Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Gun control

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Main case page (Talk) — Evidence (Talk) — Workshop (Talk) — Proposed decision (Talk)

Case clerks: Penwhale (Talk) & Bbb23 (Talk) Drafting arbitrators: Seraphimblade (Talk) & Roger Davies (Talk)

A previous RFC on this article was procedurally closed on January 26th by User:Nyttend because of this active arbitration case. See Talk:Gun_control#Authoritarianism_and_gun_control_RFC for more information.

Case Opened on 18:44, 5 Jan 2014 (UTC)

Case closed on 20:00, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Case amended by motion on 01:48, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

Case amended by motion on 21:40, 26 August 2020 (UTC)

Case amended by motion on 21:36, 14 December 2022 (UTC)

Watchlist all case (and talk) pages: Front, Ev., Wshp., PD.

The case is now closed. Editors may edit the #Log of blocks, bans, and restrictions as needed, but the other content of this page may not be edited except by clerks or arbitrators. Please raise any questions about this decision at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Clarification and Amendment, any general questions at Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee, and report violations of the remedies passed in the decision to Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement.

Case information[edit]

Involved parties[edit]

Prior dispute resolution[edit]

Preliminary statements[edit]

Statement by Gaijin42[edit]

Extended controversial edit war and content dispute. Nazi use of gun control is a historical fact, documented by COPIOUS primary and secondary sources User:Gaijin42/GunControlArguments (including primary sources of the laws, orders, memos, diaries etc of the Nazis, historical secondary news accounts confirming the events etc. These historical facts are a common theme in the gun control debate being used internationally by gun rights proponents, and criticized by gun control proponents. (many books, magazine articles, scholarly articles etc on both sides)

Numerous dispute resolution avenues have been explored, all resulting in no consensus and a stalemated edit war running over months. ArbCom does not generally take sides in content disputes, but here I think the core problem is differing opinions on policy, therefore policy clarification is required which will enable parties to work on the same page.WP:NPOV says all significant viewpoints should be included in a neutral manner, based on WP:RS and WP:V .

After significant debate and edit warring and extended page protection, where Andy continued the edit war immediately upon page protection ending, the following text was WP:BOLDly added by myself [1] and promptly removed - note that everything is sourced to scholarly articles, books, and neutrally presented including more text on the opposing viewpoint.. The history is verified. The peoples opinions about the history is verified. The counter arguments are verified. (Admittedly over the course of the edit war, there have been poor versions of text included, but the war prevented a standard BRD improvement cycle since the content has been repeatedly deleted.) (update subsequently the article has been re-protected for a month, with the proposed text having been reinserted by another editor. I'm sure others may claim WP:WRONGVERSION but it provides an opportunity for people to discuss the specific text and sources in that version and how policies apply) Gaijin42 (talk) 23:02, 3 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Questions for clarification

  • To what degree does consensus determine what WP:FRINGE is. Are WP:RS required to label something as fringe, or is WP:OR sufficient
  • to what degree can WP:FRINGE be applied at all to political opinions based on uncontested facts (even the RS that argue against the gun lobby admit to the core history)
  • to what degree can fringe be applied to political controversies where there is no "truth"
  • WP:RS says that "reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective. "
  • As admitted by the sources in the counter argument, the confiscation history is verifiably true, and the opinions are held by a large number of people (particularly in the US, but to a lesser degree internationally as well)
  • Although there is no globalize policy/guideline, AND the content does reference international viewpoint, the argument has been raised that since this is primarily a US argument it is unfit for the general gun control article. To what degree does having a global overview require excluding viewpoints which are notable in a particular country?

Gaijin42 (talk) 20:53, 3 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The core editors in opposition have completely avoided all attempts at building consensus, and insist that the information must be deleted completely. No sources are provided for their assertions, just rhetoric saying that because we can't list the opinions, because by definition anyone who mentions those opinions is fringe. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

Or attempting to procedurally invalidate any attempt at building consensus with mutually contradictory requirements for RFCs [7] [[8]]

That to include secondary sources A, you must find secondary source B discussing source A (also equating opinions about established historical facts to UFOs) [9] [10]

Or during a discussion about if content is sourced sufficiently, removing sources that directly confirm the facts under contention [11] [12]

Or deleting the section entirely repeatedly while it is the subject of an RFC and that have been in the article for months [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22]

Attempts to redefine the topic of the article to exclude unwanted material [23] [24]

complete failure to provide any specific guidance on what part of a policy apply or which particular bits of content are in violation [25]

attempting to declare by fiat that notable expers on gun control publshing in respected academic journals is not an RS by fiat. [26] [27]

