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Old 02-13-2007, 06:45 AM   #1
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Default More fuel for the Arm or not to Arm discussions

Unpleasant Encounters In The Indian Ocean

http://www.noonsite.com/Members/doina/R2007-02-12-6
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Old 02-13-2007, 07:39 AM   #2
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Interesting stuff. RT
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Old 02-13-2007, 07:45 AM   #3
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Certainly makes one reconsider that Shotgun idea. However, I still think having loads of cigarettes (even if you don't smoke) is a darn good plan.
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Old 02-13-2007, 08:50 AM   #4
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I will no doubt keep a few cartons if cigarets in the ice box when abroad, and plenty of other "junk" to barter and give out as gifts. But personally I'll be damned if I'm going to give them out due to threats or coercion. If these islanders can come up and demand things and you give it to them it will just encourage them to do it to the next guy who floats their way. My solution will be the shotgun in the cockpit (stategically concealed) and the 1911 in the small of my back. In one of the other gun discussions someone said, "Nothing I own is worth killing for" well to my mind, nothing anyone else has is worth dying for... therefor I will not attempt to take other peoples stuff. If I do try however and get shot that is my fault, the same goes for people trying to take anything from me. If they think it's worth dying for they are more than welcome to try and take it.
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Old 02-13-2007, 09:39 AM   #5
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The economics of it all does not make sense.

In the first harrasment event, the skipper estimated it was a craft of about 15 meters.

In the second event it was two vessels with an estimated 12-15 men on each.

In the third event it was a new vessel, with plenty of antennaes and estimated at 30 meters in length.

It seems a lot of people involved with some expensive equipment, spending a fair amount of time, buring up a lot of fuel, and taking great risks by ramming or threatening to ram the target prey.

And they are appeased with cigarettes, alcohol, and t-shirts? Granted they were eyeing the skippers wife, amd making suggestive comments. What kind of stash of cigarettes, alcohol, and t-shirts,

would they expect a common cruiser to carry?

~ ~ ~

I agree with atavist in not giving out anything to appease bullys, and entice them further. And if they think what is ours is worth riskying their life, let them try.

~ ~ ~

I am still in self-debate over Arming or Not. I am leaning to Not Arming because of when do you decide to shoot, and trouble with customs in various countries, but reading such stories make one wonder.

I would be super P.O.'d if anybody intentionally attempted to ram me, even more so if they actually did, or tried to board my vessel, or made suggestions about the females on board.

At what point is one justified in bringing out weapons? Firing a warning shot? Shooting at somebody?

And what if they start shooting back?

~ ~ ~

In my self-debate I am more inclined to arm with improvised devices. Common hardware is on every boat, pumps, springs, hoses, fuel, which customs would not look twice at. Assembled in the correct fashion it can hurl rotten fish, a bag of nails, or become a flame thrower.......

A word of caution though, don't blow yourself up, or start your own boat on fire though.

And don't make it so obvious. If you disconnect the flame thrower fuel hose with a quick disconnect fitting and reroute it to a source of sea water it pass for and work as, a water monitor nozzle for fire fighting. In fact that could be the first serious line of defense, high pressure water, before one changes the liquid source and "lights it up"! [}: )]
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Old 02-13-2007, 10:51 AM   #6
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I'm in definite agreeance on the improvised weapons. I like to drink anyway but figure on keeping at least a case of cheap booze handy for molotov cocktails, light a wick on one of those babies and threaten to throw it in their boat and I'm betting those little fisher men or amateur boat jackers will go look for easier prey.

As for when to display a weapon. I plan to function on basic military ROE (rules of engagment) and meet force with force. The moment I feel threated my 1911 will come to hand or depending on how I have it holstered I may just make it visible. If it's just one guy trying to come on board my inclination would be to either pistol whip or butt stroke him... if it's more than one I'll prepare to use deadly force. If they disregard a warning then they get what's coming. and warning shots are only used when they are at a distance to let them know I am armed. If they are close enough to be a real threat it's no holds bared. And if it ever does come down to using force you'd better believe I'm not going to stick around and wait for customes or the navy to show up... it's weigh anchor and set sail.
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:42 PM   #7
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You will notice that the non-cruisers, mostly, myself included have posted on this while the more experienced have kept silent. I am guessing that piracy, true life threatening piracy, is as rare as the experienced cruisers have said it is. I have also sensed a bit of anti-gun sentiment here too but that is another issue entirely.

