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America Online Can Fire Gun-Owning Employees
NRA ^ | July 23, 2004 | NRA

Posted on 07/23/2004 6:56:58 PM PDT by TYVets

America Online Can Fire Gun-Owning Employees Utah High Court Rules Friday, July 23, 2004

Self-defense took a big blow this week when the Utah Supreme Court upheld the right of America Online (AOL), America`s largest on-line service provider, to fire three employees whose firearms were stored in the trunks of their cars in the parking lot of an AOL call center in Ogden, Utah.

In a decision that diminishes rights guaranteed under both the Utah and the U.S. Constitution, the court acknowledged the individual right to keep and bear arms, but said the right of a business to regulate its own property is more important!

Complying with this decision could potentially cost an employee his or her life--violent criminals certainly aren`t going to obey such a ban.

It may also diminish employees` abilities to hunt or target shoot after work.

The issue is becoming a hot legislative topic in the states. This year Oklahoma passed HB 2122 ensuring that employees with guns in their cars were not fired or harassed, and it was debated in several other states.

Please look to future editions of the Grassroots Alert for developing information on this issue.


TOPICS: Announcements; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aol; automobles; bang; banglist; concealedcarry; faol; guns; rhodesia
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1 posted on 07/23/2004 6:57:00 PM PDT by TYVets
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To: TYVets

What do you expect from RINO orin hatch state??

A pile of garbage!


2 posted on 07/23/2004 6:59:02 PM PDT by steplock ( www.spadata.com)
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To: TYVets

3 posted on 07/23/2004 7:00:45 PM PDT by traumer
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To: TYVets

Well I certainly agree that property owners have a right to decide what they allow on their property. No reason the employees can't leave the weapon at home. This is not stopping anyone from hunting after work.


4 posted on 07/23/2004 7:02:13 PM PDT by SouthernFreebird
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To: TYVets

The parking lot is the employer's property but isn't the locked trunk the car owner's property? How does my right to have whatever I have in the locked trunk of my car changed simply due to where I have chosen to drive?


5 posted on 07/23/2004 7:02:44 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (Ronald Reagan - Greatest President of the 20th Century.)
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To: steplock

What do you expect from AOL??

A pile of garbage or sh**, or both !


6 posted on 07/23/2004 7:03:17 PM PDT by TYVets
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To: TYVets
This pits the rights of employees to exercise their constitutional rights against employers who ought to be able to fire employees for any reason or no reason at all.

I have to come down on the side of the employers here, even if I disagree with their policy. The Bill of Rights protects you against the government, not other private citizens, including businesses.

7 posted on 07/23/2004 7:04:36 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: TYVets

I have no problem with this decision. AOL can regulate its workplace as it sees fit.

I also have no problem refusing to buy anything from AOL-Time Warner because of their stupid anti-gun policy.


8 posted on 07/23/2004 7:04:54 PM PDT by conservative in nyc
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To: TYVets

I'm big on private property and guns. But I think its clear that the property owner controls here. Nobody forced them to work for AOL.


9 posted on 07/23/2004 7:05:08 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: TYVets

But I would sure like to know how the hell the company knew they had weapons in the trunk.


10 posted on 07/23/2004 7:06:11 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: steplock

Just another reason to never use AOL! Why were the vehicles searched in the first place, this seems very strange to me.


11 posted on 07/23/2004 7:06:13 PM PDT by STEAMER (My dog ate my tagline.)
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To: conservative in nyc

agree bump


12 posted on 07/23/2004 7:06:32 PM PDT by lonestar (Me, too!--Weinie)
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To: jwalsh07

Exactly.


13 posted on 07/23/2004 7:09:08 PM PDT by STEAMER (My dog ate my tagline.)
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To: TYVets
The court decision is correct. AOL has the right to control what comes onto their property.

Choosing to exercise their God-given right to prohibit guns simply confirms that they are a desperately evil organization.

