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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

battle rifle book 15 ( article 2 of 2 today )


BATTLE RIFLE BOOK 15 ( article 2 of 2 today )
Iron Or Glass
I’m not a very good shooter.  With practice I’m average.  Putting a scope on a rifle, for me, just doesn’t help all that much ( except on a rimfire-really, I have no business stocking anything else for the apocalypse ).  I’m better off trying to stay at a hundred yards.  At 200 yards, I’m flipping a coin if I’m wasting a shot or not.  With or without a scope.  Yes, I COULD improve on that with a lot of practice.  I just think I’d reverse the Pareto Rule and get only a 20% increase for 80% more of the cost and expense.
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I’m not great at math, either.  So I avoid engineering.  As I’ll do my best to avoid the battlefield.  However, what about those far more talented than myself?  Would you be better off with iron sites or with scopes.  After all, even though a scope is fragile, if it saves you from wasting ammunition it is worth stocking extras to replace the broken ones?  The two more common cited reasons to NOT scope is that iron sites don’t break and when scopes do break you are on a mission and that is compromised, plus, second, technology reliance.
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I can’t argue with the first one, especially since no matter what mission I’m on I look at my most critical mission as being to stay alive, so an un-aimed long gun does go against that.  The second one I’m not so supportive of.  Guns themselves are reliance on technology that will soon be obsolete ( just like our reliance on artificial fertilizers-it is old tech, but tech nonetheless ). What is the harm in one tech to improve another tech?  It is like being worried about batteries but still needing a solar panel.
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Then there are two big arguments in favor of scopes.  As stated, you waste less ammunition.  Unless Lady Luck is a syphilitic whore that day, odds are your scope lasts longer than the ammo you saved ( in today’s dollar terms ).  Towards the end, as ammo is all but gone, those scopes take on far more value.  Another value of scopes is that they can help older eyes see far better.  Me?  I need to take off my glasses to use the scope, so it seems to be a wash.  So, I see value in half of the pros and cons.
*
You don’t waste ammo with scopes but you aren’t as vulnerable with iron.  Which is better?  I think it depends of your terrain.  Are you in close contact or at distance?  It also depends on your weapon.  I see little reason to scope a mass volley weapon.  And please do not over inflate your abilities.  If you just aren’t all that great a shot, does glass help or is it worthless?  My choice is scopes for rimfire and iron for everything else.  But a lot of that is budget.  I can only afford the cheaper scopes.
*
I should amend that.  I could afford a VERY expensive scope, but my budget priorities place weapons near the bottom.  I’d rather put my limited spending elsewhere ( I could use my saving for guns, but place more importance on actual savings ). Plus, why would I be wasting the money, again?  Now, I understand about ACOG’s and other electric glass scopes ( or simply e-sites ).  I’m sold on their abilities.  I simple cannot justify them for frugal survivalist budgets, NOR on them being close to impossible to stock deep.  Big difference between a $30 scope and a $300 ACOG.
*
I think rimfire deserve scopes, because a $20 scope will suffice.  The replacement factor is easily handled.  There won’t be recoil damage.  Does this scale up to an AR?  You can replace $50 scopes ( you might even be able to use the $20 units on an AR because of less recoil ) fairly easy although you won’t be able to deep stock such as with the rimfire.  And I’m of the mind that scoping the AR might actually help you waste less ammunition as you’ll treat the weapon as a marksman rather that a machinegunner.
*
Yet, there are also those that say, “learn your iron first.  If you don’t master those fundamentals a scope won’t do you any good”.  If you get to be that good, will you even need scopes?  Well, probably, because you can extend your range closer to the rounds capability.  More range means less chance you get rounds returned anywhere close to you.  If you accidentally drop a gun and bust a scope, and you are 500 yards away, odds are good you just walk away calmly and go to where you can fix it. 
*
But are you a 500 yard shooter?  I would wager most of us are not.  I think a scope, for most of us with OTHER than rimfire, is going to be a waste.  Mostly.  I think the reason most hunting rifles come with scopes ( which are usually used in woods ) is to help people who simply don’t practice.  And I don’t think the terms “prepper” and “don’t practice” really go together.  If anything, ya’all are pretty gay with the amount of shooting you do.  Iron sites should be all that you need, as long as you are realistic about range.
*
Doing without a scope just reduces complexity and simplifies logistics.  It removes a system that can fail.  It makes you less prone to problems in the field when you least need them.  It diminishes stress, in an already stressful combat environment.  If you’ve used the ammunition to practice, during a time when you could replace that ammo, foregoing a scope shouldn’t cost you any extra rounds. Again, if you know your limitations on range ( just as I know my limitations on accuracy and hence don’t need the scope anyway ).  Now, why is rimfire any different?
*
First off, I absolutely DETEST the idea of a rimfire for hunting.  Or practice.  I don’t care if you have ten thousand rounds.  You are still wasting it.  There is ONE role for a rimfire while you are still running “real” guns, and that is for sniping and ambushing using an improvised silencer.  Otherwise, it is a Forever Gun.  Odds are good once you get around to using your rimfire, you or your descendants, everyone else is using non-chemical explosive weapons.  You have far greater range than they, even if you don’t now ( yes, there is the longbow-but most archers won’t be able to use them well at range ).
*
Having a scope on a rimfire makes you the post-firearm post-apocalypse master sniper.  And they are a mere $20 each, so you can buy ten of them before it matches the price of your gun ( make sure to have those extra mounts, also ).  If you buy the ammo before it is jacked back up in price, you can have more than you’d ever use up in a couple of lifetimes ( in the sniper role ).  Twenty thousand rounds, two good quality bolt rimfires, twenty scopes and a half dozen mounts, even throw in a bore snake, and you’ve spend less than a designer AR-15 with no accessories.  Or Ammo.  Or mags.
( .Y. )
( today's related link here )
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42 comments:

