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Thread: How do YOU conseal carry?

  1. #1
    Regular Member Munkey Butt's Avatar
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    How do YOU conseal carry?

    So my CPL should be here any day, which bring my question to light.
    How do you CC? I currently have a serpa and an assortmant of "tall" coats so that would be one way to CC. Also I've thought about picking up a shoulder holster. I've also seen insight the pant holsters but with my body type that might not work.

    So what do you guys use, what have you tried, what works and doesn't work. Sitting is also a big one for me I don't like my weapon digging into my side. So feel free to share your experiances.

    PJ
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    Regular Member 911Grunt's Avatar
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    I'm a big dog, so I just carry in the front pocket my glock 19, its in an inside the waistband holster with nothing else in the pocket. Its not the best for using from a seated position so my plan is to fall to the ground for cover and concealment and then pull the weapon, if i can't leave the area before hand. As for driving I'm already inside a weapon and will drive how ever is necessary to escape or stop the attack.

  3. #3
    Regular Member 1911er's Avatar
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    conceal carry

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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    No, I just don't do it. When I am forced to, I don't do it well.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    When I CC my XD40 I use either my Serpa holster or a Crossbreed holster under a jacket. Of course, about the only time I conceal carry any more is when I go to a medical facility (blood draws) or Costco for my lunch (the free samples).

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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    You can conceal carry as you would open carry just put a vest, jacket, long loose shirt, sports jersey that covers it, remember if you do conceal carry and it becomes exposed it is just open carry and not illegal as some (uneducated) will suggest.

    A recent robbery should bring to light on the issue anyone can be vulnerable regardless if they open or conceal carry and carrying a firearms is actually the last tool in your arsenal of making good choices and situational awareness. There is no magic force field surround us.

    • Being prepared is to prepare, this is our responsibility.
    • I am not your Mommy or Daddy and do not sugar coat it but I will tell you simply as how I see it, it is up to you on how you will or will not use it.
    • IANAL, all information I present is for your review, do your own homework.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Munkey Butt View Post
    So my CPL should be here any day, which bring my question to light.
    How do you CC? I currently have a serpa and an assortmant of "tall" coats so that would be one way to CC. Also I've thought about picking up a shoulder holster. I've also seen insight the pant holsters but with my body type that might not work.

    So what do you guys use, what have you tried, what works and doesn't work. Sitting is also a big one for me I don't like my weapon digging into my side. So feel free to share your experiances.

    PJ
    What holster and carry will work for you is going to depend on what gun you carry, your body shape, your clothing style, and a host of other factors.

    I would not recommend the Serpa holster for concealed carry, not just because of the safety issues with Serpa holsters but also because it probably doesn't hold the gun close enough to your body for effective and easy concealment.

    What I use:
    I have several holsters, and which one I use depends on the weather and what activity I'll be engaging in. I have a outside the waistband leather holster that gets used when I'm not so concerned about concealment and comfort is more important (for example: going for a walk with my dog in a rural area) When concealment is actually a concern, I have a inside the waistband (IWB) holster from Comp-Tac which I used to carry the gun at about the 4:30 position. If I'm going on a long drive, I've found that a good shoulder holster is easily the most comfortable while seated and also keeps the gun accessible without concerns about seat belts.

    For both IWB and OWB holsters, the goal is to hold the gun as close to your body as possible. Yes, you're trading ease of draw for concealment, so some draw practice is needed. If I were open carrying, I'd carry at about 3 o'clock on my strong side hip. For concealed carry, I've found that something more like 4:30 gives both better comfort and better concealment, as the butt of the gun gets tucked up under my ribs.

    A shoulder holster looks like it ought to be a great solution, but it's harder to conceal than you might expect and it takes considerable practice to get a safe and fast draw. I also find that when I get home after wearing a a shoulder holster for 10 or 12 hours, I'm awfully glad to take the thing off.

    Beyond the holster issue, a lot of concealment consists of finding cover garments that are comfortable, hang in a way that conceals the gun, gives you decent access to draw, and look appropriate for whatever context you'll be in. If you're in a rural area, wearing a sport coat is going to draw attention, but a fleece vest won't raise eyebrows any time of year in the PNW unless it's quite warm. If you're in the city for an evening of entertainment or a date, no one ever looks twice at a casual sport jacket. IWB holsters offer a distinct advantage when it comes to cover garments, as you only have to conceal above the belt (but watch out for cover garments that hike up or lift when you reach over your head).