Saying "we should emulate this list of neutral sources",as an argument for exclusion, and not noticing that several of those sources explicitly cover this material [28]

Acknowledging the controversial pov as a significant minority view and then saying it should be ignored directly in opposition of WP:NPOV [29]

@Just anonymous, you mentioned the Gun Control vs Gun Politics debate. The politics article has been renamed (without issue it appears) to Overview of gun laws by nation since that is an accurate description of the content of that article. This leaves a clear separation between an overview of each countries laws (with links to the detailed articles where appropriate), and a high level discussion of the topic itself, and the arguments regarding effectiveness, side effects, rights etc as a whole and not specific to one particular implementation. In this case we have multiple countries discussing Germany's history as a point in ongoing debates, so it does not makes sense to partition that information under a single country (although the details and specifics of the german law, as opposed the the arguments about the laws should move into the germany article) Gaijin42 (talk) 22:34, 3 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

edChem I am quite baffled by your statement. There is no misrepresentation of sources. Nowhere is it stated or implied that the authors hold or endorse the gun rights view. Reliable sources are regularly used to document viewpoints other than the author's own. Indeed, this is probably preferred! the origin of the opinion is a primary source. Someone else commenting on that opinion is secondary, and shows that the first person's opinion was notable enough to be discussed.

The AU article, which points to page 221 in the ref begins "Internationally, the gun lobby is quite fond of comparing gun control agenda with Hitler in pre WWII Germany" and then proceeds to name several individuals and groups that had propagated that argument. That content directly backs the statements made in the article text.

For the Canadian source, you yourself quoted the exact statements that back the content in the article.

Any ambiguity or confusion in this statement could easily be resolved via normal BRD improvements and is not an issue for ArbCom. If you would like to add the authors in as international viewpoints arguing against the meme (along with Halbrook and Spitzer) I have no objection. Gaijin42 (talk) 13:53, 4 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Regarding godwinning or argumentum ad hitlerum - It may be the case that the NRA et al have done so, but their doing so is notable and influential in the gun control debate internationally, and should be neutrally covered (as the current text does). Our covering that usage and debate is not endorsing that view any more than when Slate, Mother Jones, or others discuss the arguments (and then they do generally go on to take sides against the argument ;)) Gaijin42 (talk) 16:33, 4 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by AndyTheGrump[edit]

It might appear from the above statement that much of what Gaijin42 is asking could perhaps be described as a 'content dispute', and thus outside the remit of arbitration. There are however core policy issues, and issues relating to the ongoing behaviour of particular contributors, that need resolving. The immediate locus of the dispute is whether particular material relating to firearms regulation in Nazi Germany is appropriate in our article entitled 'gun control', but the issues are of wider relevance, and have consequences for other articles - indeed, it is my position that this dispute raises fundamental questions regarding article neutrality throughout Wikipedia. The specifics are that the material explicitly linking Nazi Germany and the Holocaust with 'gun control'/firearms regulation issues is exclusively derived from partisan pro-gun lobbyists (almost entirely American), and is entirely unsupported by mainstream historiography. It is true enough that a few raw historical 'facts' - that Nazi Germany passed certain laws relating to firearms - can be sourced elsewhere, but no source has ever been provided from beyond the partisan gun lobby which states either that (a) Nazi firearms regulations are of any particular significance within the broader topic of firearms regulation on an international level (the supposed scope of our article), or (b) that such regulations are of any significance in the broader context of the Holocaust. It is my opinion regarding (a) that, except possibly in the context of an article on the U.S. gun debate, the complete lack of mainstream historographic support makes any discussion of the partisan pseudohistorical arguments of a particular faction in an internal debate in one country entirely undue, and that inclusion of such material violates WP:NPOV policy by giving weight (and credence) to a fringe viewpoint propagated for the purposes of a debate unconnected with the supposed topic - a viewpoint explicitly rejected as 'cherry-picked', 'tendentious' and 'decontextualised' by at least one academic writer actually cited on the article talk page as a reliable source by a contributor arguing for inclusion of the 'Nazi' material (said contributor having 'picked' said source rather selectively him/herself...). More fundamental though, is the fact that this viewpoint involves (b) assertions regarding the history of Holocaust. It hardly needs to be said that such a sensitive issue needs careful treatment, and it is my assertion that if Wikipedia is to have any credibility at all, it needs to ensure that content relating to the Holocaust (regardless of where it is located) needs to be sourced to historians of the Holocaust (of which there are no shortage), rather than to non-historian partisans engaged in debates regarding other places, and other times. This is the fundamental question - is it appropriate for an article (any article) to be promoting fringe theories unsupported (and rejected) by academia regarding the Holocaust? And if not, is it appropriate that those promoting such theories should be permitted to continue to do so? If we can't get this right, we may as well give up... AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:49, 3 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just a brief comment on the claim by ROG5728 that "no theory is mentioned in the article, so this content could not possibly fall under WP:FRINGE, since the content is not a theory". This assertion is demonstrably false, given that material posted by ROG5728 [30] explicitly states that "Gun rights advocates... have argued that these laws were an enabling factor in The Holocaust...". A charitable explanation for this misstatement is probably that ROG5728 hadn't actually read the material in question. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:11, 4 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One other point. I shall of course have more to say on the assertions made by Gaijin42 concerning diffs in the initial statement later, should this case be accepted for arbitration, but I think that it should be noted that at least two of the diffs concern a contributor not named in this case - [31] and [32], both posted by User:Steeletrap. It seems to me entirely improper to be citing such diffs as evidence without informing the contributor - I shall of course do so myself. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:57, 4 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by Justanonymous[edit]

