Jonathan Gruber

Robert recently stirred up considerable controversy over the request that readers comment on the differences in the Democrat and Republic approaches to Second Amendment liberties. There is no question that some with generally “progressive” tendencies also have an appreciation for the Second Amendment and gun ownership. There is also no question that liberals as a whole never rest in their desire to disarm the honest and law-abiding of any and every political persuasion. Conservatives may indeed welcome progressive gun owners without stereotyping them, but for most progressives, the opposite tends not to be true . . .

The Washington Post recently reported—and this must have caused them great distress—that the tide has shifted dramatically against gun control forces in favor of liberty:

“For the first time since Pew began asking the question two decades ago, a majority of Americans now say that gun rights are more important than gun control — a striking shift in public opinion over both the last generation and just the last few years. As recently as December 2012, in the immediate aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., shooting, 51 percent of people surveyed by Pew said it was more important to control gun ownership than protect the rights of gun owners.

That consensus has since disappeared, confirming the fears of many gun-control advocates that outrage after Newtown wouldn’t last long.

What’s most striking in Pew’s new data is that views have shifted more in favor of gun rights since then among nearly every demographic group, including women, blacks, city-dwellers, parents, college graduates, millennials and independents. The two groups that haven’t budged? Hispanics and liberal Democrats.

These numbers may capture the short memory of many Americans. But the long-term trend is undeniably grim for gun-control advocates, who seem to be losing ground even among their strongest traditional sympathizers.”

For lefties, there is always a rationalization of the public’s lack of appreciation for their policies. No progressive policy can possibly be wrong. So American’s lack of support for gun control is due to their collective short memory. Or, as MIT professor and Obamacare architect Johnathan Gruber has so glibly and serially remarked, their stupidity and lack of awareness of what is best for them. Therefore, they must be deceived to give them what they’re not smart enough to know they need. Fortunately for all of us, there are people like Congressional Democrats and the leaders of anti-gun groups who have the dizzying intellects necessary to make up for the generally pathetic mental abilities of the general public.

This unshakeable belief is in part why progressives are always plotting and planning, working for the long term, as Tim Devaney at The Hill notes:

“Gun control advocates in Congress are looking to revive failed legislation strengthening background check regulations.

A handful of Democratic lawmakers said Tuesday they plan to push once again for universal background checks on all gun sales in the new Congress, even though they recognize it will be an uphill battle with Republicans taking majority control.

Background check legislation failed to gain traction in the outgoing Congress despite a string of high-profile school shootings that gun control advocates had hoped would turn the political tide in their favor. They say it’s only a matter of time.

‘When you don’t pass background checks, it’s just much more likely that someone will get their hands on an illegal gun and use it to kill their neighbors or their classmates,’ said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will join the call for expanded background checks at an event on Wednesday.”

Propaganda, rather than fact, is also a useful tool to the unscrupulous that lust for power over their fellow citizens:

“Ninety-five school shootings since Newtown, and what has Congress done?’ Murphy asked. ‘Nothing.

‘Congress’s failure to act makes it, in fact, an aider and abettor to those deaths that could be prevented,’ added Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).”

As has been widely reported, the idea that there have been 95 or more “school shootings” since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School is, to put it kindly, badly mistaken. It is, to put it honestly, a blatant lie.

“The gun lobby has suggested that expanding background checks will only keep guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, because criminals will go around the law.

But Democrats disagree.

‘Background checks won’t stop everyone, but it’s our first line of defense,’ said Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), chairman of the House gun violence prevention task force. ‘We need to expand it, we need to do it now.”

All that’s missing is, “if it saves even one life, we must do it.” Of course, were this true, there could be no individual rights because the exercise of virtually every right could be implicated in at least one death in a nation of more than 300 million. Public policy isn’t made that way, but propaganda is.

Notice too that Progressives are not asking for “assault weapon” bans or “high-capacity magazine” bans— the ends of the careers of democrat politicians and current public opinion won’t allow it–but only—for the moment—background checks. One may be certain that any such bill will also contain many back doors allowing more anti-freedom provisions in the future. Congressmen don’t do anything as pedestrian as actually reading or writing the bills on which they vote, so filling any bill with riders and attachments is as easy as ordering pizza. It must always be remembered that Mr. Obama still has a pen and a phone and two years to use them against the rights of the law-abiding, as he has promised to do. That will likely be one promise he will actually keep.

