Laura Kiesel (courtesy
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“As we begin a new year,” UVM grad Laura Kiesel (above) writes at, “it’s time to have a more nuanced discussion about what might really be to blame for the trend of mass shootings in America—as well as the gun violence epidemic more broadly. No, it isn’t mental illness. It’s gender. If we want to stop the problem of mass shootings, we need to fix the problem of toxic masculinity.” Specifically . . .

According to sociologist Eric Madfis, the male gender-mass shooter connection may stem from cultural standards of how men are expected to react to stress and perceived victimization as compared to women.

“Women tend to internalize blame and frustration, while men tend to externalize it through acts of aggression,” says Madfis, who is an associate professor at the criminal justice department at University of Washington-Tacoma and author of a 2014 journal article exploring the intersectional identities of American mass murderers.

Boys will be boys? Not a bit of it!

This isn’t just because of how men are built physically.

While it’s true that having higher testosterone is often related to aggression, recent research indicates that testosterone is likely a result rather than a cause of violent behavior. This suggests that societal influences probably play a larger role in violence than any biological factor.

After all, our culture is saturated in messages—whether in the media, in our military, in sports, at the workplace, or in our education and health care systems—that embrace and even endorse a distorted view of masculinity, which tends to value and encourage expressions of aggression by men.

Bottom line: Ms. Kiesel is convinced that mass murderers aren’t born, they’re made. America’s “hyper-masculine” society conditions men like Elliot Rodger (the California shooter who complaining about his virginity before stabbing his roommates and shooting random strangers) to become mass murderers and “gun violence” vectors.

“If violence was just due to genetics, [mass shootings] would not be happening with increasing frequency or occur so much more often in the United States than other places,” says Madfis. “It’s time to have a close look at our culture and what is going in terms of how masculinity is defined and characterized, which is often as something that is performed or ‘proven’ through acts of aggression and even violence.”

Where I grew up “masculine” values included physical courage, honesty, honor, empathy and self-sacrifice. But then I played soccer, drove a Mazda RX7 and learned to cook. Go figure.

NOTE: Ad hominem comments about Ms. Kiesel will be [flame] deleted. Keep it civil. 

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  1. Hmmmm…Guess I’m not masculine enough.

    Never once have I tried to inflict physical harm on someone that wasn’t threatning or attacking me.

    That photo reminds me of a 1970s high school yearbook shot. Just sayin…..

    • Having grown up on a farm, far easier and safer to out a kick a cow than risk going to prison for the rest of my life. And far too dangerous to risk vengeance on one of my older and bigger brothers, that was a death sentence worthy of a severe pounding 3 against 1.

  2. I’d like her to name one mass shooter who was the epitome of an “Alpha Male.” Alphas just don’t do that shit. All mass shooters are outsiders, loners, sociopaths and psychos.

    Most are sunken-chested, slump-shouldered soyboys who grew up spoiled and never heard the word “no.”

    We need more masculinity to give those blubbering whiners some perspective; to show them how tough life can really get.

    • That’s what I was thinking. Just one look at a picture of Adam Lanza and you can plainly see what a smoldering volcano of toxic masculinity he was.

      As for me, my masculinity is 100% hypoallergenic.

    • I dont agree with it… but i think what shes saying is these non alpha males are trying to be alpha males by killing.

        • why don’t we just get rid of women, we don’t really need them . The only thing that we can’t do for our selves is enlarge the population and according to a lot of studies made by the left (women) the earth is over populated so, enlarging the population is not an issue. Pack them all up and send them to, wherever and we will be rid of their screwball ideas and bias. At least men don’t think they are being assaulted because some one looks at them.

      • So it’s what she’s saying is that it’s actually the lack of masculinity that’s toxic?

        • She is saying that male culture is too masculine and that these mass murderers don’t feel like they fit into that sphere so they go on a murderous rampage to try and feel masculine.
          The big problem that I see with that is, with the exception of the guy mentioned in the story, most of the murderers have not shown any interest in fitting in. They have mostly been loners/outcasts (except the ones who were members of the religion of peace). But I have never heard of any evidence of them ever trying or desiring to fit in.
          This reminds me, was a motive ever released for the Vegas scumbag? If I remember correctly they said they definitely knew his motive at some point but I never heard if they revealed it.

