The Most Fail in the First Sentence of an Anti-Gun Editorial In the History of the World Ever

 

Normally, I’d have served up the first sentence of the LA Times editorial Gun control made harder in California as a Quote of the Day. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t leave it to our Armed Intelligentsia. I wanted to be first in the parsing parade like a Dixie debutante wants to be the belle of the ball. Here’s the lead: “Even if you accept the notion that the 2nd Amendment confers an individual right to bear arms — a proposition we wish the Supreme Court had rejected — states should be able to place reasonable restrictions on that right in the interests of public safety.” I promise I’ll make this quick . . .

Even if you accept the notion that the 2nd Amendment confers an individual right to bear arms . . .

Notice that the author uses the word “notion” to describe American gun rights instead of “idea.” He knows full well that “notion” means “an impulse a desire, esp. one of a whimsical kind.” At the same time, he deploys the word to suggest that the individual right to keep and bear arms is “notional” as in “existing in the mind only.”

The rights protected by the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution — all of which are individual — are neither whimsical nor theoretical. They are as real as the men and women who have sacrificed their lives — and sent their children to war — to protect them. They are our natural, civil and Constitutionally protected rights.

The Constitution doesn’t “confer” (as in “grant or bestow”) the right to keep and bear arms. Like all our rights, the right to keep and bear arms is God-given or natural, depending on your perspective. But no matter where you ascribe their genesis, our right to protect ourselves, our families, communities, and country by force of arms exists outside the Constitution. The Second Amendment was created to shield that right from government infringement. That is all.

— a proposition we wish the Supreme Court had rejected —

The individual right to keep and bear arms is not a “proposition.” It is a fact. To call our gun rights a “proposition” is to demean and devalue them. What’s more, the word suggests that individual gun rights are subject to approval by someone other than the individual themselves. If rights can be proposed, they can be rejected. Speaking of which . . .

The author’s desire to see the Supremes reject an individual right to keep and arms — in favor of a collective right — indicates that he’s a collectivist. Someone who believes in the “ownership and control of the means of production and distribution by the people collectively, usually under the supervision of a government.”As well as everything else, including guns. Especially guns. History shows collectivism cannot be achieved with an armed populace.

. . . states should be able to place reasonable restrictions on that right . . .

Here’s how thefreedictionary.com defines “reasonable”:

1. Capable of reasoning; rational: a reasonable person.
2. Governed by or being in accordance with reason or sound thinking: a reasonable solution to the problem.
3. Being within the bounds of common sense: arrive home at a reasonable hour.
4. Not excessive or extreme; fair: reasonable prices.

Which of these four definitions describes current gun control regimes?

I know that no amount of logic will convince civilian disarmament proponents that their position lacks coherent reasoning and sound thinking, stands outside the bounds of common sense, and imposes extreme and unfair burdens on Americans. But even if gun control advocates’ regulations are/were “reasonable” — and I am not saying they are given that “reasonable” is an entirely subjective word — tough shit.

Every gun control law is an infringement on our natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Regardless of their entirely dubious efficacy, none of them are reasonable. Not one. Is it reasonable to deny men their right to practice their own religion or speak freely? Like that. Or like this . . .

Should states be able to place “reasonable restrictions” on voting rights like, say, a literacy test? It’s reasonable to think voters should be educated enough to cast their ballots sensibly. By the same token, it’s “reasonable” to insist that people who want to carry a gun should have to train in its use, undergo a criminal, legal and psychological background check, and show “just cause” for packing heat. But it’s not right. Nor is it legal.

. . . states should be able to place reasonable restrictions on that right in the interests of public safety. [emphasis added]

Ah yes, public safety. What could be more important than public safety? Individual rights. Especially (but not exclusively) the natural or God-given rights protected by the U.S. Constitution. As any student of World War Two movies will tell you, as soon as someone screams WE MUST HAVE ORDER! you know who the bad guy is. In this case, it sure as hell ain’t gun owners.