The Christian Science Monitor explains:

“A dramatic swing in public opinion when it comes to guns and gun control may be driven by current events – particularly high-profile police killings in Staten Island, N.Y., and Ferguson, Mo., a gun control advocate says.

‘Those of us inside [the gun control movement] sometimes focus too much on what’s important to us, and [the Pew survey suggests] that we need to get out of that box and think more about, ‘What’s the average person thinking in terms of whether they should buy a gun?’”says Ladd Everitt, a spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, in Washington.

That includes the realization, he says, that changes in attitudes about gun ownership may be tied to ‘a number of factors at play in the current news cycle that suggests a diminishing confidence in law enforcement, and lessening of faith in government … to protect them.’

In The Washington Post’s The Fix, Aaron Blake writes that polls have long shown a trend toward gun rights among Americans. The one exception was in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings in December 2012.”

Actually, the aftermath of the Newtown massacre was capped by the resounding and embarrassing–for Progressives–defeat of draconian gun control measures championed by President Obama. That’s not much of an exception.

To whatever degree Americans are coming to realize that government cannot protect them, that is a very good thing indeed. Not only do government, and particularly the police, have no legal obligation to protect any individual, the police cannot be held liable for failing to protect anyone.  This does not mean that the police generally won’t try. Virtually every law enforcement agency, often backed by state law, has rules that require their officers to take all necessary and reasonable action in dealing with any issue of which they are aware. There is also significant peer pressure among police officers at work; no officer wants to be seen as a coward.

Many politicians continue to justify gun control efforts with the falsehood that it is the responsibility of the police to protect people. If they know better and say this, they are liars. If not, they still do considerable damage. Government has no conscience, no emotions, no honor. It is moved to protect no one and it will not allow itself to be held accountable for that failure, but it will allow—even encourage–people to think it will protect them. Those that cling to that belief are often not around later to cast votes adverse to governmental goals.

“Pew’s question presents one side emphasizing the protection of individual rights versus restricting gun ownership,’ said Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, in a statement. The question’s implicit and incorrect assumption is that regulations of gun sales infringe on gun owners’ rights and control their ability to own guns.”

There go those reactionary, dim-witted gun owners again. How could anyone imagine that “regulations of gun sales infringe on gun owners’ rights and control their ability to own guns”? Perhaps because that’s the purpose of gun control regulation? Perhaps because gun owners have decades of experience with gun controllers and their rhetoric and tactics? Perhaps because the language of the Second Amendment is extraordinarily clear and the historical record equally clear?

Gun owners also tend to be remarkably colorblind. The history of gun control is deeply rooted in anti-black racism, racism expressed for generations most viciously by southern democrats, a sordid history well documented by historian Clayton Cramer in “The Racist Roots of Gun Control.” 

More Black Americans are discovering that civil rights go far beyond voting and other traditional topics, indeed, that the Second Amendment stands to secure the rights of all Americans.

“The Rev. Kenn Blanchard, author of ‘Black Man With a Gun: Reloaded,’ argues that the Pew findings represent a generational shift in the black community, where ‘all the old heads say this [pro-gun] stuff is the devil, [but] the new guys are, like, ‘I don’t think so.’

He adds: ‘There’s a racial divide, too, that the anti-gun people have been using to suggest that white people don’t want black people to have firearms. But what I see are my white brothers, the old geezers, who are saying to the younger black generation: ‘Here’s a gun, I’ll show you how to shoot it.’”

While the motives and goals of gun grabbers never change, they do shift language and tactics:

“But more generally, the [Pew] survey had ‘valuable data … that we need to take very seriously,’ says Mr. Everitt, whose organization was the only gun violence prevention group that waded into the debate over the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. ‘We have to understand that, as an organization that advocates for changes in the law, we need to be stewards of accountable, good government, and that’s hard when people see government not acting in the public’s best interest.”

Mr. Everitt and those like him are incapable of seeing or admitting that the public simply doesn’t want what they’re selling. For them, it’s always a matter of “messaging.” They’re just not selling their product with effective advertising, and if only they can come up with the right language and angles, Americans will gladly surrender their rights, the reality of what is good for them finally dawning in their dim little minds.

