Okay, Take Me On…

After John’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls” post , I just had to get on my soapbox one more time.  Consider what I have to say and then shoot me down or offer up your ideas.

LET’S GET SERIOUS

I am often taken to task for my constant criticism of the three “so-called” national organizations for our pastime and I would like to try to explain why I do it…

dickthing

First off they are not “national” organizations at all. The Task Force and the FMDAC are primarily East Coast groups.  WWATS, if they are still a group at all, is primarily a South/Southwestern organization. I am sure they will all plead otherwise but nothing they or you say will convince me otherwise.

All three have a problem communicating, with us and most definitely with each other. Visit their websites. The Task Force and the FMDAC? Not a word for six months. WWATS?  You will be hard pressed to find anything newer than 2013. These groups can’t find the time to say Merry Christmas or ‘boogity boogity’, yet we are supposed to have faith that they are out there fighting for us. Really?

When they do speak it’s usually, “We are working behind the scenes and will keep you posted” or “We are all volunteers and have day jobs”.  Well to that I say what the hell is so secret that you can’t share or talk about?  Seriously, come on. Next I understand you are all volunteers. I appreciate that, but therein lies the problem. We cannot have a “national” organization that is made up of all volunteers. Great in theory, sounds all warm and fuzzy, but in reality it sucks.

Here’s how it “could and should” work.  It’s estimated that there are close to 700,000 detectorists in the United States, and for the sake of this discussion, let’s say there are really only 100,000.  At $20 per year, per tekkie we could have a national organization with an annual budget of around 2 million dollars.  Seems to me that just might attract a few very effective go-getters for officers, and go a long way toward kicking ass in areas where we are being hassled.

Folks it’s time we got serious about this. You can carry on with your movie making, posting photos of your finds, bullshitting on forums, attending hunts and listening to podcasts.  Just commit to a lousy $20 a year, or if you prefer, $1.67 a month. If you find that’s asking too much then you will get what you pay for, and please don’t piss and moan down the road when you can’t find a place where you can use your detector.

Okay, someone please tell me why and where I am wrong….

 

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20 Comments

Filed under Metal Detecting

20 responses to “Okay, Take Me On…

  1. I have no problem agreeing with everything you just said. They need to s{}!t or get off the pot!

  2. Great carry over from John’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls” post. I wonder, why in the world we don’t already have a fully staffed and funded national organization in place? I would be happy to subscribe. Heck, I’ll even create the website.

  3. Dick:
    Well said. I would love to be able to get sales numbers from the manufacturers to bolster the claim of detectorist out there. We would do so well with a person heading this up. 5 dollars a year for dues is a joke to anyone thinking about true support of a hobby as lawyers are not cheap and neither are lobbyist. I know I have tried. Even to get a couple of grand to have a lobbyist work on our behalf can’t be done on a clubs measly dues. A suggestion though. There is a national forum / Facebook page that now boast hundreds of club officers from around the world this would be a great way for someone to step forward and lead. Create a new force one that can and will do what is right. No money hungry power happy a$$ hats need apply. Someone with great interpersonal skills and business savvy ways. Someone with manufacturing ties and an understanding of government and group rights. Does this person exist and are they really ready to go for
    Broke on this endeavor? This is where I stop I get myself worked up and can’t do a damn thing!

    • Jessie, those numbers came from someone within the industry, and those numbers do not even include those that have “probably” given up and put their detectors in the closet. Lessen those numbers if you want and play with membership dues of 10, 20 or even 50 dollars….still no reason we should not have a viable, effective organization.