The "unpleasant encounter" postings certainly give pause and make you think about what could happen. The reality is that there are trouble spots in the world where this is far more prevalent and these areas can be avoided. IMHO, this is probably the best solution. That doesn't mean that I intend to not be armed. I still think of a firearm as an option to securing your property and defending your life. Its a tool that you can choose to use or not. Thats all.

Regarding the "pirates" mentioned in the postings it would certainly seem that some of them have significant resources in manpower and equipment committed. Some of the incidents do not seem like fishermen hassling targets of opportunity. Lots of men and big boats means they are looking for a larger score than the average cruising boat will provide, unless they plan on taking the whole boat! Thats not going to stop them from boarding a cruiser if they are looking for a quick score. Having a means to defend yourself may deter them since the small score from your boat isn't worth the risk of getting shot. They will save the risk taking for the commercial ships, hopefully.

Regarding weapons of choice I would say a handgun is a poor one. Difficult to aim, relatively low power and when your intended target is close enough for them to be effective then they are too damned close anyway. Many countries really have a bug up their butts about them too. A pump shotgun is a far better idea. Very effective, with the correct ammo decent range and simple to use and aim. Very reliable too. Stay away from semi-automatic shotguns or rifles, again they are often verboten in many countries. A shotgun is far more likely to be seen as a sporting arm or more acceptable for defense. The shotgun can also be progressively loaded with different ammunition. The first rounds can be slugs, good for distance and then buckshot or defense loads if things get nasty up close.

When to use deadly force is, IMHO, a training and intuitive situation. To correctly wield a firearm you should be trained in its use. Not just the basics, a true combat or self defense course. An you need to practice at least a few times a year. The intuitive part is the tough one. When someone is looking to do you harm and you can see them coming your intuition should speak to you. The hair on the back of your neck should stand up. I can't explain it any better. Vigilance should have provided you with enough warning to prepare. When you are threatened you should know it. If you don't or you weren't paying attention then the firearm won't help you anyway.

This is not something to be taken lightly. If you are going to go through the trouble to carry a firearm and deal with all the other issues (customs, etc.) then you need to train for its possible use and be ready to have the option of using it, like the tool that it is.

In a perfect world we wouldn't ever need to worry about these things. If I could choose the perfect solution to repelling a determined boatload of boarders it would be a .30 caliber Browning belt-fed machine gun on a rail mount [}: )]. But I can't get away with that one, for many, many legal reasons. So a shotgun is the best possible compromise.

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Old 02-13-2007, 03:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Converted Post'
Originally posted by rwthomas1

You will notice that the non-cruisers, mostly, myself included have posted on this while the more experienced have kept silent. I am guessing that piracy, true life threatening piracy, is as rare as the experienced cruisers have said it is. I have also sensed a bit of anti-gun sentiment here too but that is another issue entirely.
Hi RT, You are right, and this debate continues to come up. I am against guns myself, despite having been boarded (I've posted it before but the account is at http://www.geocities.com/arkayos/pirates.html .) I've now sailed in all the pirate "hotspots" (Java Sea, Mallaca Straits, Gulf of Aden, between Jamaica and Venezuela and south of Sri Lanka) and I have yet to see anything to change my mind. I do agree with carrying cartons of cigarettes despite not being a smoker - they come in handy with the customs and immigration officials all over the world, and can reduce the time required for check in and check out.

My personal belief is that there are very few real pirate attacks, but they are very heavily publicized, and the threat becomes exaggerated.

A smile, a wave, a few words in the local language, and in extreme circumstances a small gift should be more than enough to please the occasional aggressive fisherman. If you are unlucky enough to meet one of the increasingly rare, heavily armed bad guys (that Nausikaa is chasing) having an improvised flame thrower, a shot gun or even an M16 isn't going to help you. Nothing less than a RPG or LAR's missile is going to discourage them.
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Old 02-13-2007, 06:20 PM   #9
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I am not so concerned about pirates. If I were to believe some reports, my cruising grounds appear virtually littered with water borne desperadoes, armed to the teeth and waiting in every asian bay with evil intent.

What I am concerned about is the prospect of sharing an anchorage with anyone who keeps a 'whipping' pistol tucked in the waistband of his shorts.

Atavist, I realise you have yet to learn to sail (the subject of your first post) and I can only hope that as you become immersed in sailing, and eventually in cruising, you will realise the lifestyle is so completely at odds with confrontation, that you modify your desire for a floating arsenal. Beating up or shooting a local, then fleeing the authorities at 6 knots is not a sound plan!

