LEO discounts...Why??


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RH Factor
March 29, 2003, 12:04 PM
OK...I might get flamed for this one, but here goes. I just this morning called a local gun store to give me a price on a PM9. There is a gun show going on here in town that they will be displaying at and I heard that there would be some great sale prices. I wanted to know if they would honor the same sale prices at the store since I couldn't get to the gun show.
The first words out of their mouths was if I was a LEO or not....I asked why...they told me that their store like many others, offered special discount prices for LEO's.
Now if I'm not mistaken, most departments require LEO's to carry a specific department approved weapon. And their holsters and uniform are also regulated.
I have a CCW from my state and own a business that almost requires me to carry daily....not to mention that I'll bet that most gun enthusists spend more money more often than most LEO's.
I own a business....I give the best price to the people that shop with me on a regular basis, not because of their "title".
Oh by the way two of my relatives are LEO's, and I'm not talking about whether they can get high cap. mags.....I'm talking about walking in and getting the same price and treatment.

OK...I'm done venting. I'll look for a new gun store. Thanks for listening.

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gudel
March 29, 2003, 12:07 PM
I own a business....I give the best price to the people that shop with me on a regular basis, not because of their "title".
this make sense. it's like you're a buying in bulk, you get discount as you buy en masse. maybe students should get discount as well :)

cuchulainn
March 29, 2003, 12:20 PM
I think it's just a way of saying "thank you" to the LEOs.

It doesn't upset me any more than "senior discounts" or "military discounts." :)

Coronach
March 29, 2003, 12:24 PM
Lets see...you own a business selling widgets. There is a distinct subset of the population that ends up buying widgets as a part of the job. In order to help get a good chunk of the widget business of this subset, you offer them a discount. In return, they buy their widgets from you, talk to their friends and they, in turn, buy their widgets from you as well.

This sounds like good business to me.

Now, if the subset members start demanding a discount, and use their power influence to get said discount, that, my friend, is not kosher.

Mike

El Tejon
March 29, 2003, 12:31 PM
RH, think of it as a "loss leader" like grocery stores and produce. It gets people into the store and ensures that cops feel welcome. As well, same reason White Hens or VPs (Kwik-E-Marts, check local listings for Apu-marts in your area) give out free coffee to cops at night shift.

DeltaElite
March 29, 2003, 12:38 PM
Many manufacturers offer better prices to dealers if the sale is an Leo sale.
They do this so they can sell to cops and advertise that they X number of cops carry their gun.
Glock is the King of this tactic.
Some shops show preference to cops, just like some diners give cops free coffee and discounted meals, or so I have heard. ;)

BTW, the Glock 32 I bought on thursday was a Le priced gun.
NIB it was $419 + tax of course. I tried to pay full price, but they wouldn't let me. :rolleyes:

RH Factor
March 29, 2003, 12:42 PM
Coronach......if I'm wrong just tell me....but I was under the impression that a LEO had to use the approved weapon for their department. So after that, they really aren't buying any more handguns or supplies, than any other enthusist<sp>. My problem is not with them not giving special consideration to just some person that walks in off the street, but to giving it to a LEO just because they have a badge. I've bought several guns and holsters over the past 3 years for this gun store...yet if I was a LEO i'd get better.

coonan357
March 29, 2003, 12:44 PM
they are trying to take the ROB out of stop and rob ... I know the store I use they actually greet the new officers and give them a tour of the shop , give them a discount and they always come back .Just to see what just came in .. :rolleyes:

cratz2
March 29, 2003, 12:46 PM
I have no problem at all with law enforcement discounts. If you look back over the last 30 years or so, there have been times where one company (manufacturer, not local store) has offered LEO discounts while other have not thus sometimes giving a financial advantage to one company over another. To me, it just makes good business sense. Same with local stores.

At the same time, a good shop, that doesn't already sell for rock bottom prices, will give their good customers a passive discounts that they would be less likely to give a first time customer. I've probably bought 15 guns from my favorite local ship in the last two years who has very good pricing, probably the best in Indiana. I never 'ask' for a discount or for ammo to be thrown in etc... As a result, I never had to pay for transfers either coming or going. He knows what I'm looking for on the used market and he calls me all the time letting me know what's come in. If I'm in the store when he takes a trade or before he makes a tag for a trade earlier in the day, I get it for what he paid for it. This too makes good business sense. The word of mouth advertising I give him is incalculable.