  4. Hi all…Dick is completely right. Not only do the organizations have a problem communicating with the detecting community, we are having a major problem communicating with each other. I have, as president of the Task Force, tried to talk with the powers at the FMDAC for years, and as of an e-mail just a month ago, have had no reply from anyone at the Federation !
    As far as the internal problems the organizations are having, I can only speak for the Task Force. The TF is very long on ideas, but very short on volunteers. We are a nucleus of 5 people trying to run a national organization…we’re stretched thin. We need people in the hobby to step forward and help, not just with “lip service”, but to get down and dirty, in the trenched, get their hands dirty and help us fight the battle for Metal Detecting Rights !
    I would also LOVE to have a dialog with the Federation, any time any place. I feel the Task Force and the Federation have very good intentions, and together we could accomplish a lot for the hobby. There is no ego here, I’m a Detectorists, and just want my right to enjoy our hobby / recreational pastime, the same way other Americans are allowed to enjoy theirs.
    I have contacted many of the manufacturers, other organizations, blogers, clubs, treasure magazines, and individual Detectorists. They all applaud the TF’s visions….but we need them to not only join the TF, but, it at all possible, lend a hand.
    Yep, the TF hasn’t put anything new on it’s web site for a while, we need someone to take that responsibility on,
    But the TF has been working on problems facing the Detecting community all along, we just haven’t been able to publicize these efforts.
    Please go to http://www.detectingrights.com and let us hear from you. If you have anything time to contribute please contact me directly at AveryTF1@gmail.com
    Avery Marder
    Co-Chairperson
    President
    Task Force for
    Metal Detecting
    Rights Foundation
    c/o TMG
    2418 Ralph Avenue
    Brooklyn, NY 11234
    http://www.detectingrights.com

    • Thanks Avery, but you are not addressing the need for a salaried, full time working group. I don’t see anything happening with people who “will look into it when they have time”.

    • Avery, You said “I have contacted many of the manufacturers, other organizations, blogers, clubs, treasure magazines, and individual Detectorists. They all applaud the TF’s visions….but we need them to not only join the TF, but, it at all possible, lend a hand.”

      You haven’t contacted us at detecting365 and asked for a help with anything. We can help bring more awareness to issues related to metal detecting. Shoot us a message anytime, we’d love to help do more…

  5. Items required to start the ball rolling

    Salary for a person to really dedicate themselves to this task has to be about 100K a year.

    They need health, life and other insurances for them, employees and family. (Property protection from lawsuits)

    Will need someone to write and maintain a secure database of members and issues, perhaps a repurposed layers database of clients and cases

    Incorporation 902 3c if possible

    Accountant

    Assistant

    Office Space

    Website developer and maintenance

    Travel budget

    On call Lawyer

    Known Lobbyist

    Newsletter or facebook page

    Manufacturing associations

    Global connections

    Volunteer board of directors

    Wait hold everything, is that what we already have with FMDAC, WATTS and TFFMDR

    What we need is a combined effort and a stream lined process.

    I do not think we need a national hunt to show who we are every year. (Yeah tell yourself it’s a fund raiser) This distracts from the goals you really need to center yourself on. You want to raise money hold a yearly raffle.

    You do not need to send out membership cards.

    Maybe get each Manufacturer to give 10 bucks a device to the organization to be featured as a true and recognized supporter of the hobby as well.

    Before you can begin, one must ascertain whether or not the feasibility of a project will be lifted up by it righteousness or falter under the weight of its incompetence.

    • Jessie, not sure about your recommendations… 100k a year is a lot. Can’t help thinking there’s someone out there who would do it for less. Perhaps even a retired businessman. That would also help alleviate the health insurance requirement. Some of the others on your list could also be condensed or put off till the organization gets off the ground.

      The real problem of is getting the money in the first place. I hate to say it but tekkies will spend their entire paycheck on a new detector or a weekend hunt, but get all bent out of shape if you ask them to pay for something like this. I remember well the ole “what will my dollar get me” when I was president of the FMDAC. Yep, a whole damn dollar, and they received maybe six newsletters a year, legal help, plus a gigantic event in Atlantic City. We are a strange group.

  6. danhughes1

    Dick, there are so many problems with financing a national organization that I think it’s problem futile to try.

    First, you’re herding cats. Organization is a no-no for most treasure hunters, at least the good ones. Except for publicized “hunts” with pre-planted finds, metal detecting is pretty much a solo hobby. You don’t have to get 20 guys together to play, like I have to do in softball. Many people PREFER isolation for several reasons, chief among them secrecy and nature-communing. When you hit a home run in softball, everybody cheers. When you make a big find with your metal detector, you keep your mouth shut (or wish you had). I know there are a lot of small treasure clubs all over the US, but I think that both the number and size of clubs has fallen bigtime since the 1980s heyday.

