So a guy puts up a picture of Breda and labels it with something inappropriate--using an anagram of pron, if you get my meaning. She objects to the label as well as to her copywritten picture being used without her permission. Dude takes down the picture and replaces it with a link to HER blogpost that has the same picture, thus avoiding legal action for copywrite infringement BUT he leaves the header as-is. Now maybe the guy used that phrase the way that other people use the phrase 'Gun Pron'--nothing personal, no ill-intent or insult meant and Breda chose to take it badly--I dunno. If so, he should have explained how he meant it, changed it, and been done with it. Instead, the situation has escalated, and folks are rushing to the aid of their insulted comrade (just an aside, would a guy take it amiss if I put up a picture and label it 'Pron' and would the blogosphere rush to his aid if he objected to the label?--maybe a double-standard post is in the offing for later).
But here's the thing folks and it's called the First Amendment-- and before you all come down on me like a ton of bricks, hear me out. Just as the Westboro Baptist Church folks have a clear right under the First Amendment to be complete and total wastes of air (and if there is Cosmic Justice will end up rotting in a Hell made especially for them), so does this guy have a right to act like a buttwad and to pretty much say or label anything anyway he wants on his blog, just like the rest of us do, as long as he's not breaking any laws (which he WAS but has now corrected).
The thing that he might not realize though, is that the chivalrous men and women of the Gunny blogosphere have long memories (what happens if you mention Lon Horiuchi's name in a crowd of gun bloggers?) and the Internet is, in many ways, eternal. What he has done by being recalcitrant on this issue is lose a boatload of credibility amongst his blogging peers, and we don't forget. You see, under the First Amendment, you have every right to say whatever you want and I stand by that right.
But I don't have to associate with you, link to you, or in any way acknowledge you--that is my right.
It's the Internet equivalent of dueling (or maybe it's actually more Amish). You've been challenged on something, you've made your answer, and then, rather than pistols at dawn, a silence--no comments, no links, no nothing. If you want to be part of a group, there are norms to which you should adhere. If you chose not to, you lose your place. There is nothing in a reasonable society (case laws notwithstanding) that says that any group has to accept you as a member, unofficial group or not. We all trip over our keyboards every now and then--we're human. And we have our First Amendment right to 'show our asses' in public. But free speech doesn't mean free from consequences and that's something to remember.
4 weeks ago