Boycott Browning? Are we CRAZY?


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Guntalk
July 13, 2003, 01:31 PM
Oh my!

Now I see that a bunch of gun folks want to boycott Browning because that company had the nerve to ask a web site to not post trademarked logos which belong to Browning, and to not post links to the Browning web site.

Seems as though this would be a sensible business perogative of Brownings, right?

But NOOOO! We see traitors everywhere! Now, Browning must be anti-gun. No matter that they are one of the largest gun makers in the world, right? We won't allow common sense to divert us from our nutty drive to help Sarah Brady destroy gun companies.

Somehow, this whole thing reminds me of the spoof where the guy holds a gun to his own head.

Once again, some of "our" folks would rather fight than win, and it appears that they prefer attacking gun companies and gun owner organizations rather than actually doing something productive for gun rights.

By the way, I have shot with, hunted with, camped with, shared meals and drinks with, and am friends with a number of key people at Browning.

Anyone who thinks this company is "anti-gun" needs a serious dose of reality treatment.

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El Tejon
July 13, 2003, 02:00 PM
And where does one see this?:rolleyes: I recall no discussion of boycotting GIAT because of trademark issues.:uhoh:

The only boycott discussions I recall in the betrayal of us by Smith & Wesson and that scumbag Bill Ruger. However, I may be behind.

dav
July 13, 2003, 02:04 PM
El Tejon,
As a talk show radio host, I'm sure he hears from lots of wackos that don't bother with knowing anything.
Meaning, we don't see them here, or they would know better. :D
This is the first I've heard of anything like this, too.

El Tejon
July 13, 2003, 02:07 PM
dav, meaning it's Errornet red meat silliness meant to raise controversy when there is none.:scrutiny:

Guntalk
July 13, 2003, 02:32 PM
I saw it on www.keepandbeararms.com

By the way, I'm on the air right now. You can listen at www.guntalk.com

Gotta go. The commercial break is almost over. <grin>

El Tejon
July 13, 2003, 02:34 PM
Is that an affiliate of THR?:rolleyes:

I say again I have never seen such a discussion raised here at THR, until now.:scrutiny:

Keith
July 13, 2003, 02:56 PM
Tom,

Isn't Browning a big advertiser for Guns & Ammo magazine and your radio/TV shows?

I don't know if a boycott against Browning is appropriate or not, but a protest against one by someone with financial ties to them (you), sure makes me wonder...


Keith

Guntalk
July 13, 2003, 03:06 PM
I don't know if Browning is an advertiser of G&A. Probably so. Must gun companies are.

Browning is a sponsor of my radio show. So is Ruger, Benelli, Kimber, Springfield, S&W, Henry Repeating Arms, Leupold, and a bunch of others.

I was hunting and shooting with the Browning folks for 20 years before there was a Gun Talk radio show, and I would have said the same thing then.

What's wrong with some gun folks who just LOVE to attack gun companies? Self-destructive tendencies, for sure.

And, we won't even talk about the innuendo that I have no integrity. Not very subtle.

El Tejon
July 13, 2003, 03:12 PM
Well, it depends. If we "attack" Ruger then it is not an attack at all, but self-defense as Bill Ruger was the biggest proponent of anti-civil rights legislation since Southern Senators fighting Reconstruction.

Agree with Keith. Very odd that something that was mentioned once on a low traffic board now becomes an issue and now we see that the person raising it has a financial interest in "defending" this company. Hmmm, sure makes you wonder.:scrutiny:

Keith
July 13, 2003, 03:36 PM
>>>>I was hunting and shooting with the Browning folks for 20 years before there was a Gun Talk radio show, and I would have said the same thing then<<<<<

Odd, Browning never calls me up to go on hunting and shooting expeditions with them... Could it be because we don't have any financial ties?

Gun companies give you money (and other percs) to say nice things about their products and to buy advertising space in your medium. That's fine, as far as it goes - Capitalism is good!

However, such an arrangement is not very different than being a paid lobbiest for the industry. When I hear a lobbiest speak out, I have to weigh their opinions much more so than I would a disinterested party. It shouldn't surprise you that people would question your motives.

Keith

AZTOY
July 13, 2003, 03:59 PM
THE FULL STORY
JUST SOME UPSET PEOPLE STARTING BS


Browning Demands GUNED To Remove All Links!

