Debate: Is an Association Really Necessary

Pros and cons - have at it - - -

As for the concern about chaser parties extended in the other thread - no worries. Remember that this is still in the proposal stage. If you want free chaser parties, no one has made any formal arrangements otherwise. We're just talking still - - -
 
Considering the necessity of such an organization ... we've all loved our freedoms so far. The intent is to protect what we have by educating the public and providing positive press releases reflecting the true nature and positive benefits provided by most chasers. It's about instruction, but if a person feels somehow confined by it in whatever way, they can certainly continue to exercise their own freedom of choice to not participate.

Without it, you can expect further interruptions, further suspicions on the part of local folks in the counties where we chase, and an increased rift that will inevitably develop between law enforcement, emergency responders, government agencies and chasers. Whether we will ever see legislation or not, who can say. In my own livelihood, states have been discussing legislation and mandatory licensure for years with no real progress ... it will likely be similar with chasing, IMO ... but it's the other concerns that have me thinking more deeply about the situation.
 
Is it necessary? Maybe. Maybe not.

But I only see it as a good measure. What possible harm could come from creating a group of like minded people who seek to make chasing more safe for chasers and the public alike? It may not be completely successful, but we'll never know if we never try. Again, I can only see positives coming from this. Count me in.

-George
 
The good things chasers do as people (which is really the point here) are like anything else; you don't go round doing good deeds then patting yourself on the back about it for all to see.....IMO, this just taints the whole "good deed" aura by saying "look at me, look what I did, I'm a great person!!!"

We all do little things that are great things out there, all the time. No one ever talks about it because there's nothing to say. We do good things that good people do for one another, it's just a way of life......far beyond chasing. And likewise, so is the practice of focusing first on negative aspects of anything, like our lovely media does. Negative is better TV/radio/ratings. The only way we're ever gonna get the push of good stuff into the spotlight (the way the negative is currently) is if we do it ourselves - and that just takes away from the purity of it in the eyes of people.....even if it's a genuine effort, it will look suspicious for every piece of chaser good to be coming from the chaser community. It'll be like we're making things up after a while....am I the only one who's seeing this Big Picture future?

I think the main thing that most of you aren't remembering is, the target audience of this organization/effort to put chasing into a very favorable public profile will not be the general public....it will be that small %age of lawmakers, the only ones you guys are truly concerned with anyway (cause THOSE people have the power to slap wrists).

I still think the effort is, in the long run, a lot more trouble than the results would be fruitful. I mean, aren't we all going to chase as responsibly and respectfully as possible anyway??? The only difference I see in having some organization is a bunch of labels being handed out, maybe a bumper sticker...oh, and some lucky person actually gets paid for it all.

Mike Peregrine said it best: "This cannot be another SCOA..."

Well, it will be.
 
As an example of how to inform people without actually tooting your own horn, so to speak ... if you go to http://www.noaa.gov ... you'll notice news links at the top of the page with media information, news, etc. Also, the SPC has provided links to news events such as May 4, 2003 that stayed at the top of its pages. As a way to provide news concerning its services, it is only a by product that people are additionally able to see 'hey, these guys predicted this ahead of time - they are pretty cool.'

It's providing information - but not with a 'hey look at me' slant. Every company in America does it.

Also want to be clear that I'm not interested in any formal position here, other than voluntary support. The reasons ... I don't have the background in operating a non-profit ... and unless it can top my current salary, there's no way I'm interested. And it won't.
 
The point I'm trying to make here is - it's not the good chasers who are causing problems, it's the dumbass few who do stupid things. We're not controlling the actions of these "chasers" right now, and no association or whatever is going to change that. You're proposing we all band together in an attempt to make America realize "hey, we're good guys" but will any of that make a difference the NEXT time someone pulls a dumbass stunt and the media picks up on it (be it local/state/national level)?

This organization could actually come to pass, things could be done, and everything's great....but the current problem that's the basic cause for all of this isn't going to go away. I think a lot of the people who side with me on this issue will understand what I'm talking about here. Everyone's reaction is to try and paint this pretty chaser picture to counter the few bad apples' moves.....this won't be effective. Instead of taking the high road and being all friendly and rubbing elbows (which I personally don't think is needed at all), what we need to do (if you really think something has to be done) is find the individuals responsible for these infractions......cause there's your problem.

