

We can never talk about gun control in the aftermath of a mass shooting, because everyone is too emotional and it's framed as making it "political" to talk about gun control.

But we have a lot of mass shootings. Frequent mass shootings. Is there a particular length of time anyone can suggest that should pass between shootings and people being able to talk about gun control here?
posted by rtha at 3:51 PM on September 18, 2013 [21 favorites]


btw total derail but how do you keep a cat off a keyboard? My kitten loves keyboards like I love soft cheese.
posted by angrycat at 3:53 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


elizardbits: The top was a maguffin, his real totem was the wedding ring, i will fight anyone who disagrees, thank you goodnight

Well, let's throw down the gloves and see who jerseys who.

Before I saw inception I read what I thought was a spoiler which informed how I saw the movie. The theory was that Cobb is not actually a master inceptionator; the entire movie is about Cobb being the clueless victim of an inception perpetrated by the rest of the cast. The goal of an inception is to implant one key phrase, correct? What we see throughout the movie is a set of scenarios leading up to he conclusion he reaches "for himself" in his final encounter with Mal: "You are just a shade of my real wife. You're the best I can do; but I'm sorry, you are just not good enough." The inception is designed to make him think he should finalize his divorce. On this interpretation, neither the ring nor the top is Cobb's totem. He is only dreaming that he is a master inceptionator who owns a totem.

Before I get my teeth loosened, I'll throw out some Umberto Eco and say that stories don't have correct interpretations, they are machines for generating interpretations.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:54 PM on September 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


better grease up cause we gonna rassle
posted by elizardbits at 3:54 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't really see how the mods can do that, though. There's no way, on a site of however many users, that you'll get consensus or anything close to it on what constitutes a proxy thread. And then, like, what sort of time period ought there to be? It's just not workable to ask the mods to implement something like this, I think. I think probably the better solution is what actually happened, with some aggressive in-thread moderation of comments that seemed to be trying to run off into the badlands.
posted by kavasa at 3:55 PM on September 18, 2013


We can never talk about gun control in the aftermath of a mass shooting

This is such a given on MetaFilter that the complaints about how "When will it be time, then?" generally precede the "It's too soon!" complaints by several hours, if not entire days.
posted by Etrigan at 3:55 PM on September 18, 2013


It's always going to have been too soon.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:57 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


>But this oh-poor-me-why-am-I-being-persecuted nonsense by the person who posted this meta is bullshit and we should stop tolerating it.

Which part of corb telling us she is not a gun owner did you not understand?

Also, as a gun owner with no conceal carry, I can say that I felt put off by the way people were behaving (I totally get I was probably overreacting to a few stupid comments which weren't representative) in the starbucks fpp. Which is why I was interacting sub-optimally in there. This does not excuse it, but its not like I just woke up and decided: "I think I'm gonna be shitty on metafilter today." I'm human and I overreacted. I stand by what I said minus the shitty little digs I threw in there, but I guess I'm just providing some context for why things go the way they do.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 3:57 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


panty

panty

panty

better grease up cause we gonna rassle







Well, now I've got to call my sponsor again.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:04 PM on September 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


I don't think corb is a 1%er but that didn't stop her starting up a MeTa about mistreatment of rich people.
posted by sweetkid at 4:04 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


We just had a thread about wrestling so I'm all set. (Conversations during matches) OK, so we can start with a bit of posturing, then after I hit you with a folding chair I'll jump off the top ropes at you and miss. I'll roll around for a while holding my head, then you do an elbow drop and follow it up with your Spinetingler (tm). I'll tap out. See you again next week in Detroit.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 4:07 PM on September 18, 2013


Corb, I appreciate your response, but here is the thing: I have been shitty, to you, specifically, in gun control matters. I mean, I guess I'm like whatevs about the Starbucks thing and like shit another one about the DC thing. So I guess I'm more emotionally removed. But I went a little crazy after the Zimmerman verdict and I know that in the like week following Newtown I was ready to drink hot blood, although I don't remember if I was an asshole about it on Metafilter or not.

Gun violence is a terrible thing. There isn't a good reason outside of law enforcement to carry guns unless you are goin' out to kill a bear and then make a blog post about its head or something. I think hunters should have their guns. So, cops and hunters, the end.

And I believe that so strongly, and no argument that I have encountered altered it, that especially when you have, say, parents choking out sentences about their gun-downed child having perfect pitch, I have very little patience with those who defend any part of the process that resulted and said dead child. And so I have badly engaged in the WHAM I told you thing.

I'm not saying that all liberals are like that, God knows, I'm a solitary freak of a woman. But I know for me, I want to start by being all *reasons* and often I end up tempted or sometimes doing or trying and failing a *ZINGER* that will collect or not collect applause.

I'm tempted to turn favorites off, or however one does it, but man, I have the rest of the season of Homeland to watch and it's not very good but fine when you need to staple a lot of shit.
posted by angrycat at 4:13 PM on September 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


"Well, let's throw down the gloves and see who jerseys who."

Is this a regional thing? Growing up in Michigan, we always called this "shirting."
posted by klangklangston at 4:16 PM on September 18, 2013


We just had a thread about wrestling so I'm all set. (Conversations during matches) OK, so we can start with a bit of posturing, then after I hit you with a folding chair I'll jump off the top ropes at you and miss. I'll roll around for a while holding my head, then you do an elbow drop and follow it up with your Spinetingler (tm). I'll tap out. See you again next week in Detroit.

I HATE YOU JUSTSOMEBODYTHATYOUUSEDTOKNOW!
posted by Drinky Die at 4:22 PM on September 18, 2013


And I believe that so strongly, and no argument that I have encountered altered it, that especially when you have, say, parents choking out sentences about their gun-downed child having perfect pitch, I have very little patience with those who defend any part of the process that resulted and said dead child. And so I have badly engaged in the WHAM I told you thing

Man, but I really appreciate you again! Including the admission, that is a really huge thing. I hadn't recognized the name but I appreciate it.

I really do understand how that process goes, though. My personal hotbutton, weirdly, is war. I've been a soldier, and had friends die, and had friends kill, and had to hold grown men while they sobbed in my arms about what they've had to do. It is so hard for me when people are blithe about it. I sometimes say shitty things.

And honestly, that stuff and those feelings sometimes makes me say shitty things about other stuff. I'm probably about the farthest thing from a Southerner that you can get. I don't own any guns myself, though I'd like to own one. I never shot one until I joined the military. I've never carried a gun openly anywhere that wasn't in a foreign country or on a military base. I was a typical New Yorker, which is where I was raised. I was honestly freaked out by guns period.

But when people talk about these types of people, it makes me think of these guys who took such good care of me and who I took such good care of and who I loved and who loved me in ways we don't really talk about. When people talk about guys who have to carry guns everywhere being stupid or paranoid or dreaming of killing someone, I think about my friend S., who did three tours in Iraq and left most of himself there. Who if he had to kill someone again, here in the US, would probably throw up and get drunk and cry for hours. But he does it, not because he's an awful person, but because he has gotten so used to protecting other people that he thinks it's still his job, always going to be his job.

And maybe there's even arguments that he and others like him are not doing the right thing. But when they get mocking, I think "how dare you?" It's really honestly almost never about me. It's about those people I love.

And this is maybe way too touchy-feely for MeTa so I'll stop. But that's part of where I come from.
posted by corb at 4:32 PM on September 18, 2013 [16 favorites]


I don't want to sound at all like I'm doing some kind of gotcha, but soldiers using guns in training and war ought to remain far, far removed from the discussion of civilian carry. I think you, and by extension the discussion, would benefit greatly by keeping those situations separate.

I feel terrible saying this, and I hope you understand.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 4:39 PM on September 18, 2013 [29 favorites]


better grease up cause we gonna rassle

Tried to, but Paula Deen wants to fry me.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:43 PM on September 18, 2013


So yeah, this is a derail along the lines of how this MeTa is about proxy arguments, but the issue of gun control has come up and is being discussed, so here's me:

I'm a rabidly progressive liberal on a lot of social issues, especially social justice issues.

And all that said and assumed, I'm not pro-gun-abolition. I'm not particularly pro-gun-control, though I think we could probably update gun registration and gun-owner background checks and concealed carry processes and procedures at state and federal levels and give the executive branches of various levels of government less to hassle about and worry about.

I do think that the judicial branch's wildly different and weirdly random results when prosecuting gun violence cases do reveal some disturbing patterns in social justice. But I don't think that the guns are making that insanity real. I think it's the laws and the rampant racism/socio-economically-driven power disparities/clashes between cultures and subcultures that are revealed in the way the cases resolve or don't resolve. And I think that we can fix that, or at least improve it, if we put our minds to making our insane collections of laws a bit saner.

But with respect to guns? Whatever. The horses left the barn years ago. Any laws we put in place now are going to be bandaids to slap over new gun sales and by and large won't retroactively apply to existing owned guns. It's a shame, I think, but again, not controllable, that stupid and irresponsible people exist among gun owners and that insane people do too, and that it's relatively easy for those sorts to obtain guns both inside and outside of the law.

Most of the gun owners I know are ultra-responsible about the ownership, the care, the feeding and the locking up safely of those guns. I don't subscribe to some rabid liberal fantasy that gun owners are all potential murderers.
posted by kalessin at 4:50 PM on September 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


Corb, thanks -- I really appreciate you saying that and sharing that perspective. I don't think it's too "touchy-feely" (though what the hell do I know?) but, at the risk of also sounding too touchy-feely, I feel like I actually did learn something and gained a different perspective from your comment.

I would also like to suggest, in what I hope is a thoughtful and respectful way, that this:
I think about my friend S., who did three tours in Iraq and left most of himself there. Who if he had to kill someone again, here in the US, would probably throw up and get drunk and cry for hours. But he does it, not because he's an awful person, but because he has gotten so used to protecting other people that he thinks it's still his job, always going to be his job.
adds a lot to the discussion, but maybe not what you think. This is a great argument in favor of better social and emotional support for veterans and also of destigmatizing conversations about love and how we care for people and protect them. This is also not someone who I want carrying a gun around me or my loved ones or really anyone in civilian life. I think the answer here is maybe not to give him a gun, it's to give him another way to protect people or to make him feel safe enough that maybe he doesn't have to. That said, I really do appreciate your comment and it's always nice to have an additional, more human perspective on what can easily be seen as "the other side" so thank you again.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 4:55 PM on September 18, 2013 [16 favorites]


And maybe there's even arguments that he and others like him are not doing the right thing. But when they get mocking, I think "how dare you?" It's really honestly almost never about me. It's about those people I love.

I totally hear you there and I don't think it's too touchy-feely at all. At the same time, it is also an odd sort of proxy argument when you say "these people aren't talking about me but they're talking about people that I care about in a way that I don't like and I'm going to step up as if they were talking about me..." That is to say yeah I totally saw that you're not a gun owner and not really arguing for your personal right to carry in Starbucks, which is great.

At the same time, having arguments-by-proxy because they affect other people you care about is a really nuanced thing and difficult to do well. It's one of the reasons we get sort of sniffy about people using "I" statements about stuff as in we want them to do it not just talk about some sort of generalized other who they are either arguing for or against. And it's fine if that "I" statement is "I have a friend who..." and that is why you care so much about things. It gets weirder when there are requests for doing things differently on MeFi (and I'm not really down with your proxy war idea, I don't see it and we're not going to moderate like that) because of these other people who are not here and are not the people we are talking to or with.

So, again, I hear you. However, I feel like this is falling into the borrowing trouble category where there's a little too much conflation between Real World Stuff that goes on and Nerds Bullshitting About Real World Stuff. I know not everyone draws the line in the same place, but it is important to at least maintain that there's a difference.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:04 PM on September 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


zombieflanders: "And now, unfortunately, a number of latecomers are reigniting conversations from over several hours ago as if they were still germane to the conversation."