Esteemed arbitrators, editors and contributors, I will be the first to accept that I have never been here before and hope not to come here often - so I hope I do justice to this forum and I beg you indulge my inexperience. I have read the Arbitration guidelines in an attempt to try to do this forum justice but I am far from an expert here.

To me, at the heart of this dispute lie some core and fundamental differences that we could use help in arbitrating:

Should the Gun Control Article Exist? - Some editors believe it should not and that it should be folded into some other topic like gun politics. Some editors believe it should stand as its own article. My contention has been that the article should exist for the following reasons:

  1. the term is widely used, it is found in the dictionary
  2. other substitute terms proposed are not found in dictionaries and are less accepted to encompass gun control.
  3. searches on google return millions of records on the subject and major news media have entire sections devoted to the topic.
  4. there are numerous books and academic papers that use the term.

What Content Should go into the article? - There is also a disagreement over what content should go into the article and a lesser argument over organization. Should the actions of repressive regimes disarming their populations count as gun control, should international aspects of small arms trade be part of the topic of gun control? These are questions and they don't have agreement.

  1. I believe that at the core of the disagreement rests the definition of gun control. Some editors are of the mind that actions historical and contemporary, taken by dictatorial regimes to disarm their populations are not gun control. To them gun control only means the practice that modern democracies employ to curb crime and violence. So, some editors believe that some of the actions taken by regimes such as the Nazi Regime and the United States against slaves was not gun control per se. Other editors disagree. That is a question that perhaps we can tackle here?
  2. I believe some editors here think that the actions taken by regimes such as the Nazis are WP:FRINGE and do not merit inclusion in the Wiki. I'm of the mind that there are several books out there on the topic and that this subject has been discussed in Congress before so it's not fringe per se. It's a valid topic but not all agree.
  3. To me, Gun Control is a spectrum of activities that governments take and they can range from no gun control all the way to complete ban on firearms - for whatever reason and either on the whole population or a segment. The rationale for the existence of gun control is immaterial but is likely worthy of discussion. We should also likely endeavor to add a history to the actual "term" where did it originate. Perhaps we can have a section on the logic and rationale. As some have noted, Gun Control was not much of an issue when guns were expensive and hand-made....gun control as a concept arose with the advent of mass production. But, the topic of arms control has existed since antiquity and even Aristotle wrote about it so there is a corollary. There is a wonderful article we could write here if only the parties would stop fighting and if we could have meaningful discourse on the talk.

Civility on the Talk Page - The talk page on gun control has ceased to be a civil forum for discourse. There is a lot of yelling going on and the editors who are there to engage in honest discourse have to plow through multiple entries of just plain uncivil actions.....I will say that I define civility as not using profanity, not calling people names, not degenerating to ad hominems....and I understand Wikipedia might define this differently. Regardless, all kinds of bad behavior can be seen on that talk page and admins have brought out the trout if you will so they disapprove of the behavior there. Because the talk page doesn't work --- editors sometimes get frustrated over what they perceive to be irrational behavior from others and resort to warring on the page. The article gets blocked and as soon as the article is unlocked, the edit warring continues. I will not accuse any specific editors here but a cursory read of the gun control talk page should provide ample evidence that we are not using the page as per the talk guidelines. The fact that we cannot argue reasonably on the talk is one big reason I think the talk page war spills over into the actual article. There are profound philosophical disagreements between the editors.