The way it is now, or all of us painted under some banner of chaser do-goodism........either way, one bad apple screwing up will bring it all crashing down to where it is right now. Now, there's two ways to look at this: You either (1) focus your efforts on the problem area and find out who the violators are and deal with them directly, or (2) you realize that "hey, this is a problem that really can't be policed, and therefore there's no point in expelling all the effort for a cause that will no doubt be thwarted by a single negative action" (which will happen).

I just don't see how creating an organization will counter the currrent source of the problem you're campaigning against. This isn't a diplomatic remedy you're facing, it's a bare-bones, in-your-face one.

Or it isn't one at all.
 
Your points about who is causing the problems are right on - unfortunately for the rest of the world, who isn't involved with chasing, and doesn't know any chasers themselves ... it's the few that finally make the image for the rest. And with no defense, that is how it will stay.

The hundreds of other representative organizations that exist for every other endeavor out there (including thrill sports, rock climbing, needlepoint, whatever) work off of the same premise - that there is merit in taking preventative measures. The one I referred to earlier - NALA - started back in the 70's when no one even knew what a paralegal was ... it was organized as a way to provide information about what legal assistants did. Then, later, talk of legislation started being circulated among several states that wanted professional licensure for paralegals ... we're talking glorified secretaries here ... not people who analyze weather maps and then use their vehicles to chase after violently rotating supercells. NALA has continually worked to promote accuracy and to minimize the effects of misinformation. By providing a voluntary licensure program (one that employers in the industry have actually come to use when hiring paralegals), the organization demonstrates that it requires excellence from its members. As a result, people learn more - they learn better ways of doing their jobs, and there are fewer mistakes.

In this case, the barbaric few out there causing the problems will still cause the problems ... but now we will have a defense for the rest. It's just smart business.
 
One quick thought on the suggestion of confrontation ... how do you suppose this will help the situation exactly - - - this approach results in constant backfires and only makes the ones going after the offenders to themselves start lacking good judgment. If you can find an example of another agency or anyone who employs an intimidation method that makes them successful or favorable in the eyes of everyone else, please provide such an example.
 
And..... say we "fixed"/confronted EVERY bad apple. The worst problem, IMO, will still exist....the appearance that comes with 100 cars on the shoulders of one block, even if they are there handing out do not do drug stickers. If an organization is drawn up I hope first on it's agenda would be ideas to curb this problem we all add to(not that we need an organization to do so). The worst image problem are large numbers of chasers commiting LEGAL acts. You may not think so, but more often then not I bet it is. Any legislation I'm sure has the ability to realize there are bad apples with anything. They can also see bad apples ain't the only problem or the most problematic, and how you going to convince them(if they even wanted to legislate it) our large numbers slowing down emergency vehicles is ok, because a few of us in the convoy "help out with the rescue"? I agree entirely with Shane.

Those that chase the most want little to do with some 'chasing organization', I think...for the most part. For most that chase alot they like the 'oneness' with the hobby even if they do it with friends. They know the sky will always be free, even if they have to watch it while "driving to grandmas". And in the other direction many that don't even chase, often like the 'organization' side of things to be part of something. I myself wouldn't join. I hope this would not cause befriending by those I know who do favor this whole idea. It is true, it can't hurt anything. I guess I'm just an anti-organization freak for whatever reason. Maybe there is a fear that it could cause MORE public interest. I know there is some wise saying for all this. No need for a helmet when it's not hailing? I think we are in virga on the top of a big hill. Some are enjoying the colors the setting sun is creating on the virga. Others are working on a boat so we know we can see the virga down the road. I need to go back to work so bad.

Mike
 
It's hailing Mike - so far you have been dodging the stones.

Everything starts free ... unfortunately few things stay that way in this world.
 
Originally posted by Mike Hollingshead


Those that chase the most want little to do with some 'chasing organization', I think...for the most part. For most that chase alot they like the 'oneness' with the hobby even if they do it with friends.

Mike

I have to respectfully disagree here... I am a frequent chaser, and am fully for this program. I believe that there needs to be the public awareness a reputable, balanced non-profit organization can bring. I don't see how there is a seperation between frequent chasers and those who do not chase as much, in my opinion.
 
No problem; I forgot to enable the "registered user only" permissions when creating the new forum. It's fixed. I left your posts there since they were constructive.

Tim
 
Wanted to address Mike's point about the sheer numbers out there ... great point ... I've made it myself constantly over the last two weeks.

This is perhaps the single biggest factor in my mind that truly merits consideration. It's going to take some brainstorming to come up with workable solutions to this situation. I'm the first to admit it, since I was one of the first to bring it up in earlier threads.

