I notice that Apple just replaced its handgun emoji with a water pistol. According to the Guardian this 'reflects growing despair in America and worldwide over gun crime'.
I have a target archery hub on skyaboveus. Archery is a pretty harmless sport as long as you are not shooting animals, and leaving them half dead and in pain.
These are the ads on the page:
I seriously doubt sports people, hikers etc are expecting to see handguns. I find them horrifying on an outdoor pursuits, 'keep healthy' kind of site.
Nothing against hunting rifles, but handguns are designed for one thing: killing your fellow humans.
Isn't there a ring of purgatory they could be dispatched to?
Guns should probably have their own niche site for several reasons.
1. Google would "like" an actual niche site that was just about guns more than a site that's about all sorts of things.
2. A niche site that was just about guns could have a catchy, gun-related title.
3. It would quarantine the risk of breaking Google Adsense's policies relating to firearms and any possible resulting Google penalties or withdrawal of Adsense to the firearm content rather than applying those risks to additional, topically unrelated content.
Those aren't "ads" they're links to some of the most popular hubs on that site. As I'm typing this, three of the top five hubs on SkyAboveUs are gun hubs, and "Hunting & Shooting" is one of the featured categories, so clearly people are very interested in handguns and guns in general.
So why exactly is it you think HubPages should ban a topic that's clearly very popular with its readers?
Tell me how handguns relate to outdoor pursuits.
What health benefits do they have?
How do they encourage fun in the great outdoors?
As far as I can see, they are a measure of people's personal insecurities at home and in their neighborhoods. What does that have to do with 'let's go outside and play?'
As to popularity, I will remind you that methamphetamine is pretty popular. Popularity is hardly a way to choose topics for an outdoor site.
As an aside, I imagine meth lovers and gun lovers are overlapping demographics. lol.
You're joking right?
And exactly what are the health benefits of a bow and arrow? Or Barbie Dolls? Or Curtains? Or any of the other thousand different things that people write hubs about that have no health benefits?
They're lots of fun for people who enjoy shooting.
That's your opinion, obviously other people disagree. Your opinion is no more or less valid than theirs.
True, methamphetamines aren't relevant on an outdoor site, just like video games, cars, guitars, or any of the other popular but unrelated topics on HubPages. Guns however are relevant to an outdoor site, which is why that's where they are.
And popularity is an excellent way to promote featured hubs in order to attract and retain new readers.
Given your previous comments, I have absolutely no trouble believing you would think something like that.
Guns are often used for target shooting. It usually takes place outdoors, and many people who have no intention of killing anyone do it for fun. You can kill someone with a bow and arrow too you know.
So the arms industry has it all wrong? Guns are just fun items?
Somehow, SigSauer are missing this.
The tag line: Trusted by elite military personnel. Upgraded for you.
Is that a fun upgrade or a killing upgrade?
I think you are deliberately being obtuse. I have gone target shooting many times, and I have never shot nor intended to shoot anyone.
I am being obtuse? lol.
Handguns propel high velocity projectiles designed to tear into the human body, shattering bones and damaging internal organs beyond repair.
They bring fear and death everywhere they go.
They are about as much fun as anthrax.
People who can deny reality to the point that guns become a fun item are the last people who should be allowed near them.
Just to lighten the mood, this ad gives a clear idea of how many people in the arms industry view their buyer demographic.
Someone else not to spend time with.
Just because Cher is too thin to keep her gun belt up is no reason to make fun of the gun lobby. I agree. Cher is no fun; don't spend time with Cher.
Yes, Will, guns are fun. Firearms do not need to be fired at other living creatures. Firearms only bring fear to those who remain ignorant of them.
My grandfather and uncles had shotguns and rifles for hunting. They were never daft enough to lets kids play with them. Or daft enough to pretend that they were for fun. They put food on the table when food was very hard to come by. I can respect that.
Handguns are weapons manufactured for the purpose of killing.
Of course, the arms industry will sell to anyone. If they can fool people into thinking their products are just for fun, they will.
Incidentally, did you read about the pokemon hunters (19 and 16) shot at in Florida? They were sitting in a car, hunting for the little virtual cuties when a gunman (thinking they were bad guys apparently) shot up the car.
That is a typical example of fear and stupidity made a hundred times more dangerous by the presence of guns.
Thank you for making my point that it's not guns that kill but the people who are using them for that purpose. Guns are nothing but a tool. A claw hammer can be used as a murder weapon, too. It depends upon the mindset of the person holding it. My firearms have never done anything I didn't want them to do.
