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Armatix "smart gun" (courtesy

Let’s be clear about “smart guns.” American gun buyers don’t want firearms equipped with an authorized-user recognition system because they don’t trust the technology. They don’t trust “smart guns” to fire when they need them to. They don’t trust the government not to disable the guns remotely. The first issue can be overcome. The second can not. Which pretty much dooms “smart guns” to a niche market. At best. But it’s nowhere near best, thanks to the New Jersey legislature . . .

As the Springfield (MO) News-Leader points out (re-published by, New Jersey lawmakers have passed a bill that mandates that all guns sold in the Garden State must be “smart guns” three years after any example of this type of weapon is commercially anywhere available in the U.S. market. Any American gun store that sells a smart gun will trigger New Jersey’s “dumb gun” death clock.

Which is why the two stores that almost put “smart guns” on their shelves received immediate and — let’s face it — immoderate negative feedback. So much so that they reconsidered and rescinded their decision. And who can blame them? Would you want to be the gun store responsible for restricting New Jersey citizens’ gun rights?

Question: where do you see the letters NRA in any of this? USA Today headlines the article Proponents of ‘smart guns’ say NRA is the main obstacle. Strangely (or not), writer Steve Pokin makes no distinction between these proponents (well one) and his own editorial judgement.

The main opponent is the National Rifle Association. But it will not speak. The Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader left six messages on the phone and with a secretary over two weeks for the one spokesman designated to talk to the media, Andrew Arulanandam, in the national office in Virginia. He did not respond. Eventually, the newspaper requested someone — anyone — to send a statement on the group’s position on smart guns. The organization did not reply.

I’m a little confused. If the NRA is the main opponent of smart guns and they won’t speak on the subject, how are they the technology’s main opponent? The NRA didn’t contact the gun stores in question. The NRA didn’t exhort their members to do so. In fact, the owner of Engage Armament is clear about the level of NRA opposition to his plan to sell an Armatix “smart gun.” In the article.

People [who called to express their objections to selling the gun] weren’t reasonable, he says. But not one of his critics identified himself as being from the NRA.

“The NRA did not do anything,” he says.

Once again, the anti-gun mainstream media blame the NRA for obstructing “progress” on “gun safety” and find a patsy to promote their anti-pistol proclivities. In fact, it’s the New Jersey legislature that done did the deed.

While millions of gun owners wouldn’t touch “smart guns” with a proverbial ten-foot pole, they don’t oppose the technology per se. If New Jersey had allowed the free market to decide what does and doesn’t work for gun owners, if they hadn’t infringed of citizens’ gun rights – again, still – firearms with user-recognition systems would be on sale today. They have no one to blame for gun owners’ opposition but themselves.

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    • …paired with a clunky, crappy-looking plastic “watch” that you must wear in order for the gun to work. So long as the batteries all work, nobody jams the signal, and the electronics are in working order at all times.

      • I wonder if anyone has tested the gun misfiring or not with say a garage door opener being activated, that would be bad. Sorry I just have some really bad images of “smart guns” going off when no one is even touching it. I don’t trust technology to save me in a pinch, especially when the government can decide to just turn it off.

        • I don’t think the electronics have any ability to fire the gun, they merely interfere with the trigger to prevent “unauthorized” access, much like a safety.

        • that would be the only way I would even begin to trust one, but that trust would never be complete because of the governments ability to turn it off.

      • I have tested “smart” guns for the past few decades, and while I don’t know and have never seen this one, all the previous ones failed safe. The people designing them thought that safe was for them to work. Thus, when something failed, they would fire. In EVERY case, I pointed out that if someone got the gun they could just remove the batteries and it would be a normal (dumb) gun. That kind of defeats the purpose.

      • Also….the big kicker is… was planned to have the watch sold separately from the firearm for another $200

    • Wouldn’t the clunky watch be a dead give-away for a concealed carrier, potentially putting his life in jeopardy? Just sneak up behind him, kill him, take his gun and his clunky watch too.

    • If it was just a regular ol’ gun, I’d buy one. I bought a Beretta Neos .22 just because it was different. Of course, I live in NJ, so I may have no choice but to buy one of these at some point…

      • Don’t worry, you won’t have to. The point of the law isn’t to arm New Jersey residents with smart guns, its to disarm them totally when the market collapses.