I have to leave for the evening, but keep posting the thoughts. I'll take a look when I get back in later - - -

Thanks
 
The problem I see with an organization like this is that you may get a lot of people who want to join, but you're not going to get enough people to take an active role in helping run the organization. And if you don't have people who are willing or able to volunteer their time and resources into the organization, it's not going to go anywhere. The fact that Stormtrack has had trouble getting enough dedicated volunteers over the past couple years to help run the site make me wonder where we're going to find enough people with the resources and initiative to help run a national organization for storm chasers.
 
The purpose of such a group would not be to pat ourselves on the back. If that were the case, it would fail miserably. But what it would be is a unified voice of the chaser community. As of now, there is none.

I'm no expert by any means, but the key thing I see here is that it seperates the responsible chasers from the idiots. When a media report comes out, it may or may not make clear that most chasers are responsible. People outside the weather community probably learned about stormchasing through Twister. So all bad reports may be viewed as the norm. Therefore we must have a voice that's ready to counter such media reports. There's always two sides to every story. I can see it as beneficial to make sure this side is heard. If an article is printed in a paper for example, that unfairly attacks chasing...and may contain faulty or biased info, such a group could have a media relations person write a letter to the editor explaining it from the chaser's point of view...or correct erroneous info. As of now, who is going to do this? I am sure most people would sit around waiting for someone else to do it. But as a united and coordinated group, it would get done.

Nobody is saying this is perfect. But until someone suggests something better, I see no reason not to explore the potential of this idea. If it fails, it fails. But why avoid trying to just because there's a chance it fails? There's a 9 in 10 chance that each chase you take will be a bust. Yet does that stop you? Again, I just can't see why anyone would be opposed to something that can only bring good to the community. It's no risk, other than what little time and effort we'll invest in it.

I guess the reason I am so supportive of this idea is that I've dealt with a similar thing for years in another hobby. I am an active shooter and work to preserve my right to own a firearm. There was a point in our history when the thought that guns might be banned was considered laughable. Now we have several restrictions already in place and more being introduced in congress each year. Think of how the media treats that situation. Remember Columbine? Gun owners were blasted by the media after this tragedy and numerous politicians were ready with new anti-gun legislation almost overnight. Yet the sad fact is, this is identical to the dangers chasers may face to their rights in the near future. Most gun owners are not criminals who are careless or murderers. Yet that doesn't seem to matter in the eyes of some politicians. We all know that most chasers are not crazy people who block roads and drive like maniacs either. Yet watch what happens the first time a chaser is at fault for an accident that results in serious injury or death to someone else. When the media gets hold of it, they will milk it dry. And you can bet political heads will turn. Therefore just as gun owners need the NRA to represent them and stand up for their rights, storm chasers may very well need this same type of representation. Think of the parallels here and you will see I have a valid point.

Again, if there's a better way to go about this, I would be all for it. But I am yet to see any alternatives mentioned. It would be great if there could be some way to deal with the troublemakers directly. But short of mob-like activity in which a muscled Italian guy in a leather jacket beats the crap out of these problem individuals and promises to boil them in oil the next time they pull a hair-brained stunt, I see no way direct action against them can work. LOL. We can report illegal behavior, but that is only one step of many that we all can take. While I agree that those of us who care enough to post to this thread are not the problem, how does the outside world know who is responsible or not? If you have a group of 500 or 1000 people that include many veterans, who have written rules of conduct and work to make this info available to the average person or politician, then that's a tremendous advantage over having nothing. It would also show that the vast majority of chasers are responsible people. You can't just assume people will think that, especially if there is no info available to prove it.

I have basically said my peace here and will just sit back and see what everyone else thinks. But I can see this starting good and getting better and improving with time. There's so many other good things such an organization could do that we haven't even thought of yet. I hope to see it implemented and successful. All that's needed to make that happen is simple participation. I hope people will decide to contribute. Only time will tell I suppose.

-George
 
Originally posted by Jeff Wear
The problem I see with an organization like this is that you may get a lot of people who want to join, but you're not going to get enough people to take an active role in helping run the organization. And if you don't have people who are willing or able to volunteer their time and resources into the organization, it's not going to go anywhere. The fact that Stormtrack has had trouble getting enough dedicated volunteers over the past couple years to help run the site make me wonder where we're going to find enough people with the resources and initiative to help run a national organization for storm chasers.

Exactly my point...

