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Smith & Wesson tattoo (courtesy

I’m toying with the idea of having “Never Again” tattooed on the inside of my right arm. (The Nazis tattooed my aunt’s arm in the same place.) There’s only one question keeping me from getting inked: why advertise? The same question occurs to me re: the gun tat above. I suppose the warning could help if a bad guy’s sneaking up behind you. In that case, the young lady above better hope deterrence is more important than operational security. I’m no tattoo connoisseur – yet – but that looks like a pretty good job: a faithfully rendered logo and elegantly inked lettering in reasonable proportion to each other. Kudos to sbratton, who deserves more than one fan, methinks. What’s your take?

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  1. Wow. S&W tattoo. That’s pretty crazy. I’m not into tattoos, but to each his own. If I had to get one. I would choose very carefully, as it is a lasting piece of you that isn’t easily taken back.

    I once knew of a guy that lost his ear in an accident. So he got a tattoo of a giant bass fish on the side of his face. His ear hole was fishes mouth. Later he had trouble finding employment.

  2. Since I now have an artificial heart valve, a pacemaker, a defibrillator, false teeth, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and a colostomy, I have been considering getting a tattoo reading “batteries not included – some assembly required”.

  3. Personally, I’m not a fan of things that can get me shot due to being mistaken for a gang member, have the potential to give me hepatitis, or things that can cause me problems at work.

    Some tattoo inks have a problem with large, rapidly changing magnetic fields, as in MRI machines or where my day job sometimes takes me.

    So for me, tattoos are a three-fer no-thank-you.

    But I have no problems with those who go for them.

    • Sounds like you have a huge problem with those who have them. Maybe it’s just the out dated and no longer relevant FUD that you are so eager to toss around. I’d probably have problems with people who don’t look like me as well, if we were living in the past.

      • FUD has nothing to do with it. Tattoos are cliche. Now that hipsters are getting them en masse, the edginess that tattoos once represented has fully evaporated. Most of the grownups that I know are embarrassed that they have them.

        Tattoos are one of the material signs of latent narcissism. My opinion is they make people look trashy. I do not fear inked-up people, I pity them.

        • I agree about meaningless tattoos. However, when done properly, tattoos are a wonderful thing. Ink should be deeply personal (not “Fuck you” tattooed on your arm like a god damn loser). For example, I knew a man who had a tattoo on his right shoulder. It was a dreamcatcher (his Native American heritage was extremely important to him) with the three names of his beloved children on the edges. THAT is what tattoos are about. Something permanently displayed on your skin should be deeply personal. When done properly, they are a wonderful form of art. When they are abused (by immature idiots or people who get a design that looks cool, and for no other reason than that), they are trashy and pathetic. But it’s a mistake and, frankly, pretty disrespectful to say that all tattoos are trashy.

      • Little Mo, it sounds like you are unnecessarily jumping on someone for having outdated information (or misinformation), and perhaps covertly accusing him of prejudice when none may be warranted.

        Instead of giving the benefit of the doubt, and being helpful by giving correct information, you assume the worst, and insult him. Not really cool, IMO.

        • Eh.

          Guess I stepped on a nerve or something. Not like that’s not happened before … but when I do it I usually prefer to have done it on purpose. 😉

          As far as it goes I’m far from being I’m a position to judge based on appearance, but I think that’s another conversation.

    • No one’s ever gotten hepatitis from a reputable tattoo parlor. If a tattoo artist works out of the trunk of his car, however, avoid him like the plague he is.

    • @Jake: I agree, a meaningless tattoo like your example, or a Japanese carp is foolish and usually following the latest trend. I have 1, which is deeply personal to me. A Scottish Highlander’s cross that represents my faith, heritage, and my military service as well as that of my dad, grandfathers, and great grandfather. I put it on the inside of my forearm, just to piss off intolerant libtards. I don’t regret it; it’s a part of me. Maybe 1 more that will also have significant meaning to me. Insure as hell wouldn’t put a corporate logo on my skin, but maybe S&W has deep meaning to that person.

      I don’t believe that a couple of tattoos signify narcissism. People that get sleeves, or multiple tattoos on their abdomen, could be narcissistic, or have low self esteem and need to draw attention to themselves. But many of them just embrace that “lifestyle”, and voluntarily limit their employment options (if they have ink that can’t be covered by clothing. They certainly aren’t going to be hired by a law firm. I try not to judge. To each his own.

