Madison 77 square miles reality
A man sells buttons outside the state Capitol in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
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The quote of the day is presented by

Retired UW-Madison psychiatry professor Gregory L. Schmidt’s view of the Second Amendment serves to reinforce the city’s unofficial motto: seventy-seven square miles surrounded by reality.

The United States Constitution was ratified in 1791. Jump ahead to 1861. On April 14, following the inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln, the well regulated militia of South Carolina captured Fort Sumter and started the Civil War. On April 19, the well regulated militia of Virginia captured the United States naval base at Gosport. And, on July 21, the well regulated militias of the slave states, operating under a unified command structure as the Army of the Confederacy, defeated the Union Army at the first battle of Manassas.

With these events, the purpose of the Second Amendment was totally fulfilled.

The very specific wording and the history of the Second Amendment make it clear that a politician’s evocation of the hallowed right to own handguns and assault weapons, the sole purpose of which are to kill human beings, achieves two goals. It keeps her or him in the pocket of the firearms industry and it guarantees the continuation of the uniquely American slaughter of its citizens by other citizens who keep and bear arms.

– Gregory L. Schmidt in The true meaning and purpose of the Second Amendment thousands of new and used guns at great prices

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    • Hey TTAG, what’s with the removal of entire articles now? Yesterday afternoon you removed a second one in the past week, after I read and commented on it. What gives? If you’re not ready to upload it, don’t.

      • BTW, Guesty – Do you consider it a victory when an entire thread of comments get nuked, including the original comment, when certain subjects get brought up? Like those involving needles? 😉

      • No, he isn’t. He’s full of anti-gun shit. Were he full of Marxist shit he would be intensely pro-gun even to include owning your own artillery.

        Marxist shit is evil in several major ways, but it is not anti-gun.

      • Take Germany off that list, they were never disarmed. The propaganda may have claimed it, but it was never true. The Allied Powers tried to disarm Germany after WW1 right down to the last hunting and target gun, but they failed in the worst way. To the point of there being armed coup attempts that were put down by citizen militias, police and military.

        Gun control in Germany was a good deal less effective than in any American city or Mexican village.

        Venezuela is a different story. We should be arming the people down there, if we could figure out which ones that is.

  1. No 2A means the liklihood of slaughter at the hands of despots running a government, at the very least totalitarianism. Something we’ve seen time and time again.

    • The author is an orthodox leftist. Nothing more, nothing less. Thus, it should shock no one to hear him state that freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength, etc.

      • Exactly and as such he is free to be a “servant” and free to be “strong via ignorance” all he wants. He is free to wait for the police to hopefully show up when someone breaks into his house. He is free to hope the police and state will protect him.

        And I am free to pursue other alternatives and solutions to the above. And as long as his pursuit of his “free and happy” does not step all over mine and vice-versa, we are all good. It is a beautiful thing.

      • Correct. Another educated fool. No more, no less.

        He should take a page from his fellow travelers, the abortion activists; if you don’t want one then don’t get one. See how easy it is to get along with folks?

  2. No, 2A means the Government belongs to the People, not the Politicians, Bureaucrats and “Political Parties”, and the People have the right to defend their Government and their free State to preserve the Constitutional Republic against the advent of tyranny.

    Prof Schmidt is full of schidt.

  3. Uuuuhh — the Constitution was ratified in 1788, not 1791, so maybe he should stick to psychiatry, and leave the history to historians and other people who can read.

    • I think he’s referring to the actual bill of rights containing the second amendment, which was indeed ratified in 1791.

  4. Help me to understand, when “the well regulated militia of South Carolina captured Fort Sumter and started the Civil War“, was it treason?

    When the graduates of West Point who swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic, was that treason?

    Did the election of Republican Abraham Lincoln give just cause to those sworn officers of United States Army to renege on their oath and take up arms against the United States of America?

    • No. When states succeeded from the union they legally became a sovereign country of their own. This of it this. What day is credited as the start of our country? It wasn’t after the battle of Yorktown. It was the day the Declaration of Independence. The same thing happened in the Civil War. South Carolina declared its independence. The government of the United States didn’t like that (just like the British didn’t). In the case of the Civil War those that said they didn’t want to be a part of the whole anymore lost. That is why we are still the United States of America. If our country hadn’t prevailed at Yorktown the same thing would have happened. Likely we’d still be British subjects.

