Thursday, March 26, 2009

Clarity is not optional in front of a frightened crowd.

(This would have gone in a comment on the relevant page, but on said page the captcha system went insane, and locked me out. This is my recourse.)

(page in question: )

Now, I've very carefully reviewed both posts, and determined the problem here.

Mr. Yon, you are guilty of horrible timing. You see, today on the news we all heard Secretary Clinton invoke AmMex as a prime reason to reinstate the assault weapons ban. You turn this phrase;

"I have no plans to give up my hardware, but we must be honest here and help curb flows that are killing Mexicans and Americans. "

..without any corroboration or real explanation. In the mind of the reader, who has just had the world painted in terms of Mexico==AWB thanks to Hillary, you just said "Ain't gettin' rid of mine, but some's got to be rid of".

McCaffrey uses the same idea in his post, but a little clearer.

"We owe the Mexican people better protection of their security forces by effectively interdicting the huge US flow of automatic weapons and laundered drug money back south. (26,000 weapons seized last year.) "

Heuristically, exactly the same as your sentiment (I gather, as you are unclear). Interdiction of illegal arms trade does not equal AWB, and would likely be highly supported by the community of shooters.

There is nothing patently offensive to the "gun crowd" in McCaffrey's NJO writing. It's quite supportable. But the TIMING is AWFUL, particularly to bring it up in the midst of a vague and "buzzword" filled post, which paints the NJO article and colors it's tone by association. And yes, your post is rather vague and buzzy, given the "mood of the day".

And if that wasn't bad enough, Mr. Yon, I've seen your initial reply, even though it's off the site. It's offensive, both directly and indirectly to the intelligence of the reader.

"My work is misquoted around the world every day, but nowhere as often as on my own site. "

Fantastic. Unfortunately in this instance your work was misquoted because the definition and intent was not clear at all.

"If they invest only that minimal level of attention to the guns they are apparently packing, it's just a matter of time before they accidentally shoot themselves or someone else. Attention to detail is an important component of gun safety."

Oh, Mr. Yon. On the defensive, and antagonizing the audience. That's not a very wise move, particularly when the vast crowd who's disturbed by the original post consists of more than a few supporters... or ex-supporters. You shifted to a high-handed tone and patronized an angry mob of "hurt" people who thought you were "one of the guys".

It's a mistake, I'm telling you. And you'd best consider your next response to these people and make a clear, unequivocal statement on your stance and the intent of your post or they will, as they have already started, eat you alive in front of the altar of Zumbo.

I don't want to see that happen, you do good work.


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