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The NRA blog offers readers an NRA myth vs. truth post tackling the slings and arrows of outrageous mischaracterization. For a start they fisk the idea that “the NRA is nothing but old white men smoking cigars.” While we can forgive the NRA for not using the proper acronym (OFWG), their reply leaves a little something to be desired . . .

Truth: The NRA’s 5 million members are made up of Americans of all races, genders and ages. Our education, safety, training and marksmanship programs feature offerings for everyone, from the gun safety lessons of our Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program taught to school children, to the legendary training programs that empower gun owners young and old. The NRA represents the best of America, a collection of patriotic, freedom-loving citizens who understand the importance of their Second Amendment rights and are willing to stand up and defend the Constitution.

See what they did there? They took on the idea that NRA is nothing but OFWGs. It’s certainly true that the NRA has plenty of women and minority and minority women and “even” some LGBT members — not to mention millions of members who aren’t partial to a Partagás — that doesn’t counter the general validity of the OFWG “myth.”

While the NRA’s making great strides in increasing its diversity, a visit to its annual convention does nothing to dispel the idea that the vast majority of its active members are OFWGs. As an OFWG, I’ve see nothing wrong with that. And the few black faces at the Convention were welcomed as brothers in arms. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that the NRA has a long way to go in terms of inclusiveness. Maybe they should have left that one alone. Just sayin’ . . .

The NRA blog then addresses the “myth” that “the NRA is an evil gun lobby that works to protect gunmakers.”

Truth: The NRA doesn’t represent gun manufacturers and gear makers – we represent gun owners, champion gun rights, and advocate for citizens to be able to keep the freedoms promised to them by the Second Amendment. Simply put, we represent Americans. The NRA is the nation’s longest-standing civil rights group. Everything we do is to protect the Constitutional rights of Americans and to promote and improve the shooting sports in our country.

The NRA’s mission: defending and extending American’s natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. No question. And there’s nothing evil about that. Quite the opposite. We all owe the NRA a great debt of gratitude for its tireless work protecting our gun rights. Which protect all our civil rights. Our very way of life.

But it’s also true that the NRA receives an enormous amount of financial support from the firearms industry. Defending and extending gun rights protects gunmakers from gun control laws that would curtail or destroy their business. And increases the market for their products. There’s nothing evil about that, either. But pretending that the NRA doesn’t work hand-in-glove with gunmakers flies in the face of reality.

The last myth in the NRA’s sights: “The NRA is just a right-wing political machine that’s nothing like it once was.”

Truth: The NRA is every bit as invested today in the core mission and principles it was founded to achieve in 1871 – a commitment to training, education and marksmanship. From hunter safety and training, youth gun safety, and basic marksmanship and self-defense courses to advanced NRA Outdoors training, elite competition shooting and gunsmithing schools, the NRA invests in Americans who want to become better, safer and smarter gun owners.

As new challenges and threats to the Second Amendment, hunting rights and gun rights have arisen, the NRA has responded through the tireless efforts of its Institute for Legislative Action, working to promote legislation to protect freedom and create a future for American pastimes. But the heart of the NRA is as it always was, and what it always will be: to train Americans to be responsible, safe and well-educated firearm owners and users.

“That’s the real NRA,” the blog concludes. Whoa. That moniker sounds WAY too close to “The Real IRA” to me. Still, mad props to the “new NRA” for their more timely and pointed posts. Not to coin a phrase, you’ve come a long way, baby. And that’s the truth.

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  1. I have met more gun owners in the last few years who are not NRA members than ever before. You can’t force someone to be a member of an organization. I think a lot of this is because of the media painting the NRA as a criminal Empire looking to give guns to children and a bunch of propaganda like that. I also blame a lot of the negative publicity from members of the NRA from there Non-Stop asking for money all the time they constantly call me at least twice a month and I get every month a letter wanting me to donate money for memberships and other things they really need to back down off there beating their members up for money I already dropped over $500 on a life membership and constantly donate to the NRA when I order from Brownells and Midway USA and they still beat me to death with asking for donations I find that a little ridiculous. I know defending the Constitution is expensive and drawn-out activity however I’m not a rich man and I can’t afford to donate hundreds of dollars every month to any organization I just wouldn’t be able to eat LOL.