        • ‘This reminds me, was a motive ever released for the Vegas scumbag?’

          They handed that one off to the Federal Bureau of Conspiracy Theory Creation.

        • Very hush hush hasn’t it. Today a guy interview on Larua Ingrams show on the subject. Sounds like developing some interest in the “hostess”/(call girl) honey of the shooter. Do we really need to import hooker for the Vegas deadbeats?

          THATS what an immigration program is for? And Brit TV/hollweird types.

        • The Vegas shooter was loosing all his money and had child pornography, so this may actually be a case of “he was just a monster.”

    • Any writer with half a brain would be familiar with the typical profile of a mass shooter. Anyway, they account for so few murders in the grand scheme of things. What about ghetto blacks with stolen guns. Go after them girlfriend.

    • Her point is that a small number of marginalized men have gotten the notion from our culture that killing is the path to dominance and fame. A body count is a feature of most male ‘heroes’. She does not say that secure, healthy men do this.

    • My Five Magazines would be Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Handgunner, Cycle World, and Motorcyclist.

  3. Yeah, sure, a bunch of emasculated Democucks killed people because they were infected with “toxic masculinity.” Toxic feminism is to blame for most of the developed world’s political problems, because “feminism” stopped being about equal rights for women a long time ago and became a tool of the most insane leftist whackos.

    • The correct term is “hysteria.” It’s been recognized for millenia, we just recently began indulging it to our detriment. The biggest feminist con was convincing men that crazy women should be tolerated in society.

    • ^^^^^^ Absolutely !!!!!
      After Teddy Kennedy’s cowardly murder of Mary Jo Kopechne, feminists REFUSED to condemn him in any way, shape, form or fashion because he was one of their toadys. They helped re-elect him to the Senate for another five terms. A behavior that has been repeated on numerous occasions when one of TheirOwn acts up. Feminists are Hypocrites to the bone.

    • Yep, “toxic feminism”! It has lead the destruction of this country for sure. Masculinity has nothing to do with this equation because none of these shooters have a clue what a “MAN” is!

  4. Masculinity has been destroyed in this country by the liberals. With all the politically correct bullcrap. Meaning everyone gets a trophy, what ever happened to learning the meaning of winning and losing? What ever happened to not making a team and you learned that you were either not good enough or that you needed to work harder next year. All these things have a detrimental affect on kids when they think they are entitled to everything. These are all a part of being Masculine. If you can be a man whether you win big or lose big that is masculine. Masculinity had zero to do with shooting people. I am as masculine as they come I would say, I played sports, I boxed and kickboxed, did a lot of stupid masculine kids stuff growing up and got my but whacked for it, and today I do one of the most dangerous/deadly jobs in the world which not many people would or could do, I learned to shoot pretty young and have been shooting since and you know what…… I have NEVER wanted to shoot someone… EVER…

    • You’ve hit the nail on the head. An acquaintance and I were discussing this very thing recently. Also the subject of bullying, up until the age of 14, I was picked on, as were all the “panzies”, it was part of life, learned acceptance . Now if some kid gets called a name on Facebook , it’s suicide time.

      • My two brothers and I were picked on daily because our family owned a farm. We became accustomed to the bestiality jokes and other insults thrown our way constantly. Eventually, as we grew up with the chores we had, we got a little bigger…people found out quickly that it wasn’t very bright to pick on “those farm boys”.

        We were probably the epitome of masculinity…and yet, we never killed a soul.

    • “Meaning everyone gets a trophy, what ever happened to learning the meaning of winning and losing? What ever happened to not making a team and you learned that you were either not good enough or that you needed to work harder next year. All these things have a detrimental affect on kids when they think they are entitled to everything.“

      These things have nothing to do with masculinity and applies to girls as well.

  5. Culture is definitely the biggest part of the problem. What’s different about American culture over the time period since 1970, I wonder…

    Leftists and feminists (but I repeat myself) taking over entertainment, education, news, and politics; that’s a huge shift right there. We also need to ask ourselves why so many spree-killing murderers are leftist believers themselves.

    I’m starting to think that maybe…just maybe… the toxicity is not in masculinity, but in progressive/leftist ideology. It’s toxic to American culture, and it affects men the most.

