Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

'Reasoned discourse,' indeed

Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign, lamented (at least three times) this summer about what he claims to be the difficulty of having "reasoned discourse" with gun rights advocates. To illustrate that assertion, he pointed to some comments his blog posts had received--comments that were, admittedly, not helpful.

He (of course) did not bother to mention that the vast majority of the comments were not only intelligent, backed up by facts and logic, but cordial as well (and also overwhelmingly opposed to more gun legislation--the true source of his irritation?). In fact, most of the blog posts had dozens of well reasoned rebuttals to his points for every comment supporting them (and for every inappropriate comment).

Sometime this summer, the Brady Blog's comment feature was disabled. A gun rights advocate I have the honor to consider a friend noticed the seeming inconsistency in expressing regret that "reasoned discourse" was difficult, while at the same time blocking the means to have any discourse. In late August, he sent the following email to the Brady Blog site:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am curious as to why the comments feature has been disabled for all of the recent posts on your blog.

This is particularly puzzling given that Mr. Helmke wrote at least 3 essays lauding the importance of "reasoned discourse" regarding firearms and Second Amendment issues. It would seem that giving individuals the opportunity to opine about the topics Mr. Helmke posts on his blog would be an ideal way of fostering such discourse.

I eagerly await your response.


Matthew T.
Weeks later, having received no response whatsoever, he sent this follow-up:
To: blog@bradycampaign.org
Subject: Brady Blog Question
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2007 10:36:28 -0500

Good morning,

I just wanted to verify that you received my email from several weeks ago regarding your blog site. I was hoping you could tell me why the comments feature had been disabled, particularly given Mr. Helmke's three separate essays emphasizing the importance of "reasoned discourse" regarding firearms and the Second Amendment?

I eagerly await your reply.

Thank you.


-Matthew T.-
And still, the silence was deafening, prompting yet another attempt:
To: blog@bradycampaign.org
Subject: FW: Brady Blog Question
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2007 16:01:53 -0500

To Whom it May Concern:

Please see my correspondence below, dated September 16, 2007.

I would very much appreciate the courtesy of a response.


-Matthew T.-
[with a copy of the Sept. 16 correspondence included]
Yesterday, in his exemplary patience, he tried yet again:
Good afternoon,

I am still awaiting a response to my original question, which is copied below. I'm beginning to suspect that your organization's president, Paul Helmke, might be a hypocrite. It seems inappropriate for him to suggest gun owners are incapable of engaging in "reasoned discourse" when no one from his organization has been able to answer my legitimate question since it was originally posed over a month ago.


-Matthew T.-
[with copy of original correspondence included]
Well, Paul, the ball is in your court (and has been for rather a long time)--please edify us. Do you want a meaningful dialogue, or not, and if so, would we not need both sides to communicate?

By the way, I sent an email of my own to the "Brady Blog team," with a link to this blog post.
Please stop by the blog, and leave a response in the comment section: http://armedandsafe.blogspot.com/2007/09/reasoned-discourse-indeed.html

never disable comments.

Kurt Hofmann
I don't guess I should hold my breath waiting for a response.


Smershagent said...

I still haven't heard a whisper in response to any of my emails, but Paul's silence speaks louder than an actual response ever could.

My hypothesis is that the blog proved to be a huge embarrassment to his organization. Anyone who cares to peruse the archived comments will see that the overwhelming proportion of posts came from Second Amendment supporters. Their remarks were nearly always cogent, articulate, and polite.

Other than the BC staffer who occasionally chimed in, there were all of two gun control supporters posting, and their comments were always limited to emotional rhetoric, insults, ridiculous accusations, and fluff.

There was an abundance of "reasoned discourse," but none of it was coming from the BC. This fact would have been almost immediately evident to anyone who visited the blog, and that's what I suspect Paul didn't like. I just wish he'd have the integrity to admit this, rather than simply ignoring my attempts to communicate.

The subject of why the official on-line blog of the largest gun control organization in the country could only boast 2 regular contributors of its own is an interesting question as well.

I've heard repeatedly that the Brady Campaign enjoys a broad public mandate, and that the public enthusiastically supports its agenda.

I'd never guess that by reading their blog, though.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

I don't imagine that it will come as any surprise that I have heard nothing from them, either.

I guess that according to their idea of "reasoned discourse," only civilian disarmament advocates get to say anything.