14 posted on 07/23/2004 7:09:42 PM PDT by Sloth (We have to support RINOs like Specter; their states are too liberal to elect someone like Santorum.)
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To: TYVets
IF YOU ARE VIEWING THIS POST VIA AOL, PLEASE TERMINATE YOUR ACCOUNT IMMEDIATELY. OUTDOORS UNLIMITED IS THE OFFICIAL ISP OF THE NRA. http://www.outdoorsunlimited.net

And yes, I was shouting.

15 posted on 07/23/2004 7:10:20 PM PDT by NonValueAdded ("We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good" HRC 6/28/2004)
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To: jwalsh07
I'm big on private property and guns. But I think its clear that the property owner controls here. Nobody forced them to work for AOL.

Doesn't the person own the car? And what's in it? It's their property. Or does it no longer belong to them when they drive it onto anothers property?

What a about a persons pants? Or dress? Can AOL now demand strip searches? What about body orifices? Can AOL check "up there"?

16 posted on 07/23/2004 7:11:29 PM PDT by isthisnickcool (Strategery - "W" plays poker with one hand and chess with the other.)
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To: TYVets
In a decision that diminishes rights guaranteed under both the Utah and the U.S. Constitution, the court acknowledged the individual right to keep and bear arms, but said the right of a business to regulate its own property is more important!

So, I wonder if this right extends to business owners whether to allow smoking on their property?...JFK

17 posted on 07/23/2004 7:12:24 PM PDT by BADROTOFINGER (Life sucks. Get a helmet.)
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To: Sloth

Property rights trump Constitutional Rights? What if they said no cars were allowed in their parking lot without a "Kerry / Edwards" bumper sticker? Do property rights trump the first amendment too? Or only the 2nd?


18 posted on 07/23/2004 7:12:39 PM PDT by NonValueAdded ("We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good" HRC 6/28/2004)
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To: SouthernFreebird
"Well I certainly agree that property owners have a right to decide what they allow on their property. No reason the employees can't leave the weapon at home. "

How about the New Hampshire resident that had a concealed carry permit, but worked in Massachusetts, he and 5 other people were killed in the work place?

Many employers can not protect employees on the job let alone to and from work !

I am sure A O L will protect their employees to and from work. (/sarcasm)

.

19 posted on 07/23/2004 7:12:49 PM PDT by TYVets
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To: TYVets

This is beyond belief. Over the top. Un-freekin-believable. AOL just made a huge mistake. Number one, who gives a rip if someone has a weapon in the locked trunk of their car? Second, for AOL to make a "federal case" out of this is bad business. That company hasn't a clue in attracting customers in the first place except for kids who want to 'chat' and go to porno sites. I hate AOL. The ONLY reson I use them is that I travel a LOT and they do have a lot of local dial-ups which I need when working from my hotel. That's it.


20 posted on 07/23/2004 7:14:40 PM PDT by Cobra64 (Babes should wear Bullet Bras - www.BulletBras.net)
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To: SouthernFreebird
Well I certainly agree that property owners have a right to decide what they allow on their property

You're confusing corporations with people. A corporation does NOT have the same Rights as an individual that owns property.

Keep in mind that the primary reason corporations were founded was to avoid individual responsibility. With Rights comes responsibitlies, and corporations want the best of both worlds. Screw them.

No reason the employees can't leave the weapon at home

Should they leave their Bibles at home also? Or any other items that some company bozo might find offensive. People have a Right to have whatever they like in their private vehicle.

21 posted on 07/23/2004 7:15:18 PM PDT by Mulder (All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should.-- Samuel Adams)
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To: Tall_Texan
How does my right to have whatever I have in the locked trunk of my car changed simply due to where I have chosen to drive?

Many enlightnened states realize this. Oklahoma was the most recent to pass a bill saying employers couldn't have a policy barring employees from keeping guns in their cars.

22 posted on 07/23/2004 7:16:18 PM PDT by Mulder (All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should.-- Samuel Adams)
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To: isthisnickcool
Doesn't the person own the car? And what's in it? It's their property. Or does it no longer belong to them when they drive it onto anothers property?

This is dim. You have no "right" to drive you, your car or your gun onto my property. Just like you and your clothes have no right to walk in my house. But if you did, I would not be so kind as AOL was.