Popular media sauces up reports of piracy with the same sensational relish as they use for reports of shark or crocodile attacks. Unfortunately it is not until you get out there, that you realise the danger is wildly overstated.

Before I sailed my first ocean voyage in 1995, I was a proponent of carrying weapons. My darling girl threw our rifle overboard, offshore from an Indonesian island (Ambon). I was not impressed at the time, but with hindsight realise it was a good move.

I have no desire to preach gun control, but I live out there, and I hear more about people who are shot during arguments than I hear about successful 'engagements' between the goodies and the baddies.

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Old 02-13-2007, 08:02 PM   #10
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I read about this a lot and I think that it is mostly between USA and non-USA. Having a gun and using it correctly take thought. Lets say that you do pull a shotgun on another boat. If they have a bigger gun, your are sunk "Missing at Sea". One can always find this at sea or even driving a car. Do you carry a gun to go shopping?

What happens if you pull a gun on somebody who is just pulling out a fishing pole? It is far better to be civil, go with others in dangerous waters.
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Old 02-13-2007, 10:48 PM   #11
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Personally, I don't believe in having to prepare offerings to the locals in hopes that they might grant me safe passage, or at least leave me alone which is what I might have expected to begin with. I understand the value of having a few extra T-Shirts, packs of smokes, etc... to expedite paperwork or trade with a local for fresh fish or whatever. We are constantly told NOT to feed the animals for a reason, yet this is exactly what we do. I believe it makes it worse for the next guy.

I totally agree with Auzzee on the fact that a traditional cruiser is one that has chosen a certain life style that doesn't parallel the "Gun in the waistband" ideology. However, again, I am fully under the understanding that boarding a vessel without the captains permission or trying to push the captain aside to gain better access to the captains wife, daughter or electronics should be met with excessive force!!! I have always been on the fence about the Gun on Board dilemma but I can make strong arguments either way.

I have posted on this in the past. Every situation is different. There will never be 2 alike. Any given situation will have a "Cause and Effect" theory behind the outcome.It IS what it IS!

I will never have a desire to travel thru these regions. One reason being that there are many risks in these areas much like backpacking thru Kodiak Island. As I have already stated, you can't die in a barfight if you weren't there to begin with.

Safe Passage to all!

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Old 02-14-2007, 02:18 AM   #12
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Lynx, Actually I do carry a gun to go shopping... I live in rural kentucky... and just last week a couple was car-jacked by three men. The husband was killed out of hand and the wife then abducted raped and killed. Granted this is not a common occurence... but it does happen... even in rural Kentucky. To me I would be doing all of my loved ones a disservice as the protector/provider if i was not prepared 100% of the time to defend them from even the most obscure of risk. I hope to never have to pistol whip a fishermen... but you'd better believe that I'll have that option availalbe if I need it.

However I do totally agree that anyone with a gun should be properly trained... as a former Marine I have had the opportunity to do extensive close quarters battle (CQ, driving and shooting, and counter-ambush training. If I wasn't trained I wouldn't carry a gun. On that note however I wouldn't recommend that anyone who is untrained even carry a knife. If you don't know how to use it, it will just be used against you. Bear spray might be a good option for the totally untrained civilian.
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Old 02-14-2007, 02:34 AM   #13
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Hey Ho - this subject seems to constantly reappear and invariably is raised afresh by those planning to go, rather than those who have gone.

I'm not from the US - but fortunately have met enough of them crsuising the Med to know the stances taken are not just US nationals v the rest.

Practically, 100% of the guys we've met who've travelled far and wide and that's including many US nationals, see the sense in both NOT carrying arms and equally avioding spots where arms might be needed.

Can I suggest we invent a 'I carry a gun' flag that can be hoisted by the few who might carry one? It would at least give the rest of us a chance to move away from them and avoid not just the issues that may arise.

JOHN
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Old 02-14-2007, 02:44 AM   #14
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I guess we'll all just start sailing around SA to get to the Med then.

This was a case presented in which a weapon was used in what I would consider an appropriate manner. I believe the information presented is of value. If those "who have gone" want to ignore the topic...please do.
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Old 02-14-2007, 04:06 AM   #15
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I read this post and those related with great interest.

I took note of what RT stated that mostly non-cruisers were taking part in the discussion to that point. It seems most with cruising experinace side with "not to arm".

