"Off Topic" posts

Re the GD thread about " Gun owner’s liability when it comes mishaps involving their children". There was a lot of discussion about how the law treats parental liability for child mishaps in general, involving pools and the like. WE declared these to be off-topic and verboten in the thread. This is ridiculous.

And not the first time either, IIRC. Anyone who cannot appreciate the necessity for discussing the issue within the broader context of how the law treats comparable situations should not be moderating GD.

I’m glad to see the mods clamping down on hijacks, but that unfortunately also sometimes comes with clamping down on legit discussions of broader context.

If in the context of talking about topic X, one must mention overall context Y, that’s okay.

But if the thread turns entirely into talking about Y and no longer about X, then that is a hijack, IMO.

As the OP for the thread in question, I appreciated the attempt to keep the thread on topic. Nothing prevents people from addressing wider issues in separate threads

The Op and one other poster flagged the off-topic stuff and I honored the request. But it would have been helpful if the pool example wasn’t replied to multiple times first.

I won’t apologize as it is nearly impossible to have a debate about guns on this board without a dozen hijacks. The hijacks have been discussed in other threads and can be again.

The wider issues have a direct bearing on the topic of the OP. To have a discussion of how the law should treat guns without allowing for consideration of how the law treats other comparable dangers is undercutting valid consideration of the gun issue.

Discussing those other issues in another thread wouldn’t solve this, because the issues have a bearing on the gun issue specifically. People are not looking for a discussion of pools. They want the issue of guns discussed in a comprehensive manner and with proper context.

Your real problem is that the discussion of wider issues tended to undercut your position in the thread, so you preferred to consider guns in isolation.

Modhat: just a reminder. Do not reopen the debate on guns laws or pool laws here in ATMB. Complain about my moderation all you want, but don’t use an ATMB thread for subjects belonging in other forums.

To be clear: is there anything in this thread so far which in your mind verges on “reopen[ing] the debate on guns laws or pool laws”, or are you just forstalling it just in case someone happens to do that?

It is a common occurrence in ATMB threads and I could see the conversation veering off into an expanded debate. So just a preventative reminder.

No one was singled out or noted.

The point that the OP is making is that these are not hijacks at all and I’m astounded that you continue to insist that they are.

How is it a hijack when determining how to treat guns for liability purposes to look to other legal yet potentially dangerous products like cars, tobacco, alcohol, or backyard pools? A poster may thing the analogy inapt and attempt to distinguish how guns are different than cars, but it is all part of the debate and not remotely a hijack.

I think this thread may have the first post of mine that has featured a moderator tag, much less an instruction not to respond.

Unsurprisingly, I don’t think that you can have a serious conversation about imposing criminal liability on parents for the misuse or irresponsible storage of a dangerous item in the home while banning discussion (or comparison) about what we think about imposing criminal liability on parents for the misuse or irresponsible storage of dangerous items in the home.

My :2cents: I agree with you. The new modding rewards popular posters who try to artificially limit debate so that they can avoid uncomfortable counterarguments. Love or hate Johnathon Chance but he understood debate and wouldnt tolerate this crap.

In general, I think the modding for “off topic” posts has become incredibly too stringent. For example, in the Joss Whedon thread we were instructed not to discuss other celebrities who had abused their power (although pages and pages of discussion on the merits of Zack Synder’s films was apparently okay.) The ability to discuss any issue with depth and complexity by drawing parallel connections and broader context has been seriously hampered, to the board’s detriment.

I concur.

Hey, lets shut up the guys who are arguing too strenuously against me.

Look, if someone sez “guns are evil due to X” then bring up A, B, C, D, etc isnt a hijack- unless of course that sends the thread that way. For example saying that more young kids die in pools than by accidental gun use isnt a hijack- unless we go into what safety features pools need, how deep pools can be, why the kids drowned, etc. That would be the hijack. The idea behind such threads is that guns are so dangerous they must be banned, taxed, huge penalties etc- so saying that other things even more dangerous arent treated so draconian is reasonable.

Because of course guns are dangerous, and so are cars and pools and smoking and many other things. You cant argue that driving over the speed limit isnt dangerous- but you can argue that 5MPH over isnt really all that dangerous in the big scheme so draconian penalties such as confiscation of the car on the spot arent needed.