    • agreed. the NRA in 2016 is little more than broken record in an echo chamber. Of course it could easily reinvent itself and become relevant again, but in a post-democrats-post-truth America, the NRA will have to up its game and move beyond wood stocks and six-guns. Oh, and sound like they know what their talking about when discussing modern guns and gun owners.

      Night Charlton.

    • The PR firm that runs the NRA’s fundraising really needs to have all their people read _Freakonomics_ and _How to Think Like a Freak_ — they’d learn really quick that their bombardment/saturation tactics aren’t the most effective.

      That said, you can contact membership and request reduced mailings — I did it several years ago, and I noted while toting up last year’s taxes that I actually give more now that I don’t get the constant begging (and there’s an example of what’s wrong with their approach; they’d do far better if they sent out one letter and there was an option of “give this much and you won’t hear from us again for a year”).

      • Honestly, just my membership should be enough to meet the “pay us this much and you won’t hear from us for a year” bar. If it’s insufficient for their lobbying needs, by all means they should bump it up to what they feel will be enough, and I can gauge whether or not they provide me with a reasonable return on that donation.

        They’re not the only pro-2A lobbying group out there.

      • But if they didn’t do a bazillion mailings, how could the companies running the direct mail campaigns for the NRA get rich?

        • They’d actually bring in more money with any one of several alternatives to the mass bombardment approach. LaPierre’s favorite bunch is behind the times.

    • I’m a Life Member and get nothing from the NRA in the mail except the catalog, which I have ordered from. I could probably stop that too, if I wanted to. I just followed these instructions, from the NRA website:

      Simply email us at [email protected] or dial 800-NRA-3888 and request to be placed on the “Do Not Promote” list. This will significantly reduce the amount of mail you receive without affecting important mailings, magazine service, or your membership renewal.

    • That’s a problem solved with a simple phone call or trip to their web site. It’ll probably take you more time to read this than it will to have them stop the solicitations.

  2. This kind of criticism is of little consequence. What really counts is the NRA’s ability to directly influence the political decisions of Democrat and Republican elected officials. Politicians know this and rightfully fear and respect the NRA’s ability to influence the voters they depend on to stay in office. The NRA is standing on the air supply of the nation’s politicians, something they know quite well. Anyone who can do that—-OFWG or not—has real influence in American politics. Because they can do this and because they support my 2nd amendment rights, they get my money.

    • But it is of consequence: change the image a bit, and the 5 million membership could become 8 million pretty fast. Change it some more, and reach 12 million.

      With twelve million members, congresscritters would drop everything to meet with an NRA representative, almost as fast as they do for AARP.

      • This is exactly right. I dropped my membership and went with another organization simply because I feel that one more closely aligns with my gun interests. If the NRA would get “more modern” with folks I more closely identify with, I’d gladly point my money their direction again.

        • I know four people who would join if the NRA just gave an alternative to the scream-sheet approach, one where facts were given and sources documented. They’re analytical types who love to follow links to solid information, and they can’t get that at the NRA. That’s something that frustrates me immensely as well.

  3. There is a link to firearms ownership and personal responsibility. There are very few voices in minority communities that preach personal responsibility. It is not because those voices don’t exist but because they are shouted down, attacked, and labeled “race tratiors” by the leadership of the cash-cow race hustling industry.

    Also, check out Maj Toure and his “Black Guns Matter” organization. He is going into predominantly poor, black communities and teaching firearms safety and promoting responsible firearms ownership.

    • There are many black Americans who think they can’t own guns because they grew up in a gun free zone government housing project. Hopefully President Trump will end all gun free zones on federal property.
      Maj Toure is doing a version of Johnny apple seed with guns. I consider him doing the lords work.
      The sisters Diamond and Silk learned the evil truth about the democrat party. They helped bring thousands of black voters to Donald Trump. Their work is very similar to Maj Toure.

      The students of Maj Toure will eventually became members of some gun rights group.
      As a black gun owner I wear my NRA hat around town and when I travel. I get stares, smiles and I get hand shakes. If you want to keep your rights then you have to wave “the flag” in public.

  4. “We all owe the NRA a great debt of gratitude for its tireless work protecting our gun rights. Which protect all our civil rights. Our very way of life.

