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Army Sniper Recounts Amazing Shot
American Forces Press Service ^ | Chuck Cannon

Posted on 04/23/2010 5:19:25 PM PDT by SandRat

FORT POLK, La., April 23, 2010 – It was April 2007 and the early-morning sky was clear as Army sniper Sgt. 1st Class Brandon McGuire and his spotter scanned for insurgents near Forward Operating Base Iskandaryia in Iraq.

"We were observing a stretch of road that had recently been cleared of IEDs [improvised explosive devices]," said McGuire, now the first sergeant of Alpha Troop, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 509th Infantry Regiment that’s based here.

"The area had also seen a lot of mortar activity,” McGuire recalled. “We had several soldiers killed and severely wounded along that stretch of road by IEDs and mortars."

As the two soldiers gazed across the expanse between their hiding place - an abandoned shed - and their target area, they noticed a man in local garb sauntering up and down through a series of canals. When he dug into a canal bank and uncovered a mortar tube, McGuire knew this was a target.

"We called the battalion tactical operations center and reported what we had," said McGuire, who hails from Olathe, Kan. "We were granted permission to engage the target."

However, engaging the target was easier said than done.

"We measured the distance at 1,310 meters," McGuire said. "There was a crosswind of 8-10 knots and a sand storm was heading our way. We didn't have a lot of time."

Yet time was needed. Snipers are trained to make a triangle from a target's chin to his chest, and then aim for that mark. But McGuire's target was moving up and down through canals, making it difficult for the Army marksman to get a clear shot. And, it was necessary to make calculations for windage.

But, McGuire caught a break - there were some children flying kites not far from the target. "We were able to use the kites to help estimate the wind speed at the target," McGuire said. "We watched for almost two hours before the target presented himself in such a way that I was able to get a clear shot."

McGuire said he didn't think he would hit his target with the first shot.

"I was hoping I would get close enough to make an adjustment and hit him with the second shot," McGuire said. "I knew that when I fired there would be a brown out for a couple of seconds - the dust would block my vision - so I was depending on my spotter to let me know where the first round hit."

McGuire took a breath and then squeezed the trigger of his Barrett .50 caliber sniper weapon system. After the dust cleared, McGuire prepared for a second shot, but was unable to find the target.

"I asked my spotter, 'Where is he?'" McGuire recalled. The spotter replied: “I think you got him."

McGuire said that for a couple of seconds there was disbelief on his part. Then it was back to work scanning the sector for targets.

The shot was so effective that no one knew about it, other than McGuire, his spotter - and the target.

"Even the kids flying the kites were oblivious to what happened," McGuire said. "They just kept flying their kites."

McGuire had removed an insurgent who had helped kill and wound American soldiers.

"No one knew who shot him," McGuire said. "Not even the local elders.

The U.S. soldiers in the area gained an immediate benefit with the death of the insurgent, McGuire said.

"We'd had so many soldiers killed and who had lost legs,” he said. “After the shot the daily mortar attacks and IEDs ceased in that area."

McGuire said "the million-dollar shot," as it became known among members of his unit, was a big deal to coalition forces in the area.

"Everyone was congratulating me," he said. "But to me, it seemed like another day in Iraq."

McGuire recently returned from a trip to California to film a segment of an upcoming History Channel special entitled "Sniper: The Deadliest Mission." The two-hour documentary is scheduled to air this fall.

"I spent a couple of hours in an interview, then shot the rest of the day with another sniper," McGuire said. "It was a lot of fun."

McGuire attributes the success of the improbable shot to tactical patience.

"It took us two hours to get the shot picture I needed on the target because of the terrain," he said. "We waited, then finally got the shot. Hitting a human target is not like a deer or something.

"With an animal, you can kind of predict what their movements are going to be, but with a human, you don't know what they are going to do."


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: 50cal; banglist; barrett50cal; fobiskandaryia; iraq; iskandaryia; shooting; smazing; sniper; soldier; usarmy
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1 posted on 04/23/2010 5:19:25 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: SandRat

Yah, hurray.