The blue isn't Chat or IRC. It is asynchronous by nature and sometimes people are going to bring something up from hours before (IMO not a very long time ago even in the fastest moving threads) because they think they have something to say that wasn't already said; they need to add consensus to one side or the other; they plain didn't see and/or parse subsequent replies and probably several other reasons. Really I don't see much of a problem there considering the alternative would be to curb participation by people who can't sit compulsively reloading threads all day.
posted by Mitheral at 5:07 PM on September 18, 2013


I don't subscribe to some rabid liberal fantasy that gun owners are all potential murderers.

I agree almost completely with everything else you said in your comment, but step back from this statement and look at it. In my mind it's not a fantasy nor is it a condemnation that gun owners are potential murderers. The fact is that guns have a huge potential to kill someone, wherein depending on the circumstances it could be murder. Even if that person didn't intend for it to go down that way. Feels like a healthy perspective to keep I think.
posted by Big_B at 5:32 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ice Cream Socialist - I don't take what you're saying badly at all. But I'm not talking about combat situations. Or I mean, I am to explain my emotions, but...I'm mostly talking about, you know, either when those guys come back, or before they went. That's where it stands for me. This culture that honestly I wasn't born into, and I came hard to, but because I loved them I had to understand, and now I do understand. And not just understand, but empathize, and defend.

It feels - and again, I talk of feelings here - like a lot of people may not have had to have that forced empathy, or forced love, for other people who are really really different than them, and so it's easy to other them, or think they're bad people for their ideas or their culture. Which is really different than just thinking they're wrong! And doesn't even mean the person who hasn't had empathy forced is bad. It's hard to understand alien viewpoints if you don't have a personal connection.

It gets weirder when there are requests for doing things differently on MeFi (and I'm not really down with your proxy war idea, I don't see it and we're not going to moderate like that) because of these other people who are not here and are not the people we are talking to or with.

Yeah, I may be more sensitive to the notion of proxy wars, and if its not a thing that is to be moderated, that's an okay call. It just seemed like a bad idea to me and frustrating, since upsetting conversation had been narrowly avoided previously. That was why I made the MeTa - to get community input.
posted by corb at 5:34 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


corb, I'm really curious as to the relationship between how you feel about your fellow soldiers and your position on gun ownership. I'm feeling a real disconnect here. Are you saying that the fellow soliders who you care so much about are--when not carrying a gun in military service--gun owners? And by criticizing gun ownership generally people are therefore criticizing these people that you care about?
posted by MoonOrb at 5:38 PM on September 18, 2013


Corb, thanks for sharing the feelings you have about the ones you care for -- I have a great sympathy for folks in the armed forces. A few of my students have signed up, and my big worry is about their getting killed/traumatized, not about their exposure to guns in general.

By the way, I am a little too stoned so maybe this is a non-remarkable insight, but as somebody who just recently got tangled up with Dr. Who, may I just observe that The Doctor is Manic Pixie Dream Boy? I've had a few too many thoughts about David Tennant and Matt Smith. But Peter Capaldi would be like Manic Pixie Dream Father, which might be okay if he were allowed to curse. Anyway.
posted by angrycat at 5:46 PM on September 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


Big_B:In my mind it's not a fantasy nor is it a condemnation that gun owners are potential murderers.

While we're nitpicking, and I get that you said your statement wasn't a condemnation, I do.... I mean that applies to anyone that is 'not you' depending on how far down the rabbit hole you want to go. I mean I guess you might could feel safe around a paraplegic, unless he could have had a blowgun and some poison tip darts. So, someone in a coma. That's the only non-potential murderer, going by your definition, that I can think of.

Seriously, by your definition anyone with a kitchen knife, fingernail clippers, blunt object, that is stronger than you, or standing behind you with you at unawares is a potential murderer.

When my wife is chopping vegetables , as you put it, "that knife has a huge potential to kill someone, wherein depending on the circumstances it could be murder" (italics mine of course cuz I don't know how to do the whole slashed out word thing). Sure sure, my wife doesn't take a butcher knife in public with her, nor a firearm for that matter, nor am I tossing in the strawman "if you ban guns you have to ban knives too!", but if she were taking a cooking class or shopping for knives at Bed, Bath, and Beyond it'd be a bit of an odd point of view to see her as a potential killer because she's holding that nice Henckels butcher knife.

Both of those statements, yours and mine, are absolutely logically fair and valid. But it's not a balanced way to look at the discussion concerning people and firearms ownership if you're really trying to engage in good faith. Unless you really are worried about that person buying a Louisville Slugger in line behind you at Dick's Sporting Goods, then that's consistent.

But maybe this whole statement belongs in the main thread, maybe not, this meta has gotten so multifaceted that I should probably show myself out lest I get dragged back into commenting on gun stuff again. It's actually too late already...

And yea, props for any-and-all folks that are engaging here or there in good faith (and that's not a sideways snipe at Big_B in an attempt to pseudo-call them out kinda way), it really shouldn't be hard and as long as the discourse can hold true to the level of equals or, dare I say it, friends talking and listening to each other I'm thrilled to read along in hopes of a more hug-filled future.
posted by RolandOfEld at 5:57 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


I just realized my previous comment appears to be laced with several instances of blatant advertising that's worse than digitizing in a WheatiesTM label on the cereal box in a Friends episode.

I hang my head in shame.
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:02 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel what underlies his statement is that the only real purpose of a gun is to kill- making it markedly different than a kitchen knife, car, my ultra deadly fists, a softball bat, etc.

Nevertheless, I found the statement to be not a particularly helpful distinction to draw, and, speaking as a gunowner, a little annoyed that he sees me as a potential murderer.
posted by MoonOrb at 6:03 PM on September 18, 2013


This should be embroidered on a sampler that hangs in the MeFi Mod HQ as even truer than "Everyone needs a hug":

"You people are so self absorbed that you"

[If you are addressing the thread like this you need to pull the emergency brake and regroup before you keep going in here.]
posted by cortex at 12:49 AM on September 19

The MeFi Mod HQ looks just like the Batcave but drier and better-lit and not full of bats.
posted by gingerest at 6:05 PM on September 18, 2013


As long as we're fixing things today, that should really say "Everyone needs a consensual hug from a loved one, never from a stranger, and certainly not in a coffee shop." Because otherwise it's just creepy.
posted by Nomyte at 6:12 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Bruce Wayne, guano harvester.
posted by planetesimal at 6:13 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Nomyte, if you have something you actually think substantially needs discussing, you need to make it a whole heck of a lot clearer what it is and why, because that looks like a random driveby.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:14 PM on September 18, 2013 [20 favorites]


MoonOrb - yes, generally. Or at least, a good number of them are. I mean, again - I'd like to have a gun, and I'll sometimes go to ranges and borrow the range gun and plink to stay in practice. If I move out of the city to someplace where it's less of a hassle I'll probably get my own gun - for self defense, but probably also because range guns really suck and are almost never cleaned. So sometimes I'll put myself into the "gun owner" class, because, you know, I could be and might be someday. And people I love are.

When people civilly talk about their ideas about what policies to implement, it doesn't really flip me. But when people talk about Open Carry folks, and how crazy they are, I think about my friend CJ. Who I would never normally talk about, but he's been pretty public so it's probably okay. He's this really conservative active duty guy, but this super sweet family man. He makes adorbs posts about how much he loves his wife, and spends time with his kids. He's upper enlisted, but takes time for his soldiers. When I was first dealing with my PTSD, CJ was the first person who reached out to me, and told me to call him anytime, day or night - and meant it. He's helped me so much when I needed it. When I got out and needed job references, he came through every time, and puffed up his chest and talked about his rank and made me sound like a shining star.

CJ got arrested recently for open carrying his gun in a really reasonable situation. He is in danger of losing so much, for a thing that's legal, but freaked people out. So he started getting political about it, and has become the Face of the Open Carry Movement down there, and started organizing Open Carry marches and stuff. Now, when CJ and I are talking, quietly, as friends, I might say, hey man, that is kind of tactically unsound. And honestly, sometimes he looks a little wild-eyed now, if you don't know him. But I do know him, and it hurts and I get defensive to have him dismissed as a crazy. Because he may not be blood, but he's family.

If I had a gun, I probably wouldn't carry it to the supermarket, or the coffee stop. If I took it with me at all, I'd probably take it on nights where I was going to be alone, or in a bad neighborhood, or somewhere where I felt unsafe. But asking me to say, "Those people are crazies, who carry their gun everywhere" - I can never say that. I would never say that. Because those are my friends, those are guys who will forever be close to me. It would feel like a betrayal. And when I hear it, it bothers me.
posted by corb at 6:15 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Everyone has personal histories that inform their reactions, including those people who disagree with you, corb. So you suggest that we wait for things to calm down because people are too emotional, but also because certain criticisms make you feel emotional. Am I missing something, or is emotion only okay when expressing it supports your arguments?
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:16 PM on September 18, 2013 [27 favorites]


Unless you really are worried about that person buying a Louisville Slugger in line behind you at Dick's Sporting Goods

This is part of the weirdness of normalization of handgun ownership/carry, though. Because if I see someone with a baseball bat—something specifically designed as sporting goods, not as a weapon, but which can in practice be used as a weapon—I'm going to have a reaction based on where and when and how they're carrying it. It's a non-weapon that becomes a source of alarm if it's being brandished or flaunted (let alone actively, violently wielded) in specific non-baseball contexts.

Whereas guns have the opposite sort of contextualization: they're purpose-built killing-things machines, and while at a shooting range or during skeet shooting or on a hunting trip the context shifts to a specific "these are for something other than potentially killing humans" situation, those are the exceptions. A gun's a little machine designed to put holes in mammals so they die, and in the case of handguns those mammals are basically always humans.

But they've been culturally normalized in the US to the point where a lot of people seemingly think it is not weird to haul 'em around. That situations where someone walking up to you with a baseball bat or a tire iron or a butcher knife would be seriously WTF are somehow situations where someone walking up to you with a purpose-built killing machine should be a normal hunky-dorey sort of thing. That's a really weird, really exceptional twist in the fabric of US popular culture, and not a unanimously accepted one by a longshot which is part of why we see such strong reactions when those perceptions of appropriate context run up against each other.

I don't think "potential murderer" is a super useful way to frame the whole thing because it comes off as more actively alarmist about the immediate situations where open- and concealed-carry folks are likely to run into folks with contrasting opinions; but I completely understand the purpose of framing it that way, because it's a lot more faithful to the actual dissonant weirdness of carrying deadly weapons around like pocket watches than suggesting that the difference between a gun and a pair of toenail clippers is one of degree rather than of kind.

As long as we're fixing things today, that should really say "Everyone needs a consensual hug from a loved one, never from a stranger, and certainly not in a coffee shop." Because otherwise it's just creepy.

Seriously, Nomyte, I don't know if you are trying and failing to be funny or trying and succeeding at performing assholery in here but you need to either start speaking in straightfaced paragraphs now or go do something else with your day.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:17 PM on September 18, 2013 [45 favorites]


Nomyte has done it three times in this thread, now, and it no longer looks like a random drive-by. It's a bitterly sarcastic attack on the rhetoric used by feminists on this site. It's ugly.
posted by gilrain at 6:17 PM on September 18, 2013 [18 favorites]


MoonOrb: Of course, and I agree... but that's not the distinction he drew in his phrasing.

The fact is that guns have a huge potential to kill someone, wherein depending on the circumstances it could be murder. Even if that person didn't intend for it to go down that way. Feels like a healthy perspective to keep I think.

I guess I read in too deeply but that seems pretty clear cut: "Power imbalance -> potential to kill, killing -> potential to be murder, intent being irrelevant if someone ends up dead, perspective healthy no?"