  1. Solid reporting, Jim. All of your power point presentation topics are accurate and applicable to the "frugal preppers". I was fortunate to have traveled the road already with high powered scoped precision rifles, scoped hunting rifles, scoped rimfire, red dot and halographic sighted assault rifles, and iron sighted rifles of many types. They are mostly for a specific, not a broad multi category of intended usage. A Minion should just grab the rack military patterned rifle with it's original engineered and installed iron sights, as they flee out the back door with go bags, from the seiged house that is soon to be engulfed in flames like a Davidian compound. Austerity and post apocalypse rules will quickly dictate what sporting equipment is acceptable and will actually protect you.

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    1. Apocalypse OJT training. Headmaster Darwin presiding.

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  2. Yeah. Have rifles with factory sights still retained, installed. Then if one wants to dink around with optical enhancements to their poor skills or geezer eyesight, they at least have a fall back option. Higher positioned see through scope mounts allow a dual usage of the scope and iron sights on some rifle types. Have a quick disconnect and return to (reasonable) zero mounting set up. This can allow removal of a failed scope or change your equipment pre or mid mission as necessary. The sandal wearing goat herder seems to do o.k. keeping empires out of his A.O. with iron sighted last century rifles.

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    1. I'm sure there will come a time, shortly, when all the experts start yammering about how a ACOG is now the bare minimum requirement. The FLIR notion died from economics, but there is still hope for the new "must have" optic to be considered mandatory. Just like a light weight rifle and 300 rounds ammo are considered. Sigh. As if Uncle Sammy really cares about his troops.

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    2. Oh, did someone say FLIR??????

      Geezer eyesight here. With a scope, I can hit most things out to 200-300 yards, and I'd have to practice a lot more to hit 'em farther out. Without a scope, I'm a squintin'.

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    3. I'm sorry . . . was that . . . TRIGGERING?

      (Never made that joke when talking about guns.)

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  3. "But are you a 500 yard shooter?"

    Excellent point. 100 meters is easy enough. 500 meters?

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  4. I suppose that I’ll be the minion to play devils advocate here Jim. But I would think that a scope would be more optional for a 75 yard gun? Yes, I know that you can shoot a .22 at greater distances of 100 yards and beyond. But generally this requires a non-stock barrel to do so with any kind of accuracy, and as I recall, a .22 drops around 10” at 100 yards. So in everyday terms, and among everyday people, the .22 is, in more practical terms, about a 75 yard gun. And I would suggest that most people, even terrible shots, could probably put a .22 into a human sized torso at 75 yards, with even a little practice.

    Though perhaps I’m missing something here, and perhaps you are referring to “shooting the eye out of a communist at 100 yards” kind of accuracy :D Or maybe your eyesight is worse than I realize. If I misunderstood, then disregard my input.

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    1. I was thinking to try to max your range with the 22. Just for safety sake, if possible.

