Apart from a placeholder post to test the domain, the first post on WeaponsMan.com went live at 0005R (that’s five past midnight, Eastern Time) on 1 January 2012. Thus, today is our second anniversary — Our second birthday, if you will.
In the light of our first post…
We’ve already covered our 2013 in Review. Here’s where we tell you what we’re doing in 2014, but first, let’s look back at that first, optimistic post, and see if a course correction is in order.
Here’s what we wrote:
Every Special Forces soldier is cross-trained in multiple disciplines. One of the most important is communications. These days, with modern satellite communications and locations systems, it’s rare for a team to be lost or out of touch with HQ, but for most of the history of Special Forces and special operations forces in general, it wasn’t unusual for a team to be both.
Your team might have made every mission tasking with flying colors, and brought everybody home safe, but if you didn’t make commo, you might as well have failed at everything. Your name was mud with the Colonel (generally called The Boss, unless he was disliked), the staff, and just about everybody.
So we all cross-trained in commo, first. And we became familiar with various communications concepts, including the signal to noise ratio. This is essentially the ratio of desired signal to undesired signal. The internet in general, on the subject of weapons, has a pretty lousy S/N. Here’s how we’re going to try to keep the S/N high on here.
- Stick to what we actually know
- Document and source facts where we can
- Explain the reasoning, as well as source the facts, behind our opinions.
I know, hare-brained, radical ideas. Fortunately, for those who want unsourced, unsupported snark,it’s never more than a click away on this set of tubes. De gustibus non disputandum est.
In the light of that first post, it’s clear that some things have changed, but that still is, believe it or not, the lodestone we try to navigate by. Our intent in sticking to what we know and, an original intent we expressed elsewhere on the blog, minimizing politics, was to make this site a destination for weapons facts (entertaining ones, to be sure) and not to alienate potential readers. We also don’t think our politics are especially unique or interesting, although we are well situated (in first-primary state New Hampshire and secondarily in unreality-show Florida) to see the sausage being made up close.
Politics and WeaponsMan.com
Of course, we’ve failed at keeping politics out of the blog in 2013. What changed? What changed was a violent assault on your gun rights and ours. Regardless of our personal politics, the assault was unmistakably a partisan political one, with politicians who had run as pro-gun 2nd Amendment supporters falling in along the Party line, and issuing various Washingtonian (the city, not the President) doubletalk about how they would support the 2nd Amendment to the death, just as long as it didn’t let you have guns.
If you are in the gun culture, one party is a lower threat to you than the other, although neither is truly your friend. Look at the moves of “pro-gun” Republicans Pat Toomey and ex-Senator Scott Brown, profiles in the opposite of courage when they thought, based on media reports, the trend was with bans and registration. Brown is so corrupted with lust for power that, having alienated the voters of his own state who once backed him, he’s moved to a new state (unfortunately, ours) where he thinks he can define himself, again, with empty promises and vague slogans.
Politicians of whatever party are self-serving and profoundly crooked. People who are attracted to this career have something lacking at the center of their souls; they are content to face you with servile, fawning professions of friendship or high-handed contempt, depending solely on where they are in the election cycle. They make treacherous servants and terrible masters.
Here is the conundrum we face
Here’s the conundrum we face: every political post distracts from our main mission of informing people about, and entertaining people with, firearms. Not only that, it also risks alienating readers who, for personal political, familial, or historical reasons, may align themselves with politicians who are rabidly anti-gun. (It’s a free country, as our grandparents, who emigrated from unfree ones, were wont to say). Finally, compared to writers who make politics their bailiwick, of whom there are a great many, we’re not all that terribly good at it.
But the other leg of the conundrum is this: what if we do not vigorously defend our rights to own, enjoy and use the widest range of weapons? If we do not seek to expand and broaden our rights at every opportunity, even as our enemies, and we use that term advisedly, miss no opportunity to try to constrict, outlaw, and suppress the same, we wind up as poorly off as the gun culture of, say, Britain.
It is not inevitable that things should keep on going the way they have been. The successes that we have only came about because people have toiled hard on our behalf. There’s no scientific principle or immutable law that says that men shall be free. Freedom must be seized, and then must be defended, in every possible medium.
So we will defend it here. And we make no apologies for that.
So, is a course correction in order?
We’re asking you. We know an awful lot of people read this blog. (If you’ve read the year-end wrapup, you’ve seen the stats were so proud of). We’re satisfied with the way this blog is going. Every work day we try to make four posts:
- A gun-industry or -tech post, first thing in the morning (0600R, ideally).
- A post about the military or unconventional warfare in late morning (1100R).
- A post reminding us that despite the rhetoric of the anti-gun world, some pretty rotten stuff would keep happening When Guns are Outlawed (1400R).
- A post about whatever catches our fancy.
In addition to those, we try to post about breaking gun news, and have several regular (sometimes irregular, but that’s strictly unintentional) features:
- The Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week — a website worth visiting about our gun or war focus.
- The Saturday Matinee — a movie review about a war movie or one where guns play an important part. (Sorry, no sparkly vampires, although we might cover zombies as long as someone’s shooting them).
- That Was the Week that Was — our saturday evening wrap-up of the week’s stats and posts.
- The Assclown of the Ides — a post about a military impostor or phony on the 15th of the month.
It takes a lot of time to do this, and other things go on: a day job (several, really), some medical recovery (grrr…), PT (not enough), meals (too much, goto PT), some travel, and going to ranges and whatnot. So from time to time, posting gets slack. If we know it’s going to get like that, we try to frontload scheduled posts.
Anyway, we believe this system is working. But we don’t know, and want to know, what you think?
- What do you want to see more of?
- What do you want to see less of? (i.e., what stories do you skip now?)
- What questions do you have that nobody’s answering?
If you want to keep your comment private, just say so. First-time commenters are always sent to comment limbo (it’s our last line of defense against comment spam), and if you are a regular commenter with a private message, say so. We’ll set that one to “unapproved” and any subsequent message will go to the offline queue until the private discussion ends, and we can release you from the penalty box (whilst keeping private those messages you wanted private).
There are some things we’re not expecting to do in 2014. We don’t expect to try to monetize the blog directly. Yes, it serves a business purpose, but a long-term one; we don’t think the gains from, say, advertising, would be worth the aggravation it would put both of us to. (We actually have cut back on linking to sites that have infected themselves with adware. pop-ups and other malware like the Undertone virus. We can usually find the story on a clean site even if we find it on a polluted page, first. We doubt we’re alone in that).
And we don’t expect to turn this into a go-to place for 2014 election gun politics. We might have something to say about local stuff, and we will defend our culture from those that attack it, but the horse race is not our thing. (Both horses in any given race will bite you, given half a chance. It’s our duty to our grandchildren not to give them that chance).
But we do expect to continue to build our community here, and our friendship with you, our readers. May 2014 be entertaining and successful for us all. And as a nod to that first cautious post we drafted back in December 2011 to announce a new blog on New Year’s Day, this one goes live at five minutes past midnight on the first day of 2014. Who knows what new knowledge, skills, and adventures lie before us?