444
March 29, 2003, 12:56 PM
This kind of ties into the other posts, but I always felt that discounts were offered because there are a lot of cops (or in my case firefighters). Someone at work asks where you bought such and such and you tell them that store X gave you the hook up because you were a cop or because you were a firefighter. And word gets around the department and they get a whole lot of business as a result. Cops are also out in the public all day and tend to know a lot of people. In general conversation they might tell people about your business.
I have found that sometimes this tactic is just window dressing. For example, a few months ago I was buying a new pickup. All the joes at work told me to go to dealer X and tell them that I was a firefighter; "they have a firefighter discount". I mean I was told that by 50 people. I went there, but I found that I could still do better at another dealer who just plain had better prices.
Another aspect of it is that many people in the community appreciate the job that is being done by the public servants. They feel that we have a tough, and demanding job that far too often results in injury or death, and they simply want to show their appreciation.

KP95DAO
March 29, 2003, 01:06 PM
The Distributor, from whom I buy all my primers and most of my reloading equipment , gives LEOs a discount because he used to be one and appreciates them and the job they are doing. He sells retail out of his business to support the locals and owns and operates a pistol and rifle range and a Clays/Skeet range. I am thankful for what he does, including my "LEO" discount.

keyhole
March 29, 2003, 01:37 PM
I know that many stores like having LEO's come in, to help keep down the possibility of a robbery, and do appreciate the business. The local Stop&Rob's would give free coffee, and even refuse payment, after a chief had told the officers not to accecpt gratuities. The store managers said they would do what they wanted, and give free drinks.
As a LEO, I do not ask for discounts, but if given I am thankfull for it. Nice to know that some are gratefull, not that there aren't a lot who are. Can be a tough job at times. Plus, no matter what I have to carry, I'm always looking for other guns to add to the collection. Never have enough toys, and they keep making more gun safes.

Sisco
March 29, 2003, 02:07 PM
Around here about the only thing that pays less than school teacher is LEO. First year Highway Patrol makes around $28k. Doesn't bother me a bit that they get a discount.

Hkmp5sd
March 29, 2003, 02:42 PM
I don't see any difference in giving a LEOs discounts and AARP discounts.

LawDog
March 29, 2003, 05:26 PM
The Sheriff's Office I currently work for mandates that all patrol officers carry a Glock 22 while on duty.

And the officer has to buy it with his/her own funds.

The last one I worked for required that each commissioned officer carry a sidearm with which he/she could score a minimum of 80% on the twice-a-year range qualification.

And you had to buy the pistol with your own funds.

*shrug*

LawDog

DeltaElite
March 29, 2003, 06:42 PM
If it makes ya feel any better, sometimes the cook spits in our discounted meals. :what:

Thumper
March 29, 2003, 06:46 PM
Yeah, Delta just thought that was a cream-filled donut...

:D

TheeBadOne
March 29, 2003, 06:48 PM
RH Factor-- Coronach......if I'm wrong just tell me....but I was under the impression that a LEO had to use the approved weapon for their department. So after that, they really aren't buying any more handguns or supplies, than any other enthusist
Many LEO's carry backup firearms too. Some buy a duplicate of the firearm issued to them (for pratice, as some LEO's have to leave their duty firearm at the station when offduty). Also, as previously stated many businesses like Cops to stop by (it's good for business, people feel safe), and many places recognize that Cops aren't paid very well and want to help insure they have the tools they need to do their job. This store also had a pretty good sized gunsmith dept and they get a lot of return business from the Cops. Also, I see the cops buying a lot of ammo there (qualifing, duty, and plinking). It seems to work out pretty good for all involved.

Zundfolge
March 29, 2003, 06:54 PM
I've heard that LEO purchases of firearms are exempt from some sort of excise tax ... some shops may pass that savings along to the LEOs?

Hell, every job has its perks (mine is free office supplies and discounts on the products we sell).

Slotback
March 29, 2003, 07:06 PM
Zund:
LEO are not exempt from the tax. Agencies are.

12-34hom
March 29, 2003, 07:07 PM
Why do LEO's get discounts?

Because were special.... Very special..