2 posted on 04/23/2010 5:21:56 PM PDT by bboop (We don't need no stinkin' VAT)
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To: SandRat

I love happy endings.


3 posted on 04/23/2010 5:24:06 PM PDT by Fast Moving Angel (We'll remember in November!)
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To: SandRat

That warms my heart.


4 posted on 04/23/2010 5:24:32 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: SandRat
"We measured the distance at 1,310 meters," McGuire said.

That's most of a mile..I would of loved to have seen the face of the terrorist a milli-second after he was hit.

Good ridance! Great shooting!

5 posted on 04/23/2010 5:25:26 PM PDT by PROCON (I forgot what I was going to put here.)
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To: Travis McGee

Reach out and touch someone, ping...


6 posted on 04/23/2010 5:30:07 PM PDT by stevie_d_64 (I'm jus sayin')
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To: SandRat

The hardest part used to be guessing the distance but that’s all changed with laser range finders. My son gave me one as a Christmas present and I didn’t think I need one since I go to the same area all the time. It surprised me as to how many times I have needed it. It’s also handy for learning how to read distances.

The fun part is also knowing the people I’m with can hit at ridiculously long ranges.


7 posted on 04/23/2010 5:30:40 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA /Patron - TSRA- IDPA)
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To: PROCON

With all the planes,helocopters,tanks,and artillery we have,it’s still a good man with a good rifle getting the job done.


8 posted on 04/23/2010 5:31:59 PM PDT by Farmer Dean (stop thinking about what they want to do to you,start thinking about what you want to do to them)
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To: PROCON

I don’t think you really want to see that face.


9 posted on 04/23/2010 5:32:03 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA /Patron - TSRA- IDPA)
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To: Farmer Dean

A bumper sticker said:

“God Bless Our Troops.
Especially Our Snipers.”


10 posted on 04/23/2010 5:36:28 PM PDT by 21twelve ( UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES MY ARSE: "..now begin the work of remaking America."-Obama, 1/20/09)
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To: PROCON

Phenominal shot! Did any of y’ll ever read point of Impact by Stephen Hunter.


11 posted on 04/23/2010 5:36:29 PM PDT by mapmaker77
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To: SandRat

Simply amazing shooting!

This man will never be out of venison.


12 posted on 04/23/2010 5:36:41 PM PDT by Randy Larsen ( BTW, If I offend you! Please let me know, I may want to offend you again!(FR #1690))
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To: SandRat
Best damn fighting force ever - U.S.A.!
13 posted on 04/23/2010 5:36:51 PM PDT by Issaquahking (Help Sarah Palin! go to - http://www.conservatives4palin.com - You know what to do!)
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To: SandRat
The shot was so effective that no one knew about it, other than McGuire, his spotter - and the target.

Damn fine shootin'! I wonder though if the target really had time to know what hit him before he got to meet his 70 virgins.

14 posted on 04/23/2010 5:38:23 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (No Romney,No Mark Kirk (Illinois), not now, not ever!)
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To: SandRat

Great story! Thanks!


15 posted on 04/23/2010 5:39:22 PM PDT by weef
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To: Shooter 2.5

I watched some sniper expert that consulted for the movie “Shooter” talking about the scenes. “Well, the long range shot was fake - for the movie. At that long of a distance the bullet is coming almost straight down. It spilts the person in two down to the waist - arms flying off, etc. Too graphic for a movie.”

Hard to believe there is THAT much damage, but....


16 posted on 04/23/2010 5:40:30 PM PDT by 21twelve ( UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES MY ARSE: "..now begin the work of remaking America."-Obama, 1/20/09)
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To: 21twelve
Hard to believe there is THAT much damage, but....