    • Also…

      Violent behavior produces testosterone, they say? Interesting. Between chronic depression and being depressingly middle-aged, I’ve been feeling a bit low-T for a while. Looks like it’s time to go do something aggressive and violent.

      • Oh, no! Does that mean the leftists are creating “toxic masculinity” when they tell people to punch a Nazi? Does that mean Black Lives Matter riots contribute to elevating testosterone, which can lead to more aggression/violence, thus more police shootings?

        What about the women who transition to male using hormones and other things. If they transition wouldn’t that be taking a nice non aggressive/violent person to the dark side? If they always felt like a man would that mean they condone and partake in “toxic masculinity” as a female and want to seal the deal with the transition?

        Does this mean we will see a lot of grandpas beating people in the streets to fix their low testosterone levels? Are we going to see more “get off my lawn” attacks so grandpa can feel young again? Is that why grandpas ram their car into buildings and claim it wasn’t their fault?

        I guess the only way we can solve this toxicity in the city is to make all men become females. No more: guns, fast vehicles, contact sports, military, prison, police, martial arts, action movies, hunting, violent video games, pornography, fireworks, etc.

        Is this why recently there is a strong push for transgenderism? Make every man a “female” as a way to save humanity?

        Is this recent women’s movement, claiming everything a man does is sexual harassment/assault/misconduct/rape, just a way to save men from the toxicity by putting them in prison? So that would mean the women who wear as little as possible are actually heroes searching for toxic masculinity. That’s very next level undercover work right there.

    • No doubt ING. Leftism progressivism is a belief system that destroys cultures. Which is it’s intent.
      After all, we can’t have the Utopia of “real” communism, until the old culture is destroyed.
      Just read The Communist Manifesto of the Communist Party printed in the 60s and all of its bullet points have pretty much been reached in it’s efforts to destroy the old culture, to replace it with Communism.

  6. What was her major? Feminist studies (ie: navel gazing)? After a few run-ins with the lesbian feminists at uni they made themselves so unpopular they pleaded with the Dean for protection. His comment was: “you made your nest, now live in it”. The academic feminist groups believe that men MUST atone for the crimes of their forebears (sounds like the North Korean’s three-generation rule) and if men were “feminized” all global problems will disappear.

    I think they’ve been in the echo chamber for too long.

    • But it’s okay when Muslims do it, because they’re just spreading “peace.” I like how my comment about feminism got deleted, even though “toxic masculinity” is a term only used by feminists.

    • ‘Does Islam promote this “toxic masculinity”?’


      Can a Muslim woman go out in public without a hijab and a male relative?

  7. It’s not gender, contrary to whatever that misandrist hack who dare to call herself a “journalist” claims in the article. It’s actually because racist, classist, misandrist hypocrites like her have actually effectively destroyed masculinity over the last 60 years; there’s less than absolutely nothing “toxic” about anything other than her favored social policies and politics.

    She and other people like her are the very physical embodiment of everything that is wrong in society — and that’s not at all an exaggeration, either.

  8. I guess I’m just not seeing all this hyper-masculinity they keep talking about. I don’t know how many modern males even know how to change a tire.

    • Thats weird, my cousin a big fellow couldn’t change his flat tire, my wife at the time, showed him how. My wife said he was” a nutty fucker, and I don’t want him around” . Last year my cousin, the big fellow, killed his roommate in the front yard with a machete for falling asleep with the TV on .

  9. At what point does acceptable masculinity become toxic? Im thinking just having a c0ck would qualify in her mind…

  10. I see a number of leftist/feminist themes here:
    1. All white males should do the world a favor and just kill themselves to stop infecting the whole planet with their toxic masculinity. Black males who attack when dissed or do a drive by of an opposing gang are exempt from toxic masculinity.
    2. The “frequency” has increased because the definitions of “mass shooting” have been changed for political purposes. Further, there has been no conscious effort to correlate the rate with population increase, i.e., they look only at raw numbers.

  11. Know what’s more reliable than whinging about toxic masculinity when faced with a “gun violence vector”? Make sure you can send a “vector” right back.

  12. I dont agree with it… but i think what shes saying is these non alpha males are trying to be alpha males by killing.

    • If that’s true, these shooters are dumber than anything as Alphas don’t go around shooting up a bunch of people. If they want to be more like Alphas, they should stand up straight, look people in the eye, give a firm handshake, do what they say they’ll do, speak the truth, know their strengths and weaknesses, always try to better themselves and get a freaking constructive hobby.