:neener:

And no Delta, that does not make me feel better.

12-34hom.

Double Naught Spy
March 29, 2003, 08:01 PM
Why the heck not? It isn't as if the folks protecting us are overpaid - same for the firemen.

DMK
March 29, 2003, 08:07 PM
Why do some folks give LEOs and military service men/women discounts?
"We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence upon those who would do us harm." -George Orwell That's why.

coonan357
March 29, 2003, 09:08 PM
I like meetin the leo's and then inviting them out to the range to practice .. great way to make freinds or enemys :D

Coronach
March 29, 2003, 11:25 PM
Coronach......if I'm wrong just tell me....but I was under the impression that a LEO had to use the approved weapon for their department. So after that, they really aren't buying any more handguns or supplies, than any other enthusist<sp>. My problem is not with them not giving special consideration to just some person that walks in off the street, but to giving it to a LEO just because they have a badge. I've bought several guns and holsters over the past 3 years for this gun store...yet if I was a LEO i'd get better.TheeBadOne already addressed this, but...

Issue policy can and will vary by department. But even if you are issued your duty gun and duty ammo, you still have leather gear, back up guns, ammo, accessories, etc etc etc. Cops are sometimes not the best shoppers around, so once they're in the door, they'll often buy everything they need there. They also tend to hang out with other cops, so once you hook one, you hook a couple. Cha-ching!

I can certainly understand the feeling of not getting a discount when some other guy does, but believe me, they're doing it for business reasons (in this instance), not out of love of the badge.

Me? I don't get stuff from our local cop shop. Why? Well, remember the thing about most cops not being good shoppers? Well, I'm the exception. I priced out our local 'leo-friendly' places and discovered that they were somewhere between "highway robbery" and "prison rape" in the pricing department. WITH the discount.

The internet is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Mike

XLMiguel
March 30, 2003, 12:07 AM
OK, I'm sometimes jealous of 'professional discounts' to some groups I'm not a member of. I'm thrifty(cheap) by nature, but I'm also a marketing guy with 30+ years of gov't & commercial pricing experience, and I could write volumes on pricing strategy.

My advice to you is "shop around."

As numerous members have pointed out, anyone wiling to do their homework can find a good deal. Shop around. The internet is truly a great democratizer in that respect. Except for hi-(std)cap mags, I have yet to find a 'cop' deal that I can't match some where.

But for MNSHO, cop/firefighter/emt/teacher discounts - they earn them. I live in a pretty fat county, median household income $89k+, and cops/firefighters/emts/teachers are relatively well paid vis a vis other juristictions, but they're still underpaid by local standards. Quityerbitchin'. Did I ferget to say (after 'life ain't fair'), "Shop around".:neener:

fastbolt
March 30, 2003, 12:11 AM
I own a business....I give the best price to the people that shop with me on a regular basis, not because of their "title".

You also offer the best price to the one-time customer that walks in your door, and won't ever return ... don't you? Why not? Why should they have to be a "regular basis" customer to "deserve" the "best price"? How many times within a certain "time period" do I have to shop at your store before I qualify for your "regular basis" discount? Is it posted at the entrance?

Okay, we all know that L/E are drastically overpaid for what they do, right? If one of them wants to indulge in purchasing a personally owned weapon, let them put some of that excessive tax money which makes up their salaries back in the hands of the retailers ...

They have so much disposable income that they just don't need ... let alone "deserve" ... any sort of discount when they buy a "personally owned" weapon to carry on and/or off duty. It's not like they might decide against carrying an off duty weapon if they can't "afford" a more compact model of their issued weapon, right? That would never happen ...

But wait ... let's think about this .... for those L/E that are issued a weapon, why even bother to buy one on their own, anyway? Why not simply use the issued weapon on & off duty? ... It's not like any of the retail gunstores actually "needs" any more business than they already have, right?

Firearms manufacturers and retail gunstores make too much money as it is, and they don't need to do anything to encourage sales ...

Besides, there's too many guns on the street as it is ... right? :scrutiny:

You're now returned to your normal thread from the sarcasm zone ...

