My letter to Appleseed

Following the Appleseed project debate and the Gun Nuts TNG blogtalk Radio show on the subject, Ahab linked to a thread on the Appleseed forum about it.

I was pretty disheartened by the level of discourse displayed there and wanted to say so, so I registered for an account.

I finally got approved yesterday. It only took, what, three days? How responsive of them.

Anyway, I went back to the forum to post my comment and, lo and behold, the thread was locked. Ahab had come on board and left a couple of comments and all the sudden, “Fred” locked the thread to prevent flaming.

I was not thrilled. As long as there were no bloggers there to respond, flaming was just fine, but as soon as a blogger was able to defend himself, all the sudden it was a problem? Horse Hockey.

Anyway, here’s the e-mail that I just sent to info@appleseedinfo.org:

I’m not sure who this e-mail is going to go to but I’m annoyed and I’m going to tell someone about it. I hope that whoever gets this forwards it to the appropriate people.

This is regarding the Blog threads that were critical of Appleseed, followed by the Blog Talk Radio show, followed by the thread on the Appleseed forum.

First, I am Sailorcurt of the Blog Captain of a Crew of One. I am a proponent of standard military style high powered rifle shooting, which is pretty much what Appleseed espouses. I also enjoy and see the value of “run and gun” practical style shooting for real world simulation.

When the first blog thread critical of Appleseed was posted, I was the one who defended the Appleseed project and slammed the commenters who were being critical of the program without having attended one. I let them know in no uncertain terms that I didn’t appreciate them being critical of others who were supporting the shooting sports in whatever way they were able.

Then the radio show. The most vocal criticism came from someone who had actually attended an Appleseed shoot. I think much of his criticism was colored by his perception, and you may disagree with what he said, but at least he had first hand experience from which to draw. The other side was also presented in the form of an Appleseed participant (Breda) who was very enthusiastic about the program and lavish in her praise. The show presented both sides in order to allow listeners to draw their own conclusions. The hosts also were not supportive of Appleseed at first, but, by the end of the show, grudgingly agreed that the program had merit and that they should check one out before passing judgment.

Then the forum thread.

Apparently, anything less than total, unequivocal support for Appleseed is not enough for the Appleseed instructors. Criticism is not to be tolerated.

That, my friends, disgusted me. Before even hearing the radio show, commenters from Appleseed were insulting bloggers and run and gun shooters…not disagreeing with their opinions, but insulting them personally. Calling names. Caricaturizing. Demeaning. All this without even having heard the show yet…how ironic.

After the show, the kindergarten antics continued unabated.

I requested a forum account so that I could express my displeasure about the immature reaction the Appleseed supporters had to criticism, but it took several days for my account to be approved. By the time it was approved the forum had been locked and I was unable to leave a comment.

This is unacceptable. The forum was open and the Appleseed members were allowed to disparage and impugn the character of those with whom they disagreed, but as soon as one of the people being impugned (Ahab) had the opportunity to respond, all the sudden the forum was locked down to prevent “flaming”. BS. If the moderator wasn’t thrilled with the flames, he would have shut down the thread on the first day as soon as all the insults started flying. It seems to me that it wasn’t “flaming” that the moderator was trying to stifle, but actual debate. Flaming was well tolerated…as long as the bloggers weren’t there to defend themselves.

The way I see it, I was sucker punched and then my hands were tied so that I could not respond.

I was…with the emphasis on WAS…a supporter of Appleseed. I was one of the few voices in the blogging world defending you and your program.

If this is the way you treat people. If this is the level of maturity of your instructors and proponents. If this is the way you deal with criticism from people on the SAME SIDE as you.

Well.

Suffice it to say that I am no longer a supporter.

I’ll let you know if I get any response and if they successfully change my mind.

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