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    2. I got my wife a Marlin 980 a number of years ago with a 4 power scope. It will shoot a 2 to 3" group at 100 yards all day long off a bench. That is with Aquila std velocity ammo that is just about as cheap as anything nowadays. The drop is not 10" at 100 yards because it shoots about 1.5 inch high at 50 ft with the 100 yard zero. I have a Neil Waltz hollow point tool that makes rabbits jump up when hit and they are dead right there with the Aquila round. This rig might not shout out the eye but it will for sure give me a head shot at that range.

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    3. Remember that the animals often used with a rimfire are small, sometimes REALLY small, so demand a precision hit to be effective. Scopes offer that.

      Scopes on hunting rifles - well, if you often shoot in cover, the scope is needed for finding clear avenues for the bullet to go through. So if the cover is thick, then a scope helps. If open country and range is short, a red dot sight will work great. If your rifle's chambering is for a short range (<200 yards) usage, then a red dot could work. Especially for dawn / twilight hours. If the dot is too big, long distance shooting with a red dot is tougher. Some use the top (12 o'clock) of the red dot as an aiming point.

      Good post Mr. Dakin.

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    4. Steve-head shots are good. Even a glancing skull shot will still keep him busy bleeding and distracted.

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    5. re:
      Scalp wounds

      Expect enormous amounts of bodily fluids.
      Distracting because you think you'll die from blood loss.
      Doubly-distracting since all your clothing is drenched and soppy. And sticky and coppery.

      Add some zombie make-up while moaning occasionally, and you're all set to shamble with the rambling hordes.

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  5. The military issue ACOG is $1300.

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  6. ACOG's are $800-1300+, not $300, otherwise I'd have one!

    I do not recommend the elevated scope mounts that allow you to see the iron sights underneath. You want your head and the optic as low to the barrel as possible. Not only does this make point of aim/impact closer together, but when you're firing over the top of cover (a dirt berm), it exposes less of your head to the guy shooting at you. They also make the gun top heavy, and more likely to torque against your grip when carrying it, increasing fatigue. Consider in your mind the height of elevated sights on your iron-sighted rifle. Say a lever-action .30-30, with the sights mounted directly onto the barrel, compared to an AR, with the sights about 2" above the barrel. You're exposing at least 1-1/2" more of your head.

    I consider myself to be a good rifle shot and have good vision. Sometimes, when sighting in the rifle sights, and then mounting a scope, my group will tighten up by 100%, just because I have a finer aiming point. Sometimes it doesn't improve it that much, but there's always a noticeable improvement. The main problem with not having a scope, is proper target identification. If a hostile is laying in the grass, he may appear to be a rock or something else at distance, and only properly identified and the threat confirmed or denied once the enhanced vision of a scope is used. One potential problem of using a scope to scan the environment is that someone may be watching you while you're scanning with the scope, and shoot you because they feel threatened by you, even if you were only "just looking." The way to get around this is to scan your environment with binoculars, and only aim the rifle when a proper target is identified. I recommend your rifle have iron sights, with quick-release optics mounted as close to the barrel as possible in case the optics become inoperable. The idea is if the optics are damaged somehow, you can undo the quick-release lever and have a functioning sighting system again in 5-10 seconds with no tools needed.

    For a rimfire "sniper" scope, I like this one...
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1019894967/nikon-p-tactical-rimfire-rifle-scope-2-7x-32-matte
    Peace out

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    1. I must be mis-labeling the generic ACOG. There were a couple of YouTube vids that rated it highly. I remember the $300 price, but I can't remember the name of it or the video and can't find it again.

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    2. Okay, here it is-I found my note. I could be wrong on this being a generic ACOG. The ACSS scope.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OksBIvXvSoI

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    3. I spend inordinate amount of time and brain power on firearms. Being in Dingoland we're restricted in our choices.

      I just keep coming back to the Marlin 336 in 30-30. It just ticks all the boxes.

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    4. The Primary Arms ACSS scopes are pretty good. The only problem is that you're punished with a weight penalty for the lower cost. Significantly heavier than say a Leupold for a similar scope. Weight penalty is no problem for a rifle intended for use in a fixed position. Walking around, it is a problem.
      Peace out

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    5. Dingo-as long as it is right for you, doesn't matter if it isn't for anyone else ( cough, Enfield, cough ).
      *
      7:16-although, better a weight penalty than a $1,000 penalty. You can shuck other weight, if this system really increases your performance. Me, I think it is too much tech to go wrong, at too high of a price. But others swear by them, so...