  4. That is one darn good ink job. Not my cup of tea for a tat, as I won’t even wear clothes with a brand logo (‘cuz no one is paying me to advertise for them), but to each their own.

  5. It’s a well-done tat. Nice, clean lettering. Bravo. I’ve notice most of the artists I’ve met tend to lean (fairly heavily) towards the Constitution. I’ve got four (so far), including thd obligatory Molon Labe on my forearm. Yeah, it is advertising, among other things.

  6. Looks like an airbrush tattoo. I had a Jim Beam one at the Kid Rock concert last year. Maybe Smith/Wesson are doing this at the SHOT show or some other gun show? Not being a permanent mark makes it fun for a day or two. Takes a little scrubbing to get them to go away.

    • I don’t know, that looks like a fair amount of swelling/irritation around the edges.

      I don’t mind tattoos, I’ve just never come across the “right” something to place it permanently on my body. And I probably won’t….this wedding ring is permanent enough…

  7. I have, uhm a few… But I never get them where you can see them. That being said I say go for it RF!
    By the time the bad guy reads it, and figures out what it means, it will be to late..
    I should have my Molon Labe ink done here in the next month. will make sure to send it your way.

  8. When tattoos move onto the neck and head, the message people get from them quite often stops being the one intended. Not that it necessarily makes someone a bad person, but most of the people I meet with stuff in similar locations don’t have much chance at a well paid profession of any kind. I just don’t get it. But then, I guess I don’t have to.

    At least the quality of the artwork looks okay.

    • Reminds me of that meme; Tattoos on face: I will never have a job that pays taxes again. Tattoos on Hands and Neck: I cost tax money with the prison and jail time.

  9. I think she lost a bet.

    Seriously, significant others names, sports teams, and product logos are all tattoo no no’s. Smith& Wesson’s logo is gonna look like the circle of Sam when she turns seventy.

  10. I think you’re average thug isn’t going to grasp the historical relevance of “never again.” While he’s standing there frowning over it, you can box one of his ears or empty your magazine, whichever the situation calls for. I like it. It’s an intensely meaningful message and that puts you ahead of roughly 98 percent of the tat wearing populace.

  11. I understand the never again idea, and why not? I have 3 tat’s regarding my Native American Heritage and a large one celebrating passing my Nursing boards. I’m done with tattooing my body and I’m not big on using my body to advertise a business, but a S&W, Ruger, Colt or FNH tattoo could be nicely done as above.

  12. I would never have the “Protected by S&W” logo tattooed on my neck, but I would consider having it stenciled on my BVDs.

    • More appropriate might be the florid Germanic script popular in the ’30s and ’40s. Hebrew text might tend to obscure your message.

    • I find it pretty groan-worthy as tattoos are considered extremely offensive and blasphemous in Judaism. It’s directly prohibited in the Torah, Leviticus 19:28: “You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves: I am the LORD.” That’s straight out of my JPS Tanakh. So, it’s directly forbidden by scripture, but further more it’s traditionally considered mutilation of the human body. The human body, as you’ll recall, was “created in God’s image”, and defacing it is thus insulting to God. Some also refer to ancient associations with pagan practice and other say it detracts from the specialness of circumcision, the God-commanded mark of Abraham’s covenant. It’s traditionally considered so distasteful that some Jewish cemeteries refuse to allow Jews with tattoos to be buried within them, with exceptions for Holocaust victims and others who were forced to receive tattoos, of course.

      This aversion to tattoos is not shared by all secular Jews, of course, and tattoos are popular with many young secular Jews today who don’t take religious prohibitions seriously. However, like the cultural aversion to pork, a distaste for tattoos remains common in even among reform, secular, and atheistic Jews who generally do not obey biblical commandments. I just find it ironic in a bad way that the medium for an expression of Jewish strength and righteousness would be a medium that is reviled in traditional Jewish culture, forbidden by Jewish religion, and is offensive to many Jews.

      I think it’s a great slogan. But unless we’re going to strip it of it’s Jewish affiliation and encourage it’s universal use—a noble goal—I’d prefer that it be expressed by Jews in a manner that isn’t likely to be disapproved of by a large percentage of Jews.