There is more to the editorial, of course. Who cares? The author’s put all his cards on the table in the first sentence. Except for one: “In some circumstances, permitting a citizen to carry a concealed weapon is justified.” It’s nice when statists deign to grant a citizen the ability to exercise their individual rights. It’s even better to see these proto-fascists humbled by the return of the rule of law, and then fade back into the darkness from whence they came. From my lips to God’s ears.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

121 Responses to The Most Fail in the First Sentence of an Anti-Gun Editorial In the History of the World Ever

  1. avatarCliff H says:

    Target rich environment. Sometimes they just make it easy, don’t they?

  2. avatarMorgan Y. says:

    Irresponsible Freedom of Speech User of the Year…

    • avatarBDub says:

      And that’s really the difference between them and us, isn’t it – none of use would realistically propose “rreasonable restrictions” on his tongue.

  3. avatarToasty says:

    Every law that every anti gun legislature passes rests on their belief in the first sentence of that editorial. Without exception.

  4. avatarJared-Tampa says:

    Is there a TTAG policy regarding flaming the Times Editorial Board?

  5. avatarPaul G. says:

    “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”

  6. Even if the Constitution acknowledges the right to keep and bear arms without infringement we of the LA TIMES say, “Screw you, Mr. Constitution Loving American. We know better.”

    Same old, same old.

  7. avatarValleyForge77 says:

    Just so wrong on so many levels. These people are rabid extremist socialists who would gladly sacrifice all of OUR freedoms so THEY feel a little wee bit safer in their little urban enclave, sipping their lattes. But it’s all an illusion ….or more properly, a delusion. A shared delusion… that only leads us (further) down the road to a socialist police state.

    I really think their mommies should have let them play outside a little more or something so they could learn some independence. Seems so Freudian, their craving to be cradled in safety by a parental figure.

  8. avatarpwrserge says:

    I wonder if he had to show “good cause” to publish his birdcage liner?

  9. avatarMark N. says:

    “Public safety” is an ancient and well accepted restriction on the exercise of rights. You have the right to free speech–except when you commit treason, incite violence, etc. the right is in this sense “conditional” and restricted. You can shout “fire!” in a crowded movie theater–as long as there is a fire; your right to speak is conditioned upon the existence of an actual emergency. You have the right to be secure in your houses and papers–unless the government has reasonable cause to suspect you of a crime. You can be compelled o give testimony–as long as the government agrees that you cannot be prosecuted for any such compelled speech. You can practice any religion you like–as long as the practice of that religion does not harm others, e.g., by calling for human sacrifice.

    The second amendment, as it has been construed to date, is no different. You have the right to bear arms on condition that you are not a felon or insane, or convicted of violence against others (e.g., corporal spousal abuse), in essence a public safety restriction. You have the right to bear arms–on condition that the owner of the property where you wish to carry allows it, whether that owner is public or private. The original laws banning concealed carry imposed conditions on the manner of carry–and even the Heller court suggested that such restrictions, imposed in the interest of public safety, are reasonable.

    Yes, I know that you have become an absolutist over time, but the courts do not work that way; the doctrines of stare decisis prevents it.

    • avatarJack in MT says:

      So, you’ve pointed out that the government can prosecute you for committing crimes (reckless endangerment, inciting violence, murder). Got it. The editorial is advocating for the 2nd amendment version of prior restraint. In other words, because you may at some point in the future commit a crime whilst carrying a firearm in public, your right to do so should be restricted. There’s a difference there if you’re willing to see it.

    • avatarThomasR says:

      The ten amendments are a restriction on federal power over the rights listed, not on the people. “The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”; at the time that was written, it was accepted that regular citizens outside of government control could own cannon, as well as any other implement of war that was common to the time.

      The courts have continued to infringe that right ever since; without actually going through the legal, constitutional process of amending the second amendment to at least attempt to be within constitutional law to allow that infringement.

      With every gun control law passed at a federal level since the thirties; the courts have been in violation of the constitution; if you actually believe in the rule of law.

    • avatardwb says:

      Please read the actual opinion, including the parts you don’t like. The opinion makes perfectly clear the precedents cited in Heller, particularly p28, that the cases cited in Heller protect the right to bear arms for self defense in public in some form. California bans open carry, which means that concealed carry must be allowed.