GUNED was in the process of finding supporters for advertisement, and made a banner for Browning firearms. We called Browning on 7-10-03 and received a welcomed call from Brady Smith and had a very friendly, cordial 15 to 20 minute conversation while Brady looked at our website.

Here is the email we received the very next day 7-11-03:

Gentlemen,
You recently contacted Browning and requested our permission to link to our internet site through your site at www.guned.com. That request was denied by our webmaster, Brady Smith. Browning seldom grants requests for permission to link to our internet site. While we appreciate your request for permission, we would ask that you appreciate our denial of such request and remove all references to Browning on your internet site. In addition, you are not an authorized user of Browning's registered trademarks which appear on your site. Please confirm the removal by reply to this email within 10 days.

Jeannine C. Dameworth, CLA
Paralegal
BROWNING
One Browning Place
Morgan, UT 84050
(801) 876-2711 x445
(801) 876-3331 Fax

Here is my return email:

Ms, Dameworth
Mr. Smith
Mr. Nelson
Browning Company

I understand the protection of your "mark" and have removed any and all links to "Browning" from our website. My family and I have been supporters of your products for many years, and have always helped to promote you in any way we could. My Grandfather used the BAR in WWI, my Father used your 50cal BMG's in WWII as a waist gunner on B-17's in the England theater, and my other family members used the 50cal in Vietnam as well. We are also members of the same church that Mr. John Browning himself belonged to. I will be posting our emails on the GUNED front page where we were giving you free advertising. We will show all our Members and readers, and for that matter, the whole firearm community in news reports and everywhere else we can distribute this information, your intentions.

We are surely disappointed in your arrogance to the very organizations that try to preserve your business and buy your products, but I guess with your military contracts, you really do not need the private sector anyway.

Mike W. Smith
President
GUNED™
C.A.G.E. Citizens Against Government Erosion
Elected Committee Precinct Officer 175
Former Candidate for State Congress

+++++++++++++++++++++++

New reply emailed from Dameworth the Paralegal at Browning 7-11-03:
Mr. Smith,
I am sorry you have chosen to be offended by my email requesting that you remove your link to Browning. Browning takes great pride in its name, products and trademarks. We rarely license the use of our name and trademarks and very rarely grant requests for links on websites. While we appreciate your support of Browning and we appreciate you removing the link to Browning, I would personally appreciate it if you would immediately remove my name and phone number from your website and also the names of Mr. Smith and Mr. Nelson.

Jeannine C. Dameworth

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Here is the contact information I have:
Brady Smith - Webmaster - 800-333-3288 ex.245
Jeannine C. Dameworth - 800-333-3288 ex.445
Do not know Larry Nelson's info.
The Vice President's name is Travis Hall, no contact info
General email link- webmaster@browning.com

I will not reply to this last email, and below are the comments as they come in...

Angel Shamaya
Director of Keep And Bear Arms

Some anti-gun company about a year and a half ago demanded that we remove a link to their site and our analysis of their stupidity. They said we have no right to "link to our website or 'wrongly' describe" them and what they stand for. I told them to eat my shorts, but in unfriendlier terms -- and invited them to initiate a lawsuit, so we could prove, in a court of law and in the court of public opinion, just how stupid they truly are. Link to whomever you please. Nobody can stop you from doing that -- unless they want to legislatively bring on a new law. Browning's webmaster is clearly a dork. Why any entity would refuse free marketing is a mystery. But if it's got something to do with the fact that Browning doesn't want to be associated with the right to keep and bear arms, then every last decision-maker at Browning can kiss my ???.
--------------------

Scott - GUNED Sentry of Florida
Owner of Firearmnews.com

Shows you what happens when lawyers get involved. Really, linking is a universal element on the internet, and they wouldn't have a foot to stand on if they wanted to take you to court. You don't have to get "permission" to link to someone else's site, particularly if you're just linking to their main page. The only case where folks who sued won is when Ticketmaster sued Microsoft for what they call "deep linking" in which they were linking to a place deep down in the Ticketmaster site. Ticketmaster couldn't have said that if they'd just been linking to the main page.
--------------------

Wil - Owner of Geekswithguns.com
What the hell is their frickin’ problem? Mind if I parphrase it a bit (for space) and link to your page with the full letter?
--------------------