As well I noted Lynx’s observation of US verses other than US citizens. Probably no where in the world other than the USA, do people believe in and defend the belief and right to bear arms, and defend oneself, family and property. Our country was founded on that belief and came about because of it. Maybe more guns are owned per capita than anywhere.

Some of the states have a "Make My Day Law", so named for the scene in the Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry movie. The law makes it legal to shoot somebody breaking into your home. The law came about because responsible citizens had enough of “pirate like behavior” forcible entry, robbing, raping, beatings, pilferage and plunder. The law does not make it legal to shoot somebody for ringing you door bell. Visitor or intruder, the intent and entry method is clearly different and identifiable.

dnelson perhaps missed my point about improvised weapons, their lethality, and effectiveness. If I were to build and use a flame thrower, or any other defensive device, the intent would be most serious; the result would eliminate the threat. A US gallon of gasoline has the same explosive power as 88 sticks of dynamite. Common agricultural fertilizer and some petroleum, was used to destroy the building in the Oklahoma City Bombing.

I agree with atavist on being properly trained, be it handling a weapon or improvising those of destruction. He is a Marine, I am a Soldier. I say “is”, not was, because once you are one, you never can go back to not being one. It’s like trying to forget how to ride a bicycle. The concept of building improvised weapons maybe radical. Thinking about it is pre-plannning. Executing it maybe an be an act of desperation, the last recourse; the same as aiming and pulling the trigger. I am not suggesting that is the correct solution. It is an alternative.

If one is being forcefully boarded, should victims offer intruders tea and biscuits while discussing their intentions? "Are you here for the T-shirts?" Should we wait for the rape or beatings to commence before pulling a shotgun?

Though Atavists likes his .45 caliber, “whipping pistol” his first choice is not to use it to shoot, but cold *bad word here* the bad guy. It fits the military doctrine of employing the minimum effective force required to accomplish the mission.

Improvised defensive measures need not be as radical as flame throwers, RPG’s or rail mounted, belt fed, machine guns, weapons of combat and banned everywhere. An aerosol can of anything flammable, hair spray, or cooking oil and a lighter makes a smaller blow torch at close range, effective enough. Nail boards on deck, or mono fishing line trip wires, could foil a petty thief’s attempt to steal your outboard while you sleep below. The trip wire doesn’t have to detonate anything, simply trip the intruder. The fall, the landing, the noise and commotion, will probably take care of itself.

Nail boards? Now that is mean, fighting dirty. You could place one tiny warning sign in the Navajo Language stating “Caution – watch your step – nail boards about the deck”. Or a large bi-lingual sign, "All Trespassers will be Shot". Signs? They know they are wrong by boarding. Bad guys take risks. They prefer easy targets (less risk), with high returns, at a minimum of effort. Targets of oppurtunity, easy prey.

Being pursued by an aggressive craft? Foul his prop. Deploy and drag small cables, medium ropes or nets with small bouys. Install a weak link in the tow lines so when they catch and start wrapping around the shaft, they break free, from your boat.

To Arm or Not to Arm? While unarmed freighters have been targeted by pirates, I have yet to hear of an incident of a pirate attack on a Naval Ship of war, even the smallest of Coast Guard vessels, and even though they have T-Shirts, Spirits, and Cigarettes aboard. Could the weapons aboard or the defensive posture have anything to do with it? There is a good case not to distribute "gifts" upon demand.

I have been in military ground convoys in foreign coutries. The American GI, is a rather friendly sort by nature, despite the fact they are trained to kill if needed and armed to the hilt. GI's will toss portions of there rations to the locals, especially children, as a gesture of caring and friendliness, and to those with less. Though the intentions are well meant, it doesn't take long to train others to become beggars, expect it, even demand it, and make it a way of life. Another good case not to distribute "gifts" on demand. Don't feed the animals!

I am on the fence on this issue, as many others. So why is it debated? There is no clear and definitive answer. The gun laws vary from country to country and even from state to state within the United States.

I am not pursuing the cruising life style to get into confrontations, scuffles, fist fights, or combat. I think being “Street Smart”, avoiding known problems and problem areas, is prudent advice. Everybody knows there is a bad area, in most cities, most anywhere. If you go looking for trouble, you will find it. If one goes crusing un-informed and ill-prepared the results likely will be less than intended, and worse than desired; much like taking on any other endevor in life.
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Old 02-14-2007, 06:38 AM   #16
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The part of this discussion that I find interesting is the attitude of the non-armed to the prospect of having the armed out there with them. Its not just on this board but others too. From my chair the pro-armed are often looked upon as "loose cannons" or marginalized in some way.

