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First off, let me say this.  I don't live in the burbs.  I don't live in a nice, low crime area where nothing ever happens.  I live Here.  

One would think I'd be the first people to want a gun for home defense.

(My reasons on the flip)

Well, obviously I'm afraid of guns!  Well, that would be a no.  I'm a certified Sharpshooter with the U.S. Army.  I have used a variety of weapons throughout my career, and when I was younger I owned a Ruger 10/22 rifle.

I am very aware of exactly how dangerous weapons are, and how completely irreversible the actions of a few seconds are.  If those seconds happen when someone is holding a gun.

I have stuff.  Not much stuff, but stuff.  If someone is going to come into my house and take my stuff, I do not see the need to stop them.  I see the need to take their license plate, their description, and any other memories of the incident to the police.  That's why the police are there.  I do not see the need to pull out a weapon and blast said person.

If someone wants to kill me, I would think that having a weapon close at hand would not be a good thing.  Said person would be at a great advantage if my weapon happened to be close at hand, and they chose to attack me without warning.  A weapon close at hand ensures that at the moment of crisis, that moment can turn deadly.

My kids have been abused.  I have no proof of it.  Merely the fact that the person who I suspect of being complicit was found guilty of other crimes later.  I have had those moments of rage.  I am very glad at those moments, I did not have a gun.

I have children in my home.  I will not own a gun. I would never forgive myself if I allowed them into my home and the common result occurred.

I'm certain there are good reasons for me to own a gun.  But I can't think of a single one of them, especially considering that I lived through a war zone with a gun constantly at my side.  Because this isn't a war zone, and I'm not a soldier anymore.

I don't need a gun.  Only one person has ever died because of me, and that was when I did have a gun.

If you choose to have a weapon, you're choosing to have the ability to kill and you have chosen to allow death a foothold in your life.   Perhaps you're ok with that.

But why are those who want death allowed to drag it into the lives of us all?

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't have a gun (8+ / 0-)

    because I'm pretty sure I'd shoot myself with it some dark night.

    If I do ever buy a gun -- and I might; "go hunting" is still on my Bucket List -- I'll keep it at a shooting club and pick it up when I want to go hunting/shooting.

    Visit Lacking All Conviction, your patch of grey on those too-sunny days.

    by eataTREE on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:01:45 PM PST

    •  Reasonable. (7+ / 0-)

      Seeing as how that's how I imagine if I ever did use one again I'd deal with it.

      But I don't have the need to have it in my home, on my person, etc... etc...  You get the idea.

      I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

      by detroitmechworks on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:05:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What if you lived on a ranch in Montana (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whenwego, greengemini, theboz

      What I'm getting at, is circumstances vary depending on where you live.  Rural areas are not anything like cities or suburbs.  My county has  under 22000 people, total, and 15,000 live within a 5 mile radius around one population center.  There are 2 small incorporated towns of roughly 1500 each, and a couple of unincorporated outliers that have some vacation homes and some full timers.  The county is 2400 square miles with mountains and wilderness, bears, mountain lions and coyotes.  If you lived in a house next to wilderness area, would you own a gun?  Would you keep it so that you could get to it quickly?  Keep in mind that folks out here aren't worried about human predators, it's the 4-legged kind coming to eat your calves, your goats, your cat, or your dog.  And by the way, shotguns aren't good enough when a mountain lion is dragging one of your goats over a fence.

      •  So, you're saying you have a need. (8+ / 0-)

        A need to kill quickly and reliably.

        I'm also assuming that you are a decent shot because there is a need.

        Have at it.  

        Just don't tell me that you need to bring it into town and have it at the bar, church, or wherever.

        I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

        by detroitmechworks on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:40:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't (4+ / 0-)

          In fact, I'll bet that less people are "packing" out here than are packing in Chicago,  on a percentage basis.  During deer season you'll see a rifle in a rack in a pickup, but that's about it.  Really, in the country we are not as afraid of each other as the people in the cities tend to be.  For us, "personal protection" doesn't have much to do with protection from people.

        •  I too have a gun. (12+ / 0-)

          Literally, grandpa's shotgun. But I've had others over the years, a nice .22 rifle with scope and an AK or AR (forget which) for short periods. Never owned a handgun due to children.