  1. Technology is the reason my go to rifles still have some sort of backup sight along with their optics. Anything that takes a battery can and will fail at some point.

    • That’s why they insisted I know how to use a E6B flight computer. My electronic one had batteries and might fail. Know what, 25 years later, I still don’t know how to use that slide rule E6B.

    • The only optic I have is a Leupold 1-4x on a quick detach mount. Its detached pretty much all the time since I prefer iron sights on guns.

  2. Guns are mechanical devices. Add electronics and the degree of complexity just went way up.

    When was the last time you heard someone say my mechanical electronic device has never ever failed.

    It wasn’t the NRA. It was common sense.

  3. Apparently the mainstream media’s only method of identifying the NRA is to ask “Do they oppose our allies ‘commonsense gun laws’?” If yes, they are the NRA regardless of any organizational affiliation they claim or don’t claim.

    • Thats the funny thing about grass roots organizations, they spread out and blend in. It must freak liberals out that people who believe in the 2nd aren’t 1 homogenous group like they are.

      They keep trying to push gun owners into the male Republican redneck racist box and all these brown and female people keep squirting out the sides.

      Had this thought occur to me while driving home:

      Progressives believe all people are inherently bad and can’t be trusted, so big government is the answer along with abortion. Conservative/libertarian believe people are inherently good, that government should be given as little power as is required, and life is precious. Thats weird, right?

  4. The NRA is the original Koch brothers. Anything that has the remotest connection to guns – it’s the evil NRA’s fault. They’re the big bad boogie-corp (man).

  5. Scenario: I just shot a cop, or ambushed him in some way or form. So now, I want his gun, and since it wont fire without the wrist band, I simply cut it off with a knife. If I’m really feeling in a sadistic mood, I may just cut his hand off to get the triggering device.
    Anybody want to volunteer to be an amputee?

        • If some state passes a law requiring smart guns, I’m all for that law to require all LEOs to use them.

          If they aren’t suitable for LEOs, they aren’t suitable for anybody else either.

    • $2K is a lot of money to spend on a novelty toy. Maybe yes to an android that makes dinner, feeds the dog, and takes out the trash but not an ugly .22 that may or may not work.

  6. So here’s how it works. When the smart gun technology works to the level that satisfies the public they will sell so fast you won’t be able to stop the demand with a bullet. Nobody will be looking for the NRA blessing nor will the NRA give one. Note that it took semi-auto handguns about 60 years to overtake revolvers.

  7. Sorry but the first point cannot be overcome while any of us are still alive. Technology fails almost by definition. We now rely on semi guns because of centuries of innovation, but how long ago was it that a revolver was the defacto standard of reliability?

    Let’s consider it in 100 years.

  8. Gun looks like it belongs in a cheesy 1960’s Japanese secret agent movie. “What’s up, Tiger Lilly?!”

  9. MMMMM lemme see-Take a tiny electronic gizmo/gadget, which must pair with another electronic gadget (the wristwatch)-put it right under/above/next to a BIG boom………..expect that it will be failsafe when needed. New Jersey lawmakers’ expectations are about as sound as their interpretation of the 2nd A. Kinda like rainbow colored flying unicorns. For the children……. Just sayin’.

  10. Smart guns are BS. I like my guns silly simple. An 870 or a Nova is about as simple as it gets. If it takes batteries, I do not want it.

  11. I wouldn’t buy one at all. EVEN as a novelty. Smart guns are just another back door gun control idea.

  12. The main opponent is the National Rifle Association. But it will not speak. Steve Pokin knows this is true because he a mentalist. His antennae are now attuned to all 5+ million members and the HQ staff.

  13. How exactly is the gov’t supposed to disable a smart gun remotely?

    I agree there are many reliability concerns, but we can and do routinely produce high-reliability complex machines: that’s what failure analyses are for. I can conceive of an electronic firing system having equal or greater reliability than the traditional mechanical system.

    The sturm und drang over the gov’t remotely disabling smart guns feels like unchecked paranoia to me. Throughout history, resisting emergent technology has been the losing side. I can’t help but feel that there’s a big advantage of getting ahead of this issue so that it can be better controlled (because the gov’t *will* use the availability of smart gun technology to restrict “traditional’ arms designs).

