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Shooting Forum Charter

  • 13-07-2010 12:16pm
    Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks

    Shooting Forum Charter

    Welcome to the shooting forums!
    These forums are for the discussion of various topics relating to the shooting sports (ie. the various forms of target shooting events) and to sport shooting (ie. hunting with firearms). There are four forums in total, one for Target Shooting, one for Hunting, a For Sale/Wanted forum, and this main forum which acts as a general forum as well as holding some specific topics, such as "political" threads that people would prefer are kept out of the various sub-forums.

    The forum you are in right now is the general Shooting forum and it is for the discussion of shooting related subjects, including techniques and equipment; as well as for discussion of directly related topics, such as how we run our clubs and our sport and how changes in firearms legislation affects us. Discussion of current events is also within the scope of the forum, though the scope for such discussion is restricted to the shooting-related aspects of those events only. We try to keep discussion of hunting-related topics within the Hunting sub-forum, and of target-shooting-related topics within the Target Shooting forum, so far as their charters permit ("political" threads, for example, are forbidden in the Target Shooting sub-forum and get moved to here).


    There are some. We try to keep them minimal and they exist to allow the forum to flourish rather than to penalise people, but they are enforced. as a site has some basic guidelines for how to be a better poster as well as some very basic site rules (as well as a few rules regarding your signature -- and while we're on the topic folks, please remember that a disclaimer in your signature doesn't overrule the charter. Break a rule in the charter and it won't matter if your signature says "only kidding"). We recommend that you read them. If you've never posted on a forum before, you might also want to look at this beginner's guide.

    There are some basic rules which apply in all the shooting forums (you may notice some overlap with the general site rules here). We've listed them in short form here; we discuss them in more detail in the posts below in case you have a question on any of them.
    1. Be Civil to one another.
    2. You are not the internet police.
    3. Replies should be on-topic.
    4. No Spamming, no Shilling, no Random Nonsense.
    5. Anonymity is a social construct.
    6. There are limits on the discussion of current events and media reportage.
    7. RKBA is off-topic.
    8. Illegality is... illegal
    9. Respect formatting ettiquette.
    10. If you don't like the modding, follow procedure.

    Please note that looking for loopholes in rulesets is a violation of the first guideline of "Don't be a dick"...

    And please remember folks, this is a public forum, and the Department of Justice and the Gardai read it, the same way they read shooting magazines and newsletters. Like it or not, you are all public ambassadors for your sports when you post in here or anywhere else in public; so please, take pride in your posts and make us proud, don't make us weep...

    A side effect of this public status is that defamation is something we have to keep in mind when moderating. We believe that when there's a problem, a civil disagreement, even a civil argument, is to our community what fibre in the diet is to a person - a preventative for even worse problems. We don't believe in letting things hide under rocks and grow worse for it.

    For that reason, genuine posts are all welcome here - regardless of whether they are positive or negative; or of whether they are about goods or services provided by commercial companies, or about clubs or associations. We believe this is a genuinely good way for those who provide an excellent service to be recognised as such; and that it is one of the best ways for others to find out what they could be doing better.

    However, please take note of this - the posts must be genuine. We do not allow people to 'get the boot in' or to use ltd as an anonymous platform to unjustly defame others. We never have and we're not interested in starting now.

    The rule we use on this is very simple:
    • if you're posting the facts about your experience and they're negative, there's nothing wrong with that;
    • if you're posting your opinion of the person or people involved, you're in a gray area;
    • and if you're just having a bitching session or trying to get the boot in, well, your post is getting edited or deleted at a bare minimum.

    There are also guidelines on defamation that you may want to read.

    If you want to err on the side of caution, just report the facts and skip the editorial. Have faith that the rest of us are intelligent enough to draw the same conclusions you did - and take comfort in the fact that when people draw their own conclusions, they have more impact than when those conclusions are drawn for them.

    Lastly, a brief word about people having multiple accounts on -- it's not allowed, except in certain circumstances such as where someone is posting under a personal account and a verified representative account. In all such circumstances, the mods must be informed of the dual account ahead of time. For those who have multiple accounts, we can and do spot them, and you will be banned for using them.