    • avatarIng says:

      I think I know what Mark N. is trying to get at. Rights in the abstract may be absolute, but in practice there’s no such thing. Individual rights bump up against each other and the laws that are built around them are necessarily relative and conditional.

      Yet if there’s one individual right that is utterly absolute, it’s the right of self-defense — the right to preserve one’s own life. Even right and wrong bow down before it. The most evil, wrongheaded person on the planet will fight to preserve his own life, and has an absolute right to do so (you wouldn’t expect him not to, would you?).

      I think sometimes we confuse the right for the tool. Guns aren’t the actual right, they’re the means. If it were possible to make every gun on earth vanish instantly, there would be no violation of rights involved; everyone would be on an equally primitive footing. But of course that can’t happen. Pandora’s box can’t be shut.

      Guns are so important because they’re the best tools humanity has yet invented for exercising the individual right of self-preservation…and conversely for removing it. We oppose gun control because it concentrates power in the hands of the controlling and unlawful and removes from peaceful people the ability to exercise the most fundamental right of all.

      • avatarThomasR says:

        There is absolutely nothing conditional or situational about “shall not be infringed”; this is an absolute restriction on the federal government passing any law to infringe our right the keep and bear arms suitable for the battle field.

        The only legal way to infringe that right is if they passed a constitutional amendment like they did for prohibition or to outlaw slavery; but the powers that be just ignored the law; like Obama is ignoring the fact that he can’t just make up law in regards to Obama care. But it is convenient for the government to just make up restrictions, especially about our gun rights.

        Of course; even if they ever passed an amendment to try to outlaw the second amendment; it wouldn’t be legal; which is what the second amendment is for. To be able to just say no, and mean it.

        • avatarLarry says:

          I suspect that there would be a real brouhaha, if not a full fledged revolution, if there would ever come to pass repeal of any of the amendments in the BOR. Personally, I don’t think that is possible, anyone who claims to have done it should be shot instantly. Literally! We don’t have the BOR anymore, right? So just shoot him. The BOR recognizes natural rights, and none of them can be “repealed” without a war.

        • avatarWilliam Burke says:

          SourceWatch confirms that the United States has been in a declared state of emergency since the War and Emergency Powers Act of 1933. While the meaning of this might be debated, it seems true that the WEPA of 1933 can be seen to have suspended the Constitution and Bill of Rights, as the WEPA was never repealed or declared null and void by any act of Congress.

          “When Congress declares an emergency, there is no Constitution.” – Dr. Eugene Schroder and David Schechter, WAR, CENTRAL PLANNING and CORPORATIONS.

    • avatarDave357 says:

      “Public safety” is an ancient and well accepted restriction on the exercise of rights.

      Limiting carry to handguns and not allowing long guns is an example of a restriction. I may not like it anyway, but that’s what it is. The “good cause” requirement rules out the ability to exercise the right for the vast majority of the adult population and is more akin to prohibition, not just a restriction.

      I would go further and say that the idea of needing a reason to exercise a right is a logical fallacy.

    • avatarneiowa says:

      Don’t really understand “shall not be infringed” do you. ONLY section of the Constitution which says “shall not be infringed”.

      This does not include any provision that another may restrict my rights. Including on property he owns and which he opens to the public (as any business).

      • avatarRich Grise says:

        ” Including on property he owns”

        You can refuse entry to whom you want, if it’s really your property. That renders the question of whether a visitor has rights moot.

        • avatarWilliam Burke says:

          If the local government can seize your property for non-payment of real estate (or property) taxes, it sorta makes property ownership a questionable proposition.

        • avatarRich Grise says:

          Whatever “due process of law” means, yeah. I guess it means that the biggest mob gets to rob the smaller mob and get away with it.

          Government isn’t just force, it’s institutionalized theft. As a metaphysicist, I see that government is Satan on Earth, but not very many people are ready to advance to that level of awareness.

