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The Obama Economic Boom

We're still more than a month away from Inauguration Day. The US economy and bailout money remain hot topics amongst the chattering classes. Who should Washington bailout next? Is there a single industry left that doesn't merit a bailout when the buzzards are circling?

One American industry, however, is experiencing a pre-inauguration "Obama boom" - firearm manufacturing. Several news outlets have reported on a surge in firearm sales prior to and in particular following the election. Guns sales are up 39% in Illinois (maybe they know something...), Oregon retailers are sold out despite prices for desirable weapons tripling, and the FBI says firearm purchase background checks in the U.S. climbed 49 percent the week of the election, compared to the same week last year. http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/articles/2008/11/27/news/local/doc492a1d567fc11694570365.txt The only reason sales haven't continued at such a frenzied pace is a lack of guns available for sale.

The weapon of choice among firearm hoarders is the Evil Black Rifle aka AR-15, followed closely by the AK-47, M-14, and various high-capacity pistols and/or shotguns. Most AR-15 manufacturers are backordered for weeks, and magazines are likewise unavailable. Americans scrambling to buy AR's and AK's are just paranoid gun nuts though, right? What possible use could anyone have for an "assault rifle" anyway?

How does one define "gun nut"? Is there a threshold number of guns a person must own before he's considered a gun nut? Perhaps they can be defined by their literal interpretation of the Second Amendment? Does ownership of a certain class of firearm qualify a person?

Being a libertarian sort who would likely be considered a gun nut by many folks outside of the great state of Texas, I bristle at those questions. I spend a lot of time in the field during hunting season and have accumulated a few guns through the years. I buy ammunition in bulk, so there's quite a bit of that in the safe as well. I believe the Constitution was written in plain, unambiguous language for a reason. And I'm sure the President Elect would be troubled by some of the weapons I own - despite being a law-abiding citizen who takes firearm safety quite seriously.

So maybe they are "gun nuts". Is there reason to be paranoid?

Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson probably knows Obama's record on gun rights as well as anyone, here's what he had to say:
While a state senator, Obama voted for a bill that would ban nearly every hunting
rifle, shotgun and target rifle owned by Illinois citizens. That same bill
would authorize the state police to raid homes of gun owners to forcibly
confiscate banned guns. Obama supported a bill that would shut down
law-abiding firearm manufacturers including Springfield Armory, Armalite,
Rock River Arms and Les Baer. Obama also voted for a bill that would
prohibit law-abiding citizens from purchasing more than one gun per month.
...
While a state senator, Obama voted 4 times against legislation that would allow a homeowner to use a firearm in defense of home and family.

Obama's record on the Second Amendment is what it is. With a Democrat-controlled Congress - always ready to stick a thumb in the eye of the NRA - it's a pretty safe bet that some sort of legislation restricting firearm sales and ownership will be signed into law. Only a massive backlash ala the most recent immigration bill could forestall it. The likely target, as articulated on Obama's transition website before being scrubbed, will be so-called assault rifles.

So what? Nobody really needs an AR-15. Unless they're in New Orleans post-Katrina. Or in LA after the Rodney King verdict. Or besieged by zombies. How many times will the average American live through one of those scenarios?

Nobody really needs an SUV. Nobody really needs a Rolex. Nobody really needs a summer home in the Hamptons. Nobody really needs 50 inch 1080p flat screen television. Nobody really needs season tickets to watch a favorite sports team. There are a myriad of things a law-abiding citizen doesn't need yet feels compelled to buy in the pursuit of happiness. Unlike the right to bear arms, the items above aren't enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

A person unfamiliar with guns and with no desire to acquire any familiarity will never understand their appeal. Shooting is fun, challenging, and offers some utility - whether it be meat on the table or defense of one's home and family. An "assault rifle" in the hands of a responsible, law-abiding citizen is no more dangerous than an automobile. Just like cruising around town in a souped-up '65 Mustang fastback, "assault rifles" are a heck of a lot of fun.