Guns provide a power imbalance, but so does 3 steps on a staircase, or a shady corner to hide in, or monkey wrench or lead pipe. I'm just saying that being concerned about one and not the other is at best tunnel vision and at worst willfully distorting the discussion by boiling it down to DANGER=BAD therefor we must limit all the BAD things. I guess that may not be willfull distortion to some, but again if that's your viewpoint then it seems wrong to say you agree with someone who said "I'm not particularly pro-gun-control" and then follow it directly with an assertion that because guns kill then people around them are potential murderers.

It just seemed odd to focus on that without any other contextual reasons (Of which there are many! We'd agree on some and not agree on others I'm sure) to have concerns about the current state of gun ownership/carrying as it relates to the discussion at hand.

And it was a counter-nitpick, so maybe is just alot of fluff on my part anyway but at least I didn't insert any brand names in this comment to worm their way into your psyche and make you crave a Twix bar or something right about now, right?
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:18 PM on September 18, 2013


corb, I appreciate your candor about how your connection to the military informs your views on these matters, and though it doesn't have anything to do with the gun issue, I'm wondering if this same dynamic might explain your criticism of Congress' decision to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the victims of the church bombing in Birmingham 50 years ago.

I was astonished that anyone would interpret commemorating this anniversary as a "slap to the face" to military heroes who have been given a completely different award, but in seeing your thought process on how your relation to your fellow soldiers causes you to be hypersensitive toward any criticism of gun enthusiasts in general, I feel like I might understand the thought process a bit more. I can't say I agree with the logic, of course, but I can at least follow it.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:21 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


RolandOfEld: "Guns provide a power imbalance, but so does 3 steps on a staircase, or a shady corner to hide in, or monkey wrench or lead pipe."

Do monkey wrenches kill thousands of people ever year? Do people regularly end their own lives by beating themselves with lead pipes?

Your comment reads like you think that a power imbalance is a binary thing that you either have or don't have against someone, when it is of course a sliding scale that goes up as the lethality of the weapon goes up. An angry person with a firearm is more dangerous than an angry person with a blunt object. This is not hard to understand, and it really feels like you're playing Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer here by minimizing the difference between "thing that can end a life given enough effort" and "thing that ends thousands of lives every year by squeezing one's finger."
posted by tonycpsu at 6:31 PM on September 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


I don't think "potential murderer" is a super useful way to frame the whole thing because it comes off as more actively alarmist about the immediate situations where open- and concealed-carry folks are likely to run into folks with contrasting opinions; but I completely understand the purpose of framing it that way, because it's a lot more faithful to the actual dissonant weirdness of carrying deadly weapons around like pocket watches than suggesting that the difference between a gun and a pair of toenail clippers is one of degree rather than of kind.

I can jive with this.

The purpose is really what's important to me too. If the purpose of using the phrase "potential murderer" is that the phrase user really and truly thinks people carrying guns, like many mefites have asserted themselves to doing while reasonably trained and sane, are that much of an additional threat that labeling people with the moniker is justified then it's a fair statement and RolandLogicApproved. But, it follows that if the reason said person is afraid is simply because of a power imbalance then there are many situations whereby that imbalance is also present and I would expect a similar reaction/fear.

Beyond that the usage just seems prone to inflame and generally shit thing ups rather than enter into the talk in good faith. Because according to that logic, yes this is really how I see it and I'm not trying to shit stir, anyone is a potential murderer just like anyone is a potential thief or rapist or racist or dog kicker or illegal-left-turn-across-traffic-maker. It's true.

Valid statements all... but no way to view the world if you want to remain sane and not piss off everyone behind you slamming on the brakes because you assumed someone else was intent on doing something society says they shouldn't.

Like I said, numerous times, guns aren't knives are completely different monsters and deserve very different treatment for various reasons, I just think fear of "what other people do for it's own sake" isn't a very deep or cogent one and leads to a mental whirlpool that doesn't gain anyone anything.
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:31 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


So you suggest that we wait for things to calm down because people are too emotional, but also because certain criticisms make you feel emotional. Am I missing something, or is emotion only okay when expressing it supports your arguments?

You're missing something. I usually try not to be emotional, honestly. I may suck at it, but I do. I definitely try really, really hard not to be shitty to people because of it. I definitely avoid posting FPPs when I'm emotional. If I'm aware I'm being super emotional I'll try to walk away for a while. thanks Zombieflanders. You know why. I am being emotional here because I was specifically requested by a user who I appreciate and respect to be a little more upfront about the emotions which inform my own reactions, because I was told that I was coming off as someone I'm totally not.

When I say that certain criticisms - in particular, pointed criticisms that feel like mockery or meanspiritedness - make me emotional, I wasn't necessarily trying to relate it to my initial idea about this stuff in general. I was answering a direct question and trying to give people insight. And as you'll note, I really appreciated someone else I really disagree with, above, giving her emotional perspective, because I think it helps us be kinder to each other.
posted by corb at 6:34 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do monkey wrenches kill thousands of people ever year? Do people regularly end their own lives by beating themselves with lead pipes?

Your comment reads like you think that a power imbalance is a binary thing that you either have or don't have against someone,


Maybe my comment that came in at nearly the same time as yours clarifies my viewpoint, but yea I think that if someone is playing the guns ==> potential murderer card because *guns* rather than the myriad of other reason out there to be concerned, then yea, that person is taking a very black and white view of things and is being not very logical.

it really feels like you're playing Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer here by minimizing the difference between "thing that can end a life given enough effort" and "thing that ends thousands of lives every year by squeezing one's finger."

I don't know the Unfrozen Caveman thing but I see it more from the viewpoint of "assumption that assumes the absolute worst out of the human involved" and "assumption that looks at the whole picture of living in a world with other humans being inherently fraught". Because the "thing that ends thousands of lives" can be any number of things we have here in this country, and that objecting to them (be it guns or cars or cigs or speed limits or whatever) for that reason is completely fair and valid, but objecting just because of an imbalance of power is prone to the logic faults, as I see them, above.
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:38 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Corb, you may (or may not) want to ask yourself if the reason some people are "emotional" in a way you don't like might have something to do with your comments in these threads.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:39 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


It feels - and again, I talk of feelings here - like a lot of people may not have had to have that forced empathy, or forced love, for other people who are really really different than them

Oh, you are so full of shit. Right now you're condescending to everyone who isn't as empathetic as you are; tomorrow or next week you'll be making the case that slavery wasn't that bad or that the poor have no rights that anyone's really bound to respect or whatever your guiding belief that you are the only person who matters moves you to make. I usually do you the favor of assuming that you don't really believe all the nonsense you write and instead assume that you're just a staggering narcissist with an active imagination. And this is the thanks I get.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:50 PM on September 18, 2013 [42 favorites]


unicorn sky candy
posted by sweetkid at 6:52 PM on September 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


"cuz I don't know how to do the whole slashed out word thing"

<strike></strike>

As long as we're fixing things today, that should really say "Everyone needs a consensual hug from a loved one, never from a stranger, and certainly not in a coffee shop." Because otherwise it's just creepy.

Did someone just make your Starbucks visit really weird?
posted by klangklangston at 6:57 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Mah hero!
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:58 PM on September 18, 2013


Did someone just make your Starbucks visit really weird?

It's a lot harder to say 'no' to a hug when your hugger is armed.
posted by Nomyte at 7:00 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


But if they've got no arms, the whole hugging exercise is trivial, non?
posted by mikurski at 7:00 PM on September 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


RolandOfEld: " Maybe my comment that came in at nearly the same time as yours clarifies my viewpoint, but yea I think that if someone is playing the guns ==> potential murderer card because *guns* rather than the myriad of other reason out there to be concerned, then yea, that person is taking a very black and white view of things and is being not very logical."

I do not subscribe to the "anyone with a gun is a potential murderer" logic you were responding to, but the logic you're using to refute it is perhaps worse. Of course we're all potential murderers, but guns make it easier to make that potential kinetic. The balance of power is increased with the power of the tool being used.

The analogies to cigarettes and speed limits are flawed for obvious reasons. Tobacco use and motor vehicle collisions kill more people than guns do, but cars have a legitimate use that helps offset their harm to society, and tobacco use most directly hurts the person choosing to smoke, and our culture is sympathetic toward letting people destroy themselves if they're not hurting anyone else.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:01 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


But if they've got no arms, the whole hugging exercise is trivial, non?

I suppose they could sort of lean against you.
posted by Nomyte at 7:03 PM on September 18, 2013


"But if they've got no arms, the whole hugging exercise is trivial, non?"

Yeah more a "Note: Everyone needs a chest bump."
posted by klangklangston at 7:03 PM on September 18, 2013


Cars also have the advantages of lots of legal and cultural imperatives that discourage their usage in reckless ways. When was the last time you saw a gun in popular culture that was being used for non-violent target practice instead of shooting someone?
posted by mikurski at 7:06 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


corb, thanks for the response. I think what the young rope-rider said pretty much captures how i feel about it: while I can appreciate how feeling like "an attack on someone I love feels like an attack on me," well, we all love lots of people who have all kinds of views, and if we're going to feel attacked and get upset any time any of those viewpoints is attacked here, we're gonna be pretty unhappy.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:07 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


The analogies to cigarettes and speed limits are flawed for obvious reasons. Tobacco use and motor vehicle collisions kill more people than guns do, but cars have a legitimate use that helps offset their harm to society, and tobacco use most directly hurts the person choosing to smoke, and our culture is sympathetic toward letting people destroy themselves if they're not hurting anyone else.

Perhaps you misunderstood the part, the subsequent words actually, where I say that objecting to the use of guns for reasons akin to the reasons you'd object to those things, namely that they kill people, would be valid. I, however, didn't say it was the only reason to object to guns nor the only valid reason to object to those things. You see the analogy as flawed because you're seeing an analogy that I didn't write.

For what it's worth I agree that someone hypothetically making the analogy that guns should be legal because people can smoke is either not cogent or participating in bad faith.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:13 PM on September 18, 2013


When was the last time you saw a gun in popular culture that was being used for non-violent target practice instead of shooting someone?

Jack Reacher in June 2013.
posted by Tanizaki at 7:41 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


When was the last time you saw a gun in popular culture that was being used for non-violent target practice instead of shooting someone?

Top Shot on the History Channel? The Olympics?
posted by wildcrdj at 7:50 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


> Jack Reacher in June 2013.

That might not be the best example given the portrayal of guns elsewhere in the film...
posted by planetesimal at 8:02 PM on September 18, 2013


And I just popped into the thread to see if things had continued to improve to see someone who is

a) dealing with bona-fide restraining order level stalker(s) among other physical harm threats due to political activism while also being female,
b) well versed in the training and due respect regarding her carry license/status, and
c) intelligent and thoughtful enough to admit the shortcomings and concerns she and her instructors have with even considering displaying a weapon, let alone discharging said weapon, even in self defense

be internet-diagnosed as having a case of paranoia and being, not the victim, but indeed (for most people at least) the actual threat and for solving her situation poorly. *insert slow sarcastic golf clap here*

See y'all next discussion, maybe it'll be less of that and more of anything else.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:03 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


"Jack Reacher in June 2013."

Jeez, even more rare than responsible gun use in media is someone who will admit to seeing Jack Reacher.
posted by klangklangston at 8:15 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think Jacqueline's discussion of her training was interesting and her discussions of her stalking situation sad and horrifying, but that doesn't change the underwear and turban talk that went on all day, plus the smiley emoticons.

I think it's natural for victims of stalking to have fear and want to protect themselves, but I also think it's natural that people will get their back up if someone says they support minimal gun restrictions because Earth is full of dangerous humans. That is just statistically not the case. Unless you're a panda or elephants or honeybees or the polar ice caps, in which case yea dangerous humans are trying to kill you.
posted by sweetkid at 8:19 PM on September 18, 2013 [18 favorites]


I think Jacqueline's discussion of her training was interesting and her discussions of her stalking situation sad and horrifying, but that doesn't change the underwear and turban talk that went on all day, plus the smiley emoticons.