    This technology is inevitable, so why not try to put our fingers on the scales and make sure it’s a technology we can live with?

    • The RF will have a designated frequency. The smart gun will have an OS and form a wireless network between the gun and bracelet. Simply broadcast a shut down command on the correct frequency that interfaces with the OS from another external source located on a tower, building, vehicle and/or person. This is the “smart” part of the gun not mentioned. The user can be over ridden by an external source as the OS allows it (or not). The technology is in place today. The “smart grid” is smart because with a “smart meter” electricity providers can monitor and regulate a household’s electrical usage real time. If your electric meter is so equipped they can brown you out as much and whenever they feel the need but your neighbor may get a pass. And they can bill you at a higher rate for electricity used during peak demand. Isn’t sharing information wonderful?

      • “Simply broadcast a shut down command on the correct frequency…”

        There’s a lot of handwaving happening in that statement. Is the gov’t mandating that all cell phone towers incorporate antennas and systems to broadcast a civilian disarmament command? Or are gov’t officials walking around with disarmament beacons? What’s to prevent me from, say, extracting the authentication token out of the {watch, ring, hipster glasses, whatever}, taping it next to the receiving antenna in the pistol and wrapping the assembly with copper mesh?

        I don’t see how a hostile gov’t could prevent a firearm from operating when the public has physical access to it.

        • Handwaving? How can you be so obtuse? We are covered with RF signals and adding more everyday and if you want to rip out the micro circuits, reposition them and “wrap them in copper” go ahead but you can bet the penalties for doing that will be written long before the technology is completed. As for “disarmament beacons” although the final technology is still open three primary modules will be required for smart gun technology. A transmitter, a receiver and a programmable module to connect them. Your “disarmament beacon” could also be referred to as jamming which has been done since WW ll but digitally has become much more sophisticated and as I said these could be anywhere and everywhere to be activated on demand, transmitted directionally or broadcast, interrupting the radio signal, rendering the smart gun flaccid until the smart gun equivalent to Viagara is administered – probably by the FCC. And you know that transmitter? It could also be designed to send a signal for tracking purposes so you better wrap it in copper one more time just in case..

    • “…How exactly is the gov’t supposed to disable a smart gun remotely?”

      Basically this is a pass/fail signal system. The Watch is the Key and the Gun is the Lock.

      The Key broadcasts a signal, the Lock receives and verifies the signal as correct, Pass.

      If the incorrect signal is received, the verification Fails and stays in Red/Locked/Off condition.

      It is a Radio Frequency signal so if you broadcast a more powerful signal you can mask/block the unlocking signal thereby putting the gun in Fail, or blocking the gun from going to Pass. End result is the gun is jammed.

      This second idea gets a bit closer to the tin-foil hats but I’ll share it anyway…

      The small bit of software in the Watch and the small bit of software in the gun could either or both be hacked (or built right in at the factory) to accept a certain code and shut down/turn off/lock. Then anyone with that code can just press a button and Bing all the guns in the area just got turned off.

      This doesn’t necessarily have to be the Government pushing the button. Evil Overlords of all kinds would pay lots of money to get the secret code to turn off their enemies guns. If you knew you could walk right up to your opponents secret hideout and with the press of a button disarm your enemy….. priceless!

      • “This second idea gets a bit closer to the tin-foil hats but I’ll share it anyway…”

        From experience, this is definitely NOT tinfoil hat territory. Just Google “NSA hardware code hack.” Then be afraid. Very afraid.

        • Correct. At the time of issue the OS software, regardless of manufacturer, will be written to a standardized format specifically to give authorized agencies access your weapon’s operation system. No tin foil hats. Today the NSA is monitoring every email we write. Tomorrow the ATF will decide if your gun will fire when you try to shoot that pesky thief who just broke down your front door. But hey – you will still have the right to bare, I mean bear, arms.

      • It takes a substantially more powerful signal from a distant object to overwhelm the weak signal from a nearby object. While your scenario is possible, is it probable?

        • “…While your scenario is possible, is it probable?”

          Considering the fact that I may be betting my very life on the operability of the firearm, the possibility is something I not willing to accept as reasonable.

          It probably won’t matter if someone is trying to shut down my smart firearm remotely, but I probably won’t get mugged today either. It doesn’t matter right up to the point that it does.