George - Owner of Madogre.com
I just read the email exchange that you had with Browning’s lawyers. I’ve been a long time fan and advocate of Browning guns, and I am deeply disappointed. I am also a descendant of John Moses Browning (I have the genealogy to prove it too) and I am very sure that JMB would be more than disappointed, but even angry. Not just with the actions of those representing his company, but in the whole direction his company has taken over the last 10 years. The first amendment protects the freedom of speech, and as such protects a web authors use of a bit of code called hyperlinking to other pages on the internet. Such links are protected as has been proven in the courts time and time again. Because all your doing is basically stating an address of another location, you are not using that company’s property or trademark and as such Browning’s jackass lawyer has no right to ask you to remove such “links”. I am sure knows it, but is just using his position as a big bad scary lawyer as pressure. That request could have very well come from the web master fellow who you made your initial request with. He does however have the right to ask you to remove trademarked company logos, such as the “Browning Buckmark” logo. But looking at your site, I didn’t see any “Buckmarks”. I would suggest asking for specifics of what he wants removed. There are 3 guns I have planned on purchasing in the near future. All three of them were Brownings. The Buckmark .22 pistol based carbine, a .22 pistol, and a Hi Power. Well, Charles Daly is making a fine HP now. I’ll just have to get one of those instead. As for the .22 pistol, it’s a toss up between Taurus’ new .22 or a SIG Trailside. Beretta is rolling out a .22 Carbine based on the NEOS pistol and it looks nifty. My point being there are many other fish in the sea that are just as good as Brownings or better. You would think Browning would appreciate any positive remarks about products they could get. If I had as much competition as Browning did, I know I would. But then again, I didn’t go to Law School so I don’t have a giant corn cob up my ???. I do however know that Browning guns have gone downhill a good deal. They are more interested in pocket knives, boots, and pants then they are about the guns these days. You are probably better of without any references to Browning anyways. I’m not buying any.
George Hill
Vernal Utah
--------------------

NFHale
Dear Browning:
Regarding your arrogant treatment of a man giving you free advertising - you just lost me as a customer forever. I'd planned on purchasing two new Browning Buckmark rifles this year for Christmas as presents. Well, you can forget about it. I'll buy a set of cheap, used Ruger 10/22s instead. I like the Buckmarks better, but I'll pass on that and buy somebody else's product instead, JUST because of your lousy attitude. Evidently, you need to look back at Smith and Wesson a couple of years ago. At a time when our Second Amendment right is under vicious attack like never before, you above all people should be HELPING. Instead, you take a cheap, legalese slap at a brother-in-arms. You've lost me as a customer, and lots of others too.
Sincerely,


http://guned.com/pages/browning.htm

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
July 13, 2003, 05:08 PM
I have owned Browning products (and non-Browning High Powers) for years. I think this may just be an anomaly from a knee-jerk reaction from the legal counsel and the websites in question regarding soverignty of a trademark and Browning's attorneys may just wish to hold control of a registered trademark/service mark/logo that is rightfully theirs. Maybe if the counsel took a little time to investigate the use of each request to use it the story could be different. I don't begrudge Browning the use and control of their honored trademarks. I even spent 5 bucks to get a decal of the Buckmark logo to put on my truck (not applied yet). I own and wear a baseball cap with their logo on it. I think they're certainly justified to examine every use or symbol of their good name and how it is used.

It will not prevent me from buying another fine Browning product.

Browning has every right to determine how their identifying marks are used. I say if you want to link to their site, do it in plain HTML linkage. If Browning, via their attorneys, does not want the free advertising, make their marketing folks aware of it. Maybe the marketing folks have a different take on free advertising than the lawyers.

BTW, good show today, Tom. I'm listening over the net.

Regards,
Rabbit.

HBK
July 13, 2003, 05:54 PM
I fully support this boycott. Any of you that happen to own a Browning Sweet 16 shotgun, you should get rid of it post haste. Contact me through PM and I will attempt to help you with this matter.

Dr.Rob
July 13, 2003, 06:12 PM
Lighten up.

This is NOT an RKBA issue.

This is a copyright infringement issue.

Browning asked, and nicely, to please remove "our copyrighted logos" from a web site. The webmaster also clearly states the Browning rarely endorses ANY other product or service.