True that, times a hundred. I really wish evening shift Jacqueline had been there from the beginning. I honestly can barely reconcile the comments before the training stories as being from the same person.
posted by phearlez at 8:24 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


I usually try not to be emotional, honestly.


I really don't see what is wrong with being emotional. To me it is part of being human.
posted by Golden Eternity at 8:34 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


wildcrdj: "Top Shot on the History Channel"

Which is, by the way, a totally awesome show.
posted by scrump at 8:40 PM on September 18, 2013


Sort of shit FPP to begin with, wasn't it?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:45 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


And I just popped into the thread to see if things had continued to improve to see someone who is

a) dealing with bona-fide restraining order level stalker(s) among other physical harm threats due to political activism while also being female,
b) well versed in the training and due respect regarding her carry license/status, and
c) intelligent and thoughtful enough to admit the shortcomings and concerns she and her instructors have with even considering displaying a weapon, let alone discharging said weapon, even in self defense


d) suggesting that she carries a gun not for any personal circumstance but because it is a good idea for anyone who lives on Earth and deals with Other Humans, which seems to show that she actually has a poor grasp on when guns are appropriate solutions and when they are not
posted by jacalata at 8:47 PM on September 18, 2013 [11 favorites]


"... I really wish evening shift Jacqueline had been there from the beginning. I honestly can barely reconcile the comments before the training stories as being from the same person."
posted by phearlez at 11:24 PM on September 18

If you live a long enough life, you have a lot of stories, and, generally, a lot of reasons for your choices and current behavior. And the longer I'm here, the more I realize how little all that means to most people who read threads here. Especially in threads about complex, contentious subjects.

Kudos to Jacqueline for staying with a thread that was going 10+ to 1 against her, and adding her honest, if unpopular, bits. Not that she, sadly, could have expected to change anyone's mind, as anyone who reads gun threads, or such, here, for long, soon comes to realize.
posted by paulsc at 8:50 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


I happen to know a lot of people who have concealed carry permits. They are not insane, they are not rabid, they are all responsible human beings who don't pull wings off flies for fun.


I understand that there are people in here who don't want to be in the presence of a gun. Let me say that to me you sound hysterical, fearful and childish. It is not the gun itself that you need to fear.

The people you are afraid of probably don't bother with a permit, probably have their guns illegally, or if they do have legal guns and shouldn't, are probably people who should give you the heebiejeebies even if all they carry is a rusty butter knife.

To lump all people who carry a gun in one category makes me not want to take YOUR concerns seriously because all I see is a person with a pretty wide irrational fear instead of a reasonable person with reasonable concerns. Maybe the fact I live in a military town colors this a bit. I just know that the gun violence in my community does not generally happen with the legal concealed carry crowd.

I really really do feel safer with all the concealed carry people around here. Because that very fact is a deterrent to crime in the places I frequent. If you want to live in a world where only the bad people have guns, I wonder about you.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:01 PM on September 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


If you want to live in a world where only the bad people have guns, I wonder about you.

I want to live in a world where "good guys" and "bad guys" can be easily distinguished via the color of their ten-gallon hats.
posted by mstokes650 at 9:05 PM on September 18, 2013 [20 favorites]


It is not the gun itself that you need to fear.

Exactly. It's the person, whom I do not know.

Is the guy at the bus stop with the gun under his shirt going to mug me, or is he just a dude with a CC permit going home from work? How do I tell?
posted by rtha at 9:10 PM on September 18, 2013 [15 favorites]


If they're white, it's okay.
posted by scrump at 9:12 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


St. Alia of the Bunnies: "I really really do feel safer with all the concealed carry people around here. Because that very fact is a deterrent to crime in the places I frequent. "

Similarly, I've never been shot (or even shot at) while wearing my lucky underwear, so they must be working, too.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:15 PM on September 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


In summary: proxy wars bad.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 9:21 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you want to live in a world where only the bad people have guns, I wonder about you.

Wonder no more. I enjoy life here in Australia. You should come have a visit. It's nice. The illegally armed criminals really do shoot (and stab) mostly each other. On the other hand, the people who break beer glasses and shove them into others' faces, or "king-hit" (incapacitate with a single strong punch) strangers rarely kill anyone, and never unintentionally injure bystanders. The cops seem to do a decent enough job bringing them under control, mostly with nightsticks.
posted by gingerest at 9:23 PM on September 18, 2013 [39 favorites]


St. Alia of the Bunnies: "If you want to live in a world where only the bad people have guns, I wonder about you."

I personally don't care whether I'm shot by a "good person" or a "bad person", I'm dead either way.
posted by Proofs and Refutations at 9:27 PM on September 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


Corb: CJ got arrested recently for open carrying his gun in a really reasonable situation. He is in danger of losing so much, for a thing that's legal, but freaked people out. So he started getting political about it, and has become the Face of the Open Carry Movement down there, and started organizing Open Carry marches and stuff. Now, when CJ and I are talking, quietly, as friends, I might say, hey man, that is kind of tactically unsound. And honestly, sometimes he looks a little wild-eyed now, if you don't know him. But I do know him, and it hurts and I get defensive to have him dismissed as a crazy. Because he may not be blood, but he's family.

Corb, thanks for telling us about CJ. Empathy is important. Regardless of his political views he is a human being, worthy of respect as such, and talking about his political views is improved by knowing where he's coming from.

We would be wise not to dismiss anyone as a crazy, whether or not they are mentally ill.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:34 PM on September 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


"True that, times a hundred. I really wish evening shift Jacqueline had been there from the beginning. I honestly can barely reconcile the comments before the training stories as being from the same person."

My husband dropped in for a nooner and I was significantly less crabby afterwards.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:39 PM on September 18, 2013 [12 favorites]


That's, like, way too much oversharing.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:42 PM on September 18, 2013 [15 favorites]


There was a lot of chatter about dick unicorns over in Chat earlier, I think maybe we're having some psychic spillover at this point is all.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:43 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


"If they're white, it's okay."
posted by scrump at 12:12 AM on September 19

Really? You think throwing in some form/flavor/voice/tense/language or humor case of racism is going to make things, here, or in the original thread, easier to understand, more civil, or better in any way?

Eh, never mind me. This is MetaTalk. Carry on. You're undoubtedly right, about something.
posted by paulsc at 9:45 PM on September 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


Jack Reacher in June 2013.
Top Shot on the History Channel? The Olympics?


Reacher is iffy when it comes to the media's portrayal of guns being used in nonviolent ways, given how the movie's plot revolves around guns being used to murder people.

Contrast that with the generally overwhelming portrayal of guns being used to shoot people.

In comparison, cars are used in dangerous and impractical ways, but in their overall portrayal are a part of everyday life that doesn't end up killing people.

We as a nation would be much better served if people had better role models for firearm usage than people shooting other people.
posted by mikurski at 9:48 PM on September 18, 2013


I'll bite: dick unicorns?
posted by Nomyte at 9:55 PM on September 18, 2013


My husband dropped in for a nooner and I was significantly less crabby afterwards.

We've found what everyone needs, and it isn't a hug.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:00 PM on September 18, 2013 [15 favorites]


There was a lot of chatter about dick unicorns over in Chat earlier, I think maybe we're having some psychic spillover at this point is all.

No, this is pretty much what chat is like pretty much all the time.

Mostly thanks to me, I will confess.
posted by Conspire at 10:02 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Mostly thanks to me, I will confess.

Oh, Conspire - you misspelled 'entirely' there ..
posted by dotgirl at 10:05 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey, I contribute too.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:06 PM on September 18, 2013


I like to see myself as the "dicks dicks dicks" Robin to Conspire's "dicks dicks dicks" Batman.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:08 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can we just keep the chat side chat and the gray side gray plz?
posted by MoonOrb at 10:11 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


It sounds like chat is getting pretty blue, to be honest.
posted by Nomyte at 10:13 PM on September 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


if someone says they support minimal gun restrictions because Earth is full of dangerous humans. That is just statistically not the case.

In Jacqueline's account, one individual (her stalker) terrorized multiple people. So, there's not a one-to-one ratio of Bad Guys to victims; though Bad Guys may be a statistical minority, they can afflict many.

Stating the obvious, I know, but I'm a bit put off by the judgment being leveled at Jacqueline for her viewpoint, which comes out of direct lived experience -- hers -- plus the experiences of other women her stalker terrorized.

I understand where she is coming from.
posted by nacho fries at 10:45 PM on September 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


I just realized my previous comment appears to be laced with several instances of blatant advertising that's worse than digitizing in a WheatiesTM label on the cereal box in a Friends episode.

I hang my head in shame.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:02 PM on September 18 [+] [!]


You had forgotten the face of your father?
posted by Kwine at 10:53 PM on September 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


The solution to this MeTa occurs to me, but I'm not entirely sure what it might be.

Jumping right back to this point because reading the thread, jesus... this got pretty un meta since we're even talking about guns at all in here. This "Physician, heal thyself" crap is honestly a total derail.

To take the first bit of corb's post at face value, i know exactly what they're talking about. This thread isn't a super badass example of it(and wow, i'm getting flashbacks to metas i've posted), but i could see how it would poke at that nerve if it was something that had been on a low boil already irritating you after seeing it a bunch of times on here.

Basically, what i think corb was saying with it is that you end up with a script like this

Person A: FPP! Specific event in which something that's a challenging subject played a major part, or is a challenging subject in and of itself
Person B: Comment about specific events
Person C: Reply to that comment, further discussion of specific events
Person D: Longer comment about these types of events in general
Person E: Reply to, or another post about these events in a wider scope which rolls in hobby horse about these types of events or this issue

And now you end up with persons B and C, or even just one of them, or even someone unrelated trying to have a discussion about this specific event when E has just rolled in and nuked the fucking thread and sometimes even just bailed after "making their point" having no interest in further discussion and just leaving a vacuum in which now the thread has been derailed, but people just debate over what they thought E meant and what that point really means and what it's logical conclusions are and...

Then right there, you have your proxy war. It's dressed up in it's sunday best of being "about the topic", but it's pretty goddamn far afield. It's a discussion about the FPP in title and vague general content only.

This specific gun rights situation, and some of the proposed examples linked are not super great examples of this. It is, however, absolutely a thing that happens. In say, this AIDS thread shit got super bizarre when multiple all came in and bunkered down to fight the battle they wanted to fight. This thread might also be another viable hunting ground for finding instances of this. Some of the discussion in here at least started to drive down that road. This is an absolute wasteland bombed to pieces, and littered with undetonated munitions of this type just waiting to go off.(some of it bled in to here too, as i remember). Some attempts were made here, but that was such a giant heavily moderated thread that it never took off too much. I'd argue this entire thread(which might have been what corb meant? like intentionally inflammatory FPPs?) was started as an attempt at that... and fizzled out.

I could dig up more, but this is absolutely A Thing. I'd count a lot of instances of people making the thread "all about them" as examples of this as well.

And i'm not trying to get a response from corb here, or make this "all about corb". I'm trying to do a service to the meta discussion that was proposed with the original post before the thread just turned in to "let's make this the meta discussion about guns" rather than that being an example.
posted by emptythought at 12:53 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

I usually do you the favor of assuming that you don't really believe all the nonsense you write and instead assume that you're just a staggering narcissist with an active imagination. And this is the thanks I get.
Oh, octobersurprise, I don't think you're being entirely fair here. The onset of autumn weather in Dundee can really screw with people's minds.
posted by Sonny Jim at 3:23 AM on September 19, 2013


CJ got arrested recently for open carrying his gun in a really reasonable situation.

Sorry. Aside from a gun range there's no "reasonable situation" to be walking around with an AR-15. Just because something may be legal doesn't make it right. In this case your friend may not have been doing something legally wrong. But it was still wrong.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 4:03 AM on September 19, 2013


Sorry. Aside from a gun range there's no "reasonable situation" to be walking around with an AR-15.

In his case, him and his son were on a Boy Scout Hike through woods with some relatively dangerous critters. In that case, while I recognize reasonable people may disagree, I'd argue it to not only be reasonable but necessary.