      No, Mr. Schmidt, what you stated stated in your article was not the well regulated militia of the United States of America. It was the military of the sovereign countries of South Carolina & Virginia.

      • Instead of secession, they should have just called it Georgexit or Texit…. Either that, or the E.U. should send in the European military to bring England back in to the Union. Who knows, 50 years from now historians may say that England was invaded by the (Eropean) Union to protect the rights of immigrants from the evil racist British.

    • So, if your side loses an election you can just take your bat and ball and go home, right?

      Nobody told the Southern Democrats to split from the National Party. If they accepted Stephen Douglas Lincoln would have died an obscure one term Congressman.

      The Confederates were the predecessors to today’s #Resistance — a bunch of childish whiners. That’s why we had the Civil War, not the Second Amendment

      • Hear hear. Not to mention that whole slavery thing. I never have understood how some people seem to hold up the confederacy as an example of freedom and federalism, as if the southern states were simply minding their own business, and the north just kept working them over like a rabid dog. The southern states ENSLAVED human beings. They enshrined this practice in law because it was convenient and profitable, and because they viewed those human beings as somehow not quite human. They had a lot of opportunities to end slavery without violence and disruption, took none of them, and so had their criminal ideology stamped out through war instead.

        To equate modern gun owners with southern slave holders is silly and disingenuous. There’s no comparison, except in the addled minds of 1) left-wing fanatics, and 2) fringe right-wing “lost cause” adherents who think the south was just minding its own business when it got mugged by Abe Lincoln. (See, again, enslaving human beings for profit)

        • The fringe right-wing neo-Confederates are too stupid to understand that the neo-Confederate argument isn’t about the real Confederacy. It is a Dues Ex Machina invented by Murray Rothbard to explain how State can wither away.

        • “To equate modern gun owners with southern slave holders is silly and disingenuous.”

          IME, most of the POTG I’m familiar with are fans of the Confederacy, and long for return to the days of the old south.

          That’s why you see posters on this forum talk about welfare baboons, even though the vast majority of folks on welfare are white.

          For them, the only important declaration of independence is the white declaration of independence from Wilmington, Delaware in 1898. That was when the ‘well regulated militia’ of North Carolina killed and wounded innocent people of African descent.

        • @Miner… I’m sorry those voices are representative of the gun owners you know. This has not been my experience at all.

        • “The southern states ENSLAVED human beings.”

          Slavery is flat out terrible. All men are equal PERIOD. I am in no way advocating for it.

          There is one point of history that is hard to swallow. BOTH SIDES HAD SLAVES. Two of the largest slave trading ports were New York city & Washington DC.

          Northern businesses were totally fucking over southern businesses by having goods from southern states taxed at a higher rate than northern goods. At the time they didn’t have the population to overcome the northern hold of congress. They felt they were being taxed without representation. SOUND FAMILIAR?????? There are so many similarities between the American Declaration of Independence and the succession of the Confederacy it’s not even funny.

          Slavery wasn’t outlawed on the federal level until passage of the 13th amendment on December 6, 1865. Look at the text of the Emancipation Proclamation for example.

          The Proclamation applied in the ten states that were still in rebellion in 1863, and thus did not cover the nearly 500,000 slaves in the slave-holding border states (Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland or Delaware) which were Union states. Those slaves were freed by later separate state and federal actions.

          Lincoln did something that no other leader did in history. He issued a proclamation for another sovereign country.

        • The ability to tax and enact tariffs is an enumerated power. The Constitution does not require laws to be enacted by a unanimous vote in both Houses of Congress. So it looks like you support the notion that if you lose a vote in Congress you have a right to secede.

        • The only neo-Confederate gun owners I know are the few who post here but of course I live in Wisconsin so there aren’t many Confederates here.

        • You keep calling the confederacy a sovereign nation. That is not true; it was not one. Lincoln actually went to great lengths to NOT acknowledge it as such, specifically to avoid having other world powers treat it as independent, form treaties, and come to its aid. The confederacy was a rebellion, sparked by a host of complex issues, not the least of which was slavery. You are correct that the northern states were not much better about slavery and human rights than the south… but they (through the provisions laid out in the constitution) were prepared to do away with the practice, while the south was willing to start a war to keep it.