If the arbitration committee decides to take up this case, I believe we have to address all points above and provide binding guidance to the editing community.

I personally tried to get us to agree on the talk page and failed miserably and I apologize for my actions. I'm frankly sad at the state of affairs and am considering whether I want to edit the article anymore. It's too difficult and there are other articles out there that I can probably help without so much energy being spent on my part. And quite frankly, if I get dragged into verbal sparring my reputation, whatever I have, suffers and I wind up wasting my limited time arguing on talk pages vs actually contributing to the encyclopedia.

I don't intend to provide running commentary here and I won't accuse any specific editors here. I will say that there are profound philosophical differences and the exchanges have become very heated at times which I don't think are an excuse for bad language or for degenerating into ad hominems but such is life.

I thank you all for your time in reading this and if you require anything additional, please feel free to ask. I do get busy in the real world so sometimes I'm not here a ton but I will endeavor to be around while this is going on. I thank you all and the editors involved. I also ask the editors involved to consider collaborating. We're not going to agree and we can't come to this forum every time someone disagrees. Again, I profoundly apologize for any errors I have made here. I'm more of a contributor and don't have much experience here. -Justanonymous (talk) 22:28, 3 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by ROG5728[edit]

As Gaijin42 and Justanonymous noted above, this "content dispute" (if you can call it that) has mostly been characterized by the opposing party removing the content over and over, and citing supposed Wikipedia "policies", while spending very little time actually explaining their reasoning and making a solid case for their views. Furthermore, hostile comments and behavior from the opposing party, such as this comment and this comment, have only made matters worse. Granted, a warning was issued for the latter comment, and civility has improved since then, but I still don't see the opposing party focusing on the content itself and clearly explaining their rationale for wanting to remove it.

I cannot imagine why it should be removed from the article except that it makes gun control look bad by association, and I don't think that's a valid reason for removal. No one involved in this has disputed that the information is factual, but since it's typically associated with a pro-gun argument (which they've called a "fringe theory") they want it removed.

A couple of points: first of all, no theory is mentioned in the article, so this content could not possibly fall under WP:FRINGE, since the content is not a theory. Second, even if the section in question did explicitly include the theory (that gun control somehow contributed to the Holocaust), it still wouldn't be fringe because the sourcing in the article has established that it is not fringe. The opposing party keeps mentioning the fact that "historians" apparently haven't mentioned this material in their works, as if that somehow means it should be removed. However, lack of mention in one source surely does not invalidate other reliable sources, which are numerous and explicitly support this material. ROG5728 (talk) 23:53, 3 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Regarding Andy's recent response to my statement, note that the material in the article has recently changed so that it now states an actual argument, as opposed to the bare facts that were included before. Even so, it's placed in a section titled Studies, debate, and opinions, and plenty of sources are provided, so it's hardly inappropriate. A strong majority (65 percent) of Americans "see gun rights as protection against tyranny" so this argument is most certainly a significant part of the modern debate on guns. To exclude it would be completely inappropriate. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, this argument is not fringe. ROG5728 (talk) 00:28, 4 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@North8000, the same goes for his inaccurate description of the second ANI. I did not ask for Andy to be blocked or topic banned, as incorrectly stated by Black Kite. In fact, in the ANI on Andy's personal attacks I explicitly said I was merely seeking a warning for that behavior. ROG5728 (talk) 00:14, 5 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Black Kite's summary of the recent ANIs on this topic is misleading. First of all, the ANI on goethean was a result of his violation of 3RR as well as a personal attack made by him on another editor's talk page. Of course, the fact that we were involved in a content dispute with goethean surely does not mean we cannot report bad behavior on his part, nor does it mean that our ANI was necessarily done with bad intentions. Assume good faith, please.

Secondly, it should be pointed out that Andy's ANI report of Gaijin42 was a result of his misinterpreting Gaijin42's comment as an accusation of Holocaust denialism, when in fact Gaijin42 was clearly not making that accusation (Gaijin42 was later unblocked and almost every uninvolved editor at the ANI later concluded that his comment was misinterpreted by Andy as well as by the blocking admin).

Thirdly, with regards to the other ANI on personal attacks from Andy, when I opened that report I assumed I did not have a duty to inform all editors of the ANI (which is what I told you there, Black Kite). I have been editing on Wikipedia for quite awhile, true, but I almost never open ANIs so I was unaware that what I did might constitute canvassing, and as you know I apologized for that.