Also as an aside, an AR-15 is not functionally different than any other kind of rifle, except that you can lego-mod it. It has a bad name like pit bulls have a bad name, but neither one means the thing in question is bad.
posted by corb at 4:20 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Let me say that to me you sound hysterical, fearful and childish. It is not the gun itself that you need to fear.

Here's my little story. An uncle with whom I haven't been touch with in ages (because he's sorta become a nomad in the southwest, or something, it's not clear) was my custodian when my parents booted me out of the house when I was a teen. My uncle was maybe one of four bright spots that bad year, when I was developing an eating disorder and acting out because I was a mess.

Anyway, my uncle has or had a drinking problem. So one night, he had reached that total red eye stage of drunkenness and decided that that night was the night he was going to teach me self-defense. I was a little drowned rat in terms of confidence then, and of course my uncle was shit-faced, but somehow I convinced him to put the gun away that he was drunkenly loading.

So: was I terrified that night because I was hysterical or childish? Sure, it was my drunk uncle that put the gun into action, but it was the gun that would have hurt one of us if things had gone south. If he had say, decided to drunkenly bust some karate moves, jesus, that would have been hilarious. And not potentially deadly, unless some freak I-broke-my-neck-while-practicing-a-karate-kick thing happened.
posted by angrycat at 4:23 AM on September 19, 2013 [12 favorites]


mikurski: "When was the last time you saw a gun in popular culture that was being used for non-violent target practice instead of shooting someone?"

How I met your mother features this pretty regularly.
posted by Mitheral at 6:09 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I agree almost completely with everything else you said in your comment, but step back from this statement and look at it.

Well, I don't agree with you entirely. I think I agree with what my Dad said about guns to me as I was growing up (note that I am not a gun owner - I want to achieve some gun literacy - basic use and maintenance stuff - but I'm not really interested in owning and maintaining a gun and Dad is a veteran of WWII in front lines combat as a medic in the Pacific Theater). Dad said that the real shame about guns is that they make killing a much more trivial operation than by other means.

Which agrees with your perspective, if not entirely. So I do agree that your perspective is a healthy perspective.

But we are so good at killing each other, accidentally or not, that I'm not comfortable taking it any further. With or without guns we will kill. With or without guns we will injure and damage each other. And I also agree that if a gun is out in the world unsupervised (due to irresponsible gun ownership by some original owner, be it a private owner or a seller), there's absolutely a chance that that gun will be used or misused to kill someone.

I also don't quite agree with the old gun lobby marketing quip "guns don't kill people, people do", because I agree with you that guns make it more likely that someone's gonna die (or get injured). But I think that it's people fucking around with guns and people with little or no sense of safety or how to handle guns, or people who are somehow dysfunctional or mentally ill or bad parents or in some way acting in an irresponsible or negligent or murderous manner that lead to those gun deaths/injuries.

I understand from a safety coordinator's perspective that guns could be more controlled, and somehow that would make us safer in general, but I also think that that's a very impractical solution to put into practice.

That said, I'm not at all averse to retooling existing gun-control related laws to make them more effective at helping us be less at risk to gun violence in general. I just don't think we need to try to totally abolish guns, and I don't think that'd work anyway.

But stronger background checks? Sure. Restrictions on ownership of certain kinds of guns highly effective and causing massive, irreversible trauma, injury, death? Sure. Restrictions on sale and ownership of smart ammo? Absolutely. I think that the really obsessed and not entirely sound gun owners will find a way around those restrictions, but I do think that security by making trivial violence less easy is always at least partially effective. At least it cuts down on casual violence and accidental overkill.
posted by kalessin at 6:37 AM on September 19, 2013


Like I said, numerous times, guns aren't knives are completely different monsters and deserve very different treatment for various reasons, I just think fear of "what other people do for it's own sake" isn't a very deep or cogent one and leads to a mental whirlpool that doesn't gain anyone anything.

Reverend! (homage to Blazing Saddles)
posted by kalessin at 6:46 AM on September 19, 2013


corb: " Also as an aside, an AR-15 is not functionally different than any other kind of rifle, except that you can lego-mod it. It has a bad name like pit bulls have a bad name, but neither one means the thing in question is bad."

We're getting a bit off-topic, but I'd like to respond to this. The argument you're making here is similar to that made by the NRA, to wit: guns aren't bad. It's people who have given them a bad name. But the specific difference you mention and dismiss: "lego modding," is actually a big part of the problem. The sheer number of modifications available to the civilian-manufactured versions of the AR-15 make it worthy of concern, as they blur the line between civilian and military functionality. Not only that, the civilian versions are sold to the public on the idea that the AR-15 is made and designed for war, and the civs are very similar to the versions used by the US military. The mods can make the AR-15 more deadly to people in the hands of an experienced gunman. Which is why a number of specific modifications were made illegal or restricted by the Assault Weapons Ban back in '94. (Specifically in the 'Violent Crime Control & Law Enforcement Act.') Those restrictions/bans included full-capacity (30 round) mags, and pistol grips. The AWB was allowed to expire a few years back, so there are now no federal restrictions on ownership of civilian versions. I know New York and California have set state restrictions on what modifications are legal within their borders. Not sure if other states have done so.

In any event, The gun type most favored by mass shooters seems to be semiautomatic handguns, not the AR-15.

Okay, so to loop back around to the original intent of your post... the exchange you and I are having now is really better suited for Metafilter proper rather than Metatalk. But it can serve as a nice example! The request you're making in this post -- an increase to the deletion rate and moderation filter for potentially controversial or axe-grindy FPPs and comments -- would absolutely stifle a discussion like this one, where both of us are able to express ourselves fully and be heard, totally without rancor or personal attacks. There's room for both of us to discuss this well on the Blue because moderation is so light-handed.

Also... you and I both hold some opinions which put us in the minority here on MeFi. It might be worth considering whether an increase in the level of moderation/deletions here would be in your best interest as a minority voice. That has traditionally manifested itself as a mod asking one "disruptive" person putting forth an opinion against the status quo to silence themselves in threads, rather steering the mob to prevent pile-ons.
posted by zarq at 6:48 AM on September 19, 2013 [10 favorites]


Yeah, guys, please have the gun control discussion in the Metafilter place and the discussion about the discussion in the Metatalk place, thanks.
posted by taz (staff) at 6:52 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


FWIW, which is probably nothing, I really can't take any gun advocates' claims about how guns are great for women to protect themselves if they also believe that men who have restraining orders against women should still be able to purchase a gun.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 6:53 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


also, I guess because a logical response to my anecdote would be, 'don't load guns while drunken, dumbass' but the thing is I've been down some pretty dark roads with substance use. That's the thing with drugs/drink all these things that seem like fabulous ideas occur to you. *spoiler* they are not fabulous ideas. If you have a problem, like I have (non-active unless you count weed), then it's like but I need my drug, and then come the ideas.
posted by angrycat at 6:55 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


corb: "In his case, him and his son were on a Boy Scout Hike through woods with some relatively dangerous critters. In that case, while I recognize reasonable people may disagree, I'd argue it to not only be reasonable but necessary."

This is ridiculous. I've been on LONG backpacking trips with Boy Scouts in bear and mountain lion country, and no one in their right mind would have brought any kind of gun. Hand/rifle/whatever.
posted by Big_B at 6:55 AM on September 19, 2013 [13 favorites]


I should probably also mention that while that asking one person to pipe down and not make the conversation all about them is something that actually has bugged the crap out of me in a bunch of threads, I've actually benefited greatly from it over the years. It's allowed me to extricate myself from pileons without being pummeled and I've been grateful for it on a bunch of occasions. So please don't take my comment to corb as a complete criticism. It's just a moderation policy that I feel conflicted about. I usually want to hear the minority voice in threads without seeing it shouted down.
posted by zarq at 6:57 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


In his case, him and his son were on a Boy Scout Hike through woods with some relatively dangerous critters.

Where were they hiking? Glacier National Park? The Brooks Range? There is almost nowhere in North America where the wildlife is at all dangerous to backpackers, and even in those places where you do find grizzly bears, carrying an assault rifle to protect yourself from them is a stupid idea.
posted by Aizkolari at 6:59 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Aizkolari: "There is almost nowhere in North America where the wildlife is at all dangerous to backpackers,"

Well.. mountain lions, bobcats, cougars, bears, snakes and assorted rodents and creepy-crawlies are all dangerous wildlife. I mean, most backpackers are probably in more danger of succumbing to hypothermia than being mauled by a bobcat. But it does happen.
posted by zarq at 7:07 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


This gun control conversation is happening in the wrong place.
posted by pracowity at 7:12 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah but if your actual nonjoking IRL response to a venomous spider or snake in your vicinity is to seriously break out an assault rifle I would politely suggest that you have larger issues that should be addressed.
posted by elizardbits at 7:20 AM on September 19, 2013 [11 favorites]


HAVE YOU SEEN THE SIZE OF THE SPIDERS IN AUSTRALIA?

WE'RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER PHONE BOOK.
posted by zarq at 7:31 AM on September 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


I've done some fairly remote hiking and camping in my day, although mostly in the Northeast and Upper Midwest. I don't think I've ever seen anyone make the size-and-weight trade-off of bringing an AR-15 to protect themselves from dangerous wildlife. I've overnighted with a guy who carried a .357 revolver which he called his "bear repellent" and that made some sense to me, (we were going to a pretty remote spot and there were known to be bears and mountain lions) but I don't see why you'd carry a rifle unless you were hunting. It feels like using a sledgehammer as a flyswatter.

I mean, different strokes for different folks, but my response -- again, as a gun owner -- to a guy carrying an AR-15 up or down a mountain would be to wonder what he was trying to prove, and to politely steer clear of him. I would find it alarming, a little bit.
posted by gauche at 7:38 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Again, let's move the actual gun discussion back to the blue, and the meta discussion here.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:41 AM on September 19, 2013


Sorry. Will do.
posted by gauche at 7:44 AM on September 19, 2013


>But they've been culturally normalized in the US to the point where a lot of people seemingly think it is not weird to haul 'em around.

They've always been normalized in this country. Un-normalizing them is actually aberrant in American history. From the Revolutionary war to the Civil war guns were culturally significant because of the necessity of having them around your farm and/or on the frontier. It wasn't until after the Civil war, though, when gun ownership greatly expanded to include not just rural folk, but city folk as well. Then there's also the not inconsequential fact that the United States has averaged a major war every 20 years since its founding. It isn't surprising that guns are prolific in our society. I mean there's also our popular culture like movies and video games which also propagate the gun mythos. Most of the popular culture depictions of guns are not really very responsible in my opinion.

to a guy carrying an AR-15 up or down a mountain would be to wonder what he was trying to prove, and to politely steer clear of him. I would find it alarming, a little bit.

Why is this alarming? I mean wtf? It's their option to carry whatever firearm they want to protect him or herself. This makes no sense. Why would you steer clear of someone carrying a rifle vs. a handgun? Both are equally lethal. What about if they were carrying a bolt action .270? Would you wonder if they were trying to prove something? Would you steer clear? It's statements like this that just make me shake my head. They are so arbitrary and really there's seemingly no logic behind it other than "I don't like that type of gun."

Personally I would bring a high caliber handgun if I thought there was a chance of running into a grizzly, but I'm not gonna sit here and judge people because they decided to bring something that is bigger and heavier.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:45 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


ah sorry didn't preview.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:45 AM on September 19, 2013


I have what I think are good reasons, which I've shared with you via memail. I'd be interested to learn your response there.
posted by gauche at 8:00 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jeez, even more rare than responsible gun use in media is someone who will admit to seeing Jack Reacher.

Rosamund Pike
posted by Tanizaki at 8:07 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


That might not be the best example given the portrayal of guns elsewhere in the film...

Well, the question was the last depiction I had seen. So, the truthful answer is the best answer.