Handguns are immoral for any reason other than legitimate self defense. But the right to free speech allows both gun ads and Hubs.
Let's remember that free speech has nothing to do with businesses or advertising. Free speech means that we are allowed to say what we want about our government in public without reprisal. A business can forbid certain speech in the workplace.
Point well taken. But a business like HubPages that allows political articles and forum posts is allowing free speech.
Writers and advertisers should not face reprisal from HubPages for expressing their political views as long as it isn't hate speech or incites violence. Whether or not we agree with them is another matter.
In fact, virtually all media businesses run political advertising.
My conservative friends on the HP forums will probably be shocked that I'm saying this.
The ads I am talking about are ads for other hubs. Usually they are called related links. I have confused the issue, a little, lol. But they are still ads as far as I am concerned and they have been placed by HP on one of my pages.
Anyway... just to mention that Google has a long list of subjects that it will not allow its Adword service to promote.
Guns are included.
https://support.google.com/adwordspolic … 4299?hl=en
Essentially, Google does not want any blowback from advertising dangerous products.
HP seems rather keen on handguns, since they are the first item on the the home page of Skyaboveus.
Is this a good move?
I suspect the placement of those links is automated based on the popularity of the article. But I could be wrong.
What I mean is that a business can be selective about free speech. Hubpages is sort of like a magazine. Pick up any magazine and you will see certain topics covered because most magazines like niche sites are topical. Articles as well as ads are chosen by editors. There are plenty of themes that are not accepted by HP. They can choose to offer whatever they want.
I don't see this as a free speech issue at all. It is partly a matter of taste and partly a matter of accuracy.
I find guns in the civil sphere to be distasteful, full stop. I'm obliged to accept they exist but have no wish to have my work used to promote them.
The lack of accuracy in subject categorization is the main driver of the problem.
On Hubpages, archery gets this categorization:
Hubpages → Sports and Recreation → Individual Sports → Archery
On slyaboveus they have too little content for this kind of depth so my page gets this:
SkyAboveUs»Hunting & Shooting» My Page
Target archery has nothing to with hunting and shooting.
People have complained about this kind of issue before.
I'll let the dust settle and if nothing improves I will ask staff to move it back to HP where it will have better company, if worse traffic.
If you find them so repugnant you do have the option of removing your hubs from this site. No one is forcing you to write here if you find it so horrible that your hub on archery is convincing thousands of people to go out and buy their first gun.
Apple obviously decided that there was enough distaste around handguns to warrant the removal of a mere symbol.
Apple, of course, is the best gauge for morality. They really care about people. http://www.breitbart.com/2016-president … undraiser/
AND SO ABOVE SPELLS OUT THE HYPOCRISY OF THE LEFT , "I HAVE A TARGET ARCHERY LUB....BLAH BLAH BLAH ......" , Liberals have a hatred of anything that isn't their idea . You can understand archery target shooting but not handgun shooting ? You can understand hunting but not handgun hunting .................anybody else see the hypocrites above in their true colors ?
Retitle this forum ; ----------- Get Rid Of Free Speech Hubs !
Instead of turning this into one of those stupid name calling forums where everything you don't like you (and I mean the general you) say is the fault of either the evil left or right, why not discuss the issue as an issue. The topic seems more like a business issue. If Google is going to penalize a particular topic, that's a business issue. Their #1 concern is attracting viewers in order to make money, not to influence political ideology. Unless they think they can earn from it.
A slight over reaction, lol. Not trying to ban them, I just don't see why Skyaboveus should be disfigured by their prominence.
Take a look:
The 'Let's go outside and play' bit is followed by lethal weaponry. Not really the best branding.
Just looked. I think the title and "let's go outside and play" thing is the real problem. Just this week there's b been a "thing" on CBS about how millennials are now seeing/treating camping very differently from the way it has traditionally been. The young guy they had on there was talking about how younger people are now "about" socializing, putting their experience on social media, and the whole other thing about making something that was once more "heavy duty" a new kind of thing. So now campgrounds with them in mind are the thing. Someone described the difference as not so much being a "outdoor thing" as being an "outside thing" (with some of the younger campers not even knowing how to do some of the things they teach kids like Boy Scouts (start their own fire, etc.)