Only a tiny fraction of the folks who own them hope they ever really need an "assault rifle". Better to have and not need than need and not have. Ask the Mumbai police.

Any firearm, in the hands of responsible and law-abiding citizens, poses no threat. What is at issue and will be hyped are "dangerous" firearms in the hands of criminals. Beyond the obvious fact that laws in and of themselves won't stop a determined criminal - murder is punishable by death in Texas yet criminals still kill in the course of committing torts - how often do criminals use "assault rifles"?

If you guessed less than 1% of all gun crimes you win the prize. Rifles are not used frequently by criminals for a simple reason - one quickly learned by the Mooj in Iraq and Afghanistan - they are difficult to conceal. Walking around carrying a rifle will draw undue attention. Not surprisingly eighty-six percent of gun crimes involve hand guns. If God himself could snap his fingers and make every "assault rifle" in the US disappear tomorrow it would have next to no affect on the rate of homicide.

Why then are "assault rifles" so vilified? To the uninitiated they look scary. They conjure up images of soldiers on the battlefield. They've been tagged with a misleading moniker: "assault rifle" (true assault rifles are selective fire - semi automatic or fully automatic and already tightly regulated by the ATF). What sensible person could object to keeping "military" rifles off the streets?

In short, a perfect camel's nose under the tent for those who wish to restrict Second Amendment rights. Abetted by an enthusiastic media, they will feed the population distortions and outright lies to enact the first step towards their gun-free utopia.

While the automakers and Wall Street are calling on Washington hats-in-hands begging for bailout dollars, America's gun makers are working furiously to respond to customer demand. Booming sales fill their coffers while many industries are hemorrhaging cash. Until our betters in Washington bring down the ban hammer and legislate them into criminals. They won't be rewarded with bailout dollars like the other victims of unintended legislative consequences; they'll be jeered and demonized. And nobody will sleep any safer at night.

What will you do when the zombie apocalypse comes?

By Baron Von Ottomatic


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Comments (28)

Man alive, that's some heav... (Below threshold)

Man alive, that's some heavy-duty firepower. Mine are wimpy by comparison, but they'll do the job if some durfwad tries to enter my home without permission. Done and dusted.

Well it's pretty great that... (Below threshold)
Isaac:

Well it's pretty great that we no longer have habeas corpus. And that the government can imprison and torture us indefinitely without a trial or evidence. Plus they don't even have to tell you what you're crime was. Secret witnesses can testify against you. You can be denied legal counsel. A free trip to that tropical spa at Gitmo can be thrown in as a bonus. Before all that though they'll go in your house and tap your phone without warrants.

Are you happy Bush has these powers? Obama won, are you happy he has these powers?

Our rights got massively swindled by Bush and conservatives actually praised it. Obama wins and it's time to get a gun. Country First, right? Right? Yeesh.

very good write up and so t... (Below threshold)
1903A3:

very good write up and so true.if anyone ever came to my house to "take" my weapons,they better bring a lunch, it could be a long day.

"Well it's pretty great tha... (Below threshold)
Darby:

"Well it's pretty great that we no longer have habeas corpus. "

What? Where is your evidence of this?

"And that the government can imprison and torture us indefinitely without a trial or evidence."

Again... Where is your evidence of this?

"Plus they don't even have to tell you what you're crime was. Secret witnesses can testify against you."

Err... When did this happen again?

"You can be denied legal counsel. A free trip to that tropical spa at Gitmo can be thrown in as a bonus."

I have yet to hear of anything like that happening.

"Before all that though they'll go in your house and tap your phone without warrants."

Okay, I'm really confused, what are you talking about again?


Oh.... I get it, you're talking about the Terrorists being held in Gitmo... Ah, I get it. Well, I'm sure they'll have ALL those rights you just mentioned once they become an American citizen. Not to mention a "legal" combatant on a field of battle.