        • avatarWilliam Burke says:

          And I didn’t even use the term, “institutionalized extortion”. Which it is.

        • avatarLarry says:

          I agree, the owner can refuse entry to whomever he wishes. That’s why we have concealed carry. I ignore “no guns” signs regularly, unless there is another place to do business available. In that case I call the manager, point at his sign, and tell him I am taking my business elsewhere.

        • avatarRich Grise says:

          “taking my business elsewhere.”

          Bingo! The Free Market is the most brutal and merciless regulator there is. If people don’t like your business practices, you go broke. I’m for Constitutional Carry, but I also support property rights.

    • avatarJ from Texas says:

      Are you trying to compete with this LA Times writer in a contest of stupidity? This is not an attack. This is a serious question. The pathetic use of “can’t shout fire in a theater” is all I need to read from a 2A denier to know they are clueless.

      As for your last paragraph, Yes, you know what I have become over time? You don’t know a thing, nothing. I will at least give you the courtesy you didn’t give the rest of us. I DON’T know the specific kind of condition someone might be afflicted with that would cause them to write something dishonest with both themselves and the reader. I can join in and make up things about your past if that makes it easier for you.

  10. avatarMichael B. says:

    So suddenly they’re all for states rights.

    lmao

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      That’s rich, ain’t it? Pick and choose. And this is definitely a case of them not being aware of the irony.

  11. avatarnemsis says:

    Sigh

  12. avatarTom W. says:

    By Decree: All 1st Amendment Rights to free speech, assembly and religion, are hereby declared “shall issue” (quote) “we wish the Supreme Court rejected”

    States should be allowed to apply reasonable restrictions on such things…..

    By God, I miss the days of tar and feathering, and running folks out on a rail….There is no reasoning with these people….

  13. avatarDrVino says:

    If they were to use “acceptable” or “tolerable” in place of “reasonable” they would reveal themselves to me more-than-proto-fascists.
    But they don’t want to do that.
    It’s not because they consciously want to deceive us. But, rather, because it would force them into the same crushing realization James Taggart has in the last chapter of Altas Shrugged, where they have John Galt in the basement “laboratory”.

  14. avatarFrank Masotti says:

    Epic fail

  15. avatarTom in Oregon says:

    Is the editorial the red pill, or the blue pill?

    • avatarValleyForge77 says:

      Blue Pill…. blissful ignorance of illusion (or more properly, delusion). They crave the safety of their mommie’s embrace. They have no need for any reality or fact that doesn’t fit in with their preconceived ideology or support their delusion.

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      Poison pill.

  16. avatarRockOnHellChild says:

    “…a proposition we wish the Supreme Court had rejected…”

    You know what they say about wishing and hands, don’t yah?

  17. avatarMaineuh says:

    Holy son of a… I really thought I was beyond surprises. This is a newspaper editorial, not a letter to the editor from some whack job. I keep reading that sentence over and over and it sounds more outlandish – and infuriating – every time. Just wow.

    • avatarJus Bill says:

      It’s an editorial by some whack job employed by that euphemistically termed “Editorial Board.” I have the feeling a former Soviet illegal found employment there recently. Maybe a professor.

  18. avatarTom W. says:

    “But this was a moral question, and the answer to it may not have been legally relevant.”
    ― Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil

    Since when was legal relevancy and adherence a roadblock to these folks? But, I digress, its Kalifornia,….the land of fruit and nuts to be sure.

  19. avatarJon Templeman says:

    Just plain sad…

  20. avatarMark L says:

    What kind of crap is that? If a person wishes to be able to protect themselves, it shouldn’t be dependent upon someone else making that determination or how much money that person has.
    The police can not protect us and self-protection is a human right. The criminals have guns and until the police or government effectively eliminate that threat, I refuse to disarm myself, even in California, which I travel through on the interstates. To be blunt about it, they can kiss my ass. I have a valid permit, but not for California, but I refuse to unload and lock my gun away in the car where it us useless.
    California can just S. M. D!