So, there's the more traditional, "heavy-duty", campers who aren't as worried about being connected to social media, having WiFi, and pretty-colored chairs with drink holders; and there's the "newer type" . To me, the problem is with the disconnect between the "mood" of the title of the site and its "line" but then the gun thing staring at people who land on the site. The title and "line" of the site are obviously lvery millennial-centric while the content (at least as it appears on there now, or on that front page) doesn't look quite so "light and airy and fun".
Either way, a handgun thing on "how they play" looks real "off" to me. If it were my article (which it wouldn't be - I'll admit that one) I wouldn't love having it on "how they play". But, of course, if it gets traffic for someone - whatever, I suppose. If the "How They Play" site were mine (which IT would not be EITHER because I'm not "a millennial and am therefore not all that tuned in to "playing" at this stage in the game; I wouldn't have a handgun article or any other article that implied "survival".
I just don't think the example-in-question is really a matter of free speech or political leanings or anything else other than a division what's milllennial-centrric/millennial-minded and what is more "heavy duty" (Of course, all this is from someone who no longer knows what, if anything, to write on this site and who has deleted hundreds of Hubs from my other account and some from this one. Because, no one site, article, or writer is likely to be able to please all of the people all of the time.) All serious arguments/takes aside, I just think that article looks "dumb" on that particular site, but maybe what looks "dumb" and poorly placed to human eyes doesn't matter on those niche sites?
These are a few other Adword-banned subjects begging for a niche site:
Switchblades, fighting knives, sword-canes, balisongs, military knives, push daggers, throwing axes.
All of these are a lot less dangerous than guns, of course, but probably popular in some quarters.
Anyway... I doubt if I could lay it on any thicker, so I'd better give it a rest.
LOL. I have 2500 Facebook friends, and was surprised to find that many Westerners will never set foot in Panera Bread Company again. They, like several other restaurant chains, have banned firearms in their restaurants.
Apparently they don't want to get caught with their pants down at the next shootout at the Golden Corral. America is a funny place. People take their sidearms very seriously.
In their minds you need to ban dump trucks too, because one of those fully loaded could take out an entire restaurant full of people in 30 seconds flat.
Just noticed that the Bullpup shotgun ad/link on the front of skyaboveus has gone.
I've never heard of one but assumed it was some kind of air rifle for kids (given the name and illustration).
Why did it disappear?
This was the page: https://skyaboveus.com/hunting-shooting … p-Shotguns
Apparently, it has nothing to do with kids. We are talking about 'tactical shotguns' that are 'ideal for home defense'.
Wikipedia tells me that these kinds of shotgun are used by the militaries around the world.
So at least military style weapons are no longer on the homepage of skyaboveus.
Presumably handgun 'home defence' weapons are considered perfect as an introduction to an outdoor pursuit site, since they still there.
The Bullpup ad is still on my archery page.
Sigh. I will see how long I can bear having one of my pages channelling viewers to gun pages on what is otherwise a pretty life affirming site.
Seriously Will, I used to go the the rifle range with my dad, outdoors, and shoot targets with rifles, pistols and revolvers. It was great fun. Targets were shaped like people, and I did not grow up wanting to shoot people whenever I got pissed off.
Handguns are fun! People all over the sticks of America shoot beer cans and coke cans off of fences. It really is an outdoor pursuit. Things get dicey when you play with your guns indoors, unless it's an underground shooting range.
He and his ilk are never going to admit that some of us just shoot handguns for fun. He has already admitted that he is just upset because he does not like the algorithm that chooses the related links and he started this thread just to muddle the issue.
Finally! I knew it was just a matter of time before someone brought up target shooting. I was about to. It is a valid outdoor pursuit for millions which, indeed, involves handguns. I don't know why Will has such an objection to someone including handguns in their page, perhaps he considers there is no valid reason for handguns to exist? Has he never used a handgun? I don't know but I do know shooting firearms is just a lot of fun and millions of people engage in it. (And we don't try to kill anyone or anything, either.) Handguns are not merely for self-defense or for deliberately assaulting and murdering innocent individuals. Handguns are no more dangerous than the cars we drive, which can be used as mass murder weapons when used in such a manner. It comes down to the person using it and their mentality - that's what kills. If Will doesn't like firearms in general (even though firearms have saved the lives of millions), that's fine. But calling for a ban on all firearms-related hubs is overkill. After all, the title at the top of this page is Get Rid of the Gun Hubs. His point being that it has nothing to do with the outdoors is invalid. Millions of us go to outdoor shooting ranges for target practice on a regular basis. It's fun and it keeps us sharp as to our aim.