As for that Wire tapping thing... I hate to burst your bubble, but they wanted to "tap" phone calls coming >IN

I don't generally get calls from terrorists, so I don't think I have anything to worry about.

Besides, since when do I have the right to privacy anyways. I don't know where that right was written, but man, some people got this thing about the "right" to privacy... I got news for ya. It doesn't exist.

We are protect from "unreasonable" search and seizure...

Any SANE individual would say it is "reasonable" to want to know if AQ were calling it's operatives in the US trying to setup it's next attack.

Sometimes I wonder about peoples sanity.

Why then are "assault rifle... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Why then are "assault rifles" so vilified? To the uninitiated they look scary. They conjure up images of soldiers on the battlefield. They've been tagged with a misleading moniker: "assault rifle" (true assault rifles are selective fire - semi automatic or fully automatic and already tightly regulated by the ATF). What sensible person could object to keeping "military" rifles off the streets?

In short, a perfect camel's nose under the tent for those who wish to restrict Second Amendment rights.

As you are surely aware, this is called a slippery slope argument. A close cousin to the ever popular "parade of horribles."

Were this same logic applied to freedom of speech, one could argue they should be able to holler "Fire" in a crowded theatre, advocate the violent overthrow of the government, or open up a sex shop next door to a church. Because those kinds of limitations are the first skid on the slippery slope to taking away our freedom of speech.

Similarly, it could be argued that the requirement to register my car or have it safety inspected are the camel's nose. Soon they won't let me drive at all.

There is no such thing as unrestrained freedom in a civilized nation, even when it comes to our most basic rights.

I don't own a gun and I nev... (Below threshold)
Max DR:

I don't own a gun and I never did. I think now is the time for me to start loooking for a weapon--maybe an assault rifle! The reason is not that Obama and the Dems may abolish AR or rescind our right to bear arms, but the looming instability that is widely predicted in the US.

Given the current economic environment and as the bailout schemes piling up, the US connot keep borrowing money from China and other countries, coz those traditional buyers of US treauries won't have enough disposable money to do that. They need to throw money at their own domestic problems.

Bernanke will keep printing money at will. The US $ will tank as no country would want it or could afford buying more of it. The US $ will no longer be the world's reserve currency. Under Obama, the US will withdraw from WTO and will have no choice but to defaults on its foreign debt. We'll then see famine, wars, riots, assassinations. A pretty scary scenario that will require guns and ammo!
I don't think Obama will have time to think about the 2nd Amendment. His tasks will be so hellish as he will have to deal with the looming economic depression and the usual strife that comes with it. Read this: "Can Obama Survive a Depression?"

http://tinyurl.com/59qs5e

Max Demershed

Very well written, Baron.</... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Very well written, Baron.

After Ike came through Houston and 90% of the city went dark for a number of days, I brought out the guns and had one ready in each room. Nothing happened, but I felt secure none the less. ww

Were this same lo... (Below threshold)
Were this same logic applied to freedom of speech, one could argue they should be able to holler "Fire" in a crowded theatre, advocate the violent overthrow of the government, or open up a sex shop next door to a church. Because those kinds of limitations are the first skid on the slippery slope to taking away our freedom of speech.

Freedom of Speech was so that the people would be free to comment government without fear. This was something that could not be done in England or other countries at the time. There are limits on speech, such as slander and libel but you also notice that those limits are less restrictive for public officials.

A weapon made to look like an AK-47, M-16 or M-4 is not the same as true assault rifle. Those weapons as the author points out are fully automatic where as the one must people can purchase are semi-automatic. Also in different states the magazine capacity is limited. Furthermore convicted felons and those with mental disorders also not allowed to own weapons. So there are a number of reasonable restrictions placed on weapons.