    Watch out for developing 'tells' involving cover garments - I can't count how many times I've realized someone was carrying because I spotted what I think of as the 'tug' - that little tug on the cover garment below the gun that's sometimes needed to keep the cover garment from hanging up on the butt of the gun when you stand up after being seated. Another common tell is constantly needing to hike up your pants - if you find yourself doing that the solution is to get a decent gun belt. The belt doesn't have to be wide, but it does have to be stiff. Don't skimp on the belt - a really good gun belt changes carrying concealed from an uncomfortable pain in the butt to a very minor discomfort and inconvenience.

    Your dislike of the gun digging into you is understandable, but I can tell you that after a time you simply no longer notice. I'm not sure whether you just eventually find a way to position the holster so that the gouging is minimized, or you become more tolerant, or both. But it's been years since I felt uncomfortable because the gun was digging into me, and I carry a great deal of the time.

    You didn't ask, but I'll answer anyway: the holster manufacturer's I've tried, liked, and found to be good value are: Galco for shoulder rigs and leather OWB holsters, Blade-tech and Comp-Tac for IWB holsters (I particularly like the Comp-Tac MTAC holster, easily the most comfortable IWB holster I've used). All three of those manufacturers offer a variety of holsters for a wide variety of guns, have good quality, can deliver quickly, and do not cost a fortune.

  8. #8
    Regular Member Grim_Night's Avatar
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    Thank you Gray. Very informative and easy to follow. I may even look into getting a couple new holsters for different carry positions instead of my current shoulder holster (which I do like).
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  9. #9
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    I basically do not conceal at all, at least not intentionally. When the weather is bad and I have a longer than waist level coat on, that is concealed enough. I also have several holsters/pistols that all have different purposes...hunting, going to town with dark colour clothes, going to town with light colour clothes. If a place does not want my carry, they don't want me...it is that simple.

    My most frequently worn weapon/holster these days is a CZ85 and an Alessi leather holster. Both are black and blend in beautifully with my black Carhartts. This gun/holster combination never digs into my side, even if I am seated in my car. The opposite end is a 6" blue Colt in a tan Ross hunting holster. That combo is really only for on foot or on horseback, very difficult to wear comfortably in a vehicle.

    Oh, yes, I do have a shoulder holster..wore it one time, did not like it at all...don't wear suits anymore anyway.
    Last edited by hermannr; 09-21-2012 at 12:52 PM.

  10. #10
    Regular Member decklin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrGray View Post
    What holster and carry will work for you is going to depend on what gun you carry, your body shape, your clothing style, and a host of other factors.

    I would not recommend the Serpa holster for concealed carry, not just because of the safety issues with Serpa holsters but also because it probably doesn't hold the gun close enough to your body for effective and easy concealment.

    What I use:
    I have several holsters, and which one I use depends on the weather and what activity I'll be engaging in. I have a outside the waistband leather holster that gets used when I'm not so concerned about concealment and comfort is more important (for example: going for a walk with my dog in a rural area) When concealment is actually a concern, I have a inside the waistband (IWB) holster from Comp-Tac which I used to carry the gun at about the 4:30 position. If I'm going on a long drive, I've found that a good shoulder holster is easily the most comfortable while seated and also keeps the gun accessible without concerns about seat belts.

    For both IWB and OWB holsters, the goal is to hold the gun as close to your body as possible. Yes, you're trading ease of draw for concealment, so some draw practice is needed. If I were open carrying, I'd carry at about 3 o'clock on my strong side hip. For concealed carry, I've found that something more like 4:30 gives both better comfort and better concealment, as the butt of the gun gets tucked up under my ribs.

    A shoulder holster looks like it ought to be a great solution, but it's harder to conceal than you might expect and it takes considerable practice to get a safe and fast draw. I also find that when I get home after wearing a a shoulder holster for 10 or 12 hours, I'm awfully glad to take the thing off.