        • Radio networks overpower RF modulators all the time. That’s why so many of them have selectable frequencies other than 88.1mhz so that you can find one that isn’t being used locally. I’ve had the modulators in other cars overpower the modulator I used in my old car, and I modified that to run on higher voltage with a bigger antenna tuned to 1/4 wave.

          Or ask truckers who have had their CB’s blown out by other truckers who “tweaked and peaked” theirs to put out way above the 1W allowed by the FCC. It really doesn’t take THAT much to screw up a sensitive RF circuit.

    • The designers of the gun that has been in news in recent months has actually already talked about the technology to do a remote disable being available. It’s not just a hypothetical. And if the cops have it, it’s not going to be long before the bad guys do, as well.

      The potential for abuse on both sides of the handcuffs is simply too great for me.

      And I’ve seen plenty of new and innovative technology fail. It’s much more common that folks realize.

  14. Remote gun disableing already has patents Issued.
    Americans have 33 years of Microsoft’s blue screen of
    Death, now do you want to risk your family and life to a software fix?
    No Bill Gates taught the US well before he spent $2 billion to
    Promote Common Core.
    Just google it!

  15. NRA is for the most part MIA in New Jersey. We’ve been over this before, more than once. So I find it amusing that some may think that the smart gun sales were stopped in this state thanks to the NRA. They’re po’d that the NRA is doing too much? Well I’m po’d that they’re not doing enough….or anything, really. I feel that the SAF has been a much better friend to NJ gun owners.

  16. If the tech is one day widely adopted, it will be based on fingerprint or DNA sampling recognition, and will be shielded against RF interference. Anything that relies on an RF signal is right out of the question.

  17. I won’t buy a gun with a built-in mechanical lock. I sure as hell won’t EVER buy a gun with an electronic lock.

  18. I’ll say it again: It is really a simple matter to tamp out objections about ‘smart guns’ if they are really all they are cracked up to be. And government, at all levels, could do it today. Just mandate that their own employees (the cops and the military, that is) only use “smart guns”. Go ahead and propose that, all you “smart gun” advocates out there. See how far you get.

    • Not me. Just because the cops may be stupid, doesn’t mean I have to be as well. Remember what your mother told you, if everbody jumped off a cliff would you do it too?

  19. I already have a smart feature on my gun – the owner – so I don’t need this new feature. Thanks though, best of luck.

  20. Somewhere in Texas, George W. Bush is laughing because the leftloons are now blaming everything on the NRA instead of him.

  21. Leftist always need someone to blame. It is an essential component of their propaganda. For example, Hitler blamed all the problems of the Wiemer Republic on the Jews. ISIS is blaming all their woes on the Christians. The NRA is a convenient propaganda target for the anti-2nd amendment folks. It fits their strategy.

  22. In a free market, I couldn’t care less who sells these.
    Even anti-gun politicians have admitted that the NJ law is terrible. That was already covered in a different article.
    Tell them to ask police why they won’t even consider this technology for use, and the root problem is solved. It’s untested, unreliable, and too easy to abuse with the wrong power in the wrong place.

    • Given that the law is already unconstitutional under Heller (since it would blanket-prohibit both firearms and ammunition in common usage, the only allowable combination being the one smart gun, in .22LR), I would like to see it take effect. The sooner it takes effect, the sooner someone has standing to challenge it.

  23. This is why in Star Trek they landed on the planet and their guns didn’t work, WHEN THEY NEEDED THEM! It was infuriating to watch as it is to think of ever owning one in real life. A gun that works when you want it to when others may not want it to. I will control my own destiny thank you stupid not so smart liberals.

  24. No, gun control proponents killed the smart gun before it ever hit shelves. By passing moronic laws mandating that ALL guns in their state must be “smart” guns, they ensured that no one would touch them and anyone attempting to sell them would be tarred and feathered before being kicked to the unemployment line.

  25. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, when I can buy Judge Dredd’s Lawgiver, then I will gladly purchase a smart gun. Til then, O’Doyle roolz!

  26. Smart guns, like normal guns are not inherently good or evil. They are simply machines.

    If we lived in a truly free society and a smart gun did not have any politics assigned to it, a smart gun would just be one more choice for a potential firearms buyer.