        • Well, I find the very concept of slavery incredibly abhorrent, and completely inconsistent with the values that supposedly motivated our Founders to declare their independence (and the author of the DofI, Thomas Jefferson, agreed. Acceptance of slavery as an adjunct to independence was a horrible, short-sighted political compromise. It sucked @$$, and virtually guaranteed ongoing conflict between the states.

          Having said that? Yeah, the North pretty much worked the South over “like a rabid dog”. 100% tariffs on imported machine tools, to “protect” the nascent Northern industry? Screw the South on that, so the South was forced to buy Northern-manufactured cotton gins, etc., at higher prices, and you DON’T expect them to be pissed????

          The North treated the South very badly in the run-up to the Civil War, and that is just a fact. If the North had limited its efforts to abolishing slavery, the outcome might have been different. And, BTW, slavery was ALREADY a dying institution in America when the Civil War came. Slavery would have been gone in 20 years or less.

          So, yeah, pretty much, while the REASON for their fighting was inherently evil, the legal BASIS for their secession was EXACTLY the same as the American colonies who seceded from Britain, so be honest.

        • Diogenes.

          Congress enacted the tariff under Article I Section 8 powers. I believe the Southern States expressed their objections through the no votes of their Senators and Representatives. If the Southern States thought the tariff was excessive they should have launched a campaign to explain the benefits of free trade like the Liberals in the UK did to get the Corn Laws repealed.

          The Revolutionaries claimed “No taxation without representation.”. Representation does not guarantee your position will win the day. Secession was not the same thing as the Declaration of Independence. So your position still comes down to “if I lose a vote in Congress I can secede.”

        • The Confederacy was mostly made up of Southern Democrats who were fanatical about keeping slavery alive and well. They didn’t see slaves as human just about the same way they don’t see gun owners as human today. If the Democrats disagree then they talk bad about those who do and if those that disagree don’t go away then they make up ‘facts’ using fake news but if those that disagree persist then they kill them either financially or execute them in the media. Democrats can’t argue the facts so they become victims and convenience their base that everyone that doesn’t agree with them are demons, the unwashed, that need to be eradicated. Sounds like the Brown Shirts that started the violent form of Fascism and the rise of Hitler-if you don’t agree then they beat the living crap out people or knifed them (most of the population did not have guns) so they couldn’t defend themselves. I don’t want a revolution I want the people who represent me to do their job to defend and protect this country. Don’t tax me out of my house, don’t take my guns or curtail my liberty and don’t tell me what to think or go after me if I disagree. I don’t think that is too much to ask.

      • “So, if your side loses an election you can just take your bat and ball and go home, right?”

        Depends what the election was about. If the electorate support measures which exceed the Constitutional authority of the Federal Government…that’s why the Bill of rights was written, to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. Of course, there will be disagreement and grey areas regarding the proper scope of Federal authority, which is the ambiguity at which authoritarians have aimed their attacks from the start.

        • “And how did Lincoln exceed the powers authorized by the Constitution before he was even inaugurated?”

          Didn’t say he did. I was pointing out a general distinction I believe is valid, not referring specifically to the US civil war.

      • First, if you think “taxation without representation” was the sole basis of the Revolution, you would be . . . tragically wrong, ahistorical and, well, frankly, kinda stupid.

        Second, the ENTIRE premise of the Declaration of Independence was the assertion of the INHERENT rights of man, and the STRUCTURE of the Constitution was designed to protect those rights from the depredations of . . . . well, people like you, actually. I. DON’T. GIVE. A. FLYING. F***. WHAT. YOU. VOTE. FOR., my RIGHTS are not up for debate. The 2A protected the INHERENT right to self defense from GOVERNMENT meddling.

        Go ahead, put your idiot ideas to the test. Repeal the 2A and tell “Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them in!!” My INHERENT right to self-defense will say, “Molon labe, mofo.”

        • Let me translate your rant into plain English for: “I only support actions taken under the Constitution that I like. All others are illegitimate.”

