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Thread: Re-Branding the pro-gun community

  1. #1
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    I think everybody here agrees that anybody who is against "assault weapons", concealed permits or "armor piercing bullets" hasn't actually done any research on the topic. If they had, they would realize what a ridiculously tiny proportion of crime they are involved in.

    The people at the top pushing the agenda unfortunately use their emotion to guide them rather than reason. It's easy for individuals uneducated on the topic to believe what they see in movies and the misinformation they hear from people of anti-gun crowd.

    One thing I don't think anybody has put much thought into is the idea of looking at the pro-2nd amendment society as a brand. The NRA has largely been branded by the public as right-wing wackos and rednecks (I've seen this attitude many times). We, the educated, know this to be a misnomer. The Brady Campaign has branded itself as "the people who care about the safety of children and law enforcement." Similarly, while we may not agree with Obama's agenda on gun control, you can't deny that he is an excellent example of how an idea can be solidified into a brand and communicated in a clear and succinct manner. People understood his message and at the end of the day that's what counts.

    The bottom line is that the best way to win the public's approval is to educate them, and the the best way to do that is to make all the public-facing materials more convincing on a strategic level. It's time to project a more accurate image of who we are: sharp, educated, rationally thinking, and above all, law abiding citizens.

    I sincerely hope that pro-gun organizations like the NRA pay more attention to image sometime in the future. We as a society just can't afford not to.

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    This post caused me to think of another group that use to get a really bad rap in the public eye.

    Do y'all remember how black leather wearin', chopper ridin', bikers were feared and ridiculed by the public back in the late 60's early 70's? Especially biker clubs? Anytime people saw some one that rode a Harley and wore black leather, they immediately assumed they were outlaws. I personally remember it got so bad that some folks thought that any one that rode a motorcycle was a menace.

    Over the last few decades that has changed immensely, due to efforts by the bikers themselves. They started doing "Blood Runs", "Toy Runs", and "Poker Runs", raising money for charities. Even rival "outlaw" clubs would call temporary truces, long enough to participate in these events. The negative stigma of black leather and chrome began to fade. Today, there seems to be a more respectable view of bikers.

    Could gun owners and carriers do the same? I think so. The way I figure it, OC in public where ever we can, may do as much for public perception of LAC's with firearms as lobbying legislators. Could we do more? Maybe. What if we did what the bikers did? Suppose gun owners and carriers started holding shooting contest with proceeds from entry fees going to charitable causes? Could we hold "Toy Shoots", or "Food Shoots"? Are we doing any of this already and I'm not aware? Can anyone think of anything else we might could do?

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    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
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    I've love to organize such an event.
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

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    ^ I would definitely participate in charitable activities.

    Very similar to this topic: http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum65/20681.html

    And my response would be the same. I'm glad you recognize the need to distance the pro-gun community from the redneck, rapture-right wacko stereotype. That's the only way this cause has any hope. The general public is shocked to learn that anyone educated, clean-cut, or, for lack of a better word, NORMAL, owns and carries guns. I've been beating this idea in peoples' heads since I joined this board and everyone just gets offended because they're "rednecks and proud of it" and I'm just a bitter "yankee". But that's just the reality of this separation problem. All stereotypes exist for a reason and this one is no except. Much (although I don't believe a majority) of the pro-gun community is a bunch of rapture-right wack jobs, just spend ten minutes reading this board. If you haven't noticed, it's the extremists in every group that get the most attention and media play time, and this group is no different. It makes us all look bad and it perpetuates the harmful stereotype that is used against us by the anti's.

    The Brady Campaign is all for the safety of children and LE.... big surprise... SO ARE WE! That's the bottom line that needs to be pushed. But when you have a bunch of nut jobs that want to push felons' rights and nuke ownership for all, it just hurts the entire group's credibility. You can't push completely unrestricted ownership of any weapon used by the military when we still have states with bans on semi-auto rifles. One step at a time. Gun rights were taken away slowly and they will be restored slowly. Pushing for all-at-once and in-your-face measures just pisses people off.