          We need a gun where I live on ~26 acres surrounded by state and federal land (hunting land, national forest bear sanctuary). And not for the bears. My driveway's half a mile long, and I have had interlopers show up (no outlet) armed and belligerent. Just a couple of years ago one got out of his truck not five yards from my front door with a handgun pointed my way. Shit happens, even way out here in the boonies the biggest threat is human. Have occasional rabid coons or skunks, starving, abandoned hounds who want to eat the livestock or pets, gravely injured game that 'escapes' the hunting land to here and must be quickly put down... we have had need of our gun. Will likely need it in the future.

          My gun never leaves my property, I'd never dream of taking it to town. So it's nobody's business, and that's just fine. No human has ever been shot by me by any of my guns, ever. I won't promise it'll never happen, but I'm sure as hell not looking for any trouble.

          I learned to shoot my father's pearl handled six-gun when I was 11, with my brother and sister. We were not allowed to play with any kind of toy guns when we were kids, though my own kids did get super-soakers. Guns, I was taught, aren't toys. So even toy guns were to be frowned upon. We used sticks when playing war...

          Guns are tools. Like my chainsaw or my axes and maul, my drills, nail guns, machetes, hoes and rakes. Not to mention my lawnmowers - I've got a DR (You know you're a Plugger if your lawn mower cost more than your truck...)! Built-in mulcher of up to 4" wood. I need my gun as a tool. But the gun control that must come of recent horrific tragedies won't effect my situation. Something very, very clearly must be done.

          •  Thank you for a reasonable counterpoint. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau, BachFan, fuzzyguy, Oh Mary Oh

            I'm really seeing this whole debate as a matter of Needs.

            Once we re-classify guns as the tools they are rather then the magic items so many making policy seem to think of them as, we'll see some progress on this.

            I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

            by detroitmechworks on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 04:36:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Nobody is looking to interfere with your need (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Oh Mary Oh, Joieau

            to have a gun and you clearly understand the problem.  It is too bad that responsible gun owners don't throw the NRA under the bus, they are doing you a real disservice and making it very difficult to solve a very serious problem that I think we could easily solve if we all got together.  So many guns do not belong in high density population area's unless they are very secure because of children, because of crime, because they are so much more dangerous under those circumstances.  

            •  The NRA means zip (0+ / 0-)

              to anyone uninterested in pointless macho posturing. A wounded deer or a rabid raccoon isn't the least bit impressed with how bad-ass a gun can be made to look with plastic costuming, neither are drunken hunters and/or meth-head rednecks. Nor do any of them care how many bullets can be fired before reloading. No one facing the business end of a firearm is going to take time out of the standoff to poke fun of the wielder's choice of make/model or capacity.

              We cannot prevent determined people from murdering themselves and/or others, though we can make it more difficult. I sincerely hope that is accomplished. But everyone has a right to protect their life and family against the biggest threat out there - which is human. In that there is little difference between high density population and low, apart from the frequency of encounters.

              Urban dwellers generally don't have acreage and livestock to tend. Grandpa's shotgun is NOT the best tool for defensive use inside the home, in the city or out in the boonies. For that there are better weapons, some of which also work well for launching baseballs on nice afternoons down at the park.

              •  Lok, 26 acres surronded by public lands is, in (0+ / 0-)

                reality, a fortune waiting to happen. If you can't live there happily without your version of a private arsenal, sell out and go get a mansion some place that makes you feel safe. Given this, I'm not sure what your point is in arguing in favor of keeping of the NRA position. Please move between the routine talking points, and get genuine.

                There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

                by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 08:59:47 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I have lived and traveled all over this country (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tommy Aces

                and never had a problem.  Now I am careful about how I go about my business but never felt the need for a gun. Our gpvernment and our media has made our lives feel dangerous and that feeling is what makes us believe we need to protect ourselves at a moments notice. We are one of the most dangerous developed countries in the world and we have CHOSEN that situation because of our unfounded fears.  It is in our own hands to make ourselves FEEL safer and a gun is a FALSE sense of security against enemies that we have created in our minds.  It reflects a form of culture mental illness that is resulting in 32,000 deaths by gun a year.