What a about a persons pants? Or dress? Can AOL now demand strip searches? What about body orifices? Can AOL check "up there"?

If their company policy states they do internal body searches, then I would suggest you bend over and spread'em or look elsewhere for work.

What gives you the idea that you can do as you damn well please on somebody elses property or set the rules as the employee is beyond my capacity to understand.

23 posted on 07/23/2004 7:16:34 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: NonValueAdded
Property rights trump Constitutional Rights? What if they said no cars were allowed in their parking lot without a "Kerry / Edwards" bumper sticker? Do property rights trump the first amendment too? Or only the 2nd?

All of them. The Constitution does not confer any right to free speech, etc., on someone else's private property w/o their permission. As I said, a company that would restrict such things (guns, bumper stickers, and so on) is evil, but I don't want property rights compromised for anyone.

24 posted on 07/23/2004 7:16:37 PM PDT by Sloth (We have to support RINOs like Specter; their states are too liberal to elect someone like Santorum.)
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To: Dog Gone

If the guns are not locked away in the vehicle, I have no problem with AOL's rights. I do have a problem, though, if the guns are locked away and are unaccessable except by the owner.

It presumes that someone may commit a crime with the gun on their premises - that's a major leap of logic.

What if somebody had marijuana in their glove compartment or cigarettes on the dashboard? Does the employer have a right to fire you because you drove a vehicle with either of these in your possession? How far do we want to take this concept?

And, somehow, I'd imagine AOL wouldn't be bright enough to fire a Middle Easterner with five tons of dynomite parked in his U-Haul on company property.

I hope this gets appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. This would appear to be a fourth admendment challenge to unlawful search and seizure. It's not like the guns are being brought into the workplace just because they are locked away in the parking lot.


25 posted on 07/23/2004 7:17:52 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (Ronald Reagan - Greatest President of the 20th Century.)
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To: Mulder
Should they leave their Bibles at home also?

Yes, if company policy bars all religious stuff in the office.

26 posted on 07/23/2004 7:18:43 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: TYVets
Property rights trumps Constitutional rights? Another court gone mad.
27 posted on 07/23/2004 7:18:43 PM PDT by highlander_UW (Evil doesn't want to leave you alone. It wants to draw you in and force you into complicity. - Keyes)
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To: TYVets

A little biased headline...

AOL can fire employees that bring their firearms onto AOLs property.

As it has always been.. ones 2nd ammendment rights don't trump private property owners rights to say no guns here.


28 posted on 07/23/2004 7:20:45 PM PDT by HamiltonJay ("You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.")
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To: highlander_UW

Property rights are constitutional rights but you wouldn't know it sometimes here on FR.


29 posted on 07/23/2004 7:21:07 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: Dog Gone
This pits the rights of employees to exercise their constitutional rights against employers who ought to be able to fire employees for any reason or no reason at all.

So you think companies should be able to fire people for being too old, or the wrong color, or for not putting out?

I understand that some folks will answer "yes", on the basic principle of Freedom of association, and this doesn't mean that they condone the behavior.

However, there are laws preventing companies from firing folks for a host of reasons. Repealling these laws will be next to impossible, as well as a waste of time. So as gunowners, we should jump on the bandwagon instead of being a "chump" and letting companies trample on us.

I have to come down on the side of the employers here, even if I disagree with their policy

If this was Pete's Hardware Store, and "Pete" was the owner, then maybe I would agree. Pete is an individual and has the Right to hire and fire whomever he pleases in his private store. But in this case, it's a corporation. A corporation is NOT an individual, and does NOT have the same Rights as individuals have.

The Bill of Rights protects you against the government, not other private citizens, including businesses.

Yeah, but we have many more Rights than just the ones enumerated in the Bill of Rights.

30 posted on 07/23/2004 7:22:00 PM PDT by Mulder (All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should.-- Samuel Adams)
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To: jwalsh07
Does that logic have any limits? What if AOL decided, because the parking lot is their property, that they did not want you to own an SUV and drive it to work? Where, exactly, is the limit of the owner's property as controlling authority end?