  13. The problem here is that this particular woman cannot handle ANY masculinity. Simply not brought up to interact in a healthy way with the the other gender. Thus allowing herself to denigrate the entire population of masculinity possessors into an unnesessary toxic slush. Not sure what a good solution for her issues would be.

  14. No, it’s neither mental illness or toxic masculinity. You are about as statistically safe around the mentally ill population as the rest of the population save for one segment of that population; the psycho/sociopath/narcissistic-personality disorder, which I might add usually go undetected in society. Toxic masculinity? Most likely just arrogant children who feel the world owes them something. Much like Islamic terrorists, and especially democrats. You call them snowflakes, I still call them cupcakes.

  15. Oh, boy. If you think (as I do) that the so-called “Survival Writer” Laura Kiesel is nuts, read her Facebook. She’s a fan of every left-wing feminazi kook issue known to mankind (oops, my toxic masculinity showed through on that one). I also gleaned this gem:

    “Here’s my situation: I am dealing with several health conditions that are varying levels of disabling and compound together. I am in constant chronic pain and it’s exhausting. This interferes with my ability to hold down a traditional job.”

    I think she’s just cranky.

  16. If I have to put up with having to be feminized like these hipster’s, I will loss my shit and world will wish I was never born. Lmao

  17. “Toxic Masculinity” is one of those terms like “Ammosexual” that was originally meant to be disparaging, but I’ve grown to love and own. To bear the disdain of anyone who would use either one of those terms as a weapon is to me a great honor.

  18. Anyone who uses “toxic masculinity” should be tested to see which drugs are effecting their thought processes. Big pharma or street is always my question.

  19. If the writer thinks American culture promotes “toxic masculinity”, she needs to visit Latin America and the Middle East for comparison.

    When women use force to defend themselves or their families, I don’t believe that’s “toxic” or “masculine.”

  20. Why are you people so negative? Little Laura is my hero! She is saying, societal influence is producing toxic masculinity which is the cause of gun violence, hand violence, feet violence, car violence, bat violence and violin violence. Not guns, guns are not the problem. Violent criminals, with their testosterone levels elevated by all of that criminal activity, are the problem.
    I can not wait for the social media cage fight between little Laura and the Hysterical Mother. Just imagine Shannon’s Sugar Daddy and Soros, on their knees, with cardboard signs hanging around their necks, confessing their sins while a swarm of social justice warriors shriek at them in mindless unison!
    The future is so bright, I have got to wear shades (and maybe an athletic cup, just to be on the safe side).

  21. How’s this for Civil; all of these filthy, subhuman Liberal Terrorists™️ suffer from extreme and incurable mental illness. Mass murderers comprise a very low percentage of killings. Instead, how about we focus on inner city, thug gangbangers who disproportionately make up an overwhelming percentage of savage, feral animals? Obviously, the death penalty, with mandatory public executions, forcing their close family members to actually kill their loved ones, would be a deterrent. Sure, it’s not going to be 100% effective, but if it even saves one innocent life, it’s worth it. Let’s think of the children. Again, let’s start killing those with violent convictions. That’ll reduce recidivism rates drastically. Armed robberies and felons in possession of firearms are simply gateway crimes to murder.

  22. So, nobody here seems to know what feminism is. Not terribly surprising.

    I’ll admit to not having read the article, but there’s definitely something to the idea that the way males are raised and expected to behave has something to do with the fact that they are the primary murderers in our culture. Boys grow up starved for affection and acceptance – everything is a contest, and anything else is effeminate/gay. We see them after they’ve become adults, trying to fill the void with things like My Little Pony – friendship was never allowed to be magic for boys. That is toxic masculinity. There’s nothing inherently masculine about cars and guns, and nothing toxic about them either. But the kind of creature boys are expected to be is not human at all, so we shouldn’t be so surprised when they do inhuman things. Some of them turn to porn – to a fantasy world where they are loved and accepted for who they are. Some of them become otaku. And some of them come completely unglued and murder everyone in sight.

    • “But the kind of creatures boys are expected to be is not human at all, so we should not be surprised when they do in human things.”