          •  Hello Throw up a steel swing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tommy Aces

            barrier, locked at all times, and you have your answer.

            What's this talk about "it's just to dangerous out here for us poor innocent souls here no one forces us to live if we don't have access to any firepower that makes us happy"

            To me, this sounds like an NRA talking point.

            There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

            by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 08:49:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Other than that it's in rural California not MT (0+ / 0-)

        your county sounds exactly like mine, right down to the population figures. Please address your remarks to the people actually present in the conversation and not the Urban Straw Liberal.

        Visit Lacking All Conviction, your patch of grey on those too-sunny days.

        by eataTREE on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 04:11:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You intrude on nature, and you demand the right (0+ / 0-)

        to punish nature. How warped. If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Move to some safe little suburb where you don't have to be afraid anymore.

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 08:36:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, and a slug round in a 12 ga 3" magnum (0+ / 0-)

        will stop any creature found in North America. Unless you don't know how to get the job done.

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 08:39:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't own a gun, never needed one (7+ / 0-)

    I'm not pro-gun; I'm anti-control.

    "The Taibbi article is a defense of status quo" -- citizen k

    by happymisanthropy on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:04:27 PM PST

  •  Oh, (7+ / 0-)

    You are just a few hours from me. For some reason I had the impression you were in another state. Lucky you being so close to the ocean! I love that area.

    I don't own a gun either, never have, for pretty much the same reasons you don't. They would create risks that don't exist right now.

  •  I've been a lot of places. (3+ / 0-)

    I think it's the handle that makes most people assume I'm in Michigan.  

    And the areas was nicer when I was younger, but c'est la vie

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:25:05 PM PST

  •  "Allow death a foothold"? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annecros

    Face it, death is already a fact of everyone's life.

    Those who support banning cocaine are no better than those who support banning cheeseburgers

    by EthrDemon on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:25:40 PM PST

  •  Great post... (5+ / 0-)

    ... I've also enjoyed reading your comments in the RKBA diaries.  Also, thanks for your service... sorry you had to go through the "experience" you detailed.

    I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

    by Hey338Too on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:59:09 PM PST

  •  My pregnant wife and I were discussing this... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annecros, fuzzyguy, theboz, dewley notid

    ...The other day. She was telling me about the concealed firearms course here, hinting that I need to take it. (I don't have a concealed license yet).

    I don't really understand your logic, if it is logic at all. Seems more like emotion. People hurt your children (and badly) and you can't trust yourself enough to not take revenge. Stuff like that. I respect that, if you don't trust yourself then I'm glad you get to make the decision for yourself to not own firearms.

    I do however object to the attempts of some to make that decision for me. I do not believe it fair or defensible in a party that claims to respect civil and human rights.

    If you choose to have a weapon, you're choosing to have the ability to kill and you have chosen to allow death a foothold in your life.
    This is laughable. Death doesn't have a foothold in my life... it's a big part of it. I will die. This is certain and inevitable. It can be no other way. My wife will die. My children will die. Everyone I love will die someday.

    Death is a part of life. The only thing I get to choose about it at all, is whether I run from it like a little sissy, screaming and whining to anyone to protect me from it, or whether I choose to do something about the worst kinds of death. Someone harming or killing my loved ones or myself... this I have some control over if I choose to have it. Only some, it's always a gamble, but I choose to have the tools to defend myself.

    Democrats and progressives, please leave me that choice. It's not a request.

    •  RKBA IN DA HOUSE!!!! (9+ / 0-)

      You aren't worth the time.


      I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

      by detroitmechworks on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 04:14:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Alright I can't tell who's the sissy or who's not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Silvia Nightshade

      afraid, by your post.

      I'm sure the diarist seems more concerned with the lives of others than himself.

      And that seems to be the difference.

      Keep a close eye on those loved ones.

    •  You might want to read the "common result" link (0+ / 0-)

      I know of very few who are interested in preventing you from defending your home and family. Very few. Why would you insinuate that Democrats and progressives want to take your guns? That's absurd.