I'm not trying to pick a fight--I just am not sure that I agree with the notion that because I drive into an employer's parking lot something that is, in almost all other instances, a legal activity or item, suddenly becomes verbotten because it offends the political sensibilities of the employer.

31 posted on 07/23/2004 7:22:11 PM PDT by twntaipan (demonRATs ARE the friends of our enemies, which makes demoRATs our... (finish the sentence).)
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To: TYVets

The "solution" is just to park your car off AOL property. Just a thought.


32 posted on 07/23/2004 7:22:18 PM PDT by Torie
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To: BADROTOFINGER

You said: So, I wonder if this right extends to business owners whether to allow smoking on their property?...JFK

The law in most states, and here in NC, is that an employer can fire an employee for any reason or no reason, as long as it is not an illegal reason, i.e., based on gender, race, national origin, religion, etc. and for a couple of policy reasons, such as whistle-blowing. Otherwise, both the employer and the employee have the right to terminate employment at will. AOL could have terminated the employees for just owning a gun, or using a gun, or being able to spell "gun" if it wishes to. An employer can fire or refuse to hire a smoker, also, whether they smoke on the job or not. Similarly, an employee can quit if he/she does not like the policy, and customers can use another service if they like. I disagree with AOL's policy, but I think it is legal.


33 posted on 07/23/2004 7:23:44 PM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: jwalsh07

But by your logic, driving a car to the office, and leaving a Bible in the trunk (which is where the guns were kept) would be banned as well.


34 posted on 07/23/2004 7:23:54 PM PDT by twntaipan (demonRATs ARE the friends of our enemies, which makes demoRATs our... (finish the sentence).)
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To: jwalsh07

The odd thing, it that this came down in Utah. LOL.


35 posted on 07/23/2004 7:24:36 PM PDT by Torie
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To: twntaipan

Lets turn it around. Can I walk into your house whenever I feel like it? If I come to your house dressed in a manner that offends your sensibilities can you not ask me to leave?


36 posted on 07/23/2004 7:24:46 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: Torie
I know, strangers in a strange land and here I am defending the judiciary. Yuck! :-}

There's gotta be more to this story. I asked above but nobody has yet answered. How did AOL know there were weapons in the trunk???? Inquiring minds and all that.

37 posted on 07/23/2004 7:26:38 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: Tall_Texan
What if somebody had marijuana in their glove compartment or cigarettes on the dashboard? Does the employer have a right to fire you because you drove a vehicle with either of these in your possession? How far do we want to take this concept?

Look at it this way. What restrictions do you think you'd accept about ordering people off your front lawn? Perhaps you'd be willing to let them be there with pro-Kerry signs?

Perhaps you'd be willing to let them be there with pro-Kerry signs and shotguns?

It's their stinkin' property just like any property you or I own, and why don't they get to make the rules?

38 posted on 07/23/2004 7:26:52 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: conservative in nyc
I have no problem with this decision.

I do. AOL is *not* an individual. They are a corporation, which by it's very existence is meant to separate the individuals running the company from the corporation, in a legal sense. You can't have individual Rights, without the responsiblities that come with those Rights. Corporations want it both ways, and many so-called "conservatives" want to give it to them.

AOL can regulate its workplace as it sees fit.

No they can't. There are thousands of federal laws that see to this. If every other group gets "protection", then gunowners and others who wish to have privacy insofar as their private vehicle is concerned, might as well jump on the bandwagon.

39 posted on 07/23/2004 7:26:53 PM PDT by Mulder (All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should.-- Samuel Adams)
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To: twntaipan

What sanctions might AOL use if a *customer* drove to their property to talk to the customer service folks? If an AOL customer is allowed to park without his car being searched, why should the employees be forced to comply? Wouldn't the customer, in theory, be just as potentially dangerous as the employee?