So what?

This is not some back handed attempt at "avoiding cross marketing" and doing away with the second amendment. Browning has their own team of marketing experts the the guys at that web site aren't on it.

You want to see legal action? Put a Disney logo on your site.

El Tejon
July 13, 2003, 06:14 PM
Dr., well, this is analogous--bunch of self-promoting Mickey Mouse!:D

Shooter 2.5
July 13, 2003, 07:06 PM
How ironic.

I'm already boycotting keepandbeararms.com

Waitone
July 13, 2003, 09:48 PM
There are few things more important to a corporation (or company for that matter) than its trademark. It is especially important to those companies with long, illustrious histories.

No doubt the legal department got first whack at the request and being a bunch of lawyers paid by Browning, they did what all lawyers do: intimidate, marginalize, and cut off all future business discussions unless differently directed. Trademark policy is carefully worked out among top level management, legal, and the marketing shop. Rarely is it made up on the fly.

I will also bet someone in the sales or marketing shop got wind of the exchange and softened the response. A reason why is often just as important as the firm "no."

redneck2
July 13, 2003, 10:18 PM
I worked for John Deere Co. We had several in-depth meetings that covered copyright infringement.

In one case in particular, a dealer had the JD logo painted on the outside wall of his building. Paid a LOT of money to get it done. Unfortunately, the "artist" did a poor job. He received a letter notifying him to remove the logo (and in no uncertain terms).

This is the important point....If a company knowingly lets someone use and/or mis-use a logo, they lose copyright protection. For a major company (Browning, JD, Disney, etc.) who has instant name recognition associated with that logo, the loss could be devastating. There was a rather long list of companies that had originally owned a name, let it go into common useage, and then lost marketing rights.

Browning's stance seems rather simple...they want control over their name and logo rather than letting it get out of hand, as good as someone else's intentions are. Knowing what I know, if I were them, I'd do the same thing. I'd suspect that 99+ percent of the members of this board recognize the Browning logo immediately.

And, I see no reason to be rude or hostile to Mr Gresham. I suspect that if you had the opportunity to spend time with executives of various firearms related companies, you'd do the same. It's interesting that you are incensed that Browing "snubs" you, yet you turn around and do the exact same thing to someone else.

All that your diatribes and foul grammar do is to prove your ignorance of the subject.

blades67
July 13, 2003, 10:21 PM
Much ado about nothing.:rolleyes:

Gewehr98
July 13, 2003, 10:54 PM
Nothing wrong or illegal about that. Like Dr. Rob said, go ahead and put a Disney logo somewhere on your website and see what happens.

Speaking of attacking gun companies, I'd be be very interested in hearing what Mr. Gresham has to say about the validity of the S&W boycott. I may not have been looking hard enough, but I didn't see an article by him on the subject in his editorial "home" at G&A.

Don Gwinn
July 13, 2003, 10:57 PM
There's a lot of dumb to go around here.

Guned.com is being silly to react with this drama-queen hissy fit. All Browning did was ask them not to link. This is not a big deal.


Browning is being silly too. They "rarely license use of their marks"?
Am I the only one who remembers the long-running contest Browning held for at least a couple of years in which customers across the country were encouraged to take pictures of their creative placement of Browning's "Buckmark" logo? There was a motorcycle racer who painted it on his helmet, a new father who put one on a baby cap and put that on his newborn daughter, and the dork who had it tattooed across his left arm.

Now they don't want a web site to use it? That's probably their prerogative, but it sure is silly.

AZTOY
July 13, 2003, 11:11 PM
All Browning did was ask them not to link. This is not a big deal.





Do you guy remember want Oleg did to the group that linked to one of his picture :D

Ku Kluxers get run over on the Info-highway (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=139510&highlight=kkk)

Mike Irwin
July 13, 2003, 11:23 PM
Uh oh...

Looks like Oleg broke Stormfront's brain!

Their discussion board is closed. :D

rebbryan
July 14, 2003, 12:03 AM
guess everyone's gonna find somethin to complain about, this is absolute stupidity and is a corporation issue, not a gun rights issue, they didn't want you to post their image so get over it and stop acting like a 2 year old.

"WAAAAHHH, John won't share!! BOOHOOHOO! I'm not your friend anymore!"

