1. Regarding Can Somebody travel with their gun internationally? [duplicate] (which asks about travelling internationally with a gun for personal safety). Can someone clarify how this question gets eligible to be closed? All the questions surrounding it are in its context and the question really asks an answer related to travel.

  2. It seems obscure to me how the exact same set of users almost always voting to close a question.

Most of the high ranking community members who are eligible to vote to close may themselves not have all the knowledge in the world to know whether the question is constructive or not (contributing to the travel realm). For example, let's say a user has gained tremendous upvotes answering all questions about Asia. When he sees a question on SE which talks about US, since he cannot really understand the context, to him, its unconstructive. Since this is an international forum, with a huge user base, is it not time for more votes to be required for a question to be closed?


2 Answers 2


On closing

The number of close votes is the same on all Stack Exchange sites, some of which have much more diverse audiences than Travel. (For example, I understand all of the questions on Travel, whereas many of the questions on Computer Science are Greek to me, and I'm a moderator there.) Why would you want to increase it here?

(Your question was about Europe and Asia, by the way; since you're from the US, then by your own argument you would be a poor judge of whether it's a good question.)

Addressing your second point first, the users who vote to close are by and large the ones who care. It's not surprising that people who care about the quality of one site also care about the quality of another site. People do by and large hold off voting to close a question if they don't understand it, only if they do understand it and can determine that it is unsuitable to the site.

Regarding your question in particular, the close votes were justified because your question didn't mention where you wanted to travel. Gun legislation is very dependent on the country; “Europe and Asia” doesn't cut it.

On why this specific question was poorly received

Unlike close votes, downvotes don't have to be justified. Nevertheless I'll venture an explanation for the downvotes; since I am not in the downvoters' mind, this is pure conjecture on my part.

The keen travelers who frequent this site by and large travel to experience other cultures. Even if that isn't their primary motivation, it is an least a point of interest. Your question demonstrates a clash of cultures, and you make no attempt at understanding the culture of the places you'll be traveling to. This grates with most travelers.

Specifically, the culture clash is about guns for self-defense. From your question, I gather that you live in a part of the US where it is considered normal for people to own guns and carry them. In most of Europe, the attitude to guns is different: only soldiers, policemen and criminals have guns. If you travel with a gun, then we (speaking for a majority of Western Europeans here) perceive you as a dangerous, aggressive person, and for our safety, we are glad that our laws forbid you from carrying your gun into our country. In the UK, even your ordinary policeman doesn't carry a gun. We like to keep our streets safe from the like of you.

In your question, you take the default attitude that the places you'll be traveling to will accept that you carry a gun. It's the opposite: most places in Europe and Asia will not let you in with a gun. This difference in attitude across the Atlantic is very well-known, so it looks like you have not done the most basic research before asking your question. As the downvote tooltip says: “this question does not show any research effort”.

Regarding this meta question

I have spent some time writing a detailed, considerate answer. This is despite the insulting tone of your question (“stinky”, really?). I am not going to spend any further time on your case. Your question could easily be edited to fit the site, and I've explained to you what you should do. The ball is in your court.

  • Thanks Gilles. The 'moment' which brought a bit of hostility is long gone. I appreciate your time and effort. I could never have thought about the culture mis-fit of a question in travel. Which still brings to attention that if someone is voting to close or downvote, should leave a comment about it. I have edited both the questions. Cheers. Jun 3, 2013 at 14:13
  • very good answer Gilles, compliments.
    – Geeo
    Jun 18, 2013 at 16:41

To summarize somewhat and reemphasize what Gilles said (with which I agree on most counts), and to put my thoughts on it:

  • Closing this question is warranted, from the way it is formulated. It contains several, somewhat related sub-questions, and can be considered too broad given the number of countries inquired for.

  • Downvoting is not supposed to mean "I don't agree with this", but rather "This post is either a bad question, or a bad answer, is not helpful, and needs to go away". People may have moral, religious or whatever objections towards gun carrying, adult entertainment houses, cock fights or even kissing in public -- but that alone should not be a reason for a downvote.

Further reading: our meta question about controversial practices.

  • Makes sense. Thanks corrosiveMind Jun 3, 2013 at 14:14

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