The considerations of slippery slope augments are always valid. American laws are based on precedents so any laws that are established or ruling made will always affect other rulings made which is why case are sighted to make legal arguments

Therefore laws that are purposed have to be looked at with the ultimate intent of the drafters are. There is a very strong anti gun lobby and their goal is to eliminate the use of personal firearms. They seek to accomplish this through the implementation of ever more restrictive gun laws in the ultimate hope of eliminating the people RIGHT to keep and bear arms. They want those laws to come to trail in the hope of establishing new precedents so that other laws can be made that sight them. Also they are effective at shaping public opinion. Such as stating the right to bear arms has only to do with hunting, Though one aspect of it it was not the only one it was for personal defense of persons and property.

That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals;
he Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution, 15 Pages: 13-34
Do you think children shoul... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Do you think children should be allowed to own firearms? Do you think people should be allowed to purchase firearms at gun shows without providing any identification?

The right to bear arms is already abridged, and rightly so. Whether or not assault rifles ought to be available--or any other consideration having to do with restricting one's right to arm oneself--ought to be examined from an actuarial standpoint. In this case it would seem that there's no strong reason to prohibit ownership of these weapons.

hyperbolist <blockqu... (Below threshold)

hyperbolist

Do you think children should be allowed to own firearms?

Well depending on the State you can obtains a firearms licenses as young as age 11 with certain restrictions.

I believe we are both saying reasonable restrictions are fine but the ultimate elimination of the right to bear and keep arms is wrong. Which is what it seems that Sen Obama voted for in Illinois.

Google is your friend knock... (Below threshold)
Isaac:

Google is your friend knock yourself out.

Oh and the phone tapping thing? Unless the terrorists are ordinary Americans engaging in phonesex, the NSA is probably spending way too much time monitoring the wrong phone calls.

All that stuff I said up there is true- again- Google. I just have to shake my head at the people freaking out about Obama being sworn in. I don't want him having those powers any less than I wanted Bush to have them.

Freedom of Speech was so... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Freedom of Speech was so that the people would be free to comment government without fear.... Therefore laws that are purposed have to be looked at with the ultimate intent of the drafters are.

You counter your own argument. There's no mention in the 1st amendment about commenting on the government without fear. However, there is mention in the 2nd amendment about the need for a well-regulated militia. So you're happy to assume unwritten intent to justify abridgment of speech, but you ignore the "ultimate intent" actually written into the 2nd amendment so you can condemn abridgment of gun ownership.

how often do criminals u... (Below threshold)
Brian:

how often do criminals use "assault rifles"? If you guessed less than 1% of all gun crimes you win the prize.

I bet it's even less for shoulder-launched missiles. So those should be legal, eh?

BVO,Good job.... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

BVO,
Good job.

However, there is... (Below threshold)
However, there is mention in the 2nd amendment about the need for a well-regulated militia. So you're happy to assume unwritten intent to justify abridgment of speech, but you ignore the "ultimate intent" actually written into the 2nd amendment so you can condemn abridgment of gun ownership.
The intent of the law makers form the notes taken was to have American keep and bear arms for 1. Protection of self and property and country 2. Hunting 3. and militia

They also stated that there also stated in those that criminals and those would endanger public safety would not be able to have it.

Often time an argument is made that we should only have weapons for hunting as that was the intent (which is not written in the final version) .

As you can see I stated that there were restrictions already in place and my main point was that one does have to evaluate slippery slope statements.

They wanted the militia part because the founders faired a large standing army. By having a large well trained militia they hope to keep the number of members in the standing army small. That being the case then private citizens should be able keep all military grade weapons in their homes.

Brian,At the time ... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Brian,

At the time the contstitution and BoR were written, a 'militia' was considered every law abiding, able bodied adult male. So, as long as you don't change the definition of militia, it is quite apparent what the framers intent was, regardless of your straw man.

As for your second straw man, 'shoulder-launched missles' are not 'arms'. They are munitions.

Weak, Brian. Very weak. As usual.