    Beyond the holster issue, a lot of concealment consists of finding cover garments that are comfortable, hang in a way that conceals the gun, gives you decent access to draw, and look appropriate for whatever context you'll be in. If you're in a rural area, wearing a sport coat is going to draw attention, but a fleece vest won't raise eyebrows any time of year in the PNW unless it's quite warm. If you're in the city for an evening of entertainment or a date, no one ever looks twice at a casual sport jacket. IWB holsters offer a distinct advantage when it comes to cover garments, as you only have to conceal above the belt (but watch out for cover garments that hike up or lift when you reach over your head).

    Watch out for developing 'tells' involving cover garments - I can't count how many times I've realized someone was carrying because I spotted what I think of as the 'tug' - that little tug on the cover garment below the gun that's sometimes needed to keep the cover garment from hanging up on the butt of the gun when you stand up after being seated. Another common tell is constantly needing to hike up your pants - if you find yourself doing that the solution is to get a decent gun belt. The belt doesn't have to be wide, but it does have to be stiff. Don't skimp on the belt - a really good gun belt changes carrying concealed from an uncomfortable pain in the butt to a very minor discomfort and inconvenience.

    Your dislike of the gun digging into you is understandable, but I can tell you that after a time you simply no longer notice. I'm not sure whether you just eventually find a way to position the holster so that the gouging is minimized, or you become more tolerant, or both. But it's been years since I felt uncomfortable because the gun was digging into me, and I carry a great deal of the time.

    You didn't ask, but I'll answer anyway: the holster manufacturer's I've tried, liked, and found to be good value are: Galco for shoulder rigs and leather OWB holsters, Blade-tech and Comp-Tac for IWB holsters (I particularly like the Comp-Tac MTAC holster, easily the most comfortable IWB holster I've used). All three of those manufacturers offer a variety of holsters for a wide variety of guns, have good quality, can deliver quickly, and do not cost a fortune.
    What safety issues are there with the SERPA? It is a perfectly safe holster. The only people who have injured themselves are the ones that did not properly train themselves in the use of the SERPA. Such as not indexing alongside the slide. Everyone who has had an ND with a SERPA all pressed the button with a crooked finger so they could immediately get their finger in the guard. This is something you're never suposed to do so they probably would have had the same end result with any holster.
    You draw exactly the same way on a SERPA as you do on any other holster.

    That being said you are right about concealing being difficult with a SERPA. I prefer a leather belt slide that holds it nice and tight against me under my cover garment for my 1911 or a IWB or shoulder holster for my USP9c.
    I've got assorted Galco leather holsters and two Galco shoulder holsters. One is the ******* Rig for my USP and the other is the vertical for my 1911. I'm not too fond of the vertical.
    For IWB I have a Blade Tech. I recommend kydex for IWB as leather tends to collapse with the weapon drawn. With kydex you can reholster one handed.

    For CC I will usually appendix carry or at the 0430. If you put a little forward cant on it the butt will tuck a little better and aid in concealing and comfort. At least it does with my body type and clothes I wear.

    +1000 on getting a good gun belt. That is probably the best thing you can spend your money on. I use a gun belt regardless of whether I'm OC or CC. I believe mine is a 5.11
    It's leather wrapped around a plastic strip and double stitched.

    I CC'd for about 7 years before I tried OC. Now I almost exclusively OC. The only times I CC is at the movies, hospital, puyallup fair, and the couple times a year I take my wife to see the PNW Ballet in Seattle.
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  11. #11
    Campaign Veteran ak56's Avatar
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    +1000 on a good gun belt.

    I use three holsters, all carried about the 3:00-3:30 position (not at the same time).

    For OC I use a leather Blackhawk detachable slide holster. Sometimes I will wear a long loose shirt over it for CC if I don't care too much if it is noticed. Nice thing about this holster is if I am somewhere that I can't carry, it is easy to remove to lock the gun in the truck safe, and easy to put back on afterwards.

    For general CC, a leather Blackhawk IWB holster. This works well with a T-Shirt or untucked shirt over it. Since it is IWB, the shirt doesn't have to be overly long.