Public perceptions have indeed changed, and for very obvious reasons. While violent crime rates have been declining for decades, Americans realize that the police cannot protect them, and that lower crime rates do not mean that criminal violence cannot or will not be visited on anyone, anywhere at any time. More and more Americans are taking individual responsibility for their safety and the safety of their loved ones.

It has also become glaringly obvious that Government does not have the best interests of the American people at heart. The recent rioting in Ferguson, accompanied by politicians forcing the police and National Guard to allow racist mobs to burn and loot, have surely gone a long way toward reinforcing in the minds and hearts of Americans the wisdom of the Founders in writing the Second Amendment. The criminal-coddling rhetoric of the President and Attorney General in the wake of Ferguson and the Staten Island grand jury decisions have not caused Americans to believe that the government will protect them.

In 2007, James Taranto of Opinion Journal Online printed a brief article about The Chicago Tribune’s puzzlement over the decline of crime rates in Illinois. Sadly, it is no longer available on the Internet, but here’s a quote:

“No one theory explains why crime rates have declined in Illinois and around the country since the early 1990s. A decline in drug and alcohol abuse has been a welcome contributor. Community policing has been effective in many places. Crime tends to be an occupation of the young, but the population is aging. More people have been locked up and kept off the streets. The economy has been strong, unemployment low.

All have been factors in a welcome reduction in crime.

What’s harder to explain is why, though crime has fallen so sharply, prison admissions have continued to rise.”

Dim-witted Americans can figure that one out: more repeat felons in jail means fewer crimes. They can also figure out, with an ease that’s stupefying to their intellectual superiors, why being armed and prepared are necessary and very, very smart.

Mike’s Home blog is Stately McDaniel Manor.

47 Responses to Americans Can Solve This Equation: Armed + Prepared = Smart

  1. I think it helps that we have areas of the country that are becoming little more than mini-failed states. Those local governments are shutting down electricity and water service, so timely police response is out of the question. Nothing is going to make a citizen want a gun more than having a government that is only effective when it comes to bullying it’s citizens all the while being impotent in regards to controlling actual threats.

  2. Robert, you’re a better man than I to go wagging through some of the drivel you do. Some of those quotes almost gave me a nosebleed.

  3. NC has a version of “universal background checks.”
    A person not holding a Conceal Carry Handgun (CCH) permit must get a Pistol Purchase Permit (PPP) for each firearms purchase, whether through a store, a gun show, or private sale.
    But here’s the catch. Only the law abiding follow the law.
    Occasionally a stupid criminal tries to buy a gun legally. But not often. A case I heard about, a guy that moved from Florida to NC actually applied a PPP at the Sheriff’s office. Apparently he forgot about this thing called computers connected via the internet. When the SO ran the background check they found an outstanding felony warrant in Florida. They called him up and said his PPP was available for pickup. He came down to pick it up and got hooked up with a new pair of bracelets instead.

    My wife and I got PPP’s for our first pistol purchases and then got our CCH permits.
    But criminals don’t go through the legal process. Never have. Never will. Such laws only aid the black market for illegal guns.

    • thats not even close to a universal background check. First of all, purchase permits apply only to handguns. Any long gun can be sold without one either from an. Ffl or private sale. Nor would that private sale require any check at all. The permits are stupid, but don’t equate them with universal checks

  4. Hmmm… as a blue gun-owner I frequently get prejudged but manage to not prejudge my red compatriots; sadly however, I’ve been forced to postjudge some of ’em.

    Unfortunately, as the Blue Party Line seems to be largely Statist and anti-liberty, so the Red Party Line seems to advocate a wholesale repeal of the twentieth century.

    Still, Kansas and I tend to get along.

    • “so the Red Party Line seems to advocate a wholesale repeal of the twentieth century.” Actually I would probably be in favor of repealing every gun law of the 20th century. All of them.
      And every welfare program, and every tax too. Not all at once, understand, but a concerted program deliberately enacted over whatever period of time necessary for the adjustments.
      Social culture and technological advances have largely been positive over the 20th century, and most of the abd aspects of the social culture can be traced to the legal culture. So those can stay.