        • That’s just plain ol’ cursive

          Something that most schools don’t even bother teaching anymore.

          I had a tinfoil hat moment, literally just now as I was typing that…..if future generations can’t actually READ the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, then it can be made to say whatever fits the mood, right?

        • Well, technologies come and go, and that includes cursive, but I am not young enough for the excuse of having anything to do with “future generations”. One interesting point I’ve seen is that not knowing cursive will impact the ability to do math by hand.

        • I don’t know about “cursive” as “technology.” It used to be that “cursive” was just plain writing. That’s simply what was, you didn’t learn anything else. When I hit school age we learned block first, cursive after. To this day my “normal” writing style is a horribly illegible mish-mash of the two. That’s why when engineering school made us use blueprint-grade, block, all capital lettering for everything I carried that over into my “normal” handwriting.

          I’ll have to look more into that cursive vs. math thing, though. I’d never heard it before. Having taught said engineering courses for a brief time, I can vouch that SOMETHING is killing people’s ability to do math by hand……

  13. A tattoo in a place that won’t be hidden by clothing is a good way to instantly reduce the number of employers who might hire you. Add something as potentially controversial as the name of a gun manufacturer and you just make it worse.

    Unfair? Perhaps. Life isn’t fair.

    There’s also that old Jeff Foxworthy joke that comes to mind – something about an eagle on your shoulder eventually becoming a buzzard on your back whey you’re seventy.

  14. The last thing I’ve ever thought when looking at a patch of skin is how much better it would look with a bunch of black and green ink in a design that has distorted on the canvas in the decade since inception. As such, the only tattoo I’d ever get would read “oops.”

  15. Rather than gun-related ink, I kind of like Craig Ferguson’s tattoo. An immigrant and naturalized citizen who puts Franklin’s “Join, or Die” up the inside of his forearm. When asked by Barbara Walters why he had it, the first words out of his mouth were “because I’m an American”.

    • Ferguson’s tattoo demonstrating ardent patriotism for his adopted country is awesome. Craig is the Man!

      BTW – the urban myth about MRI machines and tattoo ink is just that – a myth.

    • So his tattoo says I should join his country – give up my culture and heritage – or die?

      Regarding tattoos: If done for a reason and not on the head it can be pretty tasty/expressive.

      • If you want to keep your culture, you are more than welcome to stay in your own country. When you move to America, you should adopt our culture. We made the mistake of letting in hordes of people who did not subscribe to traditional American values and freedoms. That is why the gun control forces are so strong now.

      • Don’t let Mallory’s jingoistic crap confuse you. Neither this tattoo, nor the cartoon it came from, had anything to do with giving up your culture or heritage. Ben Franklin originally drew the cartoon in 1754 at the outbreak of the French and Indian War as a commentary on the “disunited state” of the colonies, and the need to join together and unite with Great Britain to defeat the French and Indians. A couple decades later, the cartoon was recycled to become a symbol for colonial freedom against the British.

        Franklin is quoted as saying, at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” That sentiment is exactly the same as the one illustrated in the cartoon, the only difference is he was talking about people when he said it, and colonies when he illustrated it.

  16. I’ve never had a tattoo, not because I’ve ever had anything against it but because I never had the money to burn and if I did it went to something else. Also, I is way too ugly already. I like that S&W tattoo; just put it somewhere more inconspicuous.

    If I ever get a tattoo it’ll be of my clan crest and even then it would still be somewhere I could easily cover it.

  17. I’m a gun nut. (Not so much a brand loyalist like the above picture seem to me to be) I also have 2 separate tattoo’s. Neither one of them really have anything to do with guns, or any brand whatsoever. Point being getting inked is a personal thing, and it should be something that 20 years or more from now you will not be ashamed to still have on your body.

  18. I dated some pretty interesting women in my youth… One in particular did prison time after she served her time, and Jumped thru the hoops the state required from her… she got a tattoo on her arm that said “Case Closed”. A beautiful girl, Smoking hot gorgeous and a weeny wrecker in bed… But If i wanted to be even remotely successful, I couldn’t hook up with a convicted felon

  19. Interesting.

    I don’t have a tat, but I do have one of Berettas snazzy Tshirts.