Parker Dean
July 14, 2003, 12:52 AM
Originally posted by Guntalk

But NOOOO! We see traitors everywhere! ... We won't allow common sense to divert us from our nutty drive to help Sarah Brady destroy gun companies

My suspicious side says this has been noticed by the 'grabbers and they are happy to use it. Like suggesting boycotts over nothing.

Mike Irwin
July 14, 2003, 01:39 AM
I'm still trying to figure out why the decision was made to take this from the board where it started and give it a wider audience.

I'm also still trying to figure out why it was introduced in a rant, but in such a cryptic rant.

Matt G
July 14, 2003, 02:52 AM
Good lord.

Folks, there are companies worth banning. When S&W signed their deal with the Clinton administration in a Faustian pact, I was all for it. When Bill Ruger fronted the 10 rd capacity cap, I was for it. But this?!?

Ridiculous. This is about Browning making decisions (right or wrong) about who uses its copyrighted logo. That's their right. Let it be. :rolleyes:

Guntalk
July 14, 2003, 08:51 AM
Hi, Mike (Irwin):

I posted the original message here after seeing it on keepandbeararms. I wanted to get the more civilized comments I find on THR rather than the increasingly-disturbing stuff I'm seeing at KABA.

The comments posted here ran about the way they usually do. Usually, there are two or three who want to fight (boycott) anyone and anything they perceive as being "not pure" on the Second. Others actually read and reflect and then offer cogent comments.

It's one of the reasons I enjoy THR. You and other moderators have created an invironment which invites vigorous discussion without the "hunker-in-the-bunker" mentality seen elsewhere.

I'm writing a new column for G&A called "Guns In The Media." Kind of fun.

BTW, don't know if you heard, but Dad is writing for the NRA magazines now.

MicroBalrog
July 14, 2003, 08:57 AM
Ridiculous. This is about Browning making decisions (right or wrong) about who uses its copyrighted logo. That's their right. Let it be.

Correct. And it was Ruger's Constitutional right to support whatever he wanted. And it is my right to buy or not buy their products.

JohnBT
July 14, 2003, 09:14 AM
(said with tongue firmly in cheek)

I DON'T CARE WHAT SOME FOREIGN COMPANY DOES.

But seriously ( ;) ) ...

So, if the folks in Belgium who own Browning and Winchester decide to change their minds on something like marketing a time or two...is that a Belgian Waffle?

John

Byron Quick
July 14, 2003, 09:35 AM
Under US law, simply copyrighting something or registering a trademark is not enough.

If, in a lawsuit, opposing counsel can show that your company allowed the free use of the copyrighted or trademarked item without specific agreements in place, then your company will lose control of that copyrighted or trademarked material.

And then you have some startup naming themselves the Browning Firearms Company.

Carlos Cabeza
July 14, 2003, 10:11 AM
.

MicroBalrog
July 14, 2003, 10:17 AM
.

And your point is?

MMcCall
July 14, 2003, 01:35 PM
I see the Ogre (http://www.madogre.com/News.html) is conspicuous in his absence.

I too have dealt with trademark and cpoyright violations, and we were legally bound to defend our marks, or we lose the protection of those symbols.. like Xerox, Kleenex, and Band-Aids, you become open to free use.

And I learned long ago to never blame the real workers at a corporation for the acts of their marketing droids.

Correia
July 14, 2003, 02:13 PM
It just looks like a case of corporate lawyer playing CYA. No big deal.

As for protecting your product, I have had 3 other people start making Molon Labe hats after I did. The really sucky part is that all of them are EXACT copies of my artwork. (hats aren't as nice though!) I didn't really mind the first two, that is the nature of capitalism. The third one really ticked me off though, he not only stole my design, but he actually used pictures of MY HATS! Including the famous one of PSSsniper (from the HCI .50 report).

What does that have to do with this? Heck if I know, I just felt the need to vent. :p

George Hill
July 14, 2003, 02:53 PM
"I see the Ogre is conspicuous in his absence."
:rolleyes:
Didn't even seen this thread until 60 seconds ago. Thank you very much.

I believe I stated my opinion clearly as posted above. Feel free to disagree. I feel no obligation to try to convert you to my opinion.