    I can't change the rapture-right nut cases, but I can make a difference myself. If each one of us just take the time to invite at least one gun virgin to the range, it'd make a big difference. So far two of my previously non gun lovingfriends have gotten their CCW permits, one more is working on his. My girl friend was very anti-gun and even scared of them when I met her, now she goes shooting with me routinely and even has her own SIG. I also haveanother friend from school that never eventouched a gunthat will be going shooting with us next week.

    We might not be able to change the nut-jobs, but we can each make a difference ourselves. And there are a lot of us normal gun owners out there. We just need to get off our asses and educate the general public because no one is going to do it for us.


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    Regular Member sraacke's Avatar
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    Brandnew wrote:
    I sincerely hope that pro-gun organizations like the NRA pay more attention to image sometime in the future. We as a society just can't afford not to.
    I'm confused. The NRA is a Pro-gun organization? Since when?
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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    yale wrote:
    ...SNIP
    I'm confused. The NRA is a Pro-gun organization? Since when?
    Yes you are!


    Besides being patently false in premise, this kind of comment is why the antis will eventually win. This remark divides the pro rights community and serves no purpose except to help the antis, at a time when we all need to be working together as a united front.


    Since when?

    Since before your father was glint in you grandfathers eye. Where were you in the 40's, 50's, 60's when the fight started? Did you join the NRA to help form their positions back then? The NRA is not roundlyhated in anti-gun rights circles because they support the anti firearms rights agenda. There is no question that they have made some compromises in the fight, but they have been in the fight for a long time, and they Will be for a long time to come. Had they not been there we would all have been disarmed a long time ago.

    If you don't like their position on the issues, then get off the Internet and start working to change their positions so they are more to your liking.


    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    Hawkflyer wrote:
    If you don't like their position on the issues, then get off the Internet and start working to change their positions so they are more to your liking.
    It's already being done by grass roots organizations, like VCDL here in VA and other grass roots organizaitions in other states. I have many of the same concerns regarding the NRA/ILA. They did everything possible to stop the Heller case from moving forward, following the murders at Virginia Tech they struck a secret deal with anti-gun members of Congress while claiming to represent the interests of the very Americans they were sell out, and anytime it's time to make a stand they compromise. In short, if the issue were ever resolved they might have to get real jobs. That's why the NRA has come to mean "Negotiate Rights Away".



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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    AWDstylez wrote:
    ^ I would definitely participate in charitable activities.

    Very similar to this topic: http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum65/20681.html

    And my response would be the same.¬* I'm glad you recognize the need to distance the pro-gun community from the redneck, rapture-right wacko stereotype.¬* That's the only way this cause has any hope.¬* The general public is shocked to learn that anyone educated, clean-cut, or, for lack of a better word, NORMAL, owns and carries¬* guns.¬* I've been beating this idea in peoples' heads since I joined this board and everyone just gets offended because they're "rednecks and proud of it" and I'm just a bitter "yankee".¬* But that's just the reality of this separation problem.¬* All stereotypes exist for a reason and this one is no except.¬* Much (although I don't believe a majority) of the pro-gun community is a bunch of rapture-right wack jobs, just spend ten minutes reading this board.¬* If you haven't noticed, it's the extremists in every group that get the most attention and media play time, and this group is no different.¬* It makes us all look bad and it perpetuates the harmful stereotype that is used against us by the anti's.¬*

    The Brady Campaign is all for the safety of children and LE.... big surprise... SO ARE WE!¬* That's the bottom line that needs to be pushed.¬* But when you have a bunch of nut jobs that want to push felons' rights and nuke ownership for all, it just hurts the entire group's credibility.¬* You can't push completely unrestricted ownership of any weapon used by the military when we still have states with bans on semi-auto rifles.¬* One step at a time.¬* Gun rights were taken away slowly and they will be restored slowly.¬* Pushing for all-at-once and in-your-face measures just pisses people off.

    I can't change the rapture-right nut cases, but I can make a difference myself.¬* If each one of us just take the time to invite at least one gun virgin to the range, it'd make a big difference.¬* So far two of my previously non gun loving¬*friends have gotten their CCW permits, one more is working on his.¬* My girl friend was very anti-gun and even scared of them when I met her, now she goes shooting with me routinely and even has her own SIG.¬* I also have¬*another friend from school that never even¬*touched a gun¬*that will be going shooting with us next week.