    The problem with smart guns that anti-gun politicians have made the sale of these things the trigger for all kinds of restrictive regulations. The problem is that anti-gun politicians would like to shove this down our throats.

    If it was just a choice, it would be just a choice.

    So again, Smart Guns are not evil. Politicians are.

  27. Just a heads up RF. They discussed so-called “smart guns” on the View. Whoopi went NUTS talking how bad the NRA was. A guest host tried to explain what crap smart guns were. I was so annoyed I had to turn it off. So maybe Ms Goldberg may not be a 2A supporter. A gun for me but not for thee…

    • Whoopi got the memo.
      Her problem is, no one cares any more what she thinks, and of course, she is enraged by that.

      Just another sign of the increasing desperation of the left.

      Heck, Eric Holder is already out there selling his legacy, trying to rehabilitate himself as an “activist AG”.
      And everyone can tell POTUS has checked out, except angling for his next gig, Imperial Grand Poohbah of the UN, or something.

  28. So happy its not blamed on the super modelesk CEO or CE something. I heart her. They got a skirt model out it at least.

  29. Never said I was SURPRISED. Whoopi is the same id##t who walked out on Bill O’REILLY when he had the temerity to suggest Muslims were responsible for worldwide terrorism. Not Kareem Abdul Jabbar!

  30. No whoopi in an interview said she sleeps with her shotgun next to her bed. In The State of CT, on her farm, in the deepest white area of an almost completely white State. One with some of the lowest crime rates in America.

  31. I KNOW all that. No guns for poor folks who can’t afford “smart” technology. And she’s been married to at least 3(?) white men. Whoopi’s kinda’ like the woman boxer in the next post. Too many head shots…

  32. The NRA is the main opponent to this technology? How about any thinking person with an iota of training and/or forethought. How about this; how about the local, state and federal police departments and all of the military switch to “smart guns” first. Then, after the technology proves itself as reliable and effective anyone who wants it can have it commercially available.

    I can guarantee you, this will never happen. Too many of your articles are idiotic. What’s wrong with you?

      • Stun gun, baton, pepper spray….. their partner’s gun. Hopefully two smart guns wouldn’t both fail at the same time– unless it’s some interference issue to the signal to both guns.

  33. Me, I was frothing at the mouth in my eagerness to buy an unproven.22LR self-defense gun that had to have the batteries replaced periodically and be kept in proximity to a piece of cheap, ugly jewelry that had to have its batteries replaced periodically, and overall had the look of a Remington R51 that had been partly melted in a microwave. DAMN the NRA! And those pesky kids. If it wasn’t for them and that stupid dog, I’d have bought one–if there were no Glocks, or S&Ws, or Springfields or Kahrs, or any other self-loading pistol ever made, current or obsolete, in a major calibre, new or used, that I could buy first.

    It was THAT close.

  34. I see one application for smart-gun technology: parents with small children. At night, the home-defense gun belongs on the nightstand. Unfortunately, the risk of a child entering the master bedroom and picking up the gun must be considered. I’m not satisfied by the finger-combination gun-safes. Same tech problems plus extra precious seconds to open the safe. A parent might decide that a smart-gun is a rational compromise. (Perhaps with a mechanical gun in a safe.) It might fail when it is needed; but, then that’s a low-probability scenario. It will probably work when it needs to work; and, that is a high-probability scenario.
    – – – We would have seen smart-gun technology in the market by now to fill this nitch. It would be expensive; but, some customers would make a market. Thereafter, the technology would have improved and prices would fall.
    – – – Why won’t we see this technology? The gun-controllers are to blame. IF they could restrain themselves from COMPELLING us to use smart-gun technology they would have had this technology emerge to fill a nitch market. Then, it might have grown more popular. Alas, they can-NOT restrain themselves. And so, we PotG must respond to their initiatives accordingly.
    – – – Is this the only case of unintended consequences? Probably not. The gun-free zones mandate compels us to dis-arm before we enter. So, we get out of our cars, go to the trunk, open it, and deposit something small inside. A non-licensed “dealer” need only wait and watch for such behavior. In less than a minute, he has acquired another item for his inventory.
    – – – We ought to be alert for unintended consequences of gun-control. The more we identify and circulate the more we have to mention to fence-sitters.