I have to bust my balls yearround to get my 8-12 week window of chase time every year, and chasing is what I base EVERYTHING else off of.....so I'm not about to spend my time AWAY from chasing doing anything other than insuring my ability to chase the next year.

I'll keep chasing like I always have, and there will be no mission statement on my website or other object to grab public attention/appeal. Has anyone considered that maybe being invisible is the best way to avoid the public eye? I know I've chased my ass off the past few years and not a damn soul in this world could identify me or look my direction and say "there's a storm chaser!!"

You wanna know the FIRST step in getting rid of the constant spotlight on chasing? Getting chasers to stop whoring video. You wanna blame something for the attention chasers get these days? Blame BNVN. And anything like it.

That's where it starts
 
Creating this huge effort to construct the illusion of "chaser chivalry" will actually create even MORE interest in the activity than it's already getting....so for every 10 people who "see the light" and realize chasers are overall a good bunch, 3-4 of them will be joining us all on the next big storm in Harper Co, Kansas.

BAD IDEA
 
Has anyone on this forum seen "J and Silent Bob Strike Back"?

All we can do is, find the people who make us look bad, and beat the shit outta them.
 
I am not quite sure where everybody is getting the idea that this group would be founded with the sole purpose of finding and weeding out the bad apples....or making people chase differently. Thousands of people are members of the NRA, but they still hunt the same way they always have.

Face it people...chasing is not a secret society that is invisible. It will never be invisible again. And besides...those new young chasers that are about to start their 1st season...would you rather send them out with some knowledge of what to look for, where NOT to drive, ect., or continue to let new young chasers go out completely clueless and get themselves hurt? Where the media is concerned, chasers are not getting favorable reviews...the stories are, at best, borderline. It never hurts to have some good PR coming out for you, no matter what you are involved in. Not everybody is expected to go out and get involved with the public. As with any organization, the level of personal involvement will vary from person to person. Some get very involved, some are only members (which always helps...numbers are good). Some of you seem to think that by either having an association, or being a member of one will take something away from you. I just don't see how this is so.
 
Originally posted by Chris Sokol
I am not quite sure where everybody is getting the idea that this group would be founded with the sole purpose of finding and weeding out the bad apples....or making people chase differently. Thousands of people are members of the NRA, but they still hunt the same way they always have. .

Then what's the damn point? You guys are proposing a helluva lot of effort for "not trying to change the way things are."


Originally posted by Chris Sokol+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Chris Sokol)</div>
Face it people...chasing is not a secret society that is invisible. It will never be invisible again.[/b]

Nope, especially not with people trying to create national organizations whose sole intent is to cast the chaser image into the forefront, regardless of motive.



Originally posted by Chris Sokol@
And besides...those new young chasers that are about to start their 1st season...would you rather send them out with some knowledge of what to look for, where NOT to drive, ect., or continue to let new young chasers go out completely clueless and get themselves hurt?.

I was one of those...and here I sit 8 years later with 77 tornadoes. This isn't a question of available education going in, it's a question of dedication. Chris - who taught YOU right from wrong in 1985...in ALABAMA?



<!--QuoteBegin-Chris Sokol

Where the media is concerned, chasers are not getting favorable reviews...the stories are, at best, borderline. It never hurts to have some good PR coming out for you, no matter what you are involved in.

Not being involved at all is the answer here.....c'mon folks, any of you who still think the mainstream media can be trusted are NAIVE beyond definition.
 
Here's another thought.....

Any chaser who's concerned with the level of chasing's "visibility" by the public...that has a website......is a hypocrite.

Eliminate your websites (they're all tops on the internet "storm chaser" keyword search lists anyway, right?) and there's a big part of the "view" killed right there.

You guys think you can expose chasing and then manipulate how it will be perceived....and this is your eternal, fatal flaw........eliminating chasing from public view period is your only chance
 
What are we even asking anymore? No one is going to change their views of the NEED and the WANT that exist for it. So those that want/need, start one up. I mean good grief. How many posts have there been on this now? Various versions of the same thing have been going on here for a long time with basically the same few discussing them. Should just have one topic at this point I'd think. Called. Starting up the national storm chasing organization. Have fun, best of luck.
 
There are some excellent points on both sides. I'd like to see some opinions on this whole concept from the CFDG crowd. If any of you guys are lurking, please sign up for this forum and I'll personally expedite it through so you can participate in this debate.

I myself am not sure where I stand on the issue, but it's a moot point for me anyway since I can't get involved in any other projects at the moment.

Tim
 
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