And by the way, further down on the very same hub page are links to other pages about spear fishing and catching fish! Oh, the travesty! Calling for the murder of innocent fish! (Yes, I have my tongue planted firmly in my cheek.)
Much ado about nothing but try convincing those who are scared by things that make loud noises of that...
Have a good day, everyone.
All I know about guns is...I don,t need any stinking guns, personally. I pay my taxes for the gov to do that. I and have time for all kinds of other interests.
I can respect such an attitude, paperfacets. That's why we pay taxes for police protection, right? But when seconds count the police are always minutes away. You'll be dead before dispatch can give the units your address unless you come across a criminal who will wait until police arrive when you ask them to. We are our own first responders and we should be able to counteract any illegal force being used against us with equal or greater force, at any moment of our day.
That's why I am a gun owner and always will be. Guns are tools that help me protect my life and family and I'm not going to wait for the police to arrive. If I were to do that I could be dead before I hang up. ( I should know, I've been the victim of gun violence...but never again.)
I have a feeling target shooting with handguns is less of a sport and more a way of becoming proficient in the lethal use that the weapon is intended for.
Anyway, the hubs mentioned are not recommending guns for target shooting but home defence.
Incidentally, do they have bullpup 'tactical shotgun' target shooting competitions in the US?
And what is wrong with using handguns for home defense? Does a homeowner not have the right to use the same or equal force as that being used against him to protect his home, his life and his family?
Seems your issue, Will, is that you are trying to enforce your own thinking upon another's hub page, as if they should obey you. Return to your original post at the top of this page, where you posted, "I seriously doubt sports people, hikers etc are expecting to see handguns. I find them horrifying on an outdoor pursuits, 'keep healthy' kind of site."
Horrifying? Really? Wouldn't staying alive be considered staying healthy?
I get the feeling you just want all firearms banned, as if there is no useful purpose to them, even though people carrying concealed weapons save lives by eliminating the person illegally threatening everyone with a firearm. Just today in Yahoo News I read of a 18-year-old woman working as a nanny who had brought her two young charges with her when she went to a local park. She was unfortunately attacked and raped by some maniac. What do you think his chances would have been had she been carrying a concealed weapon and knew how to use it? http://www.wsmv.com/story/32690317/poli … -old-twins
Hikers run the risk of harm from armed maniacs out on the trails, too, even right in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA: http://www.ktvu.com/news/31303073-story
I carry concealed for my own safety when I am in the wilderness, not to deliberately attack others just because I can. I've had grown men come walking into my campsite out of nowhere and in nearly every instance my showing the perp that I am armed and able to defend myself keeps them from doing something stupid.
Obviously there are valid reasons to have guns advertised on an 'outdoor, hiking' hub page.
Grown men, lol. That's scary. Surprised you dare go out.
Anyway, I'm relieved that you do not attack others 'just because you can.'
Well, that's me done here. I have nothing else to say and there is nothing I am likely to learn. So invite some friends, go crazy, shoot the place up, yahoo!
Yes, it can be scary when you are so far out in the wilderness your cell phone doesn't even get a signal - you wouldn't be able to call the cops to come to your rescue. I don't need the cops because I can defend myself against those who would choose to do me harm.
If your local woods are infested with madmen you need more than a gun, lol.
My local woods are infested with homes, maybe a few of them have mad men inside, I don't know. When I go camping and hunting I don't hang out near residential areas. I go into the deep woods where the nearest law enforcement might be 50 miles away. I know for a fact there are Vietnam vets living out there, men who could not readjust to societal pressures after being discharged. These are men you don't want to mess with, not even if you are wearing a badge. I don't scare easy but those guys scare me.
The individual and social damage done by exposure to violence in the military and the social damage done by the tolerance of guns and barbaric sports all seem to run together.
You can either go in a civilized direction and refuse to sanction unnecessary violence or stick with the same old, same old.
The U.S. is a nation founded with firearms. Firearms being owned by the civilian populace is why Japan's Hirohito did not send his troops to attack mainland U.S. during World War II because Hirohito believed there was a gun behind every blade of grass. Peace through power. Walk softly but carry a big stick so you remain capable to smack those who would attack you, you know? Criminals do not attack the strong, they prey upon the weak. Anyone who believes they can rid this nation of every firearm or even tries is dreaming.
I have a strange feeling that anyone that wants to become proficient in archery is only looking to extend the hunting season; the archery crowd are just looking for more opportunity to go out and slaughter deer.