    We might not be able to change the nut-jobs, but we can each make a difference ourselves.¬* And there are a lot of us normal gun owners out there.¬* We just need to get off our asses and educate the general public because no one is going to do it for us.
    +1

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    AWDstylez wrote:
    But when you have a bunch of nut jobs that want to push felons' rights and nuke ownership for all, it just hurts the entire group's credibility.¬* You can't push completely unrestricted ownership of any weapon used by the military when we still have states with bans on semi-auto rifles.
    Except for this. Nuke ownership is used as a rhetorical device. Nobody seriously wants to legalize nukes when we can't even buy the best rifles.

    And restoring rights to felons just so happens to be an issue you yourself disagree with. However, it's not a "fringe" issue. I know obscene numbers of liberals here in SF who think that felons should not lose rights once they are admitted back into society. In fact, it may be a way to bring some of them into the fold.

    Anyone who respects civil rights wants ex-felons to have compete (or nearly complete) civil rights. A great number of these folks consider themselves "liberals". I know, I am one.

    Showing them that gun owners can think this way too instead of being fear-mongering "castrate all sex offenders" whackos might help bring some of them over to our side, so to speak.

    AWDstylez, you may consider me an "extremist" but the rest of the world doesn't exactly agree with yourself either.

    For a long time, taking rights from felons wasn't a part of the left's "common sense gun control" but was a result of the right's "criminals all need to be shot" mentality.

    In fact, the history goes all the way back to Jim Crow laws in the south. Since all blacks were considered potential felons, all that was needed was to disenfranchise and disarm felons and you can remove all black rights. That's a liberal cause, isn't it? :quirky

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    "Suppose gun owners and carriers started holding shooting contest with proceeds from entry fees going to charitable causes? Could we hold "Toy Shoots", or "Food Shoots"? Are we doing any of this already and I'm not aware? Can anyone think of anything else we might could do?"

    This is an interesting idea and I don't see why it wouldn't work. To adapt the catch phrases as you tried to I came up with one, "Shots for Tots" A shooting contest that would raise money for charities that provide money to unfortunate kids who have no health insurance and need their immunization shots.

    Vendors from the firearm manufacturers, accessory dealers and pro gun organizations could set up booths and hand out literature, sell accessories and that sort of stuff to attract people as well. they would pay a "booth Fee" that would go to the charity.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    FoGKeebler wrote:
    "Shots for Tots"
    Oh, no no no no no no no. This can't work. Think of what the Brady Bunch would say.

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    marshaul wrote:
    FoGKeebler wrote:
    "Shots for Tots"
    Oh, no no no no no no no. This can't work. Think of what the Brady Bunch would say.
    haha this is true, didn't even think about the Brady Bunch. maybe some rewording is needed.

    Then again. when have we coward to something they didn't like?:shock:

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Well, good point. But I still think a less ambiguous name is a good idea.

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    I believe you are right.

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    Hawkflyer wrote:
    yale wrote:
    ...SNIP
    I'm confused. The NRA is a Pro-gun organization? Since when?
    Yes you are!


    Besides being patently false in premise, this kind of comment is why the antis will eventually win. This remark divides the pro rights community and serves no purpose except to help the antis, at a time when we all need to be working together as a united front.


    Since when?

    Since before your father was glint in you grandfathers eye. Where were you in the 40's, 50's, 60's when the fight started? Did you join the NRA to help form their positions back then? The NRA is not roundlyhated in anti-gun rights circles because they support the anti firearms rights agenda. There is no question that they have made some compromises in the fight, but they have been in the fight for a long time, and they Will be for a long time to come. Had they not been there we would all have been disarmed a long time ago.

    If you don't like their position on the issues, then get off the Internet and start working to change their positions so they are more to your liking.