Last, but not least, I also noticed that you (Black Kite) and other involved editors later tried (and failed) to get Gaijin42 topic banned from this article as well (that was back in mid-December). You left that out of your summary of the ANIs. ROG5728 (talk) 17:31, 4 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement by North8000[edit]

On the content side, there has not even been an RFC yet directly on the item in question. And per my post below, the nastiness that I complained about seems to have been reduced during the last few days and so there seems to be a good civil on-task discussion in progress on the core question. And the majority of editors on both "sides" are taking the 'High road" Either way I don't think Arbcom is willing (nor it is the norm) to help on the content side.

On the behavior side, there has been unnecessary and destructive nastiness, and I complained about it (and requested (only) warnings) as a sidebar at the ANI's. This seems to have been reduced during the last few days. And the majority of editors on both "sides" are taking the 'high road".

I suggest that if the above is correct that there is nothing for Arbcom to do on this at the moment. North8000 (talk) 23:14, 4 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Black Kite, thank your for that fix but I think that the remaining linking text on the first one inadvertently giving an impression opposite to my approach. (Not that there would be anything improper or even unreasonable about my approach even if the mis-impression were true.) My entire approach has been to try to get some general warnings regarding nasty behavior placed on the article. About the most "sanction related" statement I ever made was listing giving Goethean a "rest" from the article as one of two ideas, the other being a general warning at the article against certain types of nasty behavior, and specifically saying that the warning would be without naming names. And my general theme overall has been to ask for only general warnings against nasty behavior. Can you fix? Thanks Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 13:09, 5 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Preliminary decision[edit]

Clerk notes[edit]

This area is used for notes by the clerks (including clerk recusals).
  • As of Timotheus Canens's accept vote at 15:15, 4 January 2014 (UTC) has four net votes to accept, also Beeblebrox's accept vote indicates an absolute majority to accept the case. It can be opened from 15:15, 5 January 2014 (UTC). Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 11:12, 5 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Could a clerk please review the evidence section, and remind those over the limits to shorten their statements? Some of these are well over the limit indeed. Seraphimblade Talk to me 20:22, 13 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Arbitrators' opinions on hearing this matter (9/0/0/0)[edit]

Vote key: (Accept/decline/recuse/other)

  • Awaiting statements. As a reminder, the Arbitration Committee doesn't usually set policy any more than it determines content. Our main role is to address user conduct issues, although we often apply and occasionally clarify policy in the context of a particular dispute. Thus, statements will be most helpful if they focus on (1) whether this protracted dispute is at least partly the product of poor user conduct, and (2) how (if at all) arbitration could help resolve the problems that have dominated the gun control article and its talkpage for a long time. Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:05, 3 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Echoing what Brad said, we can't solve the content dispute, and we can't change or even clarify site policies. Only the community can do those things. However, what we can do is take actions to curb unacceptable behavior and push involved users to use appropriate procedures for consensus building, and there may be cause for us to do so here. Not ready to say yes or no just yet, awaiting further statements. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:49, 3 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I guess what I was trying to express is that while we can try to clearly explain the meaning of a policy we can't change what it means. In any event, despite all the other material that is outside our remit there does appear to be a behavioral issue that the community hasn't been able to resolve here so we should Accept the case. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:42, 4 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept. While the parties are reminded that the Committee does not and will not make determinations regarding article content, I see sufficient reason to believe that there are conduct issues confounding the content discussions here, and that there are no other forms of dispute resolution left to try with any likelihood of success. Seraphimblade Talk to me 04:03, 4 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept: we can and should consider the various conduct issues here,  Roger Davies talk 13:16, 4 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept. Salvio Let's talk about it! 14:53, 4 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept. T. Canens (talk) 15:15, 4 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept, though I will check again before the mandatory 48-hour minimum period is up and to see if further statements have come in. Even if a case helps resolve some of the conduct issues here, clearing a way for higher standards of editing and discussion, the content issues will only ultimately be resolved by editorial processes, as ArbCom do not rule on content issues. For a case to be effective, both ArbCom and those participating in a case will need to be clear on the scope. Carcharoth (talk) 15:26, 4 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept Per those above, there is significant conduct to be looked at. NativeForeigner Talk 06:30, 5 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accept GorillaWarfare (talk) 06:56, 5 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Temporary injunction (none)[edit]

Final decision[edit]

All tallies are based the votes at /Proposed decision, where comments and discussion from the voting phase is also available.