People who hunt with bows are people who obviously do not care about the suffering of animals. Whatever fantasy they are engaged in takes precedence.
It is worth remembering that inflicting unnecessary pain on animals is a red flag for the kind of people who will commit violence against human beings too.
This from Michegan State University:
A growing body of research indicates that people who commit acts of cruelty towards animals rarely stop there.  Murderers and people who abuse their spouse or children had frequently harmed animals in the past.  People who abuse animals may also be dangerous to people. 
https://www.animallaw.info/article/link … rds-people
You need to be from a pretty violent part of the world to conflate bowhunting with the sport of archery.
Bow hunters are not the kind of people I would want to spend time with.
I imagine bow hunters wouldn't want to spend much time with you, either, after you made that statement. To even consider the thought that bow hunters are akin to those who torture small animals for the fun of it is an outrage! If you were a hunter you would know that bow hunters aim for the heart. They wish no ill will towards their target, rather they are trying to deliver a quick death, as painless as possible. You have made your ignorance about bow hunting quite clear here.
Bowhunting animals for sport is barbaric.
I honestly do not know what fantasies are spinning round in bowhunters' heads (primeval hunter, backwoods man, stone age warrior?).
Anyway, a genuinely skilled bowman might be able to put an arrow through a deers heart more often than they merely cause pain and injury.
The average fantasist will not be skilled and will merely cause pain to himself (compound bows are a menace to the untrained) or other living creatures.
If you want to hunt, use a rifle and learn how to shoot before causing carnage.
So... you come out in favor of firearms now? Are you sure you know where you stand on the issue? Bow hunters learn to shoot, that's why they go to the range and practice, same as those who use firearms. I doubt any of them have a desire to cause carnage. I certainly know for sure I do not.
It ain't hard.
Hunting rifles are for hunting animals. Handguns are for killing people. Bowhunting is for people with a callous disregard for animal welfare.
If Google or any sight for that matter were to ban the real problems , stupidity and political correctness for instance , instead of inanimate objects , the internet would immediately " Go Black " especially around here !
That you don't like guns and don't like people that DO like guns seems insufficient reason for HubPages to censor those that are interested in the topic.
I won't wade into the gun topic. I think there are a lot of important gun issues, and a lot of gun information that gun owners should have access to. However, I will just bring a monkey wrench in at this point.
I have no emotion about this, but it is odd that it should happen at all. I have a hub about pesticides that has been flagged as a gun hub for years. I still get seasonal traffic on it, even though it is still on hubpages (as opposed to a niche site). Sooo.. I dunno, I moved on and don't worry about it.
However, I start to wonder why it was flagged as selling weapons unless it has to do with one of those ads. IF that were the case then I would certainly hope that guns are not advertised on my insecticide website.
Not that those ads don't have a place, but their place should be limited to within the niche itself.
Excuse me, but everyone has the right to talk or write about anything they want.
Now, you want to hear something crazy??? I love guns, I like shooting them, I like collecting them and believe it or not, I have never shot anyone, not even myself on accident. Not everyone is the same(thank God) and by the way, we in these great united states were given the right to have guns by our forefathers.
We are losing our freedoms one by one, and nobody seems to notice or care much.
I love my guns and my right to own them thank you.
Maybe we should get rid of the people who complain about the gun hubs.
I agree we are losing our freedoms one little bit at a time but we can't get rid of everyone who complains about gun hubs. Complaining falls under free speech and what would some people do if they had nothing to complain about? It would ruin their day. And although I know what you mean,we just can't have free speech for some. It has to be for all or it doesn't work.
And although we in the U.S. have the second amendment granting the right to own firearms, that right was one that was not the Founding Father's to grant. It is a God-given right for anyone to be able to defend themselves against those who choose to attack them, using equal or greater force than that being used against them. If that means firearms so be it. What is granted by God cannot be rescinded by man and besides, any gun control law only affects those who choose to obey the law. It has no effect upon the criminal who does not obey the laws we already have. It also has no effect upon any citizen when they decide to not obey that which our crooked, self-serving politicians institute. (That doesn't necessarily mean the citizen is a criminal if they refuse to pay attention to what comes from D.C., it just means they know better than those overpaid suits and ties who remain sheltered from the real world.)
WE NEED TO LIMIT FREE SPEECH RIGHTS , THERE IS FAR, FAR MORE ABUSES OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS !
AND ANTI'S- KNOW IT !
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