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Old July 23, 2015, 11:13 PM   #1
hso
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Exclamation Official Lafayette, La. theater mass shooting thread.

Reports are that "a lone white male", 59 year old John Russell Houser, stood up and fired at least 13 shots from a .40 caliber handgun Thursday night during a ~7pm movie showing of "Train Wreck" in Lafayette, La. He murdered two and wounded 10.

As people rushed from the theater, he joined them and headed outside, apparently toward his blue 1995 Lincoln Continental. Houser noticed the sirens from police converging on the theater and went back inside and took his own life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RZjNg0ZRn8

There will be endless news reports with no useful information on motive as talking heads try to fill airtime so we'll leave this up and ask that everyone be patient and wait for more facts before posting wild conjecture (not that we want you to post wild conjecture then).

Expect the Antis to climb up on the bodies before they're cold as they always do to exploit this tragedy instead of waiting for solid information to come out of the investigation.

Our thoughts are with the victims and their families and friends.
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Old July 25, 2015, 11:33 AM   #2
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Gun purchase by Houser

Something is wrong with the system. ATF says:
On July 24 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) announced that the Lafayette gunman John Russell Houser bought his gun “legally” at a pawn store in Alabama in 2014.
As we have seen numerous times before, the word “legally” means he passed a background check for the firearm.

From what I read about the guy, there is no way he could submit form 4473 without lying which