Purpose of Wikipedia[edit]

1) The purpose of Wikipedia is to create a high-quality, free-content encyclopedia in an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual respect among contributors. Use of the site for other purposes, such as advocacy or propaganda, furtherance of outside conflicts, or publishing or promoting original research is prohibited. Contributors whose actions are detrimental to that goal may be asked to refrain from them, even when these actions are undertaken in good faith.

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Making allegations against other editors[edit]

2) An editor alleging misconduct by another editor is responsible for providing clear evidence of the alleged misconduct. An editor who is unable or unwilling to support such an accusation should refrain from making it at all. A claim of misconduct should be raised directly with the other user himself or herself in the first instance, unless there are compelling reasons for not doing so. If direct discussion does not resolve the issue, it should be raised in the appropriate forum for reporting or discussing such conduct, and should not generally be spread across multiple forums. Claims of misconduct should be made with the goal of resolving the problem, not of impugning another editor's reputation.

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Neutral point of view[edit]

3) All Wikipedia articles must be written from a neutral point of view, with all relevant points of view represented in reasonable proportion to their importance and relevance to the subject-matter of the article. Undue weight should not be given to aspects that are peripheral to the topic. Original research and synthesized claims are prohibited. Use of a Wikipedia article for advocacy or promotion, either in favor of or against an individual, institution, or idea that is the subject of the article, is prohibited.

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Battleground conduct[edit]

4) Wikipedia is not a forum for the creation or furtherance of grudges and personal disputes. A history of bad blood, poor interactions, and heated altercations between users can complicate attempts to reach consensus on substantive content issues. Inflammatory accusations often perpetuate disputes, poison the well of existing discussions, and disrupt the editing atmosphere. Discussions should be held with a view toward reaching a solution that can gain a genuine consensus. Attempting to exhaust or drive off editors who disagree through hostile conduct, rather than through legitimate dispute-resolution methods pursued only when legitimately necessary, is destructive to the consensus process and is not acceptable. See also Wikipedia is not a battleground.

Passed 10 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Seeking community input[edit]

5) Should a content discussion reach an impasse, wider input from previously uninvolved editors should be sought. Requests for such input should be made with neutral wording and through the processes designed to solicit community feedback on content issues, which may include a request for a third opinion, request for comment, or posting to the dispute resolution noticeboard. Input provided through one of these processes should be received appreciatively and given due consideration in the consensus-seeking process.

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)


6) Wikipedia articles should present a neutral view of their subject. Use of a Wikipedia article for advocacy or promotion is prohibited.

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Biographies of living people[edit]

7) Articles relating to living individuals continue to be among the most sensitive content on Wikipedia. As the English Wikipedia remains one of the most prominent and visited websites in the world, a Wikipedia article about an individual will often be among the highest-ranking results in any search for information about that individual. The contents of these articles may directly affect their subjects' lives, reputations, and well-being. Therefore, while all Wikipedia articles should be factually accurate, be based upon reliable sources, and be written from a neutral point of view, it is especially important that content relating to living people adheres to these standards.

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Conduct during arbitration cases[edit]

8) Policy states: "Editors are expected to conduct themselves with appropriate decorum during arbitration cases, and may face sanctions if they fail to do so". The pages associated with arbitration cases are primarily intended to assist the Arbitration Committee in arriving at a fair, well-informed, and expeditious resolution of each case. While grievances must often be aired during such a case, it is expected that editors will do so without being unnecessarily rude or hostile, and will respond calmly to allegations against them. Accusations of misbehavior must be backed with clear evidence or not made at all. Editors who conduct themselves inappropriately during a case may be sanctioned by arbitrators or clerks including by warnings, blocks, or bans from further participation in the case. Behavior during a case may be considered as part of an editor's overall conduct in the matter at hand.

Passed 9 to 0, with 2 abstentions, at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)


9) Editors who have already been sanctioned for disruptive behavior may be sanctioned more harshly for repeated instances of similar behaviors.

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Role of the Arbitration Committee[edit]

10) It is not the role of the Arbitration Committee to settle good-faith content disputes among editors.

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Findings of fact[edit]

Locus and focus of conflict[edit]

1) The focus of this dispute is the history and politics of governmental regulation of the ownership of firearms. The initial locus was the gun control topic with a dispute within that article about whether government firearms policies in Nazi Germany helped facilitate the Holocaust. Related disputes have since arisen in Gun politics in the United States, Gun Control Act of 1968 and the biographical article on Stephen Halbrook, as well as other articles within the controversial gun politics category.

