Re: META: LIST RULE ANNOUNCEMENT: Temporary Gun Issue Suspension

Joe E. Dees (
Thu, 10 Jun 1999 13:19:13 -0500

Date sent:      	Thu, 10 Jun 1999 10:57:23 EDT
Subject:        	META: LIST RULE ANNOUNCEMENT: Temporary Gun Issue Suspension
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> As Max indicated, he and I as the managing officers of Extropy Institute (the
> sponsoring organization for this list) believe that some action is necessary
> to address questions of list content that have arisen here in the last few
> weeks. I will be communicating soon with Eugene about his kind offer of
> acting as list moderator and we may well take him up on that proposition in
> the near future. In the meantime, we are taking some rough-and-ready action
> to restore balance to the content of the list.
I do have a substantial problem with Eugene's bias in favor of pro- gunners, which could constitute a cynical and self-serving reason for his volunteering as list moderator; he has contacted me privately asking me to cease refuting their canardic screeds (but so far as I know has not requested them to refrain from issuing them), has said that he would killfile me (but not them), and has generally expressed sympathy with their wild west position. I shall be closely perusing his handling of this matter and shall not hesitate to cry "foul" should I detect the least scintilla of slack or favoritism for either position over the other.
> As a temporary measure in response to the extreme number of postings that
> have been generated by a small number of posters on a single topic, the
> subject of "guns" will be considered off-topic for the list for a period of
> two weeks beginning on Saturday, June 12, 1999 at 12:01 am PST. Again as a
> temporary measure, any posters continuing existing "gun" threads, starting
> new ones or raising the subject of "guns" in existing threads during this
> two-week period will be unsubscribed from the list for a period
of three
> months. Please note that this prohibition will go into effect in a little
> over 24 hours. Accordingly, there is plenty of time to draft a civil,
> reasoned summation of whatever views any subscriber may wish to express and
> post them to the list.
> Because this is a temporary measure intended to restore balance and civility
> to the list, I will be the sole judge of whether a post during the period is
> in violation of the prohibition on posts concerning "guns". If you have any
> doubt regarding whether a message you are considering posting to the list may
> be in violation of this temporary prohibition, it probably is: Hold your
> breath, count to ten and let whatever you have to say wait until we work out
> some way to accommodate this discussion in a way that does not flood the
> list. Substituting discussion of some weapon other than a hand-held
> chemically-powered projectile device for "gun" will not make a post
> acceptable during this brief cooling-off period. Everyone with enough
> intelligence and emotional maturity to be a welcome poster to this list
> should know what subjects will be considered temporarily off-topic.
> This action should not be interpreted as a "victory" or a "defeat" for the
> substance of any position that has been espoused in the "gun debate" here,
> but is undertaken with great reluctance as a measure to impose the minimum of
> decorum and editorial judgment on a topic that has grown to become a
> disproportionate part of the volume of this list's content.
> Finally, a personal note. I regret that this temporary action is necessary,
> do not relish whatever controversy it may cause and sincerely hope that this
> episode will not establish any precedent for future list governance. (Those
> familiar with Roman history should consider the figure of Cincinatus as the
> only guide to which I will look in this brief interlude.)
> Greg Burch <>----<>
> Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide
> -or-
> "Civilization is protest against nature;
> progress requires us to take control of evolution."
> -- Thomas Huxley