What was more amusing about the question was the comparison of cars to the depiction of guns in popular culture. I think the last movie I saw that focused on lawful and prudent driving was Driving Miss Daisy.

and for klang - Jessica Tandy.
posted by Tanizaki at 8:09 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also as an aside, an AR-15 is not functionally different than any other kind of rifle, except that you can lego-mod it. It has a bad name like pit bulls have a bad name, but neither one means the thing in question is bad.

On a meta note, why do pro-gun advocates continue to lie bald-facedly about the technical aspects of firearms to make them seem less threatening? An AR-15 can send an order of magnitude more lead downrange at an exponentially faster rate than a bolt-action hunting rifle. It's a lie by someone well versed enough in the equipment to know its a lie.

Arguing in bad faith is enraging - I don't mean difference-in-perspective things, like which set of crime or accident stats is more relevant, I mean outright falsehoods and deliberately misleading statements. The Nazis-were-gun-grabbers lie is another example in play. I like nicely packaged propaganda and neat and tidy talking points as much as the next blowhard, but geeze...
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:09 AM on September 19, 2013 [20 favorites]


An AR-15 can send an order of magnitude more lead downrange at an exponentially faster rate than a bolt-action hunting rifle

During WWI, some German soldiers reported encountering British troops armed with machine guns.

In fact, they were bolt-action SMLE Mk IIIs.
posted by Tanizaki at 8:20 AM on September 19, 2013


Case in point.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:24 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


> I contributed to moving that thread away from a specific Starbucks discussion, so mea culpa. (Please let that be grammatically correct!)

Well, it's in the ablative so it has long a, and people used to write it meâ culpâ, but the Romans themselves didn't use long marks for vowels, so you're in the clear. You need to work on your handwriting, though.

posted by languagehat at 8:38 AM on September 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


Discussing gun control isn't really off topic for the thread, but the conversation degenerated pretty quickly into how much we* hate gun owners, and how we* all hate Jacqueline because she has concealed carry permit. You'd never guess from reading the thread that FPP was about open carry in public places. It's mostly just the usual suspects using the FPP as jumping-off point for reciting their usual rhetoric and hate-rants, ignoring whatever the stuff the FPP linked to was actually about, and that gets really old really quickly. I'd be happy if we could have actual discussions about gun control or regulation in threads related to the issue, but I've never seen that happen here.


* "We" doesn't actually include all MeFites, or me, in case. I'm complaining that the thread seems to be dominated by us-vs.-them rhetoric.
posted by nangar at 8:40 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


On a meta note, why do pro-gun advocates continue to lie bald-facedly about the technical aspects of firearms to make them seem less threatening? An AR-15 can send an order of magnitude more lead downrange at an exponentially faster rate than a bolt-action hunting rifle. It's a lie by someone well versed enough in the equipment to know its a lie.

It can send lead faster, bu the bolt-action rifle makes a bigger and more accurate hole, and is thus, for some, described as "more powerful". This is a difference in perspective, not about technical aspects.

I mean outright falsehoods and deliberately misleading statements. The Nazis-were-gun-grabbers lie is another example in play.


Except this isn't an outright falsehood at all. It's not even a falsehood, and the only reason it gets packaged as one is because of the knee-jerk reaction to associating with anything the Nazis did.

The Nazis took the guns of people they didn't agree with. I am not sure why this is even slightly controversial. Multiple historical sources back this up. They worked very hard to stifle, kill, and put in camps people they were opposed to, why such pushback against the very idea that Nazis might have also taken guns away?

It looks like a lot of people oppose talking about the Nazis confiscating guns because "the Jews couldn't have fought back successfully against them anyway." Which, whether true or not, doesn't exactly negate the fact that the Nazis did confiscate their firearms.
posted by corb at 8:42 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


On a meta note, why do pro-gun advocates continue to lie bald-facedly about the technical aspects of firearms to make them seem less threatening? An AR-15 can send an order of magnitude more lead downrange at an exponentially faster rate than a bolt-action hunting rifle.

They might do it because people like you overstate the case for the apparent reason of alarming people who don't know much about firearms either. I mean, honestly, "an order of magnitude" and "at an exponentially faster rate"? So it's firing ten bullets simultaneously and on full-auto?
posted by Etrigan at 8:42 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


ut the conversation degenerated pretty quickly into how much we* hate gun owners, and how we* all hate Jacqueline because she has concealed carry permit. You'd never guess from reading the thread that FPP was about open carry in public places.

No it didn't, it went into how people hate people who carry guns into public places. And no one hated on Jacqueline, they just criticized her arguments. I should add, that some ire was directed to me personally because I did not use the NRA-approved vocabulary when discussing accidental discharges.

The FPP was about carrying guns into public places, thus that is why people talked about carrying guns into public places.

Maybe you could point to specific examples to support your claim?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:43 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I disagree with a lot of sociopolitical opinions Jacqueline has but I think she is pretty rad nevertheless. YMMV, I guess.
posted by elizardbits at 8:46 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


corb,

Many people responded on the blue post about why your claims about rampant Nazi confiscation of guns is bullshit. I don't know why this is being discussed here.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:46 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Which, whether true or not,

Seriously? Go read klang's latest comment in the other thread.
posted by rtha at 8:46 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, seriously, because I am not going to get into a complicated discussion of "Could The Jews Have Beat The Nazis If They Had More Guns", because I think it is totally irrelevant to the question of "Is Someone I Disagree With Automatically Making Up Falsehoods and Spewing Bullshit." The one, you'll note, is possibly a Metafilter question, while the second, is a MeTa question. Which is why I answered the second, and not the first.
posted by corb at 8:59 AM on September 19, 2013


corb: "Could The Jews Have Beat The Nazis If They Had More Guns""

I think you should post this to Ask! The trifecta! Think of all the attention you would get!
posted by Big_B at 9:03 AM on September 19, 2013 [8 favorites]


Talk about a proxy war....
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:04 AM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


Great. It's another incredibly stupid episode of the corb show.
posted by palomar at 9:04 AM on September 19, 2013 [19 favorites]


Yeah. Time to close this up, chief?
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:05 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here is another example:

They might do it because people like you overstate the case for the apparent reason of alarming people who don't know much about firearms either. I mean, honestly, "an order of magnitude" and "at an exponentially faster rate"? So it's firing ten bullets simultaneously and on full-auto?

A bolt action rifle fired by a world-record holding speed shooter fires one round per 1.3 seconds. A semi-auto rifle fires just as fast as any schmoe can pull the trigger. You know this, right?

A bolt action hunting rifle has an internal magazine that typically holds four or five rounds, and requires some fiddling to swap out. A pure bolt action rifle holds one round. An AR-15 magazine holds how many rounds? 35, and it can be swapped out in under 5 seconds. 35 is an order of magnitude larger than one, and a 7X multiple of 5. It can fire off 100 rounds without pause with a special magazine, which is an order of magnitude all around. You know this, right?

You chose to mislead to make the AR-15 seem less menacing, hoping you wouldn't be called on it. Not the way to go.

And then there was the "bigger and more accurate hole" statement. Bald-faced.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:23 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


degenerated pretty quickly into how much we* hate gun owners, and how we* all hate Jacqueline because she has concealed carry permit. You'd never guess from reading the thread that FPP was about open carry in public places.

Yeah man, that stinky patchouli hippie anti-gun nazi shouldn't have turned a specific discussion into an all carry discussion rather than just open carry in order to bag on all guns.

RTFA? Starbucks' CEO asked people to stop bringing guns to Starbucks, not to just stop open-carrying. And given that he mentions open-carrying in his statement, he knows the distinction and chose not to make it.

If he'd just asked "please stop open-carrying" my reaction would be meh as that's more of a dress code issue. It's the inclusion of concealed carry in his request that offends me because I don't see how what I (legally) have under my clothes is his business.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:52 PM on September 18


Oh sorry never mind.
posted by phearlez at 9:24 AM on September 19, 2013


Corb, people asked you several times in the Starbucks thread for cites for contentious claims you make.

Not just in that thread, but in others, as it happens.

That you provide cites should not be an unreasonable expectation, since this standard is generally applied to all users, and there have not been any special exceptions made, in that regard, as far as I can tell, until now.

Perhaps the reason that there are people saying things you do not like, and the reason why this Metatalk thread exists, is because you often say stuff that is offensive or deliberately provocative and then left unsubstantiated.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:25 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


BP, in the Starbucks thread, I actually cited an article which contained primary source cites, and then even pulled out some of the primary source cites for people's perusal. If people didn't care to read the entire article because they were too eager to say "No you're wrong", that can hardly be viewed as my fault.
posted by corb at 9:28 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's like ParisParamus all over again.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:31 AM on September 19, 2013 [11 favorites]


makes me miss sixcolors because that was at least entertaining cluelessness.

Seriously I enjoyed her.
posted by sweetkid at 9:33 AM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's like ParisParamus all over again.

I'm thinking the nose is a little more SDB.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:34 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Saying that people who open carry are scary is really upsetting. Good thing we moved on to the Holocaust!
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:37 AM on September 19, 2013 [18 favorites]


I like corb. I find I usually don't agree with her conclusions, but I like her. In general, she asks us to rise above snark and respect those who are different from us at least enough to offer them the charity of interpretation even if we will still disagree. She makes me want to write better comments, and to re-write the snarky mean parts.

I think that needs to be said, here, because this thread has already become a highly ad hominem proxy war for the other one, and very few people seem to appreciate the irony. If the debate is that proxy wars should be stifled, well, I don't know that that would work. But I do think they generally suck, just in a way that can't be helped by moderators, only by users not being assholes to each other.

So let's try this: who here is in favor of other threads becoming proxy wars? You can either say "Me!" or just act like you don't mind that this thread is a proxy war for the other one, I'll count that as a yes vote. (I guess to be fair I should also count "Me too!" comments in other threads, to include the proxy voters.)
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:39 AM on September 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


> The FPP was about carrying guns into public places, thus that is why people talked about carrying guns into public places.

The FPP was about open carry in public places, and specifically about gun rights advocates "exercising" their their open carry rights at Starbucks locations to make a political point (and maybe intimidate political opponents, people a lot of them may stereotype as 'latte sipping liberals'? I dunno.) Gun control in general and concealed carry permits are both related to the topic, but there were only scattered references to the original FPP topic in the thread.
posted by nangar at 9:43 AM on September 19, 2013


And then there was the "bigger and more accurate hole" statement. Bald-faced.

Why do you think military snipers tend to use bolt-action rifles rather than an M16?
posted by Tanizaki at 9:44 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


They might do it because people like you overstate the case for the apparent reason of alarming people who don't know much about firearms either. I mean, honestly, "an order of magnitude" and "at an exponentially faster rate"? So it's firing ten bullets simultaneously and on full-auto?
...
You chose to mislead to make the AR-15 seem less menacing, hoping you wouldn't be called on it. Not the way to go.


I haven't said anything about AR-15s in this thread or any other recent one, which is part of the problem -- you use anything that anyone has ever said anywhere to tar everyone who dares to look like they're slightly disagreeing with you.

You want to say "by an order of magnitude," fine. That's absolutely accurate. You want to say "at an exponentially faster rate," that's a little less fine, because you're just using BIG SCARY WORDS. You want to combine them to make it sound like the AR-15 is a MILLION BILLION GAJILLION TIMES MORE EEEEEVIL than a bolt-action hunting rifle, that's somewhat less fine.
posted by Etrigan at 9:45 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Again, maybe not so much the debate over gun specs in here?
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:45 AM on September 19, 2013

It's like ParisParamus all over again.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:31 PM on September 19 [5 favorites +] [!]
Personally, I feel like we've all been treated to a sighting of the lesser spotted Jen Leigh.
posted by Sonny Jim at 9:51 AM on September 19, 2013


So let's try this: who here is in favor of other threads becoming proxy wars?