      • Repeal of the gun laws, certainly.

        However, I’m thinking of women’s rights, voting rights, the right to organize, the right of the State to prevent cadmium sludge from being dumped into rivers, integration, DWI laws et cetera.

        Too far in either direction is over the edge, and each abyss has its own dragons.

        • There is no abyss in removing the government from the every day lives of Americans and their businesses. Simply put, “voting rights” have been used as an excuse to disenfranchise millions of white voters. “Women’s rights” have been used to emasculate an entire generation of men. “Rights to organize” have led to flat out extortion where you must give your hard earned money to a corrupt union to even work at a facility willing to employ you. Do I need to go on?

          The simple fact is that all of the progressivism in the 20th century has led to the needless deaths of hundreds of millions of people. It needs to be burned out root and branch.

        • BS…You imply that Republicans are for repealing “women’s rights, voting rights, the right to organize, the right of the State to prevent cadmium sludge from being dumped into rivers, integration, DWI laws et cetera.” which is blatantly false. Show us any main stream GOP politician that has advocated for any of the policies you describe here. Prove it or it didn’t happen. Don’t quote a “fringe” voice and portray it as main stream. To do so would be dishonest.

        • “However, I’m thinking of women’s rights, voting rights, the right to organize, the right of the State to prevent cadmium sludge from being dumped into rivers, integration, DWI laws et cetera.”

          seriously, I’m sick of seeing this complete bullshit being spouted all over the internet, so for the 1,000th time I will respond with my same response, and NO liberal has ever responded to my statement, once. Ever.

          Please, name ONE piece of legislation the GOP is trying to pass that is going to “bring back jim Crowe” or “put women back in kitchen” or “have gays stoned in the street”. NAME ONE!?!?! The GOP is not trying to do any of this. They are not trying to push religion, racism or sexism on anyone. At all. You’ve been completely brainwashed by the democratic party to think this. Do you know where this whole lie comes from? It comes from a few foul-mouthed “right-wing” radio/tv show hosts and the occasional GOP politician that doesn’t know when to shut their mouths. It also comes from simple bad politicking left over from the 1990s when the “conservative revolution” caused to the Carl Rove to get the Republican Party to draw in all Evangelical religious movements at the time for nothing more than pure votes. Thats what parties do- chase votes. That has since died, and the GOP is still paying for it politically as the “party of religion”. Now, do you know what party really does have a REAL race based agenda? The democrats.

        • No offense intended, but the voter fraud the Dems are desperate to keep in place disenfranchises legitimate votes. No one should deny there’s fraud–in TX the old Dems brag about it. I was raised in that party. They’re still buying votes in S TX.

          No Repub is trying to keep minorities from voting, and in contrast to the Dems we think minorities are smart enough to get free ID. One of Holder’s own witnesses in a voter rights hearing said that minorities are too stupid to figure out where their polling place is on their own. That’s disgusting racism.

          No one in the GOP wants to take rights away from women or anyone else. Meanwhile we have Dems always trying to find ways to restrict free political speech.

        • The Democrats want to deny women the RIGHT to the best means to protect ourselves from our larger, much stronger attackers.

          That makes them my enemy, for life. I will never vote for any Democrat for the rest of my life, for any office.

          —a former Democrat.

  5. Wow… I could say so much bad (but true) stuff about all those quotes, but I’ll instead cherry-pick my favourite:

    “… 51 percent of people surveyed by Pew said it was more important to control gun ownership than protect the rights of gun owners … That consensus has since disappeared …”

    In what Universe is 51% a fu¢king “consensus?!?” This guy’s IQ must be room temperature – in Celsius, in an igloo.

    • In the same Universe where Obama winning with 51% is a mandate, and the 2014 elections have no affect on implementing policies that he said were on the ballot.

  6. Don’t expect the Democrats to moderate their position on gun control or anything else.. They hold almost no seats outside Progressive enclaves. There is no incentive to move to the center. The only thing that will change that is black America wakes up to the fact that the current crop of Democrats aren’t much different than their KKK ancestors.

