Change. It's inevitable.
A few weeks ago the great Else Pea Forum changed hands, and changed names. It is now the Ruger Pistols Forum and under new ownership and management. The EPF (Elsie Pea Forum) was started after the release of the Ruger LCP by a few dedicated individuals who wanted to have a place for those who owned or were interested in the new Light Compact Pistol from Ruger to communicate and exchange information. It quickly grew to ten thousand members, and about ten times that number of regular visitors who did not sign up to be members. It became noteworthy because the team of moderators and the owner kept the forum focused on gun ownership, information, assistance and discussion and did not allow ranting, obscenity, political, racial or religious discussions (which normally turn ugly immediately on most forums). These 'rules' were strictly inforced and, as a direct consequence, attracted and kept people interested in intelligent and civil discourse concerning Ruger firearms, primarily, gun safety, concealed carry topics, etc. Last year I was invited to become a moderator on the forum and I quickly agreed. It was a wonderful experience. I learned from the outstanding team of moderators and the owner how a forum should be managed, and I learned from the members that by and large, people appreciate being treated with respect and politeness even when disagreement is inevitable.
However, since the new owners have assumed control, it became apparent to most of the moderator team that their philosophy of forum management and certain topics like gun safety and communciation with members differ significantly from ours. Consequently, most of the old moderators have resigned those duties, and I expect all will eventually resign. No need to get into details. Those are available on the forum itself. I hope that the same attitudes of polite and respectful communication, attention to gun rights and the safety of gun owners and those around them and the intolertance of invective, obscenity, ranting and prejudice will not be tolerated. Most of the other gun forums I have looked at suffer from all or some of those characteristics and I do not have time to engage in that kind of activity, nor would I if I had time.
Among some of the things I learned from moderating the Elsie Pea Forum:
- If treated with respect, most people will respond in kind.
- Disagreements can be handled with intelligence and passion, but don't have to degenerate into rants and screaming matches.
- You can't satisfy everyone.
- There are many more people who know a lot more about guns than I ever will.
- It is possible to make real friends on the internet.
- Everyone's got an opinion. At least one...
- Having a gun when you need one is more important than the reverse - regardless of the caliber.
- The right to protect yourself and others is a natural, inalienable right and must be supported.
- There are a lot of handguns available out there, but I like Rugers the best.
Many of us have moved over to the www.380forum.com for community and communication.
Perhaps a new Ruger-focused forum will arise with the same values as the old Elsie Pea Forum. If it ever does, I'll be back like a shot.