Well, Sheik, should the *la... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Well, Sheik, should the *launchers* be legal? (No.) The right to bear arms is abridged, and how it ought to be abridged is where reasonable people can debate and disagree with one another. The question of whether or not to abridge it, though, has already been answered--in the affirmative.

hcddbz, I think we do agree, yes. I would hope you also agree that 1) children under a certain age should not be allowed to brandish certain firearms, regardless of who is supervising them; and that 2) some documentation should be required in order to purchase any firearm at gun shows. (Insofar as the right to bear arms already is abridged, there is no reason to have reasonable restrictions such as these.)

Baron, it's already been said but no harm saying it again: nicely written.

hyperbolist,Aren't... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

hyperbolist,

Aren't you Canadian?

Your first statement makes no sense.

The key to your second statement is 'reasonable people'. There are a lot of anti-2nd amendment people who do not qualify as 'reasonable'.

Of course there are some abridgements to the right to bear arms. Most people have no need to carry automatic weapons, for instance.

Oh, and on the gun show issue you keep bringing up, you most certainly do have to show ID and go through the standard waiting period when purchasing a firearm at a gun show from a firearms dealer. I know first hand. A gun sale between two private citizens has no such requirement, whether at a gun show or not.

Brian,I'm not sure w... (Below threshold)
abc:

Brian,
I'm not sure why so many readers like to read first, attack second and think last. I think you've twisted hcddbz's post so that you can be irate about it. He merely showed how the judiciary has limited freedom of speech for the public good, but also how such limitations can alter the original intent of the legislation, creating a slippery slope going from absolute freedom to absolute regulation. And he has a point (despite not knowing the words "cite" and "proposed").

I'm not sure why I bother arguing if you truly believe that the first amendment was not written with an eye toward speech about the government. Both Federalists and anti-federalists alike valued the open discourse they had when writing the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and wanted to preserve that ability, no matter who is in charge, especially in the face of England's restrictive approach to the issue.

While few can argue that the limitations on freedom of speech are not needed (yelling "Fire" in a theater SHOULD remain illegal), the limitations imposed with regard to the second amendment are thus far are more restrictive and less true to the original intent of the amendment (hunting only? the right to bear arms is more closely related to the right to self-defense than providing food/recreation).

The source of that amendment stems from England's feudal times, when subjects were REQUIRED to have weapons with which to defend their King and lords. Years of debate and scholarship, still ongoing, surrounds the question of what the amendment's effect should be (and whether it should evolve along with society). That you seize the argument that best suits you (putting possibly too much emphasis on the much-debated "militia" statement) and ignore other strong positions (such as it being an individual right, as opposed to a right tied to specific activities such as military service) reveals only a lack of understanding of the subject and a willingness to twist facts to your cause.

FYI, there is no correct answer, only positions shunned or embraced by the Supreme Court. Hopefully their stance serves the greater good.

"What will you do when the ... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

"What will you do when the zombie apocalypse comes?"
I'll stop reloading and start using.

I don't think people should... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

I don't think people should be allowed to sell firearms to one another, then, Sheik. Perhaps it's impossible to legally codify this position with regards to the 2nd Amendment, but if I sell you a gun, and you, a person with multiple felonies, uses it to kill people, I would like some of that responsibility to fall upon me.

Wow, some great stuff here ... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

Wow, some great stuff here in the comments.

Isaac, can you tell us the name of a single US citizen who has been treated as you describe? AFAIK, it's only foreign enemy combatants (you know, folks who wage war completely outside the constraints of the Geneva Convention) who are interred at Gitmo.

Bush is a freakin' piker compared to Lincoln and FDR as far as assaults on the Constitution. Google it. Somehow the nation survived their reigns of terror.

As to slippery slopes, gun rights are to the right what abortion is to the left. What seem to be reasonable - nay, morally imperative - restrictions by opponents are considered blasphemous by proponents. People who don't take gun ownership seriously will never understand, just like I can't understand the abortion kerfuffle because I lack a vagina.