    In the event that someone breaks one of the rules above, the specific sanction that will be taken will largely depend on the context. There are several kinds of sanction which moderators may use (along with editing or deletion of posts):
    1. A private word by PM with the poster to point out the problem and try to resolve it.
    2. A public note in the thread itself (often referred to as a Mod Notice or a Mod Warning) pointing out the problem and requiring that it be resolved.
    3. A Warning for the poster.
    4. An Infraction for the poster.
    5. A ban from the forum for the poster, either temporarily or permanently.
    It should be noted that in exceptional circumstances, a poster may be banned from the entire site, though happily this happens extremely rarely.

    Here are some general questions and answers you may have as a new user, feel free to PM any moderator if you have questions you cannot find an answer to in the Frequently Asked Questions list.
    You can find a list of the more important threads in the forum here. We don't generally stick those threads to the top of the forum because it would take up too much room, but we do stick the list to the top of the forum for quick reference.

    And lastly, if you have a question about obtaining a firearms certificate or renewing your existing certificate under the new firearms licenceing system, please be sure to read this announcement first, it lists all the information we have on that topic in a single place for your convienance.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks

    Be Civil to one another.

    This is the first rule of all the shooting forums, as well as the first rule for the entire site, for a good reason. Most directly, it means no flaming, no trolling, no personal abuse and no bad language. By anyone. To anyone. More generally, it means that this board is for discussion, not hurling abuse at others. If you think someone is wrong, you're perfectly free to tell them so. You are not perfectly free to call them an idiot. Yes, we know passions run high on some topics, and we know it's sometimes hard to resist the urge to call someone an asshat. But we'd like to remind you - this is an internet forum. You can take a few minutes to write up a civil answer explaining why the other person is wrong. And if you do so, maybe you'll change their mind; or, more likely, you could change the minds of the ten undecided folks who are also reading here, but just not posting.

    First offence here may result in a temporary ban. We're really not joking about this rule folks.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks

    You are not the internet police.

    If you have a problem with a post, use the "Report Bad Post" button (it's marked on the left side of each post with a report.gif symbol) to report it to the moderators - and then let us handle it (this explains what happens next). Do not take it on yourself to regulate the forum, to tell folks off for breaking the forum rules, or to "learn 'em some manners". Doing so may result in warnings or infractions or even outright bans, depending on the context. It's called back-seat modding and it's not on as it poisons communities and destroys forums, so we're not allowing it in here.

    Seriously folks, it's an internet forum. If someone breaks the rules, just report it and get a cup of tea. There are several moderators, one of us will take care of it in fairly short order. If you try to "learn 'em good", we'll have to take care of you as well :(

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks

    RKBA is off-topic.

    These forums are not for the discussion of the use of firearms in self-defence, nor for discussions about the "Right to Keep and Bear Arms" (usually referred to as RKBA) as found in many other countries. There are many other forums on the net which cater to those topics; we suggest Cybershooters in the UK or The High Road in the US for those who wish to discuss these topics.

    There are, however, precious few forums on the net that cater to the actual sport of shooting or the shooting sports and we wish this forum to be among that number. Therefore all discussions on self-defence and RKBA are Off-Topic. Those starting or partaking in such discussions will be warned; if posters continue to engage in them, the offending posts may be edited or deleted and the posters temporarily or permanently banned from the forum. We understand that some (especially amongst our American readers) may find this an unusual stance; please understand that the laws are different over here and we have to live within the context they create for us.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks

    Anonymity is a social construct.

    Anonymity in these forums is a social construct, not a real fact. In the course of day-to-day activity, moderators will not ask for you to disclose your identity, and you do not have to do so if you do not wish to. It is a social faux pas to demand that another poster disclose their identity, and very rude to disclose your guess as to their identity. Posters who own firearms have legitimate reasons for this level of anonymity related to personal security and safe storage of their firearms. We ask you to respect those reasons while posting here. However, this anonymity is a construct, a social nicety. If you abuse it in order to defame someone else and they were to produce a court order, will provide them with your real identity, which is far less anonymous than you think. Further, abusing that anonymity to take cheap shots at people is not only utterly rude and obnoxious, it also violates rule number one in the shooting forums - Be Civil to one another - and will get you banned in a hurry.