          The Constitution is a compact agreed to by the States to abide by the collective decisions by duly constituted bodies. Once you dispense with that concept of government then the system fragments into anarchy which if you understood Rothbard then you might understand that is his desired outcome. Neo-Confederatism has nothing to do with the real Confederacy. Rothbard was a Marxist heretic and without the dielectic he had no mechanism for the State to whither away so he invented neo-confederacy. Before Rothbard stumbled onto his neo-Confederate paradigm he claimed things were just fine under the Articles of Confederation. When that that didn’t stand up to historical scrutiny he latched to his Confederate fable

        • “…my RIGHTS are not up for debate.”

          That people believe this is kinda cute.

          Your right always have been and always will be up for debate. That’s why Franklin added the qualifier “…if you can keep it.”

  5. Madison, WI has been a liberal stronghold for decades, going as far back as the 60’s…
    Berkeley, CA has nothing on Madison when it’s comes to liberal ideals…

    • I grew up ten miles from Madison in the 60s, and the UW was definitely an island of liberalism in a sea of regular people. Now that has expanded to encompass the entire city. In 1969, Playboy Magazine named the University of Wisconsin at Madison as THE most radical campus in the U.S., even beating out UC Berkely. From my observations, it hasn’t changed much. When I returned from Vietnam in 1969, I was on leave at my parents’ home and was specifically told not to wear my uniform to Madison – there were many anti-war extremists who would not have hesitated to attack a serviceman. Later, the UW students were given the right to vote in city elections, and so took over. So this psychiatry professor is just an example of the ivory tower liberals who made things this way – it can be a very loopy place. I left Wisconsin when I joined the service and only occasionally go back to visit family, but I’ve observed that Madison has gotten bigger (through land annexation) and the liberal population has spread out to many bedroom communities in surrounding Dane County. Madison/Dane County and Milwaukee County are the two jurisdictions in Wisconsin that can be depended upon to elect liberal Democrats to Congress in Washington and to the state assembly in Madison. When I go Dane County, the political atmosphere so reminds me of lib/Dem Northern Virginia (where I now live) that I wonder why I even bother to go there.

      • UW-Madison has long been a cesspool of stupid. Way back in the 80s when I was (regrettably) a student there, they were already deeply mired in “HERstory” (history), womYns studies, and secret ‘nazis’ supposedly lurking in the student body.

        I want my tuition back.

      • On a mega road trip through that part of the country we stopped and visited ‘The House on the Rock’!

        Very interesting place, spent a few hours there, drove through Madison…think we stopped and ate there.

  6. Well over 100 million unarmed people were murdered in the last century by their own government. The key to making that possible was keeping the people unarmed. The US has had much less of that because the victims of government murder are potentially armed and government agents don’t like to be shot.

  7. This so called professor needs to expand his american history reading list.

    1. This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible
    by charles e cobb jr.

    2. Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms
    by nicholas johnson

    3. Black man with a gun Reloaded.
    by Kenn Blanchard

    4. We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement
    by Akinyele Omowale Umoja

    5. Negroes with Guns (1962)
    by Robert F Williams

  8. rebuttal:

    “There is nothing sensational in the reports from the Occupied Territories. The only thing noteworthy is exceptionally sharp fighting in Warsaw between our Police, and in part even the Wehrmacht, and the Jewish rebels. The Jews have actually succeeded in putting the ghetto in a condition to defend itself. Some very hard battles are taking place there, which have gone so far that the Jewish top leadership publishes daily military reports. Of course this jest will probably not last long. But it shows what one can expect of the Jews if they have arms. Unfortunately they also have some good German weapons in part, particularly machine-guns. Heaven only knows how they got hold of them.”

    Sources: J. Goebbels, Goebbels Tagebuecher aus den Jahren 1942-1943, mit andern Dokumenten (“Goebbels’ Diaries for the Years 1942-1943, and Other Documents”), Zurich, 1948, p. 318; Yad Vashem

  9. You better pray(to satan?)POTG don’t “fulfill” that pesky 2nd Amendment again herr Scmidt😄

  10. The argument over the wording or “interpretation” of the 2nd Amendment can tell you a lot about what a person’s thoughts on government in general. Either you believe it protects the people’s right to arms as individuals to defend themselves against the government, which they must reluctantly arm (with proper oversight) to preserve their country; or you believe it protects the people’s right to keep arms, so long as it is in the service of a private militia (with proper oversight), which the government must reluctantly allow to… do what exactly? I don’t really understand the practical end of this interpretation, which would make it unique in that regard among the rest of the Bill of Rights.