      •  Well, in fairness, I am one progressive (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Silvia Nightshade

        who would gladly back legislation banning private ownership of semiautomatic weapons of any kind without serious demonstrated need, or at least restrictions on the quantity of such weapons a person can own (to 1 or 2, max, and only pistols) and that includes confiscation of existing such weapons.

        So I'm in that "very few" if the internet tough guy up yonder has any of those weapons.

        I guess he's afraid of me and people like me (but I'm the sissy here, I'm sure, in spite of the fact that I, too, am a gun owner).

    •  Bwaaaa ha ha ha. "Like a little sissy!" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Silvia Nightshade

      "It's not a request."

      You should read that out loud and listen to yourself, internet tough guy. You sound like a 12 year old making boasts on the playground.

      Here's some news for you, internet tough guy: your sex fantasies around firearms aren't justification for the easy availability of them in our society, and your notion of "some control" is illusory at best. You have no idea--not one--how you'll react if you're in a situation where you perceive the need to use your firearm, internet tough guy. For all you know you're just as likely to piss your pants and have the shakes so bad you drop your sex toy gun before you can use.

    •  You can't figure out how to navigate life (0+ / 0-)

      unarmed? How pitiful!

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 09:13:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No gun for me! (7+ / 0-)

    Haven't even held one since USAF basic training in 1985, when I was required to qualify to tear down, rebuild, and fire one (with USAF-standard accuracy). Mrs. Sham, also a USAF veteran, was required to carry a sidearm and maintain qualification with a shot gun until we separated (from said Air Force) in 1989. We only fully lock our house if we're leaving overnight. If you'd like to come in and raid the pantry, you may do so while we're at work or in bed. Tempting fate? Perhaps. But nothing has caused us to change our ways in the 14 years we've resided here.

    To talk without thinking is to shoot without aiming - Maguire, Robison, and Maines

    by Captain Sham on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 04:15:23 PM PST

  •  I had guns (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, fuzzyguy, annakerie, dewley notid

    until a year ago for two reasons - target shooting and hunting.

    I hunted, and was very good.  I kept my freezer stocked with meat - venison, elk, duck, squirrel, rabbit. When I hunted, my rifles and ammo were locked separately and only came together out in the field. It never took me long to bag my limit - I spent longer target shooting than hunting, and shot at targets far more often than I hunted.

    I loved target shooting.

    My children grew up around the guns, learned to handle them and respect them.  The guns (rifles and handguns) were kept unloaded and locked. The ammo was kept in a different room, locked up. When they grew up and moved out, I still kept them locked in separate rooms.

    Two years ago I shattered my hand.  After surgery, the best I got back was 20% use of the hand.

    Last year, I gave all my guns to my children because I can't properly take care of them anymore. No more target shooting. No more hunting (I have BUY my meat now).

    They were never for self defense, never for protection, and I used them for fun far more often than I hunted. Some people play darts, some play horseshoes, I shot targets for fun.

    If I hadn't shattered my hand, I'd still have guns, still do target shooting, still hunt a couple of times a year.

    All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

    by Noddy on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 05:51:52 PM PST

  •  the damage that guns can cause (3+ / 0-)

    is usually final.

    to the regret of many left to pick up the pieces.

    I've seen that pain.


    Thanks dmw,

    we are not at war.  well said.


    Here's how the game is really Rigged.

    by jamess on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:06:13 PM PST

  •  The fact that Americans think we need guns to be (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueness, murrayewv, WakeUpNeo

    safe is a monumental part of the problem.

    Another huge problem is it shows how little we actually value ourselves as people.  All this 'American Exceptionalism', 'Race to be the Best', 'Top of the World'--we don't value ourselves at all.  How do I know?  Because our collective answer to some poor 15 year old kid who happens to burgle a house in the middle of the night is to shoot him.  Sure, we have the law--but the guns would get there first.

    Our whole callous approach to war reflects the same mentality.  For a country that always purports to value life so much, we don' t give a rat's ass about life, do we?

    •  Home invasions (0+ / 0-)

      Sorry, but at least where I live home invasions are done by gang members and people who are usually on quite a few drugs and have no concern for the lives of their victims.  Shooting them isn't a form of punishment but rather self defense.  If I have to choose between my life (or that of a loved one) and the life of someone who has accepted the risk of dying by breaking into someone's home, the decision is already made.