    My sunday-go-to-meetin' holster is a Crossbreed supertuck. This conceals well under a tucked in dress shirt. I'm a church musician, so I'm often in a very visible position where I don't want to have my carry be a distraction.

    We won't even go into other holsters I may have bought that I don't use.
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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    The only times I CC are at home or if I'm in Montana, not yet 21 so I can't carry regularily in Washington.

    But in Montana you don't need a permit to CC if you're outside city limits, so in that case I was taking a long walk at night in this rural area in Montana, due to the cold tempurature I wore a large coat and carried a Glock 19 in a glock competition holster strong side OWB with a spare mag in my coat pocket on the weak side. most of the rest of that trip I carried a Model 10 OC strong side OWB, I never liked IWB holsters, then again most of my shooting is competition and IWB inhibits that a little bit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by decklin View Post
    What safety issues are there with the SERPA? It is a perfectly safe holster. The only people who have injured themselves are the ones that did not properly train themselves in the use of the SERPA. Such as not indexing alongside the slide. Everyone who has had an ND with a SERPA all pressed the button with a crooked finger so they could immediately get their finger in the guard. This is something you're never suposed to do so they probably would have had the same end result with any holster.
    My understanding is that there are two problems. One is the need to index your finger properly so that as the gun comes out of the holster, it doesn't end up in the trigger guard. The other is that in some cases, the gun eases out of the holster a bit, so that the retention is riding the trigger guard, and binds when you go to push the release 'button'. Extra pressure is required to get the retention disengaged, and with that extra pressure, it's likely that the finger is on the trigger when the gun clears the holster. Several reputable training organizations have banned serpa holsters as a result of their analysis of the various incidents.

    The issues surrounding the Serpa are pretty thoroughly discussed and those discussions are easily accessible to anyone who can read this forum.

    It would have been better if I had worded it "Some people feel there are safety issues with the Serpa retention holsters. I recommend that you find and examine the various discussions about those issues and come to your own conclusion before deciding to routinely carry in a Serpa holster."

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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrGray View Post
    My understanding is that there are two problems. One is the need to index your finger properly so that as the gun comes out of the holster, it doesn't end up in the trigger guard. The other is that in some cases, the gun eases out of the holster a bit, so that the retention is riding the trigger guard, and binds when you go to push the release 'button'. Extra pressure is required to get the retention disengaged, and with that extra pressure, it's likely that the finger is on the trigger when the gun clears the holster. Several reputable training organizations have banned serpa holsters as a result of their analysis of the various incidents.

    The issues surrounding the Serpa are pretty thoroughly discussed and those discussions are easily accessible to anyone who can read this forum.

    It would have been better if I had worded it "Some people feel there are safety issues with the Serpa retention holsters. I recommend that you find and examine the various discussions about those issues and come to your own conclusion before deciding to routinely carry in a Serpa holster."
    I have and use my Serpa Holster regularly and never have I had an issue with my finger being in the trigger guard from daily carry in upholstering or at the range when practicing my draw and shoot.
    Light pressure is needed to release the retention lever and then when the gun comes out of the holster it is higher then the trigger guard and is located on the slide.
    Simply keep your stinking finger out of the trigger guard until on target and you have decided to pull the trigger.
    I can see the issue of someone rushing their draw and putting their finger on the trigger before the front sight is on target, huge operator mistake.

    Other then this point Gray I agree with your earlier post.
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    • I am not your Mommy or Daddy and do not sugar coat it but I will tell you simply as how I see it, it is up to you on how you will or will not use it.
    • IANAL, all information I present is for your review, do your own homework.

  16. #16
    Regular Member Munkey Butt's Avatar
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    The question was asked, what do I carry. I carry a Beretta PX4 Storm. And as for my serpa holster I love it, but I wish I could find a place to try out different "demo" holsters before I make a purchase.
    -PJ

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    Regular Member Grim_Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munkey Butt View Post
    The question was asked, what do I carry. I carry a Beretta PX4 Storm. And as for my serpa holster I love it, but I wish I could find a place to try out different "demo" holsters before I make a purchase.
    I fully agree with this. I would love to be able to try on various different holsters to see which ones fit and are comfortable before wasting money on something that looks nice but turns out to be a PoS.
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    I don't carry seals. They bite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deanf View Post
    I don't carry seals. They bite.
    Aw, you beat me to it. Kinda hard to fit under your jacket too.