    Second, you’d be hard put to get a million people to donate a dollar. To get their money, you have to give them something. Maybe just an inexpensive token, but something.

    Third, who would decide how to use the money that was collected? Hiring a business guru might get your coffers up, but once you’ve got funds to fight for our rights, somebody has to pick the fights. Who?

    Fourth, how would they determine the best fights to fight? There are thousands (millions?) of Federal, state, county, city, township, municipality ordinances that would be worthwhile targets. If I donate money, I want you fighting in MY community.

    Fifth, would there be a permanent fulltime staff? Where would they be headquartered? How would they be paid? What would they do exactly?

    ———————–

    I offered some ideas in my book (The Metal Detecting Manual). I compared our hobby to bass fishing, and Ray Scott’s B.A.S.S.organization. B.A.S.S. puts a lot of money into lobbying for laws beneficial to the bass fishing hobby. And they make their money by selling memberships, holding tournaments, publishing books and a magazine, and selling fishing equipment. I think a close study of Ray’s methods might we worthwhile for anyone trying to build an effective treasure hunting lobby.

    ———————–

    All this is a quick, poorly-thought-out stream of blather from the top of my head, and I’m not an organizer/fund raiser (I’m generally not even a joiner), but I thought you might be able to pick my above arguments apart (I hope so!)

    —Dan

    • Dan, you maybe right but what’s missing is a person or a group that knows how to promote, raise money and twist arms. There are such people, just not in our midst at present. The other questions you raise are legit but not insurmountable. I also understand that tekkies are usually loners, but hunters are too, yet they think nothing of sending in their dues to the NRA.

      Somewhere, somehow we need to hire that business guru to get the ball rolling. Someone who can lay the groundwork, develop a plan and put it into action. Where that initial outlay of money comes from is the problem. It’s the ole which came first, the chicken or the egg. Perhaps the manufacturers would be willing to consider it?

      I see the enormity of it all, and all the potential pitfalls but to do nothing is to play a waiting game, hoping that the next axe to fall is not in our neighborhood.

  7. Bigtony

    Dan, i like your analogy that the Bass organization is much like the Metal detecting hobby.
    There are several magazines already out there, so now we just need to convince one to expand. Then this idea could take off sooner then we think.

    • Tony, I wouldn’t want a magazine, or a manufacturer to start or run such an organization. It would just cause a lot of mistrust by competitors, dealers and users. I also suspect B.A.S.S. employs a few very good businessmen.

  8. Bigtony

    Dick, I understand what you are saying and you make a good point – good businessmen. That says it all.

  9. Was really hoping for more input and ideas here but, I guess it just reinforces my belief that we are all hat and no cattle.

  10. Ricardo

    I reckon Dan Hughe’s analogy with B.A.S.S is absolutely on the money. Any national organisation representing US hobbyists’ WILL LOBBY FOR the best interests of the US hobbyist. It WILL LOBBY AGAINST all laws and legislation that unnecessarily restricts the bobby. In short, it will PROMOTE, PROTECT, ENCOURAGE, the hobby. The organisation will receive feedback from affiliated State-wide federations.

    Any such national body ought to offer an ID card with a current photograph TOGETHER with a matching certificate of insurance, and that the holder will abide by the Code of Ethics – details of which to be decided by the hobbyists themselves…NOT BY ARCHAEOLOGISTS. Maybe, members will have access to discounts? How can such a venture fail in the US… Land of Free Enterprise? Taking things a step further, the body would be able to draw researchers to certain members known for their expertise in certain fields…The Civil War for example.

    If only 10% of the 700,000 estimated US hobbyists sign-up for membership at say $5.00 per year…well, you do the maths!!! As membership gathers momentum such a body would wield considerable lobbying power and political clout.

    Happy Hunting!

  11. Well John I thought that’s what I was advocating here? Where is this national organization going to come from? Certainly not any of the three we have now.

    • No it ain’t…they are dead in the water.

      That said you have some REAL talent out there…and I’m a great believer in….’Cometh the hour cometh the Man, or Men.’ And I don’t dismiss the ladies out there either…where, some very sharp minds exist. In fact a razor sharp lady rep might be just what we need.

      Now, if we could get that Lisa on board…..

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