    Goodness knows I’ve seen worse tattoos then that……plus, if I saw that on the back of my dates neck I’d have to do an internal leap of joy.

  20. This looks great.
    I love firearms tattoos, tattoos are all about expressing who you are and what you love. I have a Browning Buck mark tattoo (pink camo) that matches my fathers (except his is green camo) since my Browning BPS 20ga was the first firearm I got as a present from my pops. Pops was never a tattoo guy, until he got a Ruger logo. Now hes got firearms, second amendment ink like a crazy person =]

    Ive been contemplating getting the Colt Rampant tattoo since one, only a gun lover would know its a rampant and not just a horse. and two, Colt MFG. has been a huge part of my life for the last few years.

  21. Tattoos are the new bumper sticker, would it not be better to live the life the sticker promotes? Rather than spending that money to fill a narcissistic need why not buy more ammo, send a gift to your mother, donate to your chosen candidate?

  22. Robert, instead of “never again,” just say “never” to the whole idiotic tattoo thingy. The one friend of mine who got a tat later regretted it–greatly. There is not a single place on my body that I would put a tat–not even a place no one would usually see. Anyone who puts a tat on their face is a felon or a wanabee banger–and not someone I would hire to take out the garbage. My father used to say (this was a LONG time ago), that anyone who had three tats or more had been to prison–and I am sure he saw plenty when he ran the Cook County Jail Hospital. Further, are you sure you want to attract the kind of woman (in your age group) that is attracted to tats? Finally, what are you gonna do with it when the fad wears off, like all fads do?

    • Sir,

      I have 20 tattoos.

      Here are some other personal stats:
      – I’ve never been in prison
      – I’ve never used any illegal substance
      – I teach junior high Sunday school at our local Methodist church
      – I’m a proud Freemason
      – I’m a nurse who is one semester away from his Master’s in Nursing Education
      – I’m a business owner (horse boarding)
      – I’m a loving husband (Side note, my wife and I got together because we saw each other’s tattoos. So, I guess she is
      “that kind of woman”.)
      – I’m an unashamed and vocal Second Amendment supporter
      – I’m politically active

      With honest respect, you might want to broaden your narrow view. You just might be alienating a friend.

  23. I like it. Not sure I would get one like that on the neck, but if it works for her, more power to her.

    I think the “Never Again” idea is an excellent one, Robert.

  24. The only woman who looks good in tattoos is Lydia the Tattooed Lady. Google YouTube for her sung by Groucho Marx. “When her muscles start relaxin, up the hill comes Andrew Jackson!”

  25. Unless your already inked up.
    Think ahead a few years for your sake a lot of years.
    Where they gonna put you tatted up??

  26. Robert – You ask “Why advertise?” In your case, I don’t think this would be an advertisement.

    For you, it seems to me, that it would be a personal assertion that you won’t allow men to do that to your people ever again.

    All of my tattoos (I’ve got 20 by my last count) are very personal. I didn’t get them for anyone but me.

    • “For you, it seems to me, that it would be a personal assertion that you won’t allow men to do that to your people ever again.”

      Dustin, while I understand the historical reference, and RF’s considerations, IMO in the present political age, we should be interested in “A personal assertion that [we] won’t allow men to do that to people ever again.”

      Fascists should be stopped regardless of who their repression targets. If that had been true in the 20th century the Holocaust would never have occurred in the first place.

      • You’ll have no argument from me. Regardless of the form they take, tyranny and fascism must be stopped.

        However, Robert has a direct link to one such instance. As a result, I feel his tattoo would be fitting.

        • “First they came for…”

          I’m in agreement. I’m not going to police the world, but I’m also not going to let another Holocaust happen around me. I wasn’t alive when Japanese-Americans were imprisoned in concentration camps by the United States government, or during the massacres of American Indians, but if it happens in my lifetime I’ll be arming up and watching very closely. I wouldn’t have supported violence in the historical case of Japanese-American (and Japanese-Canadian) internment, luckily in a few years it ended without major loss of life and the use of force would have caused much more harm than good. However, if mass murder began in those camps I would have put my life in grave danger and intervened! It would be a moral obligation.