    • Whenever I point out the wording of the 2A and some anti starts in on the militia part, I simply ask them.

      Where did the revolutionaries (our forefathers), the minutemen, ect get their guns?

      Wasn’t from our government in its infancy, it was barely, kinda started and freakin’ broke as a ‘rund-over cat’ facing off against the world’s only superpower at the time.

      No, the people owned them. Individuals, not some collective.

      Sometimes I get the deer in the headlights look from an anti..sometimes they just get mad.

      This man is worthy of mentioning.

    • Because he has a captive audience of virgin minds who can’t disagree with him because he holds their fate in his hands with the grades he gives out. He believes he holds that power over anyone and puts out drivel on the internet because he can’t sell it to folks who live in the real world. You have to face folks like this head on and match him with real world examples that he can’t find in his classroom and won’t look for because he dismisses any idea that differs from his own.

  11. We all know how they think. Why waste space on their drivel? Print a firearms review instead. Even if it’s on another AR.

  12. [the unofficial motto of Madison, Wisconsin]: seventy-seven square miles surrounded by reality

    What does “reality” have to do with anything? Why does “reality” even matter?

    Events this weekend in my tiny corner of the world reminded me that facts and reality are wholly and utterly irrelevant to 99.999999% of the population. All that matters is pleasure, comfort, laziness, passion, and the ability to squash anyone who jeopardizes your pleasure, comfort, laziness, and passion. Note that everything is fair game in the pursuit of pleasure, comfort, laziness, and passion — including manipulating and coercing others as well as stealing it and murdering for it.

    To be honest, I am at a total loss to explain why the entire human race did not go extinct thousands of years ago.

  13. I guess this guy never bothered to check who is paying congress? Those evil firearms industry folks that politicians are apparently enslaved by are like 50th in place for dollars to politics. Well behind the banking, insurance, education, healthcare, security, war fighting, pharmaceutical industries as well as far behind other darlings of the state such as abortion, pro israel and homo/tran/phobic/ist spending.

    If we’re going to attack an industry for buying politicians this gun industry boogeyman is spending pennies while many, many, many others are knocking on doors with giant novelty publishers clearing house checks. has been a thing for a long time now. No reason to remain ignorant unless you choose to.

    • I keep making this point (and the related point that the NUMBERS reflect that FOUR of the top 10 political donors are Unions (who are famously anti-gun), and Bloomberg is numero uno, and we all know how THAT midget (both mentally and physically) feels about guns, but the typical reaction is the “fingers in the ears, going ‘La, la, la, la . . . I CAN’T HEAR YOU!'” To seriously advance that argument means you are either incredibly ignorant, or a liar (but embrace the healing power of ‘and’!). And I find it interesting how many of the anti-gun arguments are subject to the same objection – simply false-to-fact and illogical. Hmmm . . . almost like there’s a PATTERN, there. (*scratches his head*)

      So, Prof . . . nah, not buyin’ your male bovine excrement.

      • LampofDiogenes,

        See my comment immediately above.

        To reiterate the salient part:

        … facts and reality are wholly and utterly irrelevant to 99.999999% of the population. All that matters is pleasure, comfort, laziness, passion, and the ability to squash anyone who jeopardizes your pleasure, comfort, laziness, and passion. Note that everything is fair game in the pursuit of pleasure, comfort, laziness, and passion — including manipulating and coercing others as well as stealing it and murdering for it.

        In this case passion is in the driver’s seat and gun-grabbers are Hell-bent on disarmament because they are passionate about it, nothing more and nothing less. Facts and results are totally unimportant.

        For reference their reasons for being passionate about civilian disarmament doesn’t matter. They just want what they want.

        Our options are simple: either give them what they want from us or do not give them what they want from us. Few of us would entertain a long, fact-based debate with a spree killer in the middle of an attack. We would simply go about our business and put the spree killer down if he/she gets in our way. Why not do the same with respect to gun-grabbers and their hired agents?