    • I found it far more cost-effective and efficient merely to teach my children to obey me, to stay out of my nightstand (and bedroom, without permission), and not to touch guns until they were taught proper gun safety.

      No $2000 piece-of-junk “smart” gun required.

  35. The biggest thing that is killing this is the fact that they are being pushed by the Gun Ban Lobby in addition to them pushing legal mandates.

  36. “New Jersey lawmakers have passed a bill that mandates that all guns sold in the Garden State must be “smart guns” three years after any example of this type of weapon is commercially anywhere available in the U.S. market. Any American gun store that sells a smart gun will trigger New Jersey’s “dumb gun” death clock.”

    I’m curious, what’s stopping the antis from opening a ‘Potempkin’ gun store and offering these guns and triggering the law?

  37. This is hilarious…the naive nitwits in the various “news” outlets that pwn themselves with these transparently stupid articles is the gift that keeps giving…

    besides, dont they know it was Bush’s fault?

  38. Besides, if the wannabe Woodward Bernstein junior ace reporters in the StateRunKedia are looking for a conspiracy theory, they might go back to this story…

    Oops. Dang. It was gun owners at Calguns who mercileslly mocked and boycotted the local LGS in CA.
    Not the eeeeevvvillll NRA…

    But, wait…. look a little deeper than “the narrative” as the lefties like to say…

    Lets see…google is my friend…dem fund raiser, san francisco, smart gun prize, support from Obama Admin, per Armatix rep…
    and h/t to TTAG, for a few months later,
    hers a new popup, in a loopy radical rabbi, a trip to europe, a little non-profit-org astroturfing here and there…

    back to the West Coast for the first new gun added to the illegal Roster of Handguns, without normal vetting, by POTUS prettiest State AG…

    Doesnt that qualify for “no guns except this one whizbang hackable dumb club from Armatix” that even NJ captive State Cops wont touch with a ten foot pole?

    No wonder the chemical engineer in charge of technolgy in NJ is getting nervous…not getting a lot of applicants for the Smart Gun Prize, are we? Ya know, that bogus tech funded by BigGov is still not flying with taxpayers, right? Can you say, Solyndra?

    Why, that would mean NJ pols have effectively disarmed ALL NJ citizens, with a bit of executive action trickery…oops.

    why, you’d almost think there’s a conspiracy going on…to blame someone, anyone…

    Methinks the pols in NJ are hung on their own petard.
    NRA doesnt need to waste time there when the opposition is shooting itself in the head.

  39. The gun, indeed the concept, fails on the merits.

    1) The technology at issue has a 10% failure rate.
    2) The technology at issue can be disabled by software patented by the manufacturer itself.
    3) A mandate on this technology for future civilian sales would facially defeat Second and Fifth Amendment guarantees.

  40. Not to mention its a .22….

    I like how the reporter in the computerworld story I linked above compares it to the Glock in .40, for price comparison…no mention of course of proven reliability and 4gen use worldwide, vs a popgun in beta that WILL fail to fire, already documented 10% of the time…

  41. One last comment about the media, and the sometimes not so obvious mendacity of collusion among the like minded journolistas,

    I dont blame old Steve Pokin, the education reporter of the Springfield MO paper for the conspiracy thinking behind the lede in the recycled version of his piece, in Usatoday. Im sure he w on to a hot story, any story, and six unreturned calls is proof enough of a national consliracy.. anything to get off the School Board meeting and pta mommy beat, I guess.

    And Usatoday…anyone who travels much knows that organization is not exactly at the apex of journalism, given that most of its print subscriptions lie unopened outside hotel room doors, and rightfully so…

    I do notice that Gannet has offered it up as a spinoff, announced yesterday…and given Bloomberg announced back in April, to great fanfare that he was going after the NRA…

    it kind of makes sense that some editor looking for news, any news, would just repurpose (plagiarize) the reporting done a month ago, in computerage above. Some photos and paragraphs are identical it appears…

    I’m sure the outright lie, vs the facts in the article, ie the NRA statement support for tech but opposition to mandate, was just a inconvenient oversight, in favor of the attention grabbing lede that favors Bloomberg campaign to demonize the evillll NRA, not to mention all those rubes on dirt roads in Colorado.

    But hey, we get it, the guy is a media mogul after all, and you never know when you need a friend if your job is on the line at USAToday…what goes around comes around.


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