Okay now ... most L/E I know often buy their personal weapons at normal retail stores, and don't even think to ask for a discount other than whatever may be advertised for the ordinary patron. A growing number of them are buying weapons from online auctions and cyber stores, who offer low prices to all lawful customers, on a first come-first serve basis ... The exception is when some L/E simply don't want to look around and shop, and simply provide their business to a L/E supply retailer who also sells firearms, and the "discount" is an ordinary method of attracting customers within the L/E market.

Once, when preparing to buy a pistol, I was checking around to see if a retail sporting goods store had a pistol model I was thinking about buying, but which wasn't in-stock at the L/E supply store. I came across another pistol that was priced a LOT less than the same model was available for "L/E Discount" sale at the L/E gunstore. Too bad that wasn't the one I was looking to buy ...

L/E folks are like every other consumer, and are often looking for a good deal. Whenever I'm in the market to buy a firearm I try to give my business to a favorite business, as I'm aware of what it's like to make a living in a retail sales manner. But, if I can buy it for significantly less at another business ... "discounted", "sale price", inventory reduction", "tax time clearance", "sales tax prepaid", "NRA Special", "Range Member Discount", etc ... and even the despised "L/E discount" ... I'll save money when I can ...

I know of one L/E supply store that sold half a dozen pistols in one instance, just because they made a decent deal to one of our folks on a pistol ...

I suppose you're also in favor of eliminating the practice of offering frequent flyer miles ... and supermarket club discounts to "special" folks that take the time to fill out the forms ... and "Buyer's Club" discounts that require you be a member ... and you won't eat at any restaurants that won't give Senior Citizen discounts to anyone that asks, reagrdless of their age, right? Nobody should be given any special consideration by any retailer ... There's just too much business to go around without anyone offering sale or discount prices ...

But you already know that, because you own a business ...

Why not just take your business to another gunstore, and make sure that they're not in the practice of offering anyone any sort of discount at all? Sounds fair ...

Better yet, why not offer your services to the local L/E agency as a Reserve? Pay back something to your community AND get a "L/E Discount"? I'm sure you'll find the amount of the L/E Discount is MORE than sufficient to offset any inconvience you might experience while working as a Reserve ...

Don't think of this a "flame", by the way ...

But tell us, what REALLY upset you at that store? They refuse to honor the "gunshow price" away from the gunshow, too?

beckrodgers
March 30, 2003, 11:32 AM
Around Memphis the discount goes on &on.Either a class is being or has been created or I am stupid. This has been talked on before so many times creating a royal privelidge or state sponsered Special Class. That is what it is. Housing discounts, Cell phone usage ,running they busines out of patrol car,resturant discounts,oh, my favorite traffic discounts bothin private and public vehicles, if I am wrong I'll ki$$ my on A$$, Selective Selective enforcement, Could not buy a vest for my family a bullet resistant vest . I could go on, there are more learnered and eloquint folks who can post history, links, etc on this very troubling reality. Beck & Bobby

fastbolt
March 30, 2003, 03:59 PM
beckrodgers raises some thoughts that I wasn't aware were included in the original topic ... and if they were meant to be included in this thread, then perhaps I shouldn't have posted my response because I didn't address any of them ... and some of them aren't "harmless" L/E Discount-at-gunstore issues ...

I'm NOT familiar with anything occurring in your historic city, but if some of the issues you've listed are occurring then you should be addressing your concerns to the proper city officials. As a citizen of a city you have a right to ask questions about issues that you feel concern inappropriate activities involving city employees. Especially L/E. We're under a microscope most of the time.

Many of your broad concerns could probably be best addressed by someone from the affected agency, and could be clarified point-by-point ... and you should ask for such clarification. If it's something that has obviously upset you, then it's something that might've upset other citizens living there and receiving the benefit of city services ... including L/E services. If citizens are upset about such issues, and there's a basis for being upset but the issues remain unresolved ... Well, that's one of the ways that a division could certainly occur between the L/E and the citizens they serve.

If such problems exist ... and are really "problems" ... they must be resolved, or at least explained to the satisfaction of the public receiving the benefit of the L/E services. Otherwise, trust and faith in the L/E agency may suffer ...

Some of the points you raise may have some similar context in my state, though ...

Our General Orders prohibit anyone from accepting gifts & gratuities connected with performing their job duties & responsibilities ... for obvious reasons.