        • Fair point, and I tend to agree with your conclusion, but . . . if we have truly devolved to the point where fact-based debate is not a viable strategy? Can we just get the Boogaloo rolling, FFS?????? The gene pool is in SERIOUS need of some chlorine!

        • “but . . . if we have truly devolved to the point where fact-based debate is not a viable strategy?”

          I don’t know if that was ever a reliable strategy. Rhetoric and appeals to emotion (particularly the more base emotions like greed and fear) are more powerful than formal logic for persuasion most of the time (and with most of the people). Always have been.

        • LampofDiogenes,

          I agree with Phil Wilson’s reply: I don’t think fact-based debate has ever been a viable strategy.

          Maybe something like 5% of the world’s population would entertain fact-based debate. The rest only care about pleasure, comfort, laziness, and passion. And many of that 95% of the world’s population embrace manipulating, coercing, stealing, and murdering to get it, especially if someone else does the dirty work for them.

  14. “…and it guarantees the continuation of the uniquely American slaughter of its citizens by other citizens who keep and bear arms.”

    A true an honest statement. The native Americans and native Hawaiians know this well as the white racist/supremacists stole our land and slaughtered our people – the indigenous people who are the rightful heirs of this country. Can you Hillbillies and Jethro’s understand this? I seriously doubt it. Therefore, come 2021, when the whole of congress and the senate is dominated by social democrats and the white house is occupied by a POC – Kamala Harris, we will take back our country. You will have neither your guns nor your country. That is the mercy you showed us. Now we will show you.

    • Yeah, Vlad the ignorant commie, get in your time machine, and go back and tell that to the free Blacks in the South, who organized private militias to protect their communities from the DEMOCRAT KKK.

      “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life!” – Dean Wurmer. Also, since I’m in the mood to give relevant quotes, here’s one from Samuel Langhorne Clemens that also applies to you: “Keep your mouth shut, and let people think you stupid. Don’t open it and remove all doubt.”

    • And, BTW, if you are going to culturally appropriate a WHITE MAN’S name for your on-screen handle??? Might want to spell it properly. It’s “Vlad Tepys”, not Vlad Tepes. Or, maybe you were thinking of a “tepee”, since you’re all “native” and such????

  15. Let me check my latest newsletter from the NRA. Doesn’t say anything about a mass shooting scheduled for this week, only a plea for more donations. Yep, same as usual. You have to keep in mind that these public paid indoctrinators are tasked with educating our children. Scary thought, huh?

  16. Schmidt’s a shrink. Shrinks always have an overinflated opinion of their views on an issue being the only correct one. Needless to say, opinions are like buttholes. Everyone has one, but some people need to wipe harder. Schmidt falls into the latter category.

  17. A question for the author of this and several other articles. Do you ever receive a rebuttal from the individuals you often write about?

  18. The South would also have realized that there is no exit clause in the U.S. Constitution.

    But the poor dears got their feelings hurt when Lincoln was elected, so they took their blocks and attacked a federal fort.

    Live by the sword; die by the sword.

    So tired of southern revisionism. Like any of you whiners were there.

    Apparently, you must be low on Second Amendment articles and decided to throw this on the wall and see if it would stick. It didn’t.

  19. Well, Mr. Schmidt, if the gubmint wasn’t so good at pissing people off, maybe the War of Northern Aggression wouldn’t have happened, and maybe we wouldn’t be so spikey about our Second Amendment.

  20. They lost me at “the sole purpose”. I’ve been shooting guns for years and haven’t managed to fulfill “the sole purpose” yet, which I attribute entirely to my complete lack of being a liberal.

  21. The former Prof. is a self righteous ass-hat constantly spewing lies and biased conclusions at every opportunity, IMHO. I’m also not impressed by his labeling law abiding gun owners as having the “intent to kill”.
    He stated: “we know that handguns and military-style assault weapons are designed and manufactured for a single purpose: to kill human beings. Given that fact, we must accept the fact that ownership of such a weapon defines the owner’s intent.”

  22. Totally missed the ‘sunset clause’ in 2a.

    I guess reading comprehension is very low on this dolt’s radar.

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