    “But . . . .”

    Next up, “I support the Second Amendment, but . . . .”

    I learned a long time ago that the word “but” means “disregard everything said before the word ‘but.'”

    • Total reading comprehension fail. In this case, “but” means “that’s true though there’s something we need to be aware of”.

      • So when a politician says “I support the Second Amendment, but we need universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and a dozen or two other commonsense restrictions for the children,” what he’s saying is that there are some things we need to be aware of?


        • Back at ya. If you actually believe something, there is no “but”.

          I only like sex with women. But …

    • Except that’s not what he’s saying at all. It’s more “they’re good, but they could be better.”

  5. First, I’m a proud Patron Life Member of the NRA. Now that that’s out of the way…

    The main issue I see with them (and I wouldn’t call it not being inclusive) is that everything is a “the sky is falling” emergency which they frame toward a target audience of assumed lower intelligence.

    Open pretty much any letter from the NRA… or the National Association of Gun Rights… or the Illinois State Rifle Association… and you’re met with several pages of text, with abundant use of your name (they wrote to you personally!!!), interspersed with a drastic overuse of bold, underlined declaration of woe.

    And maybe it’s just me, but that shit’s a turnoff. Yes, I give all three of those organizations money… but I can’t tell you the last time I actually read what any of them mailed (or emailed) to me.

    And as Dave mentioned above, they need to back off a bit on the whole “give me more money!” thing. I was literally on the phone with a representative, upgrading my Endowment membership to a Patron membership… and when all was said and done, the lady literally asked if I would be able to make an emergency contribution due to the ongoing election campaigns. My response was, “Lady… this is my emergency contribution.”

    • The constant begging for money is what turned my wife off. She still donates money directly to the ILA, but she got tired of the endless mail. The same goes for my grandmother. She still donates but is no longer an active, dues-paying member.

      It would be interesting to know how many people out there donate to the NRA that are not members. I’m guessing with the round up program, Amazon Smile, and other similar programs, the number would be above 20 million people.

    • Yep. The NRA’s marketing can be over-the-top but of course anyone who is a member can ask that they reduce the number of mailings. I have to assume that they do things the way they do because they have found that it works well over time. (At least I hope so!) Though there are people like us who substantially contribute to the NRA (I am a Benefactor Member and support Golden Eagles annually), the vast majority of the members contribute with smaller donations which I assume makes the organization feel like they constantly need to go back to the well or be parched.

      Since Sandy Hook at least, I personally haven’t had any problems with their alarmist tone because they generally have been correct.

      • I think they’re finally tired of me.

        Pretty sure I just get the magazine and occasional letters to renew my membership (despite it not expiring for another 4 years).

        No doubt there are others, I just recycle them, but it’s not a deluge. It’s not weekly, it’s not even monthly.

        I think they finally learned that none of it works, so they just stopped sending it after a while.

        Back when I was active with the ILA, boy howdy, it just rained mail.

        But not any more.

        • Same here. They barraged me for the first few months, then it stopped entirely. Not sure exactly why; I think I notified them somehow to knock it off. It’s been a few years, but — yes, they will leave you alone if you tell them to.

          Sure would be a lot easier if they had 35 million members rather than just the same tiny group of 5 million that they constantly have to go back to. Wish more would join so the organization was unassailable (like the AARP).

        • I’ve been called five times in the past 2 months even though I’ve told them I’m not coughing up any more bucks this year. I’m a life member and have donated at least $100 a year for a long time. They’re using professional fundraisers and are really pissing me off these days. The letters I toss without a problem. The calls each take some time. One a$$ fundraiser kept trying to get me to donate after I’d told him no. The NRA needs to get this under control. I don’t even know if these professional fundraisers are legit. Just because they say they are raising on the behalf of the NRA doesn’t necessarily make it so. At this point I’m not sure if I’ll donate next year or not. They’ve about pushed me over the line.

        • That’s a good point, if you give money to the NRA-ILA folks, they do send out a ton of mail…

      • You shouldn’t have to ask them to be less shrill Chicken Littles. They should just be honest, respectful of their members’ intellect, and recognize that while conservatives tend to be more charitable in terms of financial donations, there’s a finite cap to that charity.

