There are two questions looking into the motives of the NRA. The second is mine, focusing on the motives that would be assigned by the opposition. The first focuses the "real motives" of the NRA, quoted as:

I wanted to know what the real motivation behind the NRA is. Is it driven by a true belief in the second amendment or are there financial motives also, something similar to the big tobacco lobby for example?

It might come down to how this question is parsed. In how it reads, emphasis applied, this question aims towards the actual motives of the NRA; attempting to attribute motives to the NRA, short of crawling into the heads of the board, runs the risk of being very subjective, applying the bias of the writer and demonstrating opinions.

However, if the question is parsed as "Is it driven by a true belief in the second amendment or are there financial motives also?" that leaves to much room for the question to be closed as "Primary-opinion Based." As a distinction, my question allows for the citation of what those who oppose the NRA claim about them, allowing for the political realities of the situation.

  • In other words, by creating a separate question to segregate answers from opponents, you're preemptively classifying those answers as wrong. (Because if they were correct, they'd belong under the original question about true motivations.)
    – endolith
    Oct 4 '17 at 2:55
  • @endolith Please define the connotations given by the use of either "real" or "true" motives, explaining how establishing this premise also serves to imply that "stated" motives are false. Why should the insistence of ulterior motives win out? Oct 4 '17 at 4:44


Two questions are duplicates when they have the same (potential) answers. When you ask for the opinions of two different segments with different opinions you will get two different answers. That's enough to know that keeping both open is appropriate.

There may be some cases where the opinions of two segments are identical and can be understood from the same sources. In these cases, the questions may be considered duplicates because the set of their potential answers in identical.

For the questions you mentioned - they aren't duplicates. The easiest test is to look at the existing answers to the original question. They don't explain how opponents of the NRA understand the NRA's mission, so the question isn't a duplicate.

  • 3
    That's same (potential) answers. it is possible for questions to have the same answer and not be duplicates. Sep 23 '17 at 18:30
  • "The easiest test is to look at the existing answers to the original question. They don't explain how opponents of the NRA understand the NRA's" This just means those answers are missing, not that the question should be fragmented into 2 duplicate questions
    – endolith
    Sep 24 '17 at 17:12
  • @endolith If I'm answering what motives the NRA has to do what it does, why would I elaborate on what (potentially totally different) understanding some other group has about it's motives? That would be totally off-topic for that question and would worsen the answer for being overly broad. Sep 26 '17 at 23:53
  • @Darkwing Why do you assume that the "totally different understanding some other group has about its motives" is not the actual truth? Maybe there's solid evidence for their position that could be included along with the answer, making it better than the answers that just quote the organization's mission statement.
    – endolith
    Sep 27 '17 at 0:17
  • @endolith I'm not saying the mission statement is the truth, but independent of how you acquire that knowledge it's possible that there is a true motivation and an answer can uncover that and provide ample references. A statement by the Church of Foo that claims the NRA is actually driven by a (un)holy alien from outer space with mind control powers and a faible for antique weaponry (from its perspective) doesn't belong in such an answer, but might be a worthy part in the answer asking for motivations other parties ascribe to the NRA. (Given the Curch of Foo having any impact in some region) Sep 27 '17 at 8:41
  • @endolith Unless, of course, it turns out that is the true motivation, which I might find unlikely. Sep 27 '17 at 8:42
  • @endolith If motivations ascribed to the NRA have enough support/evidence to be considered part of the real motivation, then it surely should be part of a good answer of the first kind of question. The difference is, in the first type of question only motivations that have some support merit a mention, while outlandish motivations without support are out of scope. The second kind of question merits an overview over all types of attributed motivations no matter how outlandish as long as there is enough evidence someone actually claims that is a motivation for the NRA. Sep 27 '17 at 8:48


By creating separate questions to segregate answers from opponents, you're preemptively classifying opponents' positions as wrong. (After all, if their positions were correct, then they would be valid answers to the question about true motivations.)


[This is not a dig at the NRA. I don't care about the NRA. It's an analogy to explain why this bothers me.]

  1. Someone asks "What are the true motivations of the Leopards Eating People's Faces Party?"
  2. A supporter of the LEPFP answers the question by quoting the mission statement of the Party:

    The mission of the Leopards Eating People's Faces Party is definitely to not eat people's faces.

  3. Someone else, who opposes the LEPFP, answers the same question by saying that the LEPFP's mission statement is a lie, and their true motivation is to eat people's faces. They back up their argument by showing photos of the last 3 times the LEPFP won an election and leopards proceeded to eat people's faces.
  4. A supporter of the LEPFP downvotes and flags the opposition's answer, since it conflicts with their beliefs about the true motivation of the party, and must therefore not be a valid answer to a question about the true motivations of the party.
  5. The LEPFP supporter creates a new question, asking specifically about "the opposition's beliefs" about the LEPFP's motivations, implying that those beliefs are incorrect, and isolating dissenting opinions away from the original question, which is now an echo chamber of what the LEPFP supporter believes.
  • "they back up their arguments" is where you lose me. If there are reasonable LEPFP defaming sources I'm not sure why a flag would be accepted. In this case the second question allowed a wide overview answer to not bother arguing that the claimed motivations are correct. I upvoted it as a catalog of opposition, but would have asked for clearer proof if it was suggested to be truth.
    – user9389
    Sep 27 '17 at 19:15
  • An answer cannot be flagged as off-topic. It can possibly be flagged as not an answer, but I'd personally think (and hope) that the bar for what constitutes a deleteable not an answer is fairly high on a site like Politics. If an answer answers the question, and is supported by references, even if the answer is contrary to some other answer to the same question, then it might be wrong but it still would be an answer. Not an answer flags are intended for answers that don't provide any answer to the question as asked, whether correct or incorrect.
    – user
    Oct 3 '17 at 7:57
  • @MichaelKjörling That's not important to my answer. I've edited it to clarify.
    – endolith
    Oct 4 '17 at 2:53
  • @MichaelKjörling - to the best of my knowledge the plank for NAA is pretty high across all sites, not just Politics. Took me a while to tumble on to it but i finally bought into the party line too.
    – user4012
    Oct 4 '17 at 20:40
  • You cleared up your point, but I'm not sure you are right in you assessment of creating prejudice. I would assume the other way as the second question disallows official versions from being ranked alongside competitors, which I understand is normally good for the alternate explanations, and lowers the burden of proof. I would also assume adding "true" prejudices readers against official versions.
    – user9389
    Oct 6 '17 at 20:40

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