      As a boy, being taught what it is to be a man, I was “expected” to be honorable, honest, hard working and law abiding. To protect the helpless, the innocent and the weak. To be of service to my community, to get married, work to support my family and teach my children well.

      So in what way that I was “expected” as a boy, in becoming a man, as being inhuman?

  23. “trend of mass shootings in America”
    “gun violence epidemic”

    So she starts with a couple of false assumptions, with no evidence or sources cited, and goes downhill from there.


  24. Contrary to her sources statement, it doesn’t look to me that she is internalizing blame and frustration at all. I think she should try it.

    Another woman making sure no normal man is going anywhere near her with his “toxic masculinity”. Not that she is likely even interested in it.

  25. Spree killings seem common, because they’re so dramatic and the ensuing press coverage is incessant, but in the context of the enormity of the country, they’re pretty rare. So rare, in fact, that the FBI doesn’t even have a category for them and criminologists don’t even have a universal definition of them.

    Given that scarcity of occurrences, it’s laughable in the extreme to attempt to ascribe some societal attribute as the cause. Besides, there have been females involved om spree shootings, too. There was the Las Vegas couple that murdered the officers at CiCi’s Pizza, then got in a shootout at Walmart. There was the San Bernardino Christmas office party killers. Even out in Orlando, the wife was part of the conspiracy aforehand. What is this manhating woman’s explanation for those? “Oh that’s just three. That’s really rare. ” Well.

    Like I said, spree shootings are rare overall. You can’t quibble now about something that’s just a little bit mor rare.

  26. Just… wow. Holy shit. This is one of those things where I just can’t believe there’s someone that stupid walking around and managing to live, vote, etc. on their own. Goddamn.

    • Okay, after doing some digging/reading on this lady, she has pretty much 0 basis for writing this tripe. She holds a Master’s degree in “natural resources and environmental policy” from the University of Vermont and a Bachelor’s in English and journalism from the State University of New York at New Paltz.

      I would’ve guessed a basic BA in Sociology or something like that, but at least she’d have some basis for saying what she does.

      As it stands, this ass is talking out herself.

  27. The only societal influencers that i can think of that associates violence with masculinity is the film industry. In these films (war, revenge stories, or protection of friends/family/self) the violence is a means to an end. The violence achieves something. The exception to this is horror movies, but the protagonist in these movies is typically not the one being violent except to survive, and again, that violence is a means to an end. With the exception of religious extremists, in mass killings the violence is the end and the goal. If these people aren’t smart enough to realize that these films are portraying masculinity as self sacrifice or love of family and friends (not violence) then they indeed may be mentally ill. I can’t think of a single instance where an act of violence for the sake of violence was portrayed as a positive masculine trait.

  28. Parents perpetuate the negative sides of masculinity and femininity. Moms aren’t telling their daughters how to treat men and how to expect to be treated. “Speak to a Girl” – Hill/McGraw. Dads aren’t telling their sons how to treat women.

    Both genders are taught not to feel their feelings. “Don’t be sad, cheer up, eat this, don’t be angry…..”

    That’s the problem. Blaming one gender is clickbait.

    You know people who hangglide have a greater chance of hanggliding accidents than people who don’t hangglide. Who knew?

    About the number of men vs women who are gun owners, just wait. 🙂

    • Guys. Read some of the comments here that are not being called out at all by all you great, manly, peaceable men that are supposed to be the majority. Are these the men that speak for you? These are the men that are giving your gun rights a bad name. These are the men that start ‘cleaning’ their gun in front of a girlfriend they think is trying to leave. A subset of these men shoot women for being a ‘piece of shit’ or stepping out of her place. A smaller subset throw a hyper-violent tantrum when the world/women doesn’t treat them with the standing that they believe they are due. I want to support gun rights with a whole heart, but too many of the men in this movement think women are shit, and one of the finest uses of their firearms is to keep them in their place, and the rest aren’t standing up to them.

  29. She’s just half a sentence away from saying all men are mentally ill. (The enchanting moment when we’ll all be carted away to an armed guard facility.)