...a fitting end to a violent practitioner of the "Religion of Pieces"

17 posted on 04/23/2010 5:45:58 PM PDT by lightman (Adjutorium nostrum (+) in nomine Domini)
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To: SandRat
Being a relatively lousy shot myself, but knowing a little bit about ballistics, these guys amaze me. They have a Cray computer between their ears.

So many variables. Muzzle velocity, ballistic coefficient of the bullet, mirage, wind direction (which can change several times over that distance), temperature, altitude, humidity...it takes a ton of knowledge and practice to make those shots. And then there's sneaking within range, getting away after the shot without being nailed by a sniper yourself....world class stuff.

18 posted on 04/23/2010 5:46:39 PM PDT by FlyVet
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To: Graybeard58

“70 virgins.”

You mean 70 raisins?


19 posted on 04/23/2010 5:47:50 PM PDT by JSteff (It was ALL about SCOTUS. Most forget about that and HAVE DOOMED us for a generation or more.)
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To: 21twelve

The .50 round ( many of them ) were used by P-47 pilots to take out Tiger Tanks. They did this by shooting at the road in front of the tank and bouncing the rounds off the road and up into the tank.

So, a .50 has a lot of energy in it. I would think the shock wave of hitting a basic water vessel of a human would pumpkin you all over the place.


20 posted on 04/23/2010 5:48:36 PM PDT by Leisler
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To: Leisler
“They did this by shooting at the road in front of the tank and bouncing the rounds off the road and up into the tank.”

I love the ingenuity of our troops!

21 posted on 04/23/2010 5:50:35 PM PDT by 21twelve ( UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES MY ARSE: "..now begin the work of remaking America."-Obama, 1/20/09)
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To: Shooter 2.5
I don’t think you really want to see that face.

Ohhhh.....yes I would, just for ballistic analysis of course. :=)

22 posted on 04/23/2010 5:55:40 PM PDT by PROCON (I forgot what I was going to put here.)
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To: Leisler
So, a .50 has a lot of energy in it.

Like this, after flying there and back?

23 posted on 04/23/2010 6:11:34 PM PDT by Greysard
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To: Leisler

I don’t think that worked as well as reported. The velocity of a .50 BMG wouldn’t allow a lead bullet covered in copper the ability to bounce like that and then penetrate the steel plating.

I understood our pilots aimed for the relatively thin plating over the engine compartment.


24 posted on 04/23/2010 6:14:12 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA /Patron - TSRA- IDPA)
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To: Graybeard58
he got to meet his 70 virgins ... and they all looked like..


25 posted on 04/23/2010 6:18:25 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: SandRat

Nice shot soldier! Thanks!


26 posted on 04/23/2010 6:21:52 PM PDT by US_MilitaryRules (Where is our military?)
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To: Shooter 2.5

Try a laser ruler, the range finder’s little brother. I just got one and used it to measure my house for an insurance evaluation. Absoltely terrific and eliminated the need for a helper with a tape measure.


27 posted on 04/23/2010 6:22:18 PM PDT by libstripper
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To: 21twelve

28 posted on 04/23/2010 6:29:10 PM PDT by Thunder90 (Fighting for truth and the American way... http://citizensfortruthandtheamericanway.blogspot.com/)
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To: SandRat

I love happy endings ;)


29 posted on 04/23/2010 6:30:52 PM PDT by Thunder90 (Fighting for truth and the American way... http://citizensfortruthandtheamericanway.blogspot.com/)
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To: Shooter 2.5

I don’t know about the .50 BMG being used today but I sliced open several .50 cal bullets from the WWII era. There was not a bit of lead in them. The brass shell surrounded a stainless steel core. Awesome little things.


30 posted on 04/23/2010 6:33:42 PM PDT by NerdDad (Aug 7, 1981, I married my soul mate, CDBEAR. 28 years and I'm still teenager-crazy in love with her.)
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To: SandRat
Over 8/10 of a mile One shot -- one kill.

Bravo Zulu!