        And believe me, when every. single. letter. is declaring doom and gloom unless you respond to their urgent pleas for more money!!!!… it absolutely IS charity after your membership dues.

    • Regarding the “the sky is falling” emergency comment.

      1. Don’t you think that if Hillary were elected we might have been in nearly an emergency status?

      2. Sometimes when the sky is falling it’s not a blizzard but a few snowflakes here and there. But after several years of that you’re still covered under 10 ft of snow. Is it any less of an ’emergency’ if it doesn’t come all at once?

    • Cue, that kind of pitch is one big reason I’m not a Patron member; I called about something else a while back and it quickly became “I see you’re an Endowment member, can I get you to upgrade to Patron?”, and despite my attempts to get back to what I called about the gal just kept harping about money.

      I finally shut her up by saying I’ll consider upgrading to Patron once the NRA gets national reciprocity passed not just for concealed but for open carry.

    • “everything is a “the sky is falling” emergency which they frame toward a target audience of assumed lower intelligence.”

      That is what is taught in universities to those majoring in fundraising, is my guess. I say that because the approach is *exactly* the same from the Dem party, the GOP, every gun organization, and probably a thousand other subject oriented ads. Sad story, it’s gonna get way worse, only you can save the world, send money now, tomorrow will be too late.

      I contribute, possibly more than I should, but I contribute when I read in the news about a real success by SAF, GOA, or NRA, not when they send me a slick fundraising letter.

  6. The position the NRA took regarding No Fly, No Buy left me entirely non-plussed by their short sightedness. This alone was enough to not renew my membership, and I will not renew unless they take a decidedly more sane approach to recognizing there are other rights that are important, such as the right to due process, the concept of innocent until proven guilty, etc.

    • Yeah, that’s another thing… their public answers are framed to please, rather than to expand and explain.

      Regarding the terrorist watch list… they should’ve pointed out the simplicity of due process and citizens’ rights.

      And their response to Trump’s statement about members of the Pulse night club being armed…. the correct response should have had nothing to do with not encouraging people to be armed when they’re drinking, or where alcohol is present… it should simply been that there is no requirement that one drink simply because they go out to a club, bar, etc.

      The typical response from pretty much any authority figure is that “guns and alcohol don’t mix,” which completely ignores the fact that the mere presence of alcohol will not make firearms spontaneously jump out of their holsters and start firing, nor does it require that if alcohol is present, one must drink it.

      All politics… no common sense.

      • “their public answers are framed to please, rather than to expand and explain.”

        Well, logically, yes — but there’s an age-old saying in politics: “if you’re explaining, you’re losing.” So yeah, they should make the explanations available somewhere, but if explanations are the public face of the organization then the battle’s already lost.

        Regardless, it does appear that they know what they’re doing. They won this election. With the most unfavorably-rated candidate in national history, they went all-in early and they won big. So while I think you have a point, and I personally despise the gloom-and-doom approach LaPierre always takes in his videos, it’s hard to argue with the success they got.

        • It’s not hard for the most disliked candidate in history to win when running against the most distrusted. The Democrats were fools to run someone that polls indicated beforehand would never, ever be voted for by 47% of the people because they didn’t trust her.

      • “the correct response should have had nothing to do with not encouraging people to be armed when they’re drinking”

        Make it illegal to murder people while you are drinking, otherwise I would prefer to be armed, even if falling down drunk, when a killer with an AR begins shooting my tablemates. Prosecute a *problem*, until a problem STFU.

  7. I’m cool being an OFWG…WE get things done. Boomers still rule. I shudder to think what will happen when my generation disappears. And the NRA sure showed some power last month. Why they’re making idiotic movies (Miss Sloane)about the so-called “gun lobby”…I’ll think about all the criticism when I buy an “assault rifle” for 600bucks?

  8. How long are they going to keep spreading their lies?

    This is the same NRA that prevented people of color from arming themselves against racist hate groups.

    The same NRA that armed various foreign terror groups that caused mass shooting tragedies in France (twice), Belgium, Germany, Canada and Australia and the drug cartels while blaming it on opposing interests.

    The same NRA that intentionally turned a blind eye to right-wing hate groups and doomsday militia organizations who supported Herr Trump.

    Confirmation bias is the only weapon you people have.