  30. A boy falls off his bike and his dad says, “wipe those tears and get back on it.” A girl falls and the reaction is obviously different. Men are not as well conditioned to constructively deal with valid emotion reactions as society deems it unmanly, i.e feminine, the worst insult to a man. However, double edged sword. If physical danger presents, the world expects men to respond first and women look to us. There is a price for that. We do that by compartmentalizing and suppressing feelings to a large degree. What was it Betty Friednan said, “Masculine Mystique made us feel obsolete when there were no more bears to kill.” We aren’t mentally ill for the most part, just wired and conditioned to respond to situations in a day and age that has passed along with the megafauna.

  31. Oh goody, another college educated liberal flower child. Good luck when the girly-man you marry won’t protect you…because that would reveal his hidden (suppressed) mental illness.

  32. Why is it when women complain about men having hyper masculinity, they are the ones that have masculine looking girl friends?

  33. A lot of these mass shooters were probably raised by single mothers and never had a man around to learn from, yet it’s “toxic masculinity” that’s the problem. Women have way more control over how a child is raised in our society but no one ever points the finger at the mother to say “maybe you did a shitty job raising your kid”.

    My parents divorced when I was 6 and my brother was basically a newborn. My dad wasn’t around a lot after that, but I had an uncle who I stayed with during summers off from school who taught me a lot of things that my dad should have instilled in me. Without him , who knows how I would have turned out.

    My brother basically never had a father or father figure in his life and he’s just all kinds of messed up right now. He”s a child in a man’s body…with his own child. Married and divorced at 22 years old, no job, fired multiple times, drug user, been to rehab, arrested multiple times, been in a wreck where his best friend died, etc.

    A male child needs an adult male in his life or you need a really great mother.

  34. I always thought that in the land of everyone being equal it is time that woman be required to sign up for selective service. Would give her something to worry about. Unless of course she has a penis to see both sides of the issue. She isn’t totally useless at least she serves as a bad example.

  35. She, like most libtards has failed to realize that talking, is the second best thing her mouth is good for.

  36. 1360 words excluding title, subtitle, author and date

    Once again someone with passable writing skills and a desire to castrate men is given a forum to display an astonishing inability to examine evidence and draw reasonable conclusions.

    Laura could have written that all mass murderers are air breathers and it would have been a generalization worthy of her talents, as displayed in the Politico piece. The claim actually would have been valid. Unfortunately it could cast a bad light on females since they too are air breathers so just to make sure we all understand the real source of the problem she states it over and over: Men.

    Here is the title of her piece for those not interested in going and reading it; note the specific identification of men:
    Don’t Blame Mental Illness for Mass Shootings; Blame Men

    Based on my own experience reading Laura’s manifesto I have to recommend to fellow TTAG readers that they steer clear of this article. Think of it as something soft, smelly, wet and often found on the ground in a cow pasture. You’ll get the idea.

    • Why do you think all mass murderers are men? Legit question. It’s such a huge correlation. I don’t think good men or ‘manly’ men are mass-murders, but I do believe the kind of men who hate women or abuse women or who think women are less than men are likely to be violent in other ways. I’m seeing a bit of that in the comments here. It’s not a good look.

  37. “it’s time to have a more nuanced discussion … ” – How come this just makes me think “oh, f*** you?” The only thing these people want less than a nuanced conversation is a factual one. But seriously, it’s probably the combination of “it’s time,” “discussion,” and “bullshit.”

  38. This is the kind of drivel we get because women were granted the right to vote. Women don’t know how to vote to save themselves from destruction. Women head up most gun control groups. The eventual loss of our gun rights will be because of woman.

    • I hope you are a Russian bot or something, but in case you have a soul: Women don’t like guns because guns are pointed at them too often. They too often only see the ‘bad end’ or read about men shooting women who dared to break up with them. I disagree with gun restrictions, but I get why they have a bad rep among women. It’s POS men that are threatening your gun rights, not the women they harm.

  39. Guys. Read some of the comments here that are not being called out at all by all you great, manly, peaceable men that are supposed to be the majority. Are these the men that speak for you? These are the men that are giving your gun rights a bad name. These are the men that start ‘cleaning’ their gun in front of a girlfriend they think is trying to leave. A subset of these men shoot women for being a ‘piece of shit’ or stepping out of her place. A smaller subset throw a hyper-violent tantrum when the world/women doesn’t treat them with the standing that they believe they are due. I want to support gun rights with a whole heart, but too many of the men in this movement think women are shit, and one of the finest uses of their firearms is to keep them in their place, and the rest aren’t standing up to them.

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