    Years ago, the NRA had a program called "I'm the NRA" and they would have advertisments in magazines etc. showing average looking people showing their support for gun owners. They attempted to reach grass roots support with programs like Eddie Eagle and worked with police agencies across the nation. In the mid to late 1980's, there was a fundamental shift in how the NRA ran. The NRA started to focus more on the "legislative" process buying support of congressmen and having "rock stars" etc. on their board instead of medal of honor winners and the like. They built their 50 million dollar palace in the early 1990's and by then they were pretty much co-opted into the washington crowd and way of doing business. Now comes the reality, across this country a way of life is changing. Gun violence is at an all time high and the anti's pretty much control the media which holds the pulse of the country. Eveytime some idiot pops off somewhere, we lose support. Gun legislation is a reality, you can howl all you want but even the recent SCOTUS ruling on DC reaffirmed the right to "reasonable restrictions". Every 30 years or so there has been some form of "major" gun legislation - 1930's, 1960's, 1990's. It's never going to end, it will always be there. If we can't shake the image of ignorant gun-toting rednecks who allow their children to be killed recklessly- we'll lose the battle. Most people are afraid of guns because they don't understand them. It's up to us to figure out how to change that and make them understand that we're just average joes - not rock stars who scream in their face and curse their ignorance - who are following a tradition.

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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    marshaul wrote:
    ...SNIP
    In fact, the history goes all the way back to Jim Crow laws in the south. Since all blacks were considered potential felons, all that was needed was to disenfranchise and disarm felons and you can remove all black rights. That's a liberal cause, isn't it? :quirky
    Actually it was the Democrat party that historically suppressed the rights of southern blacks. Until recent history, the Democrat party ran the south and in fact did not have Black civil rights (or any other civil right) as a major party platform.

    While I don't usually define conservative and liberal as Republican and Democrat respectively, most people do. So Civil rights is not really a Liberal ideal.
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    The fact that in years since the Republican party has become "right" and the Democratic "left" does not change the fact that Jim Crow laws were "conservative" rather than "liberal".

    Remember The Election of 1968?

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Hawkflyer wrote:
    So Civil rights is not really a Liberal ideal.
    Actually, by any historical reading it sure as hell is.

    Only in America where silly progressives co-opted the term "liberal" does liberal actually mean "illiberal" in common parlance.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Besides, isn't it right-wingers on sites like this who spew unmitigated vitriol towards the ACLU, despite the fact that they do good work protecting civil liberties (except of course the RKBA)? Isn't the ACLU supposed to be commie and leftist?

    The ACLU has supported restoring voting rights to felons. Virginia (a former slave state) is one of the few places where felons are not automatically restored their right to vote.

    It's a liberal issue. AWDstylez is merely illiberal.

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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    redlegagent wrote:
    ...SNIP
    Years ago, the NRA had a program called "I'm the NRA" and they would have advertisments in magazines etc. showing average looking people showing their support for gun owners. They attempted to reach grass roots support with programs like Eddie Eagle and worked with police agencies across the nation. In the mid to late 1980's, there was a fundamental shift in how the NRA ran. The NRA started to focus more on the "legislative" process buying support of congressmen and having "rock stars" etc. on their board instead of medal of honor winners and the like. They built their 50 million dollar palace in the early 1990's and by then they were pretty much co-opted into the washington crowd and way of doing business. Now comes the reality, across this country a way of life is changing. Gun violence is at an all time high and the anti's pretty much control the media which holds the pulse of the country. Eveytime some idiot pops off somewhere, we lose support. Gun legislation is a reality, you can howl all you want but even the recent SCOTUS ruling on DC reaffirmed the right to "reasonable restrictions". Every 30 years or so there has been some form of "major" gun legislation - 1930's, 1960's, 1990's. It's never going to end, it will always be there. If we can't shake the image of ignorant gun-toting rednecks who allow their children to be killed recklessly- we'll lose the battle. Most people are afraid of guns because they don't understand them. It's up to us to figure out how to change that and make them understand that we're just average joes - not rock stars who scream in their face and curse their ignorance - who are following a tradition.

    I agree that change needs to occur. But I do not believe that change should be the marginalization or isolation of an organization that has been engaged for longer than we have all been alive. I also fail to see the value in separating into small warring groups and factions.