40 posted on 07/23/2004 7:26:54 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (Ronald Reagan - Greatest President of the 20th Century.)
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To: jwalsh07

Didn't SCOTUS or somebody rule that employees had a right to wear religious symbols at work? In any event, we may be mixing up public policy preferences, with the state of the law at present. Of course, courts tend to favor the 1st amendment more than the 2nd.


41 posted on 07/23/2004 7:29:24 PM PDT by Torie
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To: NCLaw441

I think you missed the point I was making when I highlighted that quote. My point was that the NRA is saying that the right of the employer to control what goes on on his/her private property is more important than specifically enumerated rights held by citizens, not what he/she may fire an employee over. If this is indeed the case, then resturants and bars who are in the process of fighting onerous smoking bans placed on them by statist thugs might have some ammunition to fight back with here. Tho what we have gotten from the NRA here might be less of concrete case law and more political spin. Without the actual decision, I cant say which...JFK


42 posted on 07/23/2004 7:30:08 PM PDT by BADROTOFINGER (Life sucks. Get a helmet.)
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To: jwalsh07
If their company policy states they do internal body searches, then I would suggest you bend over and spread'em or look elsewhere for work.

And what about when because of gov't policy, there is only *one* company to work for?

What if the gov't sold the roads to corporations? Would they be able to search us without warrants then?

What gives you the idea that you can do as you damn well please on somebody elses property or set the rules as the employee is beyond my capacity to understand.

I understand where you and others are coming from, but corporations are NOT individuals, and thus don't have the same individual Rights that you and I have.

43 posted on 07/23/2004 7:30:08 PM PDT by Mulder (All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should.-- Samuel Adams)
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To: jwalsh07

No, and that is not on point. This is a far more public accessible location--a parking lot. Do all employees abandon all their property rights and other constitutionally guaranteed rights when they step on the premises? No. With this logic, AOL can also insist that all employees vote for Kerry or, worse, Nader.


44 posted on 07/23/2004 7:30:36 PM PDT by twntaipan (demonRATs ARE the friends of our enemies, which makes demoRATs our... (finish the sentence).)
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To: Mulder

There is no federal or Utah law requiring employers to allow employees to bring guns onto company property.

Whether there should be a law is a separate question. As long as there isn't one, I have no problem with AOL saying you can't bring guns on their property.

Now, I think their rule is stupid. And I have every right not to watch CNN or buy their other products. It won't be much of a loss.


45 posted on 07/23/2004 7:32:22 PM PDT by conservative in nyc
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To: Torie
Actually I think that case was a discrimination one where certain religious things were OKIE DOKIE and others weren't.

But at any rate, I'm still of the mind that the employer makes the rules and if the employee doesn't like them, it's adios amigo.

I figured out a long time ago that I didn't like corporate rules so I figured I would be the employee and the employer. We get along much better that way.

46 posted on 07/23/2004 7:32:54 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: Mulder
So you think companies should be able to fire people for being too old, or the wrong color, or for not putting out?

Constitutionally, yes. Laws have been passed which greatly restrict employers' rights in this regard. Employers must observe those or face the consequences.

Don't get me wrong. I violate my company's policy every day. But if they fire me, I won't complain.

47 posted on 07/23/2004 7:32:57 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: TYVets
Self-defense took a big blow.

False and hypberbolic. Do we expect this from NRA?

48 posted on 07/23/2004 7:33:14 PM PDT by Tax Government (Dumb-shi-crats -- just what our country needs. Not.)
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To: twntaipan

You do know that SCOTUS ruled that shopping malls can ban "free speech" on their premises don't you? I know, because I "argued" the case in moot court in law school, prior to the rendering of the Tanner decision, which was pending at the time. I argued the winning side. I argued that the folks handing out leaflets were officious intermedlers, noisome, and should not have the right to interfere with mall sales, or something like that. It was a long time ago, but the memory is fresh to this day.


49 posted on 07/23/2004 7:35:25 PM PDT by Torie
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To: TYVets

C'mon. The title isn't even correct.


50 posted on 07/23/2004 7:36:44 PM PDT by Half Vast Conspiracy (If the Rapture is coming, should I insist on a non-Christian pilot?)
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