I've got good news, this is actually easier than you'd think! ZS is unique in organizations that tries to educate people on disaster and emergency preparedness topics in that we attract a wide swath of demographics. We have members who are atheists, devout Christians, Muslims, Jews and Hindus. We have agnostics, Wiccans and more than one member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. We have people who vote straight party line and people who have voted for 5 parties in the last two elections. We have people who think Mau was a really smart guy, people who worship at the altar of Reagan, and people who seek political guidance from the Sex Pistols.
And we mostly all get along.
Now, people who post in firearms are likely to have a pre-disposition towards the gun rights side of politics. That is to be expected. But, we need to make sure that people of all views feel welcome in the Firearms Forum. Remember that one time you changed your mind about something? Wouldn't it be great if all you pro-gun folks could use this as an opportunity to present your case without all the hype and emotion? I mean, you don't want to scare away people who may have been historically pro-gun control by being a raging asshole, do you?
So, here are some tips on how to be passionate about guns and not break the ZS "No Political Discussion" rules.
These sort of posts break the No Politics rule and should be avoided:
- Posts that calls out or mocks a political figure such as: (Obama's at it again / Can you believe Schumer is trying to steal our guns again? / Look at the BS Palin is saying)
- Asserts a political stance (Of course everyone at ZS is pro-gun, you'd have to be a dumbass not to be! / Remember to vote against gun control tomorrow at the polls)
- Promotes partisan political activism (write your congressman to fight this bill / Come to the rally for gun rights)
- Debates an inherently political issue, like gun control
How to not get threads locked:
- Staying on topic and not posting bullshit. If a thread is headed off track and you take the time to search the web for the very finest lolcats pictures that a 6th grader would find hilarious to post in the thread you are now part of the problem. Also, if an incorrect stance has been asserted and someone corrected on that stance (my Glock clip holds 17 bullets, for instance), let it go. The dude who was wrong doesn't need 17 people yelling at him. After the 3rd "YOUR WRONG!" post I think he gets it. Don't dogpile.
- By sticking to being informational and avoiding debate. Informing people about laws and regulations is great. Debating those laws is not. Alerting a person from California that they can't own a particular gun is helpful. Telling that person they should move to a place with different laws is not. Nor is bashing on their state or country because it has different laws than the place you currently live or wished you lived.
- Promoting non-partisan activism. For instance the ATF often accepts comments from people when they propose regulations. It's awesome to alert people to these windows of opportunity to be heard. The ATF isn't inherently political, although it is often used for political gain- but suggesting people participate in the comment period without telling them what to say is perfectly OK. That's the important part here- don't tell people what to think, offer them information.
I hope this helps. A member recently brought this question to me after being frustrated their threads were getting locked. I thought I'd share it with everyone. If you have any questions or I can clarify anything, please let me know.