    I am well aware of when the transitions occurred in the NRA. In the 50's the organization was primarily big name hunters like Wally Tabor. In the 60s it was Lawmen, mostly border patrol, like Elmer Keith and his pals. Then it shifted to former military like Joe Voss, and Finally to the actors like Charlton Heston. But the fact is that none of those shifts were without internal controversy, and each time a change occurred, it occurred from within. The NRA/ILA was formed in response to the GCA of 1968. At that time the NRA was the ONLY serious voice of opposition to that law.


    So if you don't like what the NRA is doing, get in there and work to change it. It is much easier to criticize that it is to help. I think it is VERY counterproductive to berate any organization that is on our side in this fight. No corporate entity care what anyone thinks, but the members do. The fastest way to lose the support of one part of the shooting community is to gore their particular sacred coworganization.

    I realize that my concept of a united front against the anti rights people is not shared by everyone. Many here think they can simply blow off people who are less strident than they are. In my view people like that are actually anti-rights, because they are fracturing our unified support and allowing the antis to win by sheer force of numbers.

    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    marshaul wrote:
    Besides, isn't it right-wingers on sites like this who spew unmitigated vitriol towards the ACLU, despite the fact that they do good work protecting civil liberties (except of course the RKBA)? Isn't the ACLU supposed to be commie and leftist?

    The ACLU has supported restoring voting rights to felons. Virginia (a former slave state) is one of the few places where felons are not automatically restored their right to vote.

    It's a liberal issue. AWDstylez is merely illiberal.

    Since the context of the discussion does not include Russia or China, we should use the term "Liberal" in the context in common usage in the united states, and that would beliberal=Democrat.

    You need to calm down a bit, I have never made any comments about the ACLU one way or the other, and last I looked we were not talking about them.


    Obviously you were not here in the 50s and early 60s. We were talking about the "Solid South" (that would be a Democrat south), that came aboutafter the War Between the States. That would be folks like George Wallace, and the Selma Al Sheriff hosing down black peace marchers, and southernDemocratlegislatures passing Jim Crow laws. The list goes on, but I guess the point is that you read a very different history than the rest of us lived through.

    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

  22. #22
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    I'm quite calm.

    When did I say the Republican party was behind Jim Crow laws? Go ahead, find the quote.

    My reference to the election of 1968 was a reference to the end of the "solid south". When Nixon ended the Solid South, the Republican party became "conservative". Lincoln (the first Republican president) was no conservative. During the civil war the Republican party was the party of both "liberals" and proto-progressives. The Democratic party was the conservative party of the south during and immediately after the Civil War.

    Hence my assertion that Jim Crow laws are conservative rather than liberal.

    Maybe you need to clarify your terminology rather than challenging my history.

    Edit: Oh, I brought up the ACLU just to further my point that the modern right doesn't give a hoot about civil rights, except those few who can see that disarming ex-felons affects their precious second amendment "only civil right that matters".

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Hawkflyer wrote:
    Since the context of the discussion does not include Russia or China, we should use the term "Liberal" in the context in common usage in the united states, and that would be¬*liberal=Democrat.
    Whatever. Words mean things. "Liberal" already has a meaning, and it certainly doesn't describe the Democratic Party.

    And even if it were true that today "Liberal" is exactly equivalent to "Democrat", this was not true during and after the Civil War.

    "Liberal" didn't acquire its current (mis)use in America until the progressives co-opted it to distance themselves from Teddy Roosevelt during the campaign to elect FDR.

    So it really makes so sense to call the Democratic Party of the Jim Crow era "liberal".

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    marshaul wrote:
    FoGKeebler wrote:
    "Shots for Tots"
    Oh, no no no no no no no. This can't work. Think of what the Brady Bunch would say.
    On Target For Children Child Protective Services

    Aim For Child Safety Saving Lives - One child at a Time

    Protect the Children

    Defending Our Future

    Life, Liberty & our Children

    There is room for a lot more ideas.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.Ē Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  25. #25
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Grapeshot wrote:
    On Target For Children
    Still no good.

    Actually, this is kind of fun.

    "Take aim at childen!"

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