Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Gun Counter

So... big day today...

This morning, Kim and Connie DuToit announced that they would be "retiring" from blogging (does it count as retiring if it isn't a job or a sport?) on November 30th.

Well, I'll be sorry to see them go. I'll certainly miss seeing Kims wit employed on a daily basis, against those who deserve it most.

...But that's not why I'm busy right now.

As part of their retirement, the DuToits will also be closing down the forums; which I have been a member of since the day they opened (I wrote the 4th new topic posted) jsut over four years ago.

I've had the pleasure of moderating the forums for most of the past four years. I was the first moderator that Kim and Connie tapped, when it was still directly attached to I was the sole moderator for about a year, then we re-organized as the Nation of Riflemen forums, and I was joined by CombatController and 308Mike. Finally we split the Naation of Riflemen off into a separate site, focused on educating new shooters; and continued the more random forum as the forums; soon after which, Randy joined us as a moderator.

I think that in those four years, we've built the best internet community I've ever been a part of. I've made more friends from this group of people than at any other time in my life except the Air Force; and I've met more great folks through our community than at any other time and place in my life.

I'll be very sad to see the forums close down.

Thankfully, many of the members of the gunthing community don't want to see it go away. We've formed a tight knit community, and we'd like to keep it together. So, I, and the other current moderators of the forums, CombatController, 308Mike, and Randy; will be opening, and running a new community site, forum, and wiki, for the members of the gunthing; and for anyone else who cares to join, is interested in the community, and is willing to follow the (pretty simple) rules.

Let me be clear, this new site is only affiliated with the in that we will share some members. is not owned, operated, or affiliated with the DuToits in any way, nor do they endorse it etc... They said they were retiring, they meant it.

Also let me say how thankful I am to the DuToits for initiating this community, and for supporting and helping to build and maintain it over the years. They've done me personally, and I think the gun world as a whole, a great service.

Well, I guess it's time to get our butts in gear then isn't it.

When the forums were first split off from the Nation of Riflemen site; we sort of chartered oruselves as a place where people could go and talk about... well, all the things that you would talk about standing at the counter in your local gunshop... except without the tactical tommies, and the nosales people (if you don't know what either of those are, you really do need to join our community).

I thought that gun counter metaphor was a pretty good one for the kind of community we've formed. It really captures the type of talk we do... A bit of bragging (not too much), a bit of joking, a bit of pride in our toys and our kids, and our hobbies and adventures ... and a WHOLE HECK OF A LOT OF ARGUING... In a good natured way of course.

So, we've registered (as of 7/29/08 just a placeholder), and over the next few days and weeks, we will be building the site to host our community.

As of right now, we aren't looking for any money; and hopefully we won't ever need to. The hosting is being generously provided by CombatController, who happens to own a small ISP. I'll be doing the primary administration work (yeah... I've got time for that... somewhere... it's not like I sleep), and the current moderators of the forums will be moving to as moderators.

At some point, we may be asking for some time from some folks; to try and get some content or formatting and themes generated; and we've already got several volunteers.

Thanks guys, we definitely appreciate it, and when we're ready we'll come calling.

Right now though, what we need from you is patience while we get things up and running. It can be fiddly business building a community site that is secure, robust, functional, and attractive.

In the mean time, the forums will be up and running until the end of November, and we're still partying on over there (or is it ranting on... or maybe doddering on... I get confused sometimes).