    We do realise there's a fine line there, between honest complaint (which is completely fair game) and baseless defamation. We try our best to walk it honestly. If you want to be absolutely certain you don't cross it when talking about a topic, just stick to the basic facts and don't editorialise them. Or ask one of the mods before posting if you're really stuck.

    We should also mention that anonymity can sometimes be the opposite of what is desired by a poster. For example, a club or association may wish to have an "official" account (as several already do), so that other posters know that what is posted from that account is coming from their club or association. For these cases, please refer to the rules governing Verified Representatives and drop a PM to the moderators so we can assist. In the case of clubs or associations, fees for setting up such accounts are waived in light of their not-for-profit basis.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks

    Replies should be on-topic.

    Although we understand that the nature of life is that threads will drift off-topic; and that off-topic replies can be of even more interest than the original topic; moderators may split threads off if the thread diverges too far from the original topic. Or just shunt posts into other threads. Basicly, we want a high signal-to-noise ratio. Everyone does. So we'll try to maintain that.

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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks

    Respect formatting ettiquette.

    90% of all human communication is non-verbal and thus we need to use that remaining 10% well in order to communicate properly on the forum. So we have a very few short guidelines on some basic formatting points. Please try to keep them in mind.
    • No txt spk pls, k? There are more than 160 characters available per post and you have a full keyboard to post with, so please, use it.
    • Please try to watch spelling and grammar as well as using paragraphs. Simple things like this make it a lot easier to read posts.
    • Please refrain from using all CAPITAL LETTERS, this is the Internet equivalent of shouting and can make posts difficult to read.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks

    Illegality is... illegal

    We know this sounds like stating the obvious, but sometimes you have to do just that.

    This rule means no advocating, no condoning, and no soliciting or providing information about means of breaking the law, either in the ROI or NI (or in any other jurisdiction for that matter). This includes but is not limited to:
    • Breaching conditions of a license or authorisation;
    • Use of a firearm for any purpose for which it is not licensed;
    • Evasion of taxes and duties.

    Seriously folks, for pity's sake, it's a public forum and both the Department of Justice and the Gardai are reading it. Utilise your common sense.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks

    If you don't like the modding, follow procedure.

    The Dispute Resolution Procedure, that is. If you have a problem with an action of the moderators, do not get into an argument in the forum about it. That will more than likely result in warnings, infractions or bans. The right way to do it is to do the following, in this order:
    1. If you have an issue with a ban or infraction, the first thing you should always do is PM the Mod(s) of the forum and ask for clarification on what’s happened. Please don’t expect an answer straight away, Mods are volunteers and are not always in a position to deal with your issue. Give it at least a day.
    2. If you don’t feel satisfied with the answer, or if you haven’t had an answer in more than 2 days, you should start a new thread here in the Dispute Resolution Forum. When you start this thread, please state what forum you have an issue with, provide links to the thread if applicable (you can get the link by logging out if you’ve been banned from the forum).
    3. A CMod will then investigate and discuss with you and the Mod(s) involved. They may invite the Mod(s) or any other members involved to post on the thread to clarify things.
    4. After these discussions, the CMod will post their decision.
    5. If you feel that the outcome to this is unsatisfactory, you may request an Admin to look things over.
      An Admin’s decision is final.

    In diagram form:

    Private message conversations in relation to the topic at hand are ok to publish in the dispute resolution forum in an attempt to resolve an issue. This is contrary to normal Guidelines that permission be sought before publication of any PMs sent or received.

    Please note the sequence of steps there. There are hundreds of thousands of users on (no, that's not an exaggeration, we're one of the largest sites in Ireland and one of the largest forum sites in the world) and so the number of complaints can be high; skipping steps just adds to the strain on the CMods and Admins, which doesn't help your case. Do not skip to the end and post a thread in the Dispute Resolution Forum without first going through the preceding steps.

    Further to all that, please read this thread for examples of how not to progress your complaint.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,637 ✭✭✭ Rovi

    There are limits on the discussion of current events and media reportage

    Firearms regularly feature in current events and the media reporting of criminal activities and military & police operations.