      • If somebody wants to ink up, great, but that does not require anyone else to “respect” it or “like it” or to say, “Sure, we’ll give you a well paying customer-facing position with our company and put you on the fast track to executive management in spite of that interesting tatt all over the left side of your face.”

        Freedom works both ways.

        Ink away and be willing to accept the consequences for your decision if you decide you just have to have it right out where everyone can see it.

        • Your comment was directed at the tattoo above (“Great tattoo if…”), not “right out where everyone can see it.” I was just pointing out that was not necessarily true in this case. I’ve known plenty of girls who had tattoos along their hairline or on the back of their neck where I didn’t know about it until I was in a position to do so.

    • Nice Christian attitude you’ve got going there. Thankfully, I have managed to be successful; despite my tattoos. God bless America.

      • “Christian attitude” does not mean simply saying, “Oh, ok, sure, you go right ahead and ink up and we will all simply smile and nod and make-believe you didn’t.

        Sorry, guy, but in the real world if you sport a big old splash of ink in some highly visible area of your body, like the woman in the picture is doing, (and no, Matt, long hair ain’t going to be much of a cover for it, besides, I doubt she wants to cover it), don’t be surprised if your career path goes in a pretty predictable direction.

        If you can live with that, fine.

        But don’t expect the rest of us simply to pretend it isn’t there.

        Anyone who gets ink in a highly visible area is, in my opinion, doing some quite foolish. By the time they ar old enough, or smart enough, to realize it, they have to shell out big bucks in the hope they can get it lasered off.

        Totally your business of course, but part of freedom is accepting that your actions have consequences, whether you regard them as fair or “Christian” or whatever other adjective you choose to use.

        I would be willing to bet a paycheck that this young woman will, in thirty years, deeply regret getting a logo for a firearm company stamped on her neck and upper back as she did.

  27. in my youth in the service I said I would get my stripes tattoed on my johnson when I made sargeant so I could pull my rank. Fortunately, I never had to make good on the promise. The man would have to have been nuts to give me that 3rd stripe.

  28. I have a tattoo. I drew the design myself. It is a pinup style girl in a black bustier, garter belt, and thigh highs. She is holding a still smoking Tommy gun and wearing a fedora. I have always loved to draw and I have always loved guns. I drew a number of tattoos for friends when I was in the maritime academy, and decided to do one for myself. It is on my right shoulder blade and was professionally inked by a friend of a friend who had their own parlor. I am contemplating getting a second one on the other shoulder blade showing a pinup girl holding 2 colt SAAs wearing cowboy boots and hat since i live in TX. I like mine since I drew it, and it is uniquely mine. I would not get a logo or get ink that can’t be covered by a shirt or shorts. No visible ink for me. That being said the one in the pic is professionally done, but not my cup of tea.

  29. Almost got a tat while in the Navy. A ship mate had one with a couple of red cherries with leaves. It said “Here’s mine, where’s yours”

  30. I like tats but more than that, I like to do whatever I want to do. I hope you have that luxury too, and if you do; Leave me the heck alone. “69” comments interested me. “1” was pro. “1” was defensive-pro. Maybe “1” was neutral. This “1” is STFU!

  31. Robert, If you are set on the tattoo if you are absolutely sure you want it-let NO ONE try to talk you out of it, Just as with guns there will ALWAYS be people who will tell you not to get one, often times the reasoning is based on anything and everything but experience. Amazing how the naysayers on just about anything speak from the outside-“because I heard something”, not actually basing their arguments on fact but hearsay or innuendo. Take a cue from your own personal experiences dealing with the anti-2A folk, and if so YOU choose-welcome to the world of ink.

  32. Since you asked: while tattoos in general are not something I care for, it’s far from something I would end fellowship over. But to turn one’s body into a billboard like this is revolting to me…it’s like tagging a well-appointed building with gang signs.

  33. I have two tattoos, both designed by myself. One refers to my heritage and the other refers to my nature. Both in spots covered by my standard business attire.

    In regards to gun tattoos, I’m not horribly opposed as this is my most passionate hobby and has been since I was a kid. However, I would never get a company logo due to the possibility of changes over time. Mergers and acquisitions can make legendary quality vanish overnight, and poor political stances can land companies on the pro 2A black list. Having these brands permanently placed on your body may be something you truly regret down the road. I’m really against getting a tattoo of anything “subject to change” in general.