    • avatarLarry says:

      I am with you, have carried in downtown NYC and DC, not even worrying about it. The rest of the story is that I will NEVER plead, I want a jury trial and I want it tomorrow, I have the right to a “speedy” trial, not one 20 years from now.

      OTOH, first I have to be charged. If I mind my business and “conceal” my firearm, and refuse to be searched without probable cause, I do not ever expect to have to fight that battle.

  21. avatarValleyForge77 says:

    “Give me safety or give me death”, cries the liberal.

  22. But…on the other hand…does anyone pay any attention to “newspapers” anymore anyway?

    Hardly.

  23. avatarHannibal says:

    I’d plug in ’1st Amendment’ to that sentence except I bet they would prefer individuals NOT have the right to free speech so that they could have a monopoly.

  24. avatarOrion says:

    It’s an individual right and settled law…they can FOAD.

  25. avatarCameron S. says:

    That sentence made my blood pressure rise and made my bourbon bottle lose its cap and pour into my glass.

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      And rise and pour itself down your gullet, I hope. If you got that going on, who needs the glass?

      “Bottle, RISE!”

  26. avatarGS650G says:

    Anybody still read this rag? I thought they went out of business. I dumped my local liberal paper because we never used the coupons, the Sunday comix sucked eggs, and most of the stories were reprints from wire services with about 9 pages of true local reporting. With liberal bias as well.

  27. avatarMina says:

    you put this article away, almost as well as this gun rights guy from West Virginia Citizens Defense League does in the below clip:

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e6a_1392674590

    LIKE A BOSS.

    (he only gets extra points because his interaction was live and boy is he quick on his feet)

  28. avatarNoishkel says:

    More and more we get prime evidence of that fact that Gun Control really is crack pot religion. Propagated by zealots that will never be swayed by and fact.

  29. avatarRalph says:

    — a proposition we wish the Supreme Court had rejected —

    If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

  30. avatarBilly Colman says:

    With the intent of staying civil RF’s response pretty much covers it. Concise and aptly written. One of his best pieces IMO. It’s also my opinion that people who express these types of notions publicly, in the name of journalism do not deserve a civil response.

    • avatarMina says:

      …”people who express these types of notions … do not deserve a civil response” – 110% correct.

      They deserve exactly the sort of response that RF provides.

      In your face, take no prisoners, we refuse to be bullied by you!

  31. avatarDelmarva Chip says:

    I’m all for the same type of “reasonable restrictions” on guns in the same way that there are “reasonable restrictions” on speech or religion.

    You’re not allowed to say “I order you to kill that guy” to an employee. You’re not allowed to practice human sacrifice as part of your religion. In the same way, you’re not allowed to murder someone by shooting them simply because you have a right to keep & bear arms. I can go for that.

    Oh, that’s not what they meant? They meant that we should throw up as many legal hurdles as possible for law-abiding folks, make things outrageously expensive, and eventually just disarm all of the good people?

    Well %@#$ that. That’s just plain dumb.

  32. avatarArdent says:

    It’s nice (for once) to read the (professional) journalists here deconstructing an argument. All I can say is congratulations, you’ve done it well.

    One has to wonder if the author of the hit piece under deconstruction would like the Supremes to take a narrow interpretation of his right to free speech and declare that since what he says is both irrational and demonstrably untrue he is no longer allowed to say it. To behave as if the 1A is sacrosanct while using it to argue against the 2A is a level of hypocrisy and short-sightedness that boggles the mind. I’m frankly transfixed that anyone who wishes to can, without prior restraint, spew lies and disinformation into the public without recourse by the public to silence a disseminator of lies and misinformation other than free market economics. I submit that we need ‘press control’ with a panel to determine what can be published and what might be ‘dangerous’. Journalists can obtain licenses on a may-issue basis after a background check to ensure that they have never abused the right to speak freely or committed any other of a laundry list of prohibited acts.

    Once journalists agree to these conditions I’ll be interested in hearing about their opinions on the 2A. Until then, not so much.

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      The LAT is state-approved journalism; they know they represent no threat to the Establishment. They ARE the Establishment. They are a government mouthpiece.