So many things are dangerous, and if we set draconian laws on each and every one it’d get insane. The Big Picture is what is important.

So yeah, just bringing up pools isnt the hijack. It only is if that mention sends the thread into a discussion about pools and their dangers, and how those dangers can be ameliorated.

However, I admit, mea culpa I post too damn much in gun threads. However, others such as Czarcasm do also Ok, if he agrees he will keep out of them until next month, so will I. or even for a whole month.

Those can be hijacks if the thread turns into a discussion about them- instead of (for example) guns.

But s simple comparison isnt a hijack. It is indeed, totally on topic.

For other threads- saying that X is a bigger asshole than “fill in name of current social media hated celebrity here” isnt a hijack. But if others start to argue about X and only X, leaving out the current Ops hate totally, then it becomes a hijack.

Time after time here, other Mods have said that a Op cant control how his thread goes. Threads go off what the OP wants quite often, and the Ops attempt to keep in on a narrow railroad track, not even allowing disagreement, doesnt make a good “Great debate” in fact it just makes it a one sided rant.

I’m a popular poster?

Your self control isn’t tied to anything I do or say, so it is a no-go on the silly proposal.

I have to agree this is over doing it. In order to have a discussion about owner and/or parental responsibility in one situation, is it utterly necessary to be able to compare it to said responsibility in other situations. It is not off topic in the slightest.

Yes, it would be possible to get overly focused on one possible other situation, forgetting the original topic. But then the instruction should not be “you can no longer discuss that” but “keep it relevant to the main topic.” In practical terms, tell people they need to explain how what they are saying is relevant to the main topic.

@Spice_Weasel is correct that you overly restricted that other thread, as well. Not being able to discuss others’ abuse means that you had nothing to compare Whedon’s to. It made it impossible to discuss if it was part of a general trend, or what had previously been done, or tons of other relevant aspects.

The restrictions in these cases need to be more narrowly tailored so they don’t cut off a valid point of discussion about the topic. The goal should be to stop any hijack, not to remove any legitimate arguments about the main topic.

Aye; WE has killed threads with this kind of thing. Stopping hijacks sounds like a good idea but restricting (or halting) discussions sounds like a not-as-good idea.

Exactly, and if the reason for bringing up pools was to cite legislation on other forms of parental neglect, and the penalties involved in them, then that would be relevant.

That is not what you are doing, you are saying that pools is a larger problem, and therefore, we shouldn’t be discussing this problem.

When you ask what the penalty for a parent who lets their child drown through negligence, you are trying to change the subject.

I’ll admit that I got sucked into a bit of those hijacks, and I was wrong to take the bait. But the discussion is not about pools or cars or power tools or cleaning chemicals, the discussion is about guns in the home with children.

It would be like if you went into the tankless water heater thread, and said that there are billions who don’t even have access to running water, so we shouldn’t discuss water heaters until that problem is addressed. Or if you went into the silliest reasons for quitting a job thread, and talked about all the millions of people who get laid off. People occasionally drop into space exploration threads to complain about resources used on space exploration, when we haven’t solved poverty or cancer, and that is a threadshit.

If you want to talk about the dangers of pools, open a thread about it. If you want to talk about the dangers of texting and driving, open a thread about it. If the only time that you want to talk about those topics is when others are talking about guns, then it is obvious that these are not actually concerns for you, but rather, attempts at derailing the discussion so that it doesn’t focus on the topic at hand.

If you think that your legislator is spending too much time on gun issues, when there are more important issues at hand, call them or write them a letter.

This is a discussion board. We are not making laws, we are not focusing on one policy to the detriment of others. We are discussing topics that we find interesting to discuss.

It is not just implied, but often explicitly stated that those who are discussing ways of making guns safer are being disingenuous and in bad faith, as it is claimed that it’s not about protecting children or in the larger scope, society in general, we just don’t like guns and want to find a way to get rid of them. When you come into a thread complaining that we are not focussing on these other concerns that you have, you are making the claim that those discussing gun safety are debating in bad faith.