Statements such as needing a "flag" to signify if you are packing or not. Or worrying if your harbourmate is packing. The way I see it is anyone willing to shoot another person over an argument is just as likely to do harm in another way. The gun just makes it convenient.

Its a shame that you feel this way about us. 99% of us are good people with no intention of doing you any harm and a sense of responsibility regarding the weapons issue. Maybe this is a distinctly American way of thinking. Could also be that the current state of world affairs and US policies are influencing thoughts about its citizens. I don't think anyone is crazy for not carrying a weapon and I surely don't think any less of them. Its a personal choice, and correctly pursued I don't see why anyone would have a problem with it.

So if you see me in the future at some far flung anchorage feel free to stop by for a drink and a chat. I don't mind folks with different mindsets. Its a big world and we can all get along just fine. RT
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Old 02-14-2007, 06:38 AM   #17
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Na, I think inventing a flag is the perfect solution.

Let's hoist a couple of those on all the US military cruisers in the Med and the Gulf while we are at it.

Sarcasm intended.
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Old 02-14-2007, 07:42 AM   #18
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I agree with you Rob; most cruisers with weapons are good people with peaceful intentions who are discreet and even secretive about the weapon they carry. The decision to shoot, or to not shoot, for them, becomes a matter for personal conscience.

My rifle was consigned to the deep because of the need to declare or break the law. We did not want to break the law and we did not want the bureaucratic hassles associated with the carriage of weapons...and I did not want to be faced with the prospect of deciding whether to shoot or not.

My beef is with the in-your-face, Rambo styled urban warrior types with attitude. These are the people with whom I do not want to share any patch of sea, air, land....or milk bar.

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Old 02-14-2007, 07:58 AM   #19
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RT

No. Man kind has NEVER gotten along "just fine", EVER, in history. Be it food, water, land, oil, politics, religion, possesions, slavery, status, sex, greed, boredom, drunkeness, beliefs, opinions, resources, civil rights, dictatorships run amuck, goals of world domination, mental disorders of the person in power, the perfect solution, peer stupity, or what ever, man is like 10 wet cats in a bag, forever in disagreement over something.

I recall a statement from the time in uniform, circa late 1980's, "At any given time there are 28-32 fighting, shooting wars going on around the globe."

We wish for peace, at least semi-civil relations.

Even the best of marital relationships have differances and issues to resolve or arrive at compromise, sometime. On that note, this past week in our city, there was an evening news story dubed "The Salad Dressing Murder". Seems a 40 something old man stabbed his young 20 something live in girlfriend, over the fact that she served him the wrong salad dressing. He prefered Ranch and was served Italian. Go Figure! They were both drinking.

It's not the fact weapons are available, it's the state of mind of the person employing and when they may be appropriate. Stabbing, automatically one assumes a knife was used. You just did in the above story.

Improvised devices substitutes something else just as or more effective, than guns or knives. Using them does not change when to use them, or why to use them, or the consequences of doing so.

A baseball bat is legal. What one hits with it may not be. A baseball? Sure, that is acceptable. Others property, or people, now it becomes an issue.

I am way to hung up on the debate of "To Arm or Not to Arm", because my core belief is the right to bear arms and defend oneself. While I defend the right TO Arm, personally I lean towards NOT cruising with a gun aboard, because I don't need a gun to defend myself.

EDITED TO ADD:

I totally agree with Aussie's Statement:

We did not want to break the law and we did not want the bureaucratic hassles associated with the carriage of weapons..."

AND EDITED TO ADD:

RT, But yes I do understand your point and intent that we can get along, armed or not.

~ ~ ~

Trim50

New Stencils on the side of Naval Vessesls:

THE SURGEON GENERAL has determined this vessel is fully armed, locked and loaded. Demanding T-Shirts could blow your butt out of the water.

OSHA (**) now requires stencils under all anchors of ships 50 tons and larger:

CAUTION HARD HAT AREA!

Sail with one eye looking up.

AND Listen for the the Clanking of the Chain

** In case anybody does not know, OSHA is The Occupational Saftey and Health Act; An American set of Regulations Governing Safety in the Work Place.
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Old 02-14-2007, 09:18 AM   #20
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Do you think this would raise too many eyebrows with customs agents?

http://www.camo-store.com/auto_assau...at_shotgun.htm

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