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    6. Dingo- the 336 Marlin also has the huge advantage of shoot one ,reload one without opening the breech.
      Even tho I own semi black rifles...I've also got two 336's for dependable backups once the poodle shooters fail.

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    7. Ah, black plastic poodle shooters. The awesome weapons system used to lose all our wars. No correlation, I'm sure.

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  7. I have a cheap scope ($50 or less) and back up iron sights (factory with see through mounts or $20 or less after market) on most of my rifles. It's the best of both worlds while still being frugal. I have one rifle and one shot gun that came with better scopes already attached as their only optic but the rest are all cheap and work just fine.

    I don't buy the whole "you need a $200+ scope or you're throwing your money away" line.
    Even a Tasco will hold zero if you don't smack it around too much. I have taken my guns in the woods, to the range and carried on my person and I've never hit one so hard it lost zero or dropped it in the mud. Don't abuse your life saving tool and it will serve you well.

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  8. "I need to take off my glasses to use the scope..."

    OK, let me ask a question that I hope you are not offended by - did you know that you can adjust the ocular (back or "diopter") end of a scope to provide some degree of vision correction to keep the reticle in focus? (I used scopes for almost twenty years before I realized this, so if the answer is "no" please know that I was in that group as well).
    I had cataract surgery a few years back and had my vision corrected for distance only (eyes are fixed in the "farsighted" mode since the plastic lenses don't flex like original organic ones) and now need reading glasses for anything up close, like a scope reticle. I learned how to adjust the oculars on my scopes to account for that. Here's one technique for doing this that I found useful: http://thebiggamehuntingblog.com/how-to-sight-in-a-rifle/

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    1. No, I'm going to say this is a new one on me. I'll check out the link. Thank you.

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    2. Good point on adjustment of the scope to your eye.
      On my target compound bow which has a 4x scope, I also have a corrected peep sight which allows both the reticle and Target to be in focus.
      With this setup, I can shoot an arrow up a knats ass removing hemorrhoids at one hundred yards heh heh.
      Your expectations may vary...

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  9. I have found peeps to be very good on .22LR for realistic sub-100Yard shooting, like Techsights. Peeps are a big improvement over Ruger factory 10-22 sights. For "hunting" with a .22LR, I would like to be 15 yards from the critter so that I can put the bullet right behind the eye or in the eye if the critter is looking my way. I have a 3x9x40 on one 10-22 and it lets me shoot 2 per second and hit the same spot (an inch at 150'!) over and over through a whole 25 round mag. This is not a long-term shooting survival strategy, just an ammo-wasting gimmick that verges on mis-training. On the .30 bolt-action, at over 200M, a scope is GREAT, allowing precise aim and assessment of the hit. My favorite "cheap" scope is a fixed-10x 40mm by Bushnell sold as a Tactical Sniper (that name should be only on $1500+ models with NSN's) mildot, but it is a fixed magnification and was the most I wanted to spend at ~$200 delivered. Less complexity when compared to the 3x12 zoom models seemed good, and that it seemed to be bright and sharp compared to the same price zooms (not the $1500+ models, which are sharp & bright). It was a $300 rifle in 1998, so i didn't want to go nutz on the scope. I'm probably not going to ever trust myself to shoot past 500M, so a $2K system (which seems to be considered "budget") is not worth while. More $0.55 each by-the-case ammo instead.
    Have minions noticed that .22LR in 5000 round cases is down to Two-Point-Seven cents, and you can get M855 for $0.26 each! Cheaper than throwing rocks or reloading. Praise Orange Hair Man and his _R_ Senate for bringing us supreme gridlock! Neckbeard ammo hoarders have gone broke and already have too much ammo they paid full-price for. This can't last.
    pdxr13

    pdxr13

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    1. Everyone along the supply chain has got to be selling at or below cost. Now or never, minions. Seriously.

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  10. MY AR was built with no sights. Then I installed Magpul pop-ups, and a 0-5X variable scope on a quick detach mount. I wear glasses so the scope is mounted far enough away that I can wear my glasses and still see through it. There's a term for this but it is eluding me at the moment. You have to experiment to get it right.

