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Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, 9:09 p.m.


Lots of people were making lots of U-turns here Saturday on southbound Route 19 just past Ace Sporting Goods. And lots more northbounders were parking on the wide berm just waiting to get into the parking lot of the popular gun shop.

It was another afternoon of what's become the new norm at Ace, known for its wide selection of handguns and rifles and for a respected staff that knows its stuff and generously shares it with customers in a very personal and low-key manner. (And just for the record, most gun shops are like this.)

One employee behind the counter noted he's never seen anything like what Ace has seen over the last several weeks — a pretty much packed shop from open to close. And he's been at it for 41 years.

There are plenty of sportsmen and sportswomen in the shop this springlike winter day. There also are many first-time buyers. The chatter indicates lots of concern about what Tuesday — today — might bring.

For it's the day Vice President Joe Biden is set to announce the recommendations of his gun task force in the aftermath of the Connecticut school massacre. Perhaps also there will be an inkling of any executive orders, allowable and/or extraconstitutional, that President Obama might be considering.

There doesn't appear to be much of an appetite (or votes) in Congress for feel-good, for-show measures that won't make anyone safer. Here, however, on this day, there's a very healthy appetite for exercising one's Second Amendment rights, an exercise that surely will continue to be most vigorous.

— Colin McNickle

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