    There are several places within where the rights and wrongs, the general politics, and even the popular outcry that sometimes arises out of these occurrences may be discussed; within the Shooting forums however, such discussion is limited to:
    • Potential legislative and political fallout for the shooting sports and legal firearm ownership in Ireland
    • Corrections and criticism of technical inaccuracies and popular misconceptions reported as 'facts'
    Particular care must be exercised where a firearm has been intended for or actually used to threaten or take human life, as this falls very far outside the remit of these forums and the general ethos of the shooting sports here in Ireland.
    At best, it could be distasteful; at worst, it could be grossly insensitive to any victims or their relatives, and could feed into and propagate the notion that shooters and gunowners are a bunch of bloodthisty nutcases who have no understanding or appreciation of the responsibility they bear to the rest of society and who spend their time fondling their guns in anticipation of the time when they finally get to 'pop a cap' into someone's 'ass'.

    In short, these subjects are very sensitive, and threads discussing them will be moderated closely and may be edited, closed, or even deleted without notice.

    NOTE: The use of current and obsolete military firearms (or replicas or modified variants) for target shooting and hunting is a very popular and perfectly legitimate and legal activity in Ireland, and discussion of such use does NOT contravene this rule.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks

    An addendum to clarify a point in the above rules:
    NSFW (Not Safe For Work):
    Any material deemed NSFW will be immediately removed and the user may face infraction. This includes, but is not limited to, inappropriate/pornographic style pictures, links to inappropriate/pornographic websites, and so forth.

    This forum is where a lot of prospective new shooters get pointed to; we'd prefer if we didn't scare off potential new shooters. Sending a prospective Junior here to look at what the sport is like only for their parents to see porn here and decide that they'd prefer their child to take up tennis instead loses us a new shooter. That sort of thing damages our sport in the medium to long term, quite badly (our average age was just shy of 50 the last time someone asked). Exactly the same is true when we send a new lady shooter here and they find people oogling over photos that belong more in FHM than in Ways of the Rifle.

    So NSFW material, along with NSFW behaviour (ie. sexism, racism, ageism and other bigotry) is not on and will be deleted. We want to encourage everyone to engage in boards, not just one small demographic while everyone else gets offended by it.

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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks

    Hey everyone, something has come down from the admins that affects this forum rather directly with regards to the upcoming high court cases on licencing:
    You may have seen recently that a court case in Clare regarding a GP who's accused of defrauding families collapsed because of something published in the Times and the Examiner. They're likely to have to foot the bill for the entire trial - the judge hasn't decided but concedes that they didn't act out of malice and that as it was unintentional, it's Technical Contempt.

    This is something we have, I believe, discussed before, but with this recent news and an emerging trend of defence teams increasingly looking for these sorts of issues to collapse trials, we are making it clear and stated policy of that you can no longer discuss an active/sitting court case as pretty much any sort of commentary on the issue can be classified as contempt. Offering opinion on the innocence or guilt of the parties involved for example is a definite no-no.

    This is simply too big a risk to determine where the "safe" levels of discussion are, so it's easier to make a blanket ban on current case discussion.

    This comes from the top - the directors of the company can be jailed for contempt on the whims of a judge who feels they deserve it and given the Irish Legal System's complete inability to work with (never mind understand) the Internet and all that it entails, I'd really rather not have to try and talk to DeVore at visiting hours in the 'Joy

    So effective immediately, current court cases are a no-no. This, I'm afraid folks, isn't up for debate. We don't like "issuing" rules like this without some manner of discussion but I'm afraid that's not an option in this case.

    Thank you for your time.

    There are some questions still to be answered, and the head office is working with Legal to figure out some of those questions (such as, at what point does the case officially start and at what point is it officially over - ie. do we need to await any appeals before talking about the judgement; can we talk about the impact of a hypothetical outcome without referring to the innards of the case itself; what are the jurisdictional limits to this; and so on).

    Until they do and we can get finer-grained rules though, we're banning any and all discussion of any and all ongoing cases. For us that basicly means that the three test cases in the High Court on licencing, the 180 JR cases coming after them, and any upcoming DC licencing cases are now all off-limits, at least until we hear back from Legal.

    Sorry about this folks, but given that the team has given us this place gratis over the last few years, it'd be a fairly dickish payback for one of us to land them in the 'Joy over a comment on an ongoing case.

    More updates will get posted on this thread as they come in.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 40,053 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sparks

    Just to give a rough timeframe by the way, we're expecting to hear clarification on this in a week or two.