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)


2) AndyTheGrump (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · filter log · block user · block log) has engaged in:

AndyTheGrump has been previously been blocked for edit-warring, incivility and personal attacks.

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)


3) Gaijin42 (talk · contribs) has engaged in:

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)


4) Goethean (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · filter log · block user · block log) has engaged in incivility[68] and needless antagonism.[69]

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)


5) Justanonymous (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · filter log · block user · block log) has engaged in:

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)


6) North8000 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · filter log · block user · block log) has engaged in:

North8000 was topic-banned in the Tea Party case, and accepted a voluntary one-year topic-ban from Homophobia as his "article talk page presence is problematic".

Passed 9 to 0, with 2 abstentions, at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)


7) ROG5728 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · filter log · block user · block log) has engaged in:

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)


Note: All remedies that refer to a period of time, for example to a ban of X months or a revert parole of Y months, are to run concurrently unless otherwise stated.

Scope of remedies[edit]

1) For the purposes of remedies in this case, the scope of "gun control" includes governmental regulation of firearm ownership; the social, historical and political context of such regulation; and the people and organizations associated with these issues.

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Contentious topic designation[edit]

Superseded version

2) Standard discretionary sanctions are authorised for any edit about, and for all pages relating to, gun control.

2) Gun control is designated as a contentious topic.

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Amended 10 to 0 with 1 abstention by motion at 21:36, 14 December 2022 (UTC)

AndyTheGrump (reminded)[edit]

3) AndyTheGrump is reminded that edit-warring is prohibited and that incivility, no matter how provoked, does nothing to improve the editing environment. Further instances of similar misconduct will likely result in serious sanctions.

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Gaijin42 (topic-ban)[edit]

Not re-imposed in the 1 year suspension, so topic ban lifted per motion.

4) As a last chance, Gaijin42 is indefinitely prohibited from making any edit about, and from editing any page relating to, gun control broadly construed.

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Suspended for a year motion at 02:57, 15 October 2015

Goethean (reminded)[edit]

5) Goethean is reminded that incivility and unnecessary antagonism do not improve the editing environment, and further instances of either may result in sanctions.

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Justanonymous (topic-ban)[edit]

6) Justanonymous is indefinitely prohibited from making any edit about, and from editing any page relating to, gun control broadly construed.

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

North8000 (site-ban and topic-ban)[edit]

7) North8000 is indefinitely site-banned from the English Language Wikipedia. The earliest he may request a lifting of the site-ban is twelve months from the passing of this remedy. Should fresh infringements of the sock puppetry policy occur after the passing of this remedy, the twelve-month site-ban will be reset to run from the date of the last such infringement. Additionally, North8000 is indefinitely prohibited from making any edit about, and from editing any page relating to, gun control broadly construed. The topic-ban in the Tea Party case remains in force.

Passed 11 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
The gun control editing restriction and topic-ban from the Tea Party case has been suspended by motion at 20:49, 26 August 2020 (UTC). If not reimposed within one year at WP:ARCA, the topic-ban and editing restriction will expire.

ROG5728 (topic-ban)[edit]

8) ROG5728 is indefinitely prohibited from making any edit about, and all pages relating to, gun control broadly construed.

Passed 10 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Appeal of topic bans[edit]

9) Topic bans imposed in this decision may be appealed no less than twelve months from case closure and a minimum of twelve months thereafter. For purposes of this remedy, any request to have the sanction reconsidered, modified, loosened, or lifted entirely, shall be considered an appeal.

Passed 9 to 0 at 19:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)


Enforcement of restrictions

0) Should any user subject to a restriction in this case violate that restriction, that user may be blocked, initially for up to one month, and then with blocks increasing in duration to a maximum of one year.

In accordance with the procedure for the standard enforcement provision adopted 3 May 2014, this provision did not require a vote.

Appeals and modifications

0) Appeals and modifications

This procedure applies to appeals related to, and modifications of, actions taken by administrators to enforce the Committee's remedies. It does not apply to appeals related to the remedies directly enacted by the Committee.