    I disagree with whoever above said the scope should be close to the guns and all the reasons he mentioned are invalid. If you pay close attention, when the scope is mounted low your head naturally must tilt, because your cheek is against the stock, in order to see through scope. Sights too. As your head raises above the stock, your face narrows as it gets to your chin and can therefore move closer to the stock. Since all ammo has trajectory it is imperative that your head and vision be aligned with the horizon. The stock on my AR is adjustable and very narrow at the buffer tube but I still have a 1/2" riser on the mount. Again, trial and error to see what needs done. That 1/2" riser isn't going to get my head shot off any sooner than anybody else's that is sticking it up above that log to shoot.

    When someone says they are no good at something and therefore aren't even willing to try, well, I call that flat out admitted laziness. I'm lazy too, but I'm almost always willing to try. With practice and the right attitude you will succeed 99% of the time. Without either you will fail 100% of the time.

    The problem with technology today is that it has coerced many people into doing "easy" things like watching TV rather than doing "enjoyable" things. Their attitudes have been changed, for the worse.

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    1. I think you are right about that tech drug. I find it too easy to turn on the web, kindle reader or TV. Of course, I've cold turkey'ed before so it is no big deal, but while available it is addicting

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    2. Frankly, all this tech stuff is wearing me out. And I'm barely in it! Couple weeks ago I bought ANOTHER refurbished Dell Windows XP tower just so I can make sure that I can use my 14 year old CAD software in the future. I paid $4k for that software back in 1994 and another $k per year to keep it upgraded but stopped paying that ransom in 2004. Well, it appears that Microsoft joint ventured with AutoCAD and now new computers will not run my old ass software. Effectively these assholes have almost collapsed a big part of my livelihood. If not for the availability of these XP machines I would be out of business. It was purchased on amazon for about $140 shipped, with no extra software on it and it will not be used for online purposes. Just my autocad and related business software.

      Check this out. Before I did anything with that new machine I did a full system back up, just in case. At the end of the back up sequence it asked me to insert a, get this, 1.44 floppy in the A: drive. Right! This thing has a floppy drive. When was the last time you seen one of those? So now I have to find some floppies some where. I only need one but nobody sells one, so I'll have to by a box of 10 or more for about $20.

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    3. If I recall correctly, most of the Amazon floppies all state "discontinued". Like you are buying from a set, dwindling supply. Not sure if other sellers carry them, or other companies still manufacture them. If they did, I'd buy a external drive as I much prefer them to thumb drives ( but not for $2 each when the thumb is $5 ). I like that they are more of a decentralized storage. Of course, CD blanks, so I guess I just hate change that much I'm being nostalgic. Old People Problems :D

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    4. 0x position on my scope is when the cover is left on. How come so dark? D'oh! ;-)

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    5. @GS - "If not for the availability of these XP machines I would be out of business."

      You seem very sharp and tech-savvy so you've probably already done this, but, if not, have you tried running the software in the "Compatibility Mode" for XP on a Win 7 or Win 10 box? If not, here's an article on how to give that a try: https://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/316-compatibility-mode.html
      I write a lot of code for manufacturing test equipment and the shift from 32-bit XP (which I loved - stable and fast enough to do anything I needed it to do) to 64-bit Win 7 broke a lot of my code. The Compatibility Mode option saved my bacon on more than one occasion, keeping my now-obsolete code running long enough for me to rewrite it to run on a 64-bit OS.
      Another option might be to create an XP Virtual Machine on your 64-bit OS PC. (That option didn't work for me since I was doing direct hardware access, but if you're not doing that you may get lucky...)
      In any event, good luck - I feel your pain. Effing Microsoft...

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    6. If it is dark, you need a FLIR :)

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  11. re:
    ancient Windows

    Eugene Oregon == the yuge Goodwill store has a department of refurb laptops and desktops. I see 7 and 10 varieties; I wasn't looking for XP so I couldn't say.

    Flops == they have tubs of new plus gently-thrashed. Popular with students at the Ew around Halloween.

    Eugene also has NextStep computer recycling. They have a repair shop plus a nice cash-n-carry front end.

    * * * * *

    And apparently... Eugene Oregon gained some traction today in the battle against 11-year old goofball punks terrorizing their classmates. No word yet on the amount of Law Enforcement Officials == upon hearing those skeery gun-like explosions inside the school == quickly moving to secure the parking lot... and going home safe at 'end of watch'.

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    1. Next step, all boys get Ridilin ( sp? ) tab injections ( like the several year birth control ). We can't have a brave new world without common sense measures such as this.

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