      • Exactly correct. That is how they see themselves. They were all for first amendment rights when they were one of the few, all of like mind, that could effectively use them.

        Now that they have effective competition, the first amendment suddenly needs some serious “regulation”. A great many “journalists” have called for regulation of the Internets, and to bring back the “fairness doctrine”.

    • avatarMarcus Aurelius says:

      You do realize that this very thing is being proposed right now, right? The FCC wants to put officials in TV and radio news rooms to monitor content.

  33. avatarMotoJB says:

    Wow, seriously? That’s maddening…

  34. avatarWilliam Burke says:

    I don’t know about “fail”; methinks the LAT knows exactly what they’re doing.

  35. avatarMk10108 says:

    Well done Robert.

  36. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    Reasonable restrictions for public safety lat? Who is the public that is not safe with lawfull gun owners? Is it the soccer mom driving her kids to school(no, she is safe), is it the little girlscout selling cookies(no she is safe),is it the Black gentleman walking his family down the sidewalk(no, he is safe), Is it the people of the church leaving after service(no, they are safe). Then who is the “public” thats not safe with armed citizens?. Sadly, we may never be able to figure this out, dratt the luck.

  37. avatarS.CROCK says:

    it is nice to see the surprising amount of pro 2A comments in the la times comment section of this article.

  38. avatarPatriot says:

    “a proposition we wish the Supreme Court had rejected”

    The Supreme Court has absolutely no authority to “reject” the Bill of Rights. The LA Times can FOAD.

  39. avatarRich Grise says:

    “God-given or natural,”

    S/B ‘God-given, or natural.’ They’re one and the same, just as God’s Will is Free Will.

  40. avatarMediocrates says:

    Ahhh public safety… The current unbounded and unfounded fantasy used by the Federal courts to undermine the Constitution.

  41. avatarMaineuh says:

    Man, I just sat and read every single comment following the editorial. There might have been two people who support anti-gun measures, but they barely managed a whimper. The writer of that piece got torched by a couple hundred very well worded responses and very, very few blithering ones. It really helps offset the rage and disgust inspired by the editorial itself.

  42. avatarDon says:

    I don’t think these gun banner people have thought things through.

    How many of us who have done and will do no harm to any innocent person will they have to put in jail using their arbitrarily criminalizing laws before their “gun control” is indistinguishable from taking political prisoners? How many of us who have done and will do no harm to any innocent person will they be able to stack up using their outsourced-violence-makers (police) before their “gun control” is indistinguishable from a crime against humanity?

  43. avatarTimbo says:

    . . . states should be able to place reasonable restrictions on that right in the interests of public safety. [emphasis added]

    “We know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding ‘interest-balancing’ approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government—even the Third Branch of Government—the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon. A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all. Constitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes) even future judges think that scope too broad. . . . [T]he enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.” – DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER (No. 07-290) 478 F. 3d 370, affirmed.”

    PS. LA Times – Piss Off

  44. avatarRB2001 says:

    I wonder if such idiots realize that if this can be done to one of the Amendments, it can be done to all off them. Then I think, yes the probably do and maybe that’s the point.

  45. avatarGregg says:

    The administration is implementing a multi-prong attack on the Constitution. they are now going after the 1St amendment:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/20/why-fcc-should-keep-its-nose-out-tv-newsrooms/

    Obviously, Obama’s oath to obey, protect, and defend the Constitution means nothing to him and his minions.

  46. avatarJeff says:

    Yikes! Government confers rights to the citizenry? THIS is why sending your child to a public school is child abuse.

  47. avatarDogman says:

    I worked for a daily newspaper for over 15 years. Sometimes I just marveled at how some of the reporters and editors managed to get dressed in the morning and find their way to work.

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      Same here, close to 13 years. Same observations. There was one editor, older guy (I’m older now than he was then, however) who was pretty on-the-ball. He’d buy a paperback dictionary, rip out a page, and stick it in his back pocket. When he wasn’t busy, he’d take it out and study it. Eventually, the dictionary was gone, so he’d buy a new one.

      I always admired that. But the reporters? Just as you say.

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