Appeals by sanctioned editors

Appeals may be made only by the editor under sanction and only for a currently active sanction. Requests for modification of page restrictions may be made by any editor. The process has three possible stages (see "Important notes" below). The editor may:

  1. ask the enforcing administrator to reconsider their original decision;
  2. request review at the arbitration enforcement noticeboard ("AE") or at the administrators’ noticeboard ("AN"); and
  3. submit a request for amendment at "ARCA". If the editor is blocked, the appeal may be made by email through Special:EmailUser/Arbitration Committee (or, if email access is revoked, to
Modifications by administrators

No administrator may modify or remove a sanction placed by another administrator without:

  1. the explicit prior affirmative consent of the enforcing administrator; or
  2. prior affirmative agreement for the modification at (a) AE or (b) AN or (c) ARCA (see "Important notes" below).

Administrators modifying sanctions out of process may at the discretion of the committee be desysopped.

Nothing in this section prevents an administrator from replacing an existing sanction issued by another administrator with a new sanction if fresh misconduct has taken place after the existing sanction was applied.

Administrators are free to modify sanctions placed by former administrators – that is, editors who do not have the administrator permission enabled (due to a temporary or permanent relinquishment or desysop) – without regard to the requirements of this section. If an administrator modifies a sanction placed by a former administrator, the administrator who made the modification becomes the "enforcing administrator". If a former administrator regains the tools, the provisions of this section again apply to their unmodified enforcement actions.

Important notes:

  1. For a request to succeed, either
(i) the clear and substantial consensus of (a) uninvolved administrators at AE or (b) uninvolved editors at AN or
(ii) a passing motion of arbitrators at ARCA
is required. If consensus at AE or AN is unclear, the status quo prevails.
  1. While asking the enforcing administrator and seeking reviews at AN or AE are not mandatory prior to seeking a decision from the committee, once the committee has reviewed a request, further substantive review at any forum is barred. The sole exception is editors under an active sanction who may still request an easing or removal of the sanction on the grounds that said sanction is no longer needed, but such requests may only be made once every six months, or whatever longer period the committee may specify.
  2. These provisions apply only to contentious topics placed by administrators and to blocks placed by administrators to enforce arbitration case decisions. They do not apply to sanctions directly authorised by the committee, and enacted either by arbitrators or by arbitration clerks, or to special functionary blocks of whatever nature.
  3. All actions designated as arbitration enforcement actions, including those alleged to be out of process or against existing policy, must first be appealed following arbitration enforcement procedures to establish if such enforcement is inappropriate before the action may be reversed or formally discussed at another venue.
In accordance with the procedure for the standard appeals and modifications provision adopted 3 May 2014, this provision did not require a vote.


October 2015[edit]

Gaijin42 (talk · contribs)'s topic ban from gun control-related edits imposed as Remedy 4 of the Gun control case is suspended for a period of one year. During the period of suspension, this topic ban may be reinstated by any uninvolved administrator as an arbitration enforcement action should Gaijin42 fail to adhere to Wikipedia editing standards in the area previously covered by the topic ban. Appeal of such a reinstatement would follow the normal arbitration enforcement appeals process. After one year from the date of passage of this motion, if the topic ban has not been reinstated or any reinstatements have been successfully appealed, the topic ban will be lifted.

Passed 7 to 0 with 1 abstention by motion at 01:55, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

North8000 restrictions: Motion (August 2020)[edit]

North8000 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · filter log · block user · block log) was restricted by motion in December 2016 (Motion regarding North80000). Recognizing North8000's productive contributions and renewed voluntary commitments, the restrictions are suspended for one year, during which time the restrictions may be re-imposed (individually or entirely) upon request to WP:ARCA if warranted. Any restrictions not reimposed will automatically expire at the end of the one year period.

Passed 8 to 0 by motion at 20:49, 26 August 2020 (UTC)

Motion: contentious topic designation (December 2022)[edit]

Gun control is designated as a contentious topic.

Each reference to the prior discretionary sanctions procedure shall be treated as a reference to the contentious topics procedure. The arbitration clerks are directed to amend all existing remedies authorizing discretionary sanctions to instead designate contentious topics.

Passed 10 to 0 with 1 abstention by motion at 21:36, 14 December 2022 (UTC)

Log of blocks, bans, and restrictions[edit]

Any block, restriction, ban, or sanction performed under the authorisation of a remedy for this case must be logged at Wikipedia:Arbitration enforcement log, not here.

Old log entries

Any block, restriction, ban, or sanction performed under the authorisation of a remedy for this case must be logged in this section. Please specify the administrator, date and time, nature of sanction, and basis or context. Unless otherwise specified, the standardised enforcement provision applies to this case. All sanctions issued pursuant to a discretionary sanctions remedy must be logged at Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Discretionary sanctions/Log.