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[ANON] War in ca-firearms

[[Reply-To: [email protected]]]

 -=> Quoting [email protected] to John Nieder <=-

 Ch> Please don't waste my time with posts like this.

 Ch> Thanks,
Jeff, listen:  I admired and respected your efforts running ca-firearms,
was grateful for the time you spent on it, and _said_ so,  to you and to
everyone else.  I worked on the Roberti recall, lobbied my legislators
and helped others on the list to do the same.

All that aside, under the advice of the worst possible people*, you made
a policy _mistake_ in ca-firearms policy that has created a tremendous
amount of ill-will and divisiveness and little else.  It didn't make the
list "safe," it didn't promote RTKBA, it didn't do anything
constructive; it only alienated a lot of sincere and able people who
were otherwise on your side, whether you intended to or not.

To my knowledge - and you may correct me if I am wrong - none of the
anti-anon people have addressed a single point in the prevailing
argument for anon posting, which I roughly outlined in my first protest
letter to rec.guns (my subsequent posts there have been censored).
They, and you, have not spent any time in reflecting on the pro-anon
case or apologized for the explicit insult your policy made toward
those who use remailers for legitimate purposes.  If for whatever
obscure reasons you felt a need to exclude remailed posts from
ca-firearms, you could have at least done so tactfully and thoughtfully,
which you did not.

You haven't tried to do any damage control on this or (to my knowledge)
done anything but stonewall the issue.  You handled this ineptly, and
actions have consequences.  In this case, the consequences are the
incurred enmity of other pro-RTKBA, pro-privacy persons and groups.
Worse than that, you have helped convince quite a few people (judging
from my netmail) that there is no material difference between the
irrational anti-gun zealots and the irrational anti-privacy bigots in
the RTKBA forums - an assumption, I might add, completely reinforced by
the anti-anon posts I have seen.  As a consequence, these persons have
dropped out of the RTKBA fight entirely, in disgust.  As one former
ca-firearms participant wrote to me, "I'm not going to choose between
two groups of control addicts."  To that point the guy had been very
active in the faxing and calling of representatives, wrote excellent
letters and was otherwise a real asset to the cause.  Frankly, I'm
beginning to think he's right.

Usenet rec.guns is the _third_ major firearms forum I have seen
disrupted or destroyed by anti-anon policies this year alone.  In the
first case, the best radical RTKBA forum in all cyberspace was
eliminated by anti-gun net administrators employing the selective
application of obscure netlaws, notably a widely ignored "real names
only" rule.  The second was ca-firearms.

I hope the next moderator thinks before he acts.


*The two anti-anon users in whose direct or forwarded e-mail made claims
to have influenced your decision were X          and Y          .
What I saw from X       was simply psychotic, probably the craziest,
most lunatic copy I've seen on Internet in a couple of years.  Y     's
was worse in its way, containing every petty-authoritarian cliche I
know and a few I had forgotten.  Needless to say, neither addressed the
actual _issues_ or _facts_.  If these are the people you let do your
thinking for you, you are in deep trouble, my friend.  It's one thing to
be honestly mistaken or ignorantly well-meaning, but these characters
are seriously wedged.  [If I decide to cross-post this, I will delete
the names of these loose cannon, not that either deserve the courtesy].