Guest Post: Dick Stout responds to my “Who’s to blame” post.

Dick intended this to be a response to my post but the comment system I was trying blocked him.  So I’m posting it here from his site in its entirety.

Scott’s blog “Who’s to blame” is on the money, and a topic that always gets my attention. I guess that’s because his comments align with mine, but never, ever get much further. Why? Because we are only interested in ourselves.

The metal detecting, treasure hunting pastime, whatever YOU care to call it, is facing opposition from a lot of quarters, and if we are to ever survive we need to wake up, organize and by that I mean manufacturers, the so called “national” organizations, clubs and individuals. If not we can kiss this pastime goodbye within the near future. Call me a doomsday prophet, whatever. I have tried time after time to get people interested, excited, concerned about various bills, legislation, and restrictions being placed on our pastime. End result? No one, and I mean no one gives a damn until it affects them.

The the three national organizations out there….tell us what you are doing, and what you plan to do? Forget the conventions, hunts, contests, tell us how you will start making a difference. You might study the (Portable Antiquities Scheme) PAS in the UK, and start looking into ways to have something similar here. It won’t be easy, and it will surely take a lot of money and time, but it’s a worthy effort. Will you be speaking for us in front of committees and sub-committees in Washington? Having detectorists write or email their legislators is not that effective anymore. I am also willing to bet that at most 50 people actually do it, and in some cases a few of those would be better off not writing in that they simply say things that inflame the situation even more.

How about updating your websites? I visit them daily, and see nothing at all new. Even my baby the FMDAC seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. Get rid of the 2011 info….it’s 2012. Make it easy for members or interested hobbyists to contact you. If you are the president put your email out there, and the same for all the other officers. If you don’t have the time to answer emails, why be involved?

To the Manufacturers… Aside from donating detectors and hunt packages, do you talk with each other, and are you concerned about the bans occuring here and there? You used to be. What would you like to see happening here in the US? What would sort of effort would make you take a second look and gain your support.

To all the clubs…. what is it that you would like to see happen? Are you content with the status quo? Betting that if you are, you won’t be when a problem occurs on your turf. Do you have a liaison who communicates with any of the national organizations on a regular basis? Do you have any sort of legal fund set aside to help fight city hall if need be? You don’t have to hire lawyers. No one can afford a lawyer today, but you can use that money to send representatives to the state capital if need be, or you can hire a bus and take the whole club. You can use it for flyers, petitions, etc..

To all the individual detectorists…. Do you think you might be able to take a few minutes from that forum you post on to read about a regulation or law that might affect your right to detect? Does it bother you that TH’ers in other parts of the country are facing local and statewide bans? My guess is you can’t be bothered. You will say otherwise, but when push comes to shove, you will go on your merry way.

I know that all the things I mention above are easy to say and harder to put into play, but someone, some group, has to come up with a plan and something other than asking all of us to send emails. Am I angry? Yes because as I have said many times, we are all bluster and no bite. We talk a good story, but then never do anything more. We blame the government, the local officials, the archaeologists, but do nothing to counter their efforts. We leave unsightly holes in public parks, because we want to find all we can as quickly as we can. We spend thousands on equipment, but not a penny towards fighting city hall. We spend hours and hours on websites and forums, but can’t take a few minutes to write a letter or send an email to help someone in trouble.

As for me…. I am unable to get out that much anymore, and a lot of what happens from here on will not affect me that much, but I still care. This pastime has been good to me, I have met a lot of great peopole, and had a helluva lot of fun. I will write letters when I can, and send money when needed. I will participate in any type of rally if it’s financially and physically possible. I will support any group that shows me they have a plan, and that communicates with me on a regular basis…..

Now tell me where YOU stand and what you are willing do to do?

Dick Stout – Stouts Standards    JULY 4, 2012

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