  7. If the government fears gun ownership , we have liberty (as it should be), If the people fear the government (as today) the people are losing liberty….all government is a BEAST and we must keep it on a SHORT lease ….I can not remember I my life time that the government has given us more LIBERTY………….SAD but true ………the GOP is almost as anti-liberty as the DEMS… most are ONE WORLD government be it Hilary Clinton or Jeb Bush ….We need to wake the AMERIKAN people UP that we are only 45 % free and losing fast…and must vote 3 rd. party and stop losing with this lesser of 2 evils votes we have now as we always lose and it’s planned this way…

      • More government is more EVIL, less government is less EVIL… the only government I need is National defense …………..and we have NONE , no EMP defense, no border defense, no civil defense, and no start wars defense… the only government we have is a SLAVE to the ONE WORLD ORDER and NOTHING being done is in the interest or for the WELFARE of the American people ………so now we BAIL OUT CUBA and the always failed system of SOCIALISM AGAIN and AGAIN …we have bail the communist out since FDR and never looked back at losing LIBERTY…WHY????????

        • Ok, I am referring to your advocacy of 3rd party voting. Why go through the expense of building another political party when it would be much easier and faster to co-opt an existing party via the primary election process?

        • The reason WE MUST go 3 rd. party is the old line GOP , is 1000 % against all the new tea party members and hate the tea party / pro America NEW GUYS voted in the GOP is 100 % at WAR with the new guys and the DEMS and the old GOP good old boys are ALL SOLD out NEW WORLD ORDER …Nothing will change for the better , look for a total world money crash and lots of false flags and lies from both parties , look for world war 3 , and may lots of hard times , the debt can NEVER BE PAID ….it’s total house of cards ….all build on lies … our money is all lies , THIN AIR …is anyone hearing the American people have been had …GOD only at this point can SAVE AMERICA …breaks my heart what is coming…………

        • You’re right. Establishment GOP is as much against “TEA” party conservatives as much as socialist democrats. It takes either party showing a great turnout to defeat the other party on election night. A party loses if even one sub group of party’s voters (such as brown 5′ 9″ men with receding hairline) don’t show up at the polls.
          So what is your plan? Take a sub group of the GOP (conservatives/pro gun/limited government) and add some more voters to overcome both Republicans and Democrats on election night. How will that work when it happens?

        • First 2A people need to get down dirty , get some backbone in the American people , work the poles , and give out literature, get on the radio , YES you will turn some people , start at work, church, play, clubs, you have to say I will not take it any more….any thing less is losing ,,,why play by the one world rules,, REAL CHANGE comes bottom up……

  8. ” . . . liberals as a whole never rest in their desire to disarm the honest and law-abiding of any and every political persuasion.
    Truer words were never spoken. That’s why conservatives need to counter it by going all alpha & taking action – like filing bills & petitions for the removal of sales tax from firearms & ammo, scaling back registration & confiscation schemes, filing amicus briefs in manufacturer liability lawsuits (e.g. Sandy Hook families vs. Bushmaster) and other things to stop RTKBA infringements, plus initiating e-mail, phone & letter-writing campaigns to Congress & state legislatures. Counter tireless liberal action with tireless conservative action!

    • In this case the “+” is a logical operator and not an algebraic one. So it is to be read Smart and Armed = Prepared. both must be true for the result to be true.

        • Really when it comes to logical operators + is equivalent to “or” not “and” * is equivalent to “and” (thinking of false =0, true=!false)

  9. The history of gun control is deeply rooted in anti-black racism…
    That’s not true. It’s equally rooted in anti-Chinese, anti-Mexican, anti-Irish, anti-Italian, anti-Greek, anti-German, anti-Japanese, and anti-Native American racism. And there’s probably some sexism and anti-Semitism in there somewhere, too.

  10. The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research cited as authoritative in the WaPo article used to be called The Bloomberg School of Public Health. Little Mikey still funds it. It’s a statist propaganda machine disguised to look like a serious academic organization.

    Johns Hopkins sold out for Bloombucks and no can longer even pretend to be interested in independent research.

    • Bloomberg established a very well funded foundation. It pays for the pursuit of his gun-control dreams, as well as his other “health” initiatives. Jeb Bush was (and for all I know, is) a member of the board of that foundation. We have some serious primary fights coming up in the next presidential election cycle.