I'm in favor of actually discussing what is behind this thread. Because I don't think this thread is so much about "proxy wars", whatever they are, so much as what we eventually learned it to be, namely about Corb's objections to anyone expressing a view mildly critical of those who bring loaded assault weapons to coffee shops. I think the "proxy war" stuff is more or less a pretext for this.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:51 AM on September 19, 2013 [14 favorites]


That's absolutely accurate.

Yup.

You want to say "at an exponentially faster rate," that's a little less fine, because you're just using BIG SCARY WORDS.

Words mean things. I'm sorry you find accuracy inconvenient for your political position. Please stop misleading people.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:53 AM on September 19, 2013


How did this turn into another thread about guns.....oh, yes that was the goal me thinks from someone who did not like being shut down over the Navy Yards discussion. Interesting human nature to ponder.
posted by OhSusannah at 9:54 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


obnoxy war. Just carry [uh] on.
posted by Namlit at 9:55 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


anyone expressing a view mildly critical of those who bring loaded assault weapons to coffee shops

TIL that a bolt-action rifle would be fine.
posted by Tanizaki at 9:58 AM on September 19, 2013


You want to say "at an exponentially faster rate," that's a little less fine, because you're just using BIG SCARY WORDS.

Words mean things.


Yes, they do. And "an order of magnitude more lead downrange at an exponentially faster rate" means... what? As I pointed out, I agree with the first half of that. The second is rancid icing that ruins your perfectly good cake.

Please stop misleading people.

Here, I'll make it easy. CTRL-F "etrigan". What have I said that's misleading?
posted by Etrigan at 9:58 AM on September 19, 2013


I don't get the proxy war thing. I really don't.

If a thread gets fighty over $SUBJECT and people are told to quiet down, then another thread opens that $SUBJECT is also relevant to and people talk about it there, it's an opportunity to have that discussion from another angle, with new facts, and hopefully a slightly wider perspective.

If the new thread gets fighty, the problem is not necessarily what was being talked about, it's people getting fighty.
posted by greenish at 9:58 AM on September 19, 2013


Because I don't think this thread is so much about "proxy wars", whatever they are, so much as what we eventually learned it to be, namely about Corb's objections to anyone expressing a view mildly critical of those who bring loaded assault weapons to coffee shops

This thread was originally about proxy wars: jessamyn came in and said that it would be impossible to moderate that way and it wasn't going to happen, for those who don't want to read all the way through.

On a sidenote, I have no issue with people being mildly critical, even if I disagree. Some of my favorite people here are people I vehemently disagree with, but who take it slowly and with respect. I just don't like people being jerks.
posted by corb at 9:59 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


But when people talk about these types of people, it makes me think of these guys who took such good care of me and who I took such good care of and who I loved and who loved me in ways we don't really talk about.

I think of my society, in which we all pay fairly high taxes in order to provide universal healthcare and education, like this. We're taking care of one another. Loving our fellow citizen though we've never met. Busting our asses and sharing what we make.

It feels - and again, I talk of feelings here - like a lot of people may not have had to have that forced empathy, or forced love, for other people who are really really different than them, and so it's easy to other them, or think they're bad people for their ideas or their culture. Which is really different than just thinking they're wrong! And doesn't even mean the person who hasn't had empathy forced is bad. It's hard to understand alien viewpoints if you don't have a personal connection.

And again, this is how I feel when discussing things like estate taxes. The othering of the disadvantaged, the poor, the struggling. A near-complete lack of empathy from the privileged and wealthy, and their dismissal of the society that made it possible for them to attain that status. Billionaires supported by liberteapartytarians, who gleefully shoot their foot off while fellating the fat cats, destroying both their own chances of climbing the class ladder and destroying the very society we were trying to have.

This lack of empathy, lack of vision, and support for a dystopian future of feudal-style society causes me to rage.

But, hey, ex-soldiers with PTSD and a hero complex packing an AK into the midtown Starbucks better not be called crazy by some wanker on a blue BBS. That shit's important!
posted by five fresh fish at 10:01 AM on September 19, 2013 [16 favorites]


Which also, you know, includes me. I don't like being a jerk either, so if someone thinks I'm being a jerk, feel free to drop me a memail and tell me (nicely) why. This has happened before, and I've stepped out of threads and talked to people. But snark rarely solves anything, even if it feels really good.
posted by corb at 10:03 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


This lack of empathy, lack of vision, and support for a dystopian future of feudal-style society causes me to rage.

You know what causes me to rage? The idea that people who disagree with you are somehow fundamentally broken.
posted by Etrigan at 10:08 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't think five fresh fish said that anyone who disagrees with them is fundamentally broken. That is not fair in the least.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:11 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


If a thread gets fighty over $SUBJECT and people are told to quiet down, then another thread opens that $SUBJECT is also relevant to and people talk about it there, it's an opportunity to have that discussion from another angle, with new facts, and hopefully a slightly wider perspective.

So, I think that's the ideal, and it's why the moderators can't ban the proxy stuff, because it always could happen that way. But it pretty obviously doesn't. I think it tends to break down like this:

1. Somebody comes up with a fig-leaf post that no one bothers to read, and the thread doesn't actually have any new facts or angles.

2. Alternatively, somebody finds a perfectly awesome set of links to post, but their thread gets hijacked by commenters who ignore the content and wage their proxy war, again ignoring the new angles and new facts that the links would have supplied.

I think that's bad, but I don't see how the moderators fix it. We have to fix it, by being better than that.
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:11 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have an AR 15 but don't make up bullshit excuses for it. It's a deadly weapon that most folks, including me, really don't need.

Plus, all the ammo hoarders make fresh rounds scarce. Bah.
posted by planetesimal at 10:12 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't think five fresh fish said that anyone who disagrees with them is fundamentally broken. That is not fair in the least.

Oh, come on. "Lack of empathy, lack of vision"? I quoted it. Here's another part I didn't bother quoting: "liberteapartytarians, who gleefully shoot their foot off while fellating the fat cats". That's not saying the words "Anyone who disagrees with me is fundamentally broken," but it's a fairly unmistakeable takeaway.
posted by Etrigan at 10:14 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't think five fresh fish said that anyone who disagrees with them is fundamentally broken. That is not fair in the least.

I'll go on record as saying that I believe that those who oppose universal healthcare and education are, in essence, sociopathic: they are opposed to the things that make us a functional modern society, and are in support of things that return us to an animal state. "Fundamentally broken" is as good as shorthand description as any.

I'm gone for the next 6+ hours, so don't expect a continued discussion from me.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:22 AM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


He/she is saying people who do a specific thing have fundamental problems, not anyone who disagrees with him have fundamental problems.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:23 AM on September 19, 2013


I think of my society, in which we all pay fairly high taxes in order to provide universal healthcare and education, like this. We're taking care of one another. Loving our fellow citizen though we've never met.

If someone decides not to be "loving" in this manner, who shows up at their doorstep? Men armed with smiles and kind language?
posted by Tanizaki at 10:24 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dumb.
posted by planetesimal at 10:32 AM on September 19, 2013


But, hey, ex-soldiers with PTSD and a hero complex packing an AK into the midtown Starbucks better not be called crazy by some wanker on a blue BBS. That shit's important!

You understand, Five Fresh Fish, that your comment is the equivalent of a rape joke.
posted by Pudhoho at 10:37 AM on September 19, 2013


anotherpanacea: "So let's try this: who here is in favor of other threads becoming proxy wars?"

But "I don't want there to be proxy wars" isn't a very actionable MeTa request. The choice here isn't between proxy wars or no proxy wars, it's between the mods' current way of handling these subjects across multiple threads versus a change in policy toward more aggressive use of warnings/deletions. It has not been demonstrated that adopting this change would necessarily decrease the number of proxy wars, and the downside risks of such a change need to be considered. People want to talk about these topics, and shutting the discussion down just because one member feels they're connected to another fight happening in another thread seems quite drastic to me.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:37 AM on September 19, 2013


"If someone decides not to be "loving" in this manner, who shows up at their doorstep? Men armed with smiles and kind language?"

The hell are you even on about? Being glib got in the way of making a coherent point.
posted by klangklangston at 10:37 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, this... is the proxy war thread, which was answered relatively quickly, which became the gun control thread, which was sent back to it's Blue, and now we are into the mildly unfocused rage and hostily quoting each other thread?

Is there a function to this thread any more? If not, I respectfully ask for a closing.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:39 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


The hell are you even on about?

The comedy of describing compliance with a legal duty as "love".
posted by Tanizaki at 10:40 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


You understand, Five Fresh Fish, that your comment is the equivalent of a rape joke.

This is a pretty ridiculous false equivalence as well as an unnecessary and fighty derail.
posted by elizardbits at 10:42 AM on September 19, 2013 [19 favorites]


Is there a function to this thread any more? If not, I respectfully ask for a closing

I think at this point it's serving as a MeTa outlet for the Starbucks gun thread.
posted by corb at 10:43 AM on September 19, 2013


the proxy war thread, which was answered relatively quickly

I'm not sure it was, not really. We can get to the root of why, but I suspect we will just be rehashing the real discussion in a subsequent thread, anyway.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:45 AM on September 19, 2013


Yet another Starbucks outlet.
posted by ODiV at 10:46 AM on September 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


But "I don't want there to be proxy wars" isn't a very actionable MeTa request. The choice here isn't between proxy wars or no proxy wars, it's between the mods' current way of handling these subjects across multiple threads versus a change in policy toward more aggressive use of warnings/deletions.

I guess I disagree with the premise that "asking users to change their behavior" isn't an appropriate use of Metatalk. That may or may not involve moderator assistance, but to my mind, Metatalk isn't the space where we talk to the mods about the site (there's email for that). Metatalk is the space where we talk to each other about the site.

The most important thing about Metafilter is the people who come here: the mods are awesome but they can't post all the cat videos, make all the jokes, and hash out all the politics themselves. Sometimes we should talk about what kind of site we want this to be, and not require that that discussion lead directly to moderator action.
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:47 AM on September 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


He/she is saying people who do a specific thing have fundamental problems, not anyone who disagrees with him have fundamental problems.

Oh, Christ, fine. I'll amend it:

You know what causes me to rage? The idea that people who disagree with you on particular hot-button topics that have millions and millions of people on either side of the issue are somehow fundamentally broken.

Happy?
posted by Etrigan at 10:51 AM on September 19, 2013


anotherpanacea: "I guess I disagree with the premise that "asking users to change their behavior" isn't an appropriate use of Metatalk. "

If that's all she was doing, then yeah, that's fine, but she clearly appealed to the moderators to take action.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:52 AM on September 19, 2013


This MeTa reads to me like "I couldn't help myself from joining the proxy gun control argument in the Starbucks thread and those arguments make me frustrated so can we stop having proxy threads altogether?"
posted by rocket88 at 10:54 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


If that's all she was doing, then yeah, that's fine, but she clearly appealed to the moderators to take action.

Sure, she did. But she's been rebuffed, I think, by jessamyn, for reasons that I tend to think are reasonable. However, that doesn't foreclose the possibility of an alternative solution: we're not here trying to pass HR 117, we can deliberate about alternatives to the proposal that has stalled.
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:55 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I still think you shouldn't circumcise your cat.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:56 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


If someone decides not to be "loving" in this manner, who shows up at their doorstep? Men armed with smiles and kind language?

Yes. The smiles are single-action magazine-fed smiles (the magazine is an Archie double digest), primarily recoil-operated. The men in question will be highly trained to assess, respond and acquire with lightning speed. These are men who can deploy an armor-piercing smile at a moving target with 90 percent accuracy. It's no exaggeration to say that these men could grin at a fly at twenty paces. If you were to toss a quarter in the air, these crack operatives would be able to smirk at it before it hit the ground.