31 posted on 04/23/2010 6:43:52 PM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: NerdDad

I couldn’t find a thing on the material used for a .50 BMG bullet. I have several cartridges but I always thought they were simply copper over lead except for the black tipped armor piercing.


32 posted on 04/23/2010 6:51:19 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA /Patron - TSRA- IDPA)
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To: SandRat
Sandrat, here's a Marine Sniper who was the honor grad in his Sniper class at Quantico. I'll let you guess who he is.
33 posted on 04/23/2010 6:54:28 PM PDT by Recon Dad ( USMC SSgt Patrick O - 3rd Afghanistan Deployment - Day 185)
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To: Recon Dad

You or your son are my guess.


34 posted on 04/23/2010 6:56:30 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: libstripper

laser ruler?


35 posted on 04/23/2010 7:00:18 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: Shooter 2.5
The fun part is also knowing the people I’m with can hit at ridiculously long ranges.

It still - 44 years away - pisses me off to no end that in Marine Corps Boot Camp I fired "Expert" in every pre-qual shoot....but on actual qualifying day, I hiccuped and only made Marksman; didn't even make Sharpshooter...

Pretty much the same thing a couple of years later, just before I got out (woulda been worse, but I was a short-timer) it rained and my eyeglasses got all gooed up and I actually was a Non-Qual.

36 posted on 04/23/2010 7:03:50 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (It's not the Obama Administration....it's the "Obama Regime".)
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To: SandRat
he got to meet his 70 virgins ... and they all looked like..

"Multiple Organisms"

37 posted on 04/23/2010 7:04:50 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (It's not the Obama Administration....it's the "Obama Regime".)
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To: Recon Dad

Bravo!


38 posted on 04/23/2010 7:06:14 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (It's not the Obama Administration....it's the "Obama Regime".)
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To: SandRat
"McGuire took a breath and then squeezed the trigger of his Barrett .50 caliber sniper weapon system. After the dust cleared, McGuire prepared for a second shot, but was unable to find the target. "I asked my spotter, 'Where is he?'" McGuire recalled. The spotter replied: “I think you got him." "

Now that's what I'm talkin about!

HoooAhh!

39 posted on 04/23/2010 7:07:41 PM PDT by JDoutrider
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To: Leisler
The .50 round ( many of them ) were used by P-47 pilots to take out Tiger Tanks. They did this by shooting at the road in front of the tank and bouncing the rounds off the road and up into the tank.

Sorry to burst you bubble when we're on a .50 cal roll here, but that's an old WW2 myth.

P-47 takes out Tiger Tanks

The harassing file from the planes was very valuable though. Combined arms - aircraft strafing the tank (that's gotta sound LOUD inside the tank!) allowing the ground troops the ability to get in position close enough to attack the tank with explosives or a bazooka.

40 posted on 04/23/2010 7:39:18 PM PDT by Screaming_Gerbil (...he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one... Luke 22:36)
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To: ErnBatavia

I wondered about that. My qualifying day was no wind, sunny and really nice. The guy who was supposed to be scoring was also supposed to be the one handing me the magazines. He forgot one and tossed it into the sand. The M-16 never hiccupped and I shot really well.

The long range standard targets are clay birds on a dirt berm at a lasered 65-70 yards with pistols. The fun thing is you forget all the misses. LOL.


41 posted on 04/23/2010 7:42:55 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA /Patron - TSRA- IDPA)
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To: ErnBatavia
It still - 44 years away - pisses me off to no end that in Marine Corps Boot Camp I fired "Expert" in every pre-qual shoot....but on actual qualifying day, I hiccuped and only made Marksman; didn't even make Sharpshooter...

Pretty much the same thing a couple of years later, just before I got out (woulda been worse, but I was a short-timer) it rained and my eyeglasses got all gooed up and I actually was a Non-Qual.

It was (1974-1978) 28-32 years ago for me (my how time flies) from boot camp to the final time I qualified with the rifle (M16A1 for me).