Double Maduro
July 14, 2003, 02:54 PM
I would be interrested to know how many of you went to the GUNED website and what you thought.

DM

seeker_two
July 14, 2003, 03:58 PM
I'm boycotting Browning until they make a DA Hi-Power that actually takes P-35 magazines...:mad:

This isn't anything to fret about. Just an overzealous company spokesperson who doesn't realize where his salary comes from (customers)...:rolleyes:

CGofMP
July 14, 2003, 09:55 PM
STUPID STUPID STUPID


Browning has, in my opinion ground their heads into and orifice where there is a dank atmosphere and a bad smell.


Websites live and die off of links and the more links from the more sites the better your pageviews and the better your corporate recognition. I strongly encourage ANYONE that wants to link my website or my clients websites to do it...

It just makes sense. So much so in fact that almost all of my clients have linkus.html pages explaining how to link and offering free graphics that we have made for that purpose.


That opinion is for the links portion...

HOWEVER - I support Browning in their want to keep their logo pure. If they wish to restrict their logo/trademark/graphics... so be it.

I too protect my intellectual property and creations derived from it. I have asked a number of sites to remove M1 photographs that appear on my site and were my creation. Not doing so might help to dilute copyright protection from them if I know about it.




Linking directly to photos on my sites if you are a JERK is dangerous too... One time someone was posting on a RAP music boardusing a picture of one of NorcalPrecision.com 's rifles as his "avatar" a picture that appears on each post.

I simply changed the gun picture out for a picture of wierd Al in cornrows. (Wierd al wasnt wlll liked by rappers after he did a spoof of a certain rapper".

I watched the rap group for the next few days as his buds made fun of him and he posted accusing the boards administrator of 'messin with his sh**".

Hhehehe

Anyway, bottom line is that its my opinion Browning SHOULD enforce their trademark stuff but that it is foolish as hell to attempt to dissalow simple direct html linking.

There IS an ongoing debate about if you can link to someone who does not want to be linked.. I wouldn't think thered be much of a chance of a case myself. But ask a lawyer.


I am still boycotting Smith and Wesson and Ruger still for their respective political agreements or actions, but I will not boycott Browning for making a stupid webmastering decission.

(Of course I'd buy several other brands before Browning for other reasons anyway but I still won't acticvely boycot them like I do with Smith and Ruger. :-)


Charles

BowStreetRunner
July 14, 2003, 10:08 PM
i for one arent going to boycott browning because they protected thier copyrighted logo, a boycott would be dumb, and im not going to imply that GUNTALK is crooked for condemning such a boycott, even if they do sponsor his show....the whole notion of a browning boycott is crazy
BSR

George Hill
July 15, 2003, 10:41 AM
It's not just about the stupid logo. Read it again.

WT
July 15, 2003, 10:50 AM
Looking at the original Browning emails I noted that Dameworth isn't even a lawyer, just a clerk.

Tempest
July 15, 2003, 12:57 PM
For those of you so quick to jump on the "Hate KABA" bandwagon - as Newslinks Director for the organization, it's my job to provide links to firearm/freedom-related news and commentary. We have linked to numerous news and comments over the years, even the sub-American ooze spewed by Brady and crew. This in no way implies that we agree with said ooze - we're merely linking to it for informational purposes. (This, of course, is not to imply that GUNED is sub-American ooze). I published the link, because it was relevant. It's entirely up to the reader to determine how they feel about the story. The staff of KeepAndBearArms.com has not publicized one way or another whether or not we support a boycott or any other action.

Privately, I told Mike Smith of GUNED that while Browning has every right to request he remove their copyrighted logo/material, I find the move lacking in business sense. However, as far as I'm aware, any person can access Browning's website by doing a search and typing in their address into their browser window. To require them to remove the link is, in my mind, something akin to preventing someone to giving another person directions on the street to a particular address.

Boycott them or not -- that's entirely your business, but in this case, your condemnation of KABA and cheap potshots are unwarranted and wholly unappreciated. Thanks.

bjengs
July 15, 2003, 06:11 PM
Oleg,

Any chance you could repost the "before" and "after" pictures from those KKK jerks? I haven't even seen the "after" picture and I was breathless with laughter...

dustind
July 15, 2003, 07:08 PM
I can not see why anyone is mad over the logo part. A boycott is rediculous.

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