I do know that abortions have taken ~30 times as many lives as criminals/idiots with guns since Roe v. Wade. I think it sucks, but again, I'm the libertarian sort who's not particularly inclined to impose my morality on others. Nor am I willing to cede my right to self defense.

Obama voted four times against allowing homeowners the right to defend themselves in their home. Without life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are meaningless.

The key to keeping guns out of the hands of violent criminals is ensuring violent criminals aren't on the streets. Pretty simple. I've got no issue with long sentences for people convicted of gun-related crimes. Keep 'em off the streets and they can't commit further mayhem.

FWIW, that's my solution for DWI too - no penalty just for driving drunk (other than towing the car and sending the perp home in a cab) but big, bad time mandatory sentences for alcohol-related accidents/fatalities.

Actually hyper, if you know... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Actually hyper, if you know someone is a convicted felon, you sell them a firearm which they use to commit murder, and this is discovered by the authorities, then you can be charged and tried as an accessory to the murder. That is the law in Harris County and IIRC all consolidated metropolitan areas of 100,000 population or greater in the United States,

Bah. <a href="http://www.w... (Below threshold)
Linoge Author Profile Page:

Bah. Beat you to it.

The entire "need" argument is a specious one at best. No one should have to demonstrate need for any possession they can legally own, simply because once you start with one possession, you may as well go through all of them.

All that said, I have certainly been doing my part to help out with the Obama Economic Stimulus Package... 3000 rounds of various ammunitions, parts to build an AR-15, and two AR-15 lowers (one to build into the Barack Obama Memorial Black Evil Rifle (otherwise known as "BOMBER"), and one to sell, should another ban-on-guns-that-look-evil come to pass).

Do I need either? Nope. Do I want them? Mostly - if only because some idiots think I should not have them.

I would suggest those who b... (Below threshold)
health educator:

I would suggest those who believe in gun control (otherwise known as Victim Disarmament) read "Death By Gun Control" offered by Jews for The Preservation of Firearms Ownership site (jfpo.org) Their book describes how governments in the 20"th Century massacred hundreds of millions of people by systematically requiring gun registration, followed by gun confiscation, followed by Genocide.
Governments murdered 4 times as many civilians as were killed in international and domestic wars, and millions more than were killed by common criminals. The second amendment is NOT about hunting, but recognizing our God Given Rights to self defense of self and family, and if need be, Country.

Baron,If the 2nd Amm... (Below threshold)
Isaac:

Baron,
If the 2nd Ammendment is infringed upon I'll be standing right there with you against it.

An American who had this used against him? Jose Padilla. You could also look into the vast number of non-terror related citizens who the law has monitored or convicted using the PATRIOT act guidelines.

By the way, I grew up in a house with guns and have no problem with them. I just would like us to agree on some things and say that some of the overreaching laws of the Bush administration are being handed to the Obama administration. So- if people don't want Obama having these powers- maybe we can all get together and stop this nonsense.

And Clinton was the criminal responsible for the Waco fiasco. There you go.
Isaac,
Registered Independent

"Most AR-15 manufacturers a... (Below threshold)
Tim:

"Most AR-15 manufacturers are backordered for weeks,"

Months. Not weeks, months. Some people are being quoted wait times as long as a year.

The media is, predictably, dropping the ball on this and has no real clue as to the scale of what is going on here.

The weekend before the election guys were walking into gunshows and buying AR-15 receivers by the dozen. Within a week or two many of those still avaiable had doubled in price; another week after that, and they started selling for 300, 500, even 800% above normal retail on auction sites.

Magazines are gone. Virtually everyone is backordered for weeks or months on any decent magazines; people were buying them by the case of 100. Military calibers (.45ACP, 9x19mm, .223/5.56mm) are frequently gone from shelves. The list goes on; people are taking this seriously.

And they most certainly are not surrending what they've just dropped all this money on.

Eyelash extensions are an e... (Below threshold)
aaronhyl:

Eyelash extensions are an entirely new method of enhancing the length and thickness of eyelashes.




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