Housing privileges? Do you mean offering some inducement to attract L/E to live within the communities in which they work? Those areas where the housing is offered wouldn't be a low-income area where a higher amount of L/E calls-for-service occur, would they? That's been offered in some places before, and with little success in the instances I've heard about ... Nobody was running to be the first in line to move their families into a "high calls-for-service" area ...

I can say that few of the people in my agency can even afford to live in the areas where they work. Many of our folks live 1-2 hours away, where they can afford to own a home on the income we receive, and commute 2-4 hours a day ... or else stay with someone else during their work week and only see their families on their "weekends". Lucky them ...

Cell phones? Okay, once when our local government agencies were entering into an agreement with a cell phone provider, many of the employees were given the ability to sign up for contracts at the government rate ... but the contracts and equipment weren't exactly "cutting edge". My phone won't work in areas where "regular folk's" cell phones are working just fine. A couple of times in a situation at work I've even had to ask to borrow a citizen's cell phone because mine wasn't able to connect ... Imagine the confidence THAT inspires in the public ... Want one of ours?

Vehicle discounts? Stand in line ... Our credit union has sales for members all the time, and I think you only have to know someone that knows someone else ... six degrees of separation ;) ... that claimed to be a member in order to join ...

Running a business out of a patrol car? Sounds like if one of our folks tried that we be hearing things like "misappropriation" of government equipment and "conduct unbecoming" ... Want to run a business, then run a business ... want to be L/E, then do your job ... Not rocket science.

Restaurant discount? Nobody in authority likes to hear about them, but they've been around as long as badges ... and longer. Some cops won't accept them, and won't patronize a place that "forces" them on an officer, to avoid the issue ... some cops simply "tip" the amount of the meal or beverage they receive ...

And then there's those cops that belly up to the bar and loudly proclaim their desire to receive a free meal because of their status. Okay, nobody likes those cops ... not the public, not the restaurant employees (who work very hard for a minimum wage living in most cases), not the L/E agency administration ... and not most other cops ...

If you come up with a perfect solution for this one, and how to take the various aspects of human nature into account ... INCLUDING those honest and supportive restaurant owners that simply WANT to offer some minor gesture of appreciation and support to the local L/E, and don't expect ANY special consideration in return ... Well, please let everyone know what that answer is ...

In the meantime, it's officially not condoned in most places ...

Why can't you buy a vest for yourself or your family? Local laws prohibit it? Local L/E supplier simply won't sell to non-L/E/military/security? This is a hot topic in some places, and there are even laws prohibiting ex-felons from possessing ballistic vests, so I won't be surprised if eventually the hue & cry of the public compels politicians to outlaw the possession of such things for non-L/E/military/security, etc ... Nobody said laws had to make sense to be passed & enforced ... :rolleyes:

Either a class is being or has been created or I am stupid. This has been talked on before so many times creating a royal privelidge or state sponsered Special Class.

Well, I don't think it's likely either extreme in your statements are correct ... I don't think there's a broad based special state-sponsored class of royal privilege made up of L/E ... Nor do I think you're stupid.

I think it sounds as though you have some reason to be upset about this subject, though ... and it always bothers me to see anyone among the public express these sentiments. I wish I could've been there to prevent whatever happened that made you feel that way, from happening ... and I suspect I'm not alone in that regard.

L/E folks ARE citizens ... who just happen to have sworn an oath and carry a badge in order to serve & protect the public according to established laws, and within the limits of the criminal justice system ... but we're still just citizens.

TechBrute
March 30, 2003, 11:13 PM
Two words: FREE ENTERPRISE. Open your own gun shop and charge LEOs higher prices or do whatever you want. Are you mad that LEOs are getting a discount, or are you mad that you aren't?

www.precisionarms.com (shameless plug)

We give discounts to LEO, Active Military, and members of the Escondido Fish and Game Association. It's marketing yourself to specific groups. It's no different than a hotel giving discounts to AAA or AARP. (Hmmmm... not a bad idea...)

Come to think of it, we offer discounts to frequent customers and discounts on scopes to people who buy rifles, too. I guess they must be "super citizens."

anchored
March 31, 2003, 10:09 AM
Think of the discount as a self-imposed tax, the proceeds of which benefit law enforcement. It's simply good citizenship.

braindead0
March 31, 2003, 10:48 AM
Don't shop there..pretty simple.. free market.. There's a couple of places I don't shop at because they give NRA discounts...it's my choice.