      That being said, I think prevention is the best solution.  Try to live somewhere that doesn't have a huge problem of crime if you can.  Lock your doors.  Have an alarm on your house.  Get a dog.  There are many safer things that can be done before a gun would be useful that people should do.  However, I don't begrudge anyone that feels it necessary to have a gun as a last resort.

      •  I can accept that argument in certain instances. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldpotsmuggler

        Of course there's a hell of a lot that can go wrong with that weapon in a home invasion as well.  Like people shooting family members who happen to be hungry at 3:00 in the morning.  I think in most cases unarmed resistance (or no resistance) is much safer, overall, than armed resistance.  Always?  Of course not.

  •  I own guns (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz

    There's only me and my wife in the house and I'm real sure she's not going to plug me (I checked into this carefully before I married her) Ive never thought of suicide in any circumstances so I don't hink there's much risk there
    My dad owns guns, so did both my grandfathers, no one ever shot anybody else.
    I had someone smash their way into my house once, I had to get out of bed and deal with him unarmed and naked. A gun would have made a big difference in that circumstances and I would have given body parts to have one in my hand at the time. after that experience I swore that would never happen to me again if I could prevent it. Thats why I own a gun, and am licensed.

    I'm shooting the next SOB that enters my house illegally and I live in a Castle state so thats totally legal.  I figured out the question of whether I'll take life a long time ago. Yeah I think my house and my stuff is worth defending. Its not impossible I'd enjoy it.
    I lost track of how many people'I'd shot before I turned 19 and I was just starting to get good at it. No I'm not at war any more but I haven't forgotten how to shoot at someone, or forgotten you smetimes need to.
    You never outgrow your need for ammo

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:31:44 PM PST

    •  I can't tell you how sorry I am. I've never killed (0+ / 0-)

      and, except for a mentally ill brother some years ago, never feared. But I've mostly been been blessed with not having enough that someone would want to work real hard to steal it. (And even when I did have it, I was never pepared to kill to keep it.)

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 09:29:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for your diary (5+ / 0-)

    It is packed full of common sense and truth.  You said what I wished I could have said, only much better.  Let me tell you my brief gun collector story.

    My Dad collected guns for as long as I could remember.  He liked to hunt.  We were three children in the house but he did not lock the guns up.  There were rifles and pistols including a .22 which he had altered to have a hair trigger.  That he kept under his mattress to "protect" us.  He simply told us not to touch the guns despite my mother's pleas for him to put them away.  I guess it was a tribute to us that he had taught us to be such obedient children.  My sister and I were terrified of the guns.  My brother less so because he used to hunt with  my father on our camping trips.

    Finally something changed my father's mind about securing the guns.  Maybe when the grandchildren came and my nephew handed a pistol to my father and asked him to play.  The guns were wrapped in a quilt and stuck up in an attic at the top of the closet where one had to climb a ladder to get to them.

    In the 90s my father died of a heart attack.  We were heart broken but my mother was determined to get the guns out of the house.  She asked my brother to take them.  My brother who collects his own guns agreed to add them to his collection.  They went into the room where the guns were kept and my brother took them down from the attic.  He was looking them over pointing them this way and that.  My mother told him to be careful.  He could never assume that a gun was not loaded.

    My brother had a 30-30 rifle at that moment and said to her, "Ma, Dad would never have put a loaded gun away. "  The gun was pointing at the floor and to make his point he pulled the trigger.  Sure enough the gun was loaded.  It went off with a huge explosion and nearly took off half of his foot.

    My mother looked at him like only she could when we did something treacherously stupid.  She said, "Son, I love you but you are a real asshole.  Get those out of this house and make sure that they go out unloaded."

    That was worse than stupid.  It could have been lethal for either one of them.  There are lots of reasons that people shouldn't have guns, but if he wants another one he can drive right to the nearest gun store and get one.  He also suffers from clinical depression which is being treated, but tell me, how do I stop worrying about his very dark moods his expressed desire to harm himself and all of those guns?

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