Oh, and kind language? I'm afraid you'll find we have learned all the right lessons from our last few brushfire conflicts. These men use kind language of the sort you've only seen in your nightmares. At the first sign of action, they will be only too happy to unleash a hail of admiration flechettes. Have you ever seen something like that in the field? It's really something to witness, how they can butter up an entire battalion before you can say Jack Robinson, which, if that is your name, is a very nice name. Oh, but by all means, if you'd like to be ground zero for a hail of white-hot approval, do feel free to challenge them. I'm sure you'd love to see firsthand the effects of belt-fed kudos on a civvie.

What, you think we'd just send some greenhorns to your door? Some FNGs who've barely even field-stripped a sweet, loving hug before? Yeah, just go ahead and try it, pal. Get on the wrong side of these specialists and there'll be nothing left of you but some warm fuzzies and a bit of paperwork, and also however much was already left of you beforehand, so probably all of you. That's a really lovely tie, where'd you get it?
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:04 AM on September 19, 2013 [31 favorites]


FAMOUS MONSTER I don't think the assertion is that you will be killed if you don't follow the law, but that men with guns will com to arrest you at some point. Thereby making following the law a lot less altruistic that it was initially painted. Not saying I agree with Tanizaki's position on social justice, but totally missing the point doesn't really help matters.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:10 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


...
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:11 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


FAMOUS MONSTER has basically just written the Castle Doctrine defense for when I gun down a couple of mormons on my front porch.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:11 AM on September 19, 2013


Ah ok sorry for missing the point then
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:15 AM on September 19, 2013


FAMOUS MONSTER I don't think the assertion is that you will be killed if you don't follow the law, but that men with guns will com to arrest you at some point. Thereby making following the law a lot less altruistic that it was initially painted. Not saying I agree with Tanizaki's position on social justice, but totally missing the point doesn't really help matters.

I'm going to bypass the astonishing hilarity of your final sentence (but I am not going to bypass saying I'm bypassing it, nobody's perfect) and just going to go ahead and ask what you thought the point of what I said was.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:21 AM on September 19, 2013


I was waiting for you to say AND NOW THE WEATHER
posted by elizardbits at 11:22 AM on September 19, 2013 [17 favorites]


But snark rarely solves anything, even if it feels really good.

You know, glibness, snark, and sarcasm aren't the only ways of being a rhetorical jerk. You can stonewall a discussion pretty good with a combination of confidently asserted provocative propositions, repeatedly asserted errors of fact, absurd hypotheticals, disproportional claims of persecution, an insistence on "reasonableness" as defined by the speaker, or just a hands-in-the-air demand to "agree to disagree." And while you may disdain snark, corb, you tend to rely on these devices pretty heavily. None of them are in any way morally superior to simple mockery, just less funny and more tedious.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:27 AM on September 19, 2013 [42 favorites]


Since you quoted tanizaki I mistakenly thought you were responding to the context of that quote which was describing complying with social welfare laws as love. Somehow I missed the mormon/jehovah's witness implication and thought you were trying to lampoon someone being afraid of the cops. I was wrong.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:29 AM on September 19, 2013


I'm going to bypass the astonishing hilarity of your final sentence

Yeah that's pretty funny. Lucky for me I can laugh at myself.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:30 AM on September 19, 2013


Somehow I missed the mormon/jehovah's witness implication

...there wasn't one, so I can see how that would happen
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:30 AM on September 19, 2013


Ok so what were you trying to say then?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:31 AM on September 19, 2013


There should be a sign on this thread. It should say "YOU MUST BE THIS STONED [measurement] TO COMMENT HERE. AND BRING ENOUGH TO SHARE WITH THE ENTIRE GROUP"

Yeesh.
posted by zarq at 11:38 AM on September 19, 2013 [10 favorites]


I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that FM was riffing on the concept of agents that haul you away armed with a smile.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:40 AM on September 19, 2013


On the other hand... perhaps people would see it and think "MeTa. Stoning. Now yer talkin'." and I guess that's not a good idea.
posted by zarq at 11:41 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ok so what were you trying to say then?

Tough nut to crack, aren't you? Maybe the Monster needs to call in some back-up masseurs, eh? See if you get it after a nice hour of Swedish massage.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:45 AM on September 19, 2013


You know, glibness, snark, and sarcasm aren't the only ways of being a rhetorical jerk. You can stonewall a discussion pretty good with a combination of confidently asserted provocative propositions, repeatedly asserted errors of fact, absurd hypotheticals, disproportional claims of persecution, an insistence on "reasonableness" as defined by the speaker, or just a hands-in-the-air demand to "agree to disagree." And while you may disdain snark, corb, you tend to rely on these devices pretty heavily. None of them are in any way morally superior to simple mockery, just less funny and more tedious.

This doesn't really say that snark is acceptable, even it's trying to call out other behavior. More than anything, snark gets cheap laughs and favorites, and is harder to be construed as charitable. Plus, it's harder to come to a mutual understanding, which hopefully is desired at some point.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 11:45 AM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is where it would help if people would say what they mean instead of trying to concoct elaborate comments as favorite bait. It would especially help with more dense mefites like myself.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:51 AM on September 19, 2013


instead of trying to concoct elaborate comments as favorite bait.

This really isn't fair, but besides that, the key to getting favorites is a short quip, not long drawn out weird thing.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:13 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


There is no key to getting favorites.

I should know--I've tried everything.
posted by box at 12:15 PM on September 19, 2013 [17 favorites]


Early in the thread you can quip to favorites, late you gotta go long.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:15 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sonascope might disagree, MP. :)
posted by zarq at 12:15 PM on September 19, 2013


Shit that was way too short.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:16 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Always use live bait.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:21 PM on September 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


This doesn't really say that snark is acceptable

Well, I think snark or sarcasm or quips are as more or less acceptable as any other rhetorical device generally acceptable around here. You wouldn't want a diet of it, but a good cook knows many spices. My point was that there's more than one way of being a jerk if that's the concern here and more than one way of impairing mutual understanding if it's that.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:22 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


This doesn't really say that snark is acceptable, even it's trying to call out other behavior. More than anything, snark gets cheap laughs and favorites, and is harder to be construed as charitable. Plus, it's harder to come to a mutual understanding, which hopefully is desired at some point.

First, not all of us come to MetaFilter with the hope — the fantasy, really — that we'll be able to achieve "mutual understanding" with every single other poster's worldview. Some of us (probably all, really, if we're being honest) think that at least some fraction of those worldviews are incoherent, repugnant, and/or frankly nuts. You can be here in good faith and looking for a good, productive, non-jerky discussion without thinking that universal harmony and reconciliation is the end goal: why expect discussion on a web site to resolve differences that are nearly intractable in the real world? Maybe some folks just come here to see a range of possibly incompatible ideas expressed; maybe they come to see if they can personally manage to articulate something that's been bugging them about how a particular issue plays out; maybe they just come for the quips. This is allowed.

Second, though it wasn't necessarily octobersurprise's point, it still drives me crazy to see people on MeTa claiming that snark shouldn't be "acceptable." Pithy, pointed wit and reductio ad absurdum can be absolutely great, enlightening, useful, and enjoyable forms of informal argumentation — and putting on a show of earnestly airing personal feelings and views can be far more effective at derailing, trolling, or destroying any chance of intelligent discussion (see above). Sarcasm doesn't necessarily fuck up a discussion, and earnestness doesn't necessarily help.
posted by RogerB at 12:29 PM on September 19, 2013 [12 favorites]


Well, I think snark or sarcasm or quips are as more or less acceptable as any other rhetorical device generally acceptable around here. You wouldn't want a diet of it, but a good cook knows many spices. My point was that there's more than one way of being a jerk if that's the concern here and more than one way of impairing mutual understanding if it's that.

Well, one, it doesn't stop you from being a jerk, so doing some sort of tu quoque is not very helpful. In addition, it is less desirable than other combative techniques because it's deliberately made not only for crowd appeal, but to create a caustic, personal attack. It prevents people from getting along or at least coming to terms, which is important when you have a subject that gets people as passionate as much as this one. You don't have to agree with everything that corb or anyone else says, but at what point is it now impossible for both parties to talk to each other? Snark is to liven the mood, not to beat people down.

First, not all of us come to MetaFilter with the hope — the fantasy, really — that we'll be able to achieve "mutual understanding" with every single other poster's worldview.

Sure, sometimes you hit a wall, and you just can't engage. Then stop engaging, and don't use people as targets. Acknowledge that there isn't anything more that you can say that's charitable and move on. If you're to the end of your rope as far as coherence goes, there's no dishonor in that, and unlike a rampage of snark, both parties can leave from that relatively unscathed.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 12:48 PM on September 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


There should be a sign on this thread. It should say "YOU MUST BE THIS STONED [measurement] TO COMMENT HERE. AND BRING ENOUGH TO SHARE WITH THE ENTIRE GROUP"

stoned = (int) stoned ? (sizeof(stoned)) : (string) "soberishki.";
posted by Pudhoho at 12:56 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


There is no key to getting favorites.

I should know--I've tried everything.


My disheartening lack of an MLT sandwich says otherwise.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:50 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Where the mutton is nice and lean?
posted by zarq at 2:06 PM on September 19, 2013 [8 favorites]


metafilter lettuce tomato you can't eat the internet duh
posted by klangklangston at 2:22 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


You understand, Five Fresh Fish, that your comment is the equivalent of a rape joke.

This is a pretty ridiculous false equivalence as well as an unnecessary and fighty derail.

My comparison is neither a false equivalence, unnecessary, nor fighty.

The idea that a combat veteran is inherently a psycho is wrong as "she deserved her rape because the way she dressed."

Rape is always wrong.
posted by Pudhoho at 2:26 PM on September 19, 2013


Your objection was noted upthread, Pudhoho, but please let's not get into analyzing this analogy. PTSD is no joke, I am betting five fresh fish would agree with that.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:27 PM on September 19, 2013


It's what I live with every day.
posted by Pudhoho at 2:41 PM on September 19, 2013


Pudhoho, I think there are a lot of folks on Metafilter who have PTSD for various reasons. I don't think many folks here (aside from the various career contrarians) would try to take that lightly.

One of the guidelines I recommend following is trying not to take generalizations personally, even the insulting ones. I know it's a difficult thing to do and g-d knows I've failed to take the advice on numerous occasions. But it does keep threads from going on a fighty derail.

Analogies are also less than useful in most contentious Metafilter threads, so I se those as red flags too. If I'm about to make an analogy, I try to back off and find a way to personalize the statement I want to make without taking the thing that caused the statement to be needful personally.

Yeah, it's hard to walk that line, but I guarantee you that the effort you put into it will be repaid in kind.
posted by kalessin at 3:08 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


[Couple of comments deleted; I'm very sorry this is pushing buttons for you Pudhoho, and we can talk about vets and respect but calling people names is not the way to do it.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:48 PM on September 19, 2013


Let me say that more clearly. Your point is totally well-taken Pudhoho, that overgeneralizations about every military service member, and/or people with PTSD, can be hurtful, and we have plenty of both kinds of people here. People would do well to keep in mind who's in the room when they say stuff like that.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:51 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


wait ok so i read the entire thing and something like 350ish of 390 comments are the gun argument shit being brought in to MeTa where people can call eachother assholes and stupid without getting put on a timeout like they would on the blue.

Whats the actual point of this thread, seeing as how everyone seems to have ignored both the OP post and any attempt to actually bring it back within the parameters of discussing proxy wars. It seems like its' just another venue to have the same circular argument but with less moderation.

If this was some kind of performance art thing by corb to prove the point that people will use any excuse to have their battle anywhere even loosely related to it, even if that isn't the stated purpose in a sort of "this bong is for smoking tobacco sort of way" then this is a fucking excellent example. Otherwise it just seems like a venue for people to slingshot turds at eachother.

Because seriously, what?
posted by emptythought at 4:03 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Closing this thread would be a kindness.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:08 PM on September 19, 2013


people can always just not post
posted by sweetkid at 4:10 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I think the utility of this thread has run its course, I'm going to close this up before it goes off the rails any more.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:23 PM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


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