  9. Myth: The NRA protects your right to keep and bear arms
    Truth: The NRA endorsed the NFA, the GCA, the LEOPA, the UFA, the Hughes Amendment and, within the past 5 years, renewal of the UFA. It has done more damage than Bloomberg and Soros could hope to ever do in their life.

    • The NRA has indeed screwed up in the past. The current leadership seems much more in line with protecting rights however.

      And besides — who else has done a hundredth of what the NRA has? No, they’re not perfect. But who else are you going to support? Who else strikes fear into anti’s hearts? Who else do the gungrabbers blame? The NRA is their public enemy #1, which (in general) means they’re probably doing a pretty good job.

      • I’d believe that if they didn’t just renew the Undetectable Firearms Act for NO REASON AT ALL a few years ago.

        There was a Republican majority in both house and senate and no-way the democrats could have ever forced it through. All the NRA had to do was say “vote for this and you’re dropping a letter. Have fun explaining that next primary” and nobody would have touched it.

    • Perhaps Nanashit should spend less time reading BluffHo. He is becoming increasingly tiresome and boorish.

      • I only remind people of it because the sooner people stop apologizing for the NRA and start holding their feat to the fire on their past/donate to one of the organizations that doesn’t stab us in the back at every turn, the sooner we can get rid of the poo they’ve dealt us.

        • The Hughes amendment was added at the last minute when Rangel called a bs voice vote for the yays. It should have been fought there on the floor. The NRA diidn’t support it.

  10. “diversity” is empty headed marxist libtard BS. There us no particular goodness in more “diversity”.

    If anything more homogeneous group is STRONGER. Often “same sheet of music would be used. BUT if you’re trying to tear down a successful group you would “diversify” it (see Eurp). This is obviously the objective of the leftist luddites for the civilized West (see Obumer and his bretheren thugs etal).

    • Blacks already constitute almost 10% of the NRA Board of Directors. What percentage of TTAG’s staff is black?

      There can be no suggestion that TTAG is biased. Nothing could be further from the truth. So where are the black authors? The fact is that TTAG can’t recruit black writers any more successfully than the NRA can recruit more black members.

      The NRA has the desire and has made the effort. What it cannot do is persuade a non-receptive group that has been thoroughly trained to distrust, if not despise, the NRA.

  11. If they’d just ‘win’ the damn argument, as opposed to just wanting to hang around to make sure someone “continues the conversation” I would pay double the annual rate just to keep them around until the POS gun-grabbers popped up again.

    If they went “Teamsters” on a couple of mf gun-grabbers to make it less appealing, maybe I’d go 3x.

    We don’t need prolonged civility, we need gun grabbers to hide long enough to be able to kill themselves by their own preferred means.

    • Wow, that was lame.

      So, the author gets to chose and phrase the stuff he’ll debunk, and fails 18 out of 18 times. Or generously, 14 of 18, with 4 “halfway there” awards.

      For example, “More Guns does not make Less crime … Dr. Lott was debunked” is generously half way there at best.
      — Dr. Lott’s published studies are hardly the only ones pointing to “more guns / less crime.” Debunk his studies all you like. Even if he’s completely discredited, there’s more debunking to be done.

      — “Peer review” is an interesting standard of truth in this kind of discussion. For a take on the sociology of public science, read “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”, which was quite the darling argument of the progressive folk, back in the day.

      — Specific to Dr. Lott’s studies, whether they’ve been debunked or not by “peer review” depends on which peers you ask. The alleged consensus isn’t very consensus-y.

      — Unaddressed: faking research will get you fired, even with tenure. (It’ll even get you fired as a journalist, sometimes.) Last I knew Dr. Lott was still professoring, despite his “refuted” and “faked” research being debunked. So, how debunked is it, exactly?

      Yet, I’m giving the claim that “more guns / less crime” has been debunked half-credit. Full, not any credit goes to nonsense like: “They have less guns and more violence.” “Yeah, but they eat a lot of lead-based paint.” First, that’s a non sequitur, which *accepts the premise it’s claimed to debunk.* Worse, that one bolsters the “it’s a mental health problem” argument, the author claims to debunk later.

      Really one should try to do better than citing a Puffington Host cut-and-pasted listicle with a click bait headline as authoritative.