  34. I think what you are contemplating is a very deep subject that you alone can decide.
    Personally, I think tattoos are neat. I’ve found that most have meaning and sometimes a great story behind them.
    In your case, great historical and familial significance.

    While I don’t have one, yet, the wife does, daughter has quite a few and the one son has around a hundred.

    • My DIL has both my grandsons hospital foot prints from when they were new borns tatted on her back. Also a small memorial to her departed father who never got to meet the boys. Who am I to judge her?

  35. Robert, please don’t get inked. I understand “Never Again” as well as, and perhaps better, that most people. That said, don’t advertise, be the gray man. I get the desire to symbolically represent your aunt in a forceful and counter way. Still, damn few people are going to see it and fewer still will get it. Lola may appreciate it but there are other ways that you and she can make a statement and take a stand. Most of it is how you carry yourself and how you present your stand. She’ll go her own way, under you guidance, whether she she conscientiously acknowledges that or not. You don’t need to turn yourself into a billboard to keep her on the right path.

  36. Every time I see an obviously non-Asian person with an Asian script tattoo (such as David Beckham) I like to imagine it reads “free egg roll with weeknight dinner special.”

  37. I’ve got a few tattoos (none of guns, but this has me wondering …) – but unlike the (removable) metal bits in the face department, I get ’em where I can cover ’em up with a t-shirt; mostly for the employment/first impressions reason above. I’ve also got a simple rule (highly recommended for you similarly younger folk out there) to ensure that I do actually want a tattoo badly enough to make it a part of my nekked self: If I want it for a year without it being on my body, there’s a damn good chance I’ll enjoy it being on my body for the rest of my life.

    @ RF: I’d admire a man with a ‘Never Again’ tattoo on his forearm. Some of us young’ns have a passion for history and freedom – even if I’d never met you before, there’s a good chance if I saw it and the moment seemed appropriate I’d ask about it to make sure it meant what I thought it meant – and I’d look you in the eye and shake your hand and tell you that you’re one among many who will stand proudly for the Rights of Humans everywhere; Life and Liberty being chief among them. I say go for it.

    To me, making an image or a symbol of something incredibly important to me irreversibly part of my birthday suit is a no-brainer.

    For all you older folks out there: it’s awesome to see senior citizens inked up and proud of it. If that tattoo was done properly in the first place, there’s a very good chance it’ll still look damn good decades later, and touch-ups are a thing too.

    Just … don’t forget to exercise – that pasty gut at the beach is far more disturbing than wrinkly ink.

  38. My ancestry is Irish and Norwegian (a few other random nordic peoples and maybe some scottish).

    I’ve toyed with the idea of getting a tattoo of a playing card, similar to the ace of spaces, with it’s extra large suite icon in the center. Instead of a spade however, it would be a club, or four leaf clover really, filled in with a tartan and sprouting roots as if a tree. The icons in the corners would be plum blossoms for chinese martial arts (wing chun) and beneath one a rifle and a pistol (musket and blunderbuss most likely) crossed and below the other corner icon crossed butterfly swords. Though I’m thinking of changing that to a modern rifle and pistol. Or maybe a musket crossed with an AR under one and a glock with a blunderbuss or dueling pistol under the other. Maybe a viking helmet resting askew on one of the clover’s petals.

    Not until the design stays the same for a year or more though.

    • Oh yeah, the clover for irish luck, the tartan for scottish thickheadedness and “the rifle and the pistol stand beside all that is good.”

  39. It’s a terrible idea. What if you are involved in a shooting and the prosecutor wants to convict you regardless of the circumstances?(George Zimmerman) This will used as evidence against you at the trial.

  40. In 30 years it will say THIS POOP PROSTATED SAW. Have you ever seen old people with tattoos? Keep your art on the walls. The whole tattoo craze is just more evidence of a society racing to the moral bottom.

  41. Not really a gun tattoo, but relating to the “never again” idea. I have the Polish Kotwica tattooed on the inside of my arm. Mocking the nazi blood group tattoo location. The Kotwica is a P and W formed in the shape of an anchor, meaning “Poland Fights” it was used by the Polish resistance during the Nazi occupation.


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