Matt G
March 31, 2003, 10:50 AM
I'm a rather poor (single income, 4 person family; 2 cars 2 kids and a house) cop from a small department that requires officers to bring their own pistols to work. (Frankly, I prefer it that way!) When I needed a new pistol for work, I shopped, and shopped, and shopped. I found places with LEO discounts, and without. I went to the gun show. I shopped hard. I found that my badge could have gotten me a really decent deal on a Glock from a Glock supplier, due to the manufacturer discount. There were a couple of other manufacturers doing similar deals, too. But in the end, I wanted a Kimber Classic Stainless, which didn't come with such a deal. No matter: I wanted what I wanted.

I found a table at the gunshow where the guy was willing to sell them for $110 under MSRP. I found another shop's table at the same gun show, whom I had bought from before, for $13 more. The slightly more expensive one (Bachman Pawn & Guns (http://yp.superpages.com/listings.phtml?SRC=msn&STYPE=S&C=&N=bachman+pawn+and+guns&T=dallas&S=TX&PP=N&Search=Find+It), in Dallas, TX), while well under MSRP, politely explained that they just couldn't come down any more. I understood: they have overhead to support, and they're in business to make money. No worries. I went back to the cheaper table, and asked about whether his pistols had the firing pin safety disconnect on them. (at that time, some did, some did not.) He snarled in a surly voice that they all had them. I explained that I knew that quite a few did not, and asked if I could take down the pistol I was interested in, just to see. He told me that I certainly could not. I turned on my heel, went back to Bachman Pawn & Gun's table, and got a card, telling them that I would be by their shop the next day.

Next day, I dropped by B.P.&G., and told them why I'd chosen to buy with them. They said "Yeah, we get a lot of business, that way. Listen, you'll need an extra magazine. Kimber brand good enough? 7 or 8 round mag?" So, in the end, they gave me a $20+ mag for coming to them. And they never saw my badge until I was filling out the paperwork, when they asked for I.D. Interesting.

Glock's standing discount to LEOs is pretty smart, from a marketing standpoint. This helps assure that Glocks are visibly on the hips of working officers everywhere. People tend to make the assumption that the gun that the see the most on officer's hips is the standard in the industry. More than one Member of this site has stated that they own a particular firearm because they've seen it worn on the hips of local LEOs daily, and this is a pretty savvy membership.

Also, selling is about the meter drop. Guns often have a small return for the investment. But vests, holsters, keepers, ammo, belts, and black, tactical thingies can be inexpensive, but bring in far more profit in proportion to their retail price. Taking little or no profit on a pistol, but selling a cleaning kit, 100 rds of ammo, spare mag, and a holster is a clear win to a retailer.


I sincerely hope that RH Factor reconsiders before abandoning his small local gun shop. There's much, much more to such a shop than just price. :(

beckrodgers
March 31, 2003, 06:04 PM
thanks for the long thought-out response. Yes! I have many grievances and gripes against LE. To start, here in the Memphis area, when the Mayor called a meeting 3 yrs past of his police commanders / higher-ups and demanded more ticket writing. Then called a meeting of some of the traffic judges and demanded they stop dismissing so many tickets. "This city needs that money". or when I sit in a coffee shop and hear a call go out to a new annexed part of the city and the police sit there waiting, commenting on they have 9 more minutes before even responding. When I sit and read the paper or listen to the news and there are dozens of stories of corruption and all manner of stuff by the police, everything from murder, kidnapping, drug-running, rape, violent abuse, selected arrests, cowardly behavior, all the while hollering for more money. Yes, I have grievances, but by a thread, and I mean a very narrow thread, we still have some belief IN THE THIN BLUE LINE. This could go on and on. To solve my personal ticketing problem, we bought 2 Black Widow laser radar jammers. Have not had an illegal ticket since simply because we don't speed anyway and the device works. There is no place for the little man to turn in a soceity like ours. Any cop who won't admit of the corruption and immorality of their system is ............................................................
I don't have the answer. We keep ourselves within the law as much as humanly possible to stay out of the LE's way. That is my answer. In all honesty there is some resentment of the system, so let's leave it at that for now. Thanks

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