I always shot Sharpshooter, except my very last time I shot a Marksman (toilet seat). So my old khaki uniform shirt and green uniform coats now forever have a "toilet seat" on them.

I wore glasses myself, and had the problems associated with wearing glasses myself.

Just goes to show how these things could have worked out in real life I guess...

42 posted on 04/23/2010 7:48:35 PM PDT by Screaming_Gerbil (...he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one... Luke 22:36)
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To: mapmaker77
point of Impact by Stephen Hunter.

The book the movie SHOOTER was based on! Yeah, awesome. Two points similar in book and movie. The guy really went to war because they killed his dog. I say, right on.

43 posted on 04/23/2010 7:50:24 PM PDT by ExSoldier (Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.)
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To: Recon Dad

That's a fine son you have there, Recon Dad.

May God bless him and keep him him safe.

44 posted on 04/23/2010 7:52:04 PM PDT by Screaming_Gerbil (...he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one... Luke 22:36)
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To: NerdDad
I don’t know about the .50 BMG being used today but I sliced open several .50 cal bullets from the WWII era. There was not a bit of lead in them. The brass shell surrounded a stainless steel core. Awesome little things.

Ok, that would explain how the P-47s could take out a tank from the air.

Steel core .50 cal ammo and of course a bunch of them hitting about the same area at pretty much the same time (the top rear of the tank where the engine compartment is being the preferred aiming point) could result in a "mobility kill" or even lighting off the fuel and setting the tank on fire.

45 posted on 04/23/2010 8:03:15 PM PDT by Screaming_Gerbil (...he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one... Luke 22:36)
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To: Screaming_Gerbil; Shooter 2.5
I had all my stuff tucked nicely in a "civilian" footlocker in a loft of an apartment garage, and one day it was alllll stolen. The only thing I have left is one Corporal chevron and one pisscutter...............the rest ended up in the hands of some 'south of the border' neighborly type.

I could go postal if I continued to think much more about all of this..................

PS - in 1966, we qualified with M-14......I still want one, even tho I couldn't afford to feed it. Great piece of work, that weapon.

46 posted on 04/23/2010 8:08:52 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (It's not the Obama Administration....it's the "Obama Regime".)
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To: ErnBatavia
I am sorry to hear that. Too bad the idiot that got it would have no use or appreciation for it.

Well, any .308 or 7.62x51 NATo is fun to shoot. Some people have bought Century Arms civilian versions of the FN-FAL or CETME or G3, though not everyone likes them nearly as well as the American M14 / M1A civilian rifle, and you do have to feed them 7.62x51 and not .308 ammo (due to minor differences in cartridge dimensions and/or SAMMI chamber pressure issues - I forget which).

I got me an Enfield 2A Ishapore bolt action some years back and had a scope mount put on it. I like shooting the 7.62x51 rifles - even the bolt action Enfield - way more than shooting the 5.56 AR clone I own.

I love your pictures on your Profile page. Nice country out there.

Please take care and Semper Fi!

47 posted on 04/23/2010 8:28:42 PM PDT by Screaming_Gerbil (...he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one... Luke 22:36)
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To: Vendome

I love a story with a happy ending


48 posted on 04/23/2010 8:50:40 PM PDT by STD (islam a spiritual-legal-political Theocratic system of governance which is not to be questioned;)
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To: Screaming_Gerbil
I love your pictures on your Profile page. Nice country out there.

Thanks....lovin' the desert.................out back yard quail should be delivering us some chicks within two weeks. Stand by for pics, if I can get 'em.

49 posted on 04/23/2010 9:15:03 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (It's not the Obama Administration....it's the "Obama Regime".)
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To: Shooter 2.5

The Elmer Keith Memorial Pistol Shoot...steel plates from 12”x18” down to 4” diameter, at 140 yards, open sights. plus a 30”x30” at 525 yds.

10th Annual edition this year, where I live.


50 posted on 04/23/2010 9:27:55 PM PDT by castlebrew (Gun control means hitting where you're aiming!)
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