      • I’ve read a couple of studies that indicate that more guns being carried by law-abiding citizens does not reduce crime, and in both cases there was a point they skipped or ignored: that while the evident overall drop in crime was not statistically significant, there was a statistically significant shift in types of crime: crimes against persons or where persons were present did drop, and was replaced by crime against property with no one around.

        Anyone with a brain has to admit that this is a bonus; even those who lament bad guys getting shot by good guys have to admit that crime committed when no one is around is less likely to result in dead bad guys.

        • We live in a land that (supposedly) prides itself on freedom. If it cannot be shown that more carry *increases* crime, then everyone should be happy with more carry. Decreasing crime would be nice, but that will be difficult to prove with essentially all media lying about it.

          • The media are irrelevant to actual crime studies because they don’t actually care about the raw data and don’t possess it in the first place. But yes, they flavor the conversation so it’s hard to communicate the actual data to the people.

            But you’re right: gun owners shouldn’t have to prove that crime goes down because of them, only that it doesn’t increase. Of course the biggest tactic the antis have for that is to cast gang members and such as “gun owners”, which is dishonest (not that they care).

            Of course if they really want crime to decrease they’d be clamoring to end the misnamed “War on Drugs”, which is the cause of four-fifths of all our crime (and they’d do it without writing regulations that keep the price artificially high, which was done here in Oregon for marijuana, since high price ==> black market). But our self-righteous Puritan heritage infects both parties, and that isn’t likely to happen.

  12. FWIW, I’ve long noted that the mix at the national convention is far more OFWG than the local gatherings I’ve seen. I suspect there’s a filter going on there that depends a lot on who they get to speak; just as one example, I know a number of NRA members who will never, ever attend a gathering where either Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin are official speakers.

  13. Well, while the D-party has of late been pushing the meme – totally not coordinated or part of a PR effort; all the folks saying the same thing, the same time, with the same words is just a coincidence(*) – that the NRA “has become” a wing of the reactionary / conservative / R-party, there are a couple questions.

    I think this has cause and effect backwards. Pro-gun isn’t pro-gun because they are Republicans. Rather they are (often reluctant) Republicans because they are pro-gun.

    When your party has been making a run at citizens owning guns for pushing 30 years, what’s the surprise that pro-gun folks have aligned with the opposition party?

    (*) If an infinite number of monkeys at typewriters can eventually produce Hamlet at least once, it’s perfectly reasonable that a smaller number of keyboard-warriors could find themselves all flinging the exact same poo at the exact same time, simply by chance.

    “Google it.” they said during the campaign.

    Really, their lack of self-awareness is stunning. Bad enough that they got thoroughly caught with the coordinated agitprop back in the day with journolist. Now, while they’re whining that the presidential campaign was corrupted by their exposure again via wikileaks, their messaging continues: “Google it.”

    For cripes’ sake, what do they think we’ll find?

  14. I no longer belong to the NRA. It does me no good to earn my money in CA and have the money I sent to the NRA used to help gunrights everywhere but CA.

    There are 8 million+ gun owners in CA. The NRA wants our money, they better earn it.

    • Out of that 8 millions gun owners, how many are NRA members? If they themselves don’t care enough to join the fight how can they expect the rest of us to bail them out? Californians vote the way they do and made their bed. Short of federal or judicial action I don’t see how the NRA could make a difference in California. Throwing good money into lost cause is not a good strategy.

  15. So many think they are punishing the NRA for whatever wrong or slight they did by not renewing or not joining or not giving money. Those people are punishing themselves. They are punishing you and they are punishing me. Because of what they do, the NRA is not the 10 or 20 million people it could be. Because of what they do, the NRA never changes, they just stay the same. What would happen if all those disenchanted gun owners joined the NRA and tried to change it from the inside? First join. Then have the constant emails and mailings turned off. (It’s super easy and the whining of all the people who won’t take those simple steps is tiring). Then, begin constantly barraging the NRA with demands to change. Don’t let up. Expect it to take a long time but never let up. Figure out how to move up in the organization. Volunteer. Change the NRA to be more modern. All of you complainers are waiting for all the rest of us to change the NRA. If you would join and do some simple things and have some patience, we could do it.

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