  20. #20
    Regular Member decklin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grim_Night View Post
    I fully agree with this. I would love to be able to try on various different holsters to see which ones fit and are comfortable before wasting money on something that looks nice but turns out to be a PoS.
    Any good shop will let you try on a holster and move around the store with it. Just unload your firearm before going in. Quantico Tactical, The Marksman, probably Champion. If you ask the guys at the gun counter in Sportsmans Warehouse they'll help you out. I wouldn't buy from a place that doesn't allow you to try the holster first.
    I always do a little test before buying. I walk around, lean side to side, crouch, sit, etc. Try to mimic any movements you will do from day to day.
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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munkey Butt View Post
    So my CPL should be here any day, which bring my question to light.
    How do you CC? I currently have a serpa and an assortmant of "tall" coats so that would be one way to CC. Also I've thought about picking up a shoulder holster. I've also seen insight the pant holsters but with my body type that might not work.

    So what do you guys use, what have you tried, what works and doesn't work. Sitting is also a big one for me I don't like my weapon digging into my side. So feel free to share your experiances.

    PJ
    If I told you I would have to kill you.

    Quote Originally Posted by decklin View Post
    Any good shop will let you try on a holster and move around the store with it. Just unload your firearm before going in. Quantico Tactical, The Marksman, probably Champion. If you ask the guys at the gun counter in Sportsmans Warehouse they'll help you out. I wouldn't buy from a place that doesn't allow you to try the holster first.
    I always do a little test before buying. I walk around, lean side to side, crouch, sit, etc. Try to mimic any movements you will do from day to day.
    Yes, you may try out holsters at Champion. Unload in the parking lot and bring it in cased or holstered and ask for assistance. No problem.
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  22. #22
    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    There are many ways to conceal and carry. Every person will develop a manner that makes most sense for their manner of dress, body size/shape, and activity.

    Personally, I rarely wear long coats. When I'm cold I wear a leather bomber jacket which "almost" conceals my Sig in a Serpa. When I want more total concealment with this jacket I go for a Galco Miami Classic shoulder holster.

    The rest of the time when I want to conceal, especially during warmer weather, I just use a "tropical print" shirt, not necessarily as garish as a Hawaiian shirt but they work too.

    BTW, Shoulder holsters are great for long drives as the pistol isn't competing for space alongside the center console with your butt, the seat belt anchor, and center console.

    Bottom line is that each individual will develop their own method based on what's comfortable and practical for THEM.
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  23. #23
    Regular Member jt59's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDave View Post
    You can conceal carry as you would open carry just put a vest, jacket, long loose shirt, sports jersey that covers it, remember if you do conceal carry and it becomes exposed it is just open carry and not illegal as some (uneducated) will suggest.

    A recent robbery should bring to light on the issue anyone can be vulnerable regardless if they open or conceal carry and carrying a firearms is actually the last tool in your arsenal of making good choices and situational awareness. There is no magic force field surround us.

    Man....that is cold.
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  24. #24
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    I just bought this coat. So far I like it a lot. I haven't had a chance to really try it much, but it's heavy enough for warmth and seems pretty rugged. I think they make them in khaki also. The pocket is plenty big enough for my Sig P226, with the laser/light mounted on it. Since both sides have the same pockets, I can use them for other things, like my flashlight or whatever.

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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogodawgs View Post
    If I told you I would have to kill you.



    Yes, you may try out holsters at Champion. Unload in the parking lot and bring it in cased or holstered and ask for assistance. No problem.

    Just a suggestion but you should allow them to take them on range so they can try (practice) drawing from them, comfort is not the only thing to think about when trying out a holster. I think the most important thing is how fast you can draw from a holster, and to check for any hang ups, I would want to feel the full weight of the firearm fully loaded, as the balance is different. Just a second option if you let them open carry into the store and onto the range.
    If you voted for Obama to prove you are not a racist...
    what will you do now to prove you are not stupid?

    "The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of "liberalism," they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened." - Norman Thomas

    "They who can who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve niether liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

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