    • I can understand you pain upon hearing that but it’s true for most Liberal politicians. If you think they don’t represent you then it is up to armed liberals to communicate that fact to the liberal political class so that they understand that you disagree with them.

    • Using vulgarities & telling those who disagree with you to go bleep themselves only shows the inherent weakness of your argument.

      Are you one of those Diane Feinstein “guns for me but not for thee” liberal gun owners?

      Now, take a deep breath, back away from the f-word, and try advancing your beliefs, this time with facts & logic.

  11. One can defanently (I have trouble with that word) see a shift when it comes to gun control advocates trying to push their agenda. It used to be a calmed demeanored “Okay guys, here what you should do”, but now it’s shifting towards more spastic “Listen to me!” as more and more people wake up to the truth.

  12. Elite Progressives have lots of highfalutin language about “vox populi, vox Dei” and “one man, one vote.” But for elite Progressives the reality of most voters being stupid and easily manipulated is a feature of democracy, not a bug.

  13. As recently as December 2012, in the immediate aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., shooting, 51 percent of people surveyed by Pew said it was more important to control gun ownership than protect the rights of gun owners.

    That consensus has since disappeared….

    When was fifty one percent ever a “consensus”?? Yeesh.

  14. republicans are frequently the most dangerous anti-2a opponents.

    a number of prominent republicans campaigned hard to pass i-594 in washington state, and continue to attack gun owners at every opportunity.

    never forget the brady campaign was founded by a republican from ronald reagan’s cabinet.

    bloomberg is a republican.

    • I think Bloomberg changed from Republican to “Independent” in his last election. Regardless he leans left with Statist tendencies, so any other label is meaningless.

  15. Americans Can Solve This Equation: Armed + Prepared = Smart

    Okay but then why can’t Americans understand that participating in the party generated battle of ideologies is a fool’s errand and stupid? Brand loyalty and sports fan defense of one’s chosen ideology is the mark of a fool but we’re talking about normally mature and intelligent American adults. Proving only that most of us remain deceived by both political parties.

    Even talking about “progressives’ is a waste of time. Simple fact: the Democrats discovered in the wake of the assassinations of the 1960s that some people could be duped into believing that controlling the mail order sales of guns would stop political assassinations. They further discovered that some (mostly over-urbanized gun-fearing) people could be recruited as a voting block. The anti-gun “movement” has been the sole province of the Democratic Party from the beginning and it still is! They’re not “progressives” they’re Democrats – just like the Republicans aren’t “conservatives” but tools of their big money contributors. (as they have been since the late 19th Century).

    This real issue is how to stir a reaction out of the other 95% of gun owners who number 100 million. Only about 5-6% of gun owners are concerned enough to do even the simplest things to protect their own interests (send emails to Congress, etc). It’s almost funny because Obama’s merely mentioning guns brings a wave of gun buying and ammo hoarding. It’s like 20 million of those 100 million gun owners care only about getting their own guns and storing up their own ammo. One reason is: they want no part of “partisan politics” but don’t really know why. So posing ideological arguments based on “conservative ideology” won’t get to more than about 5-6% of gun owners. See?!

  16. Who owns your life? Who has the ultimate legitimate authority to control your life and property?

    You? Or someone else?

    If you know you own your life, the motives and intentions and “goodness” of those who would treat you like slaves and cattle are irrelevant. If you choose lords and masters over self ownership, I’m sorry. Thing is… nobody can choose that for me or anyone else, so this whole political/ vote thing is a fraud and a scam.

    Guns, and the right of self defense, do not exist in a vacuum. You either own yourself or you don’t. And nobody legitimately owns another human being, for any reason.

  17. I agree with your article up unto the point where it’s said, “What’s harder to explain is why, though crime has fallen so sharply, prison admissions have continued to rise.” What is so shocking about this is that you provided the simplest answer which misses the mark by about the same amount of miles as the Earth’s #2 asteroid threat. It can be explained by the creation of more moral and victimless crime laws coupled with privitization of prisons with contracts which require very high occupancy rates. In other words, the jails are not overcrowded as they are booked to be that way. Also, for this scheme, there is supposed to be a revoving door. Higher education has been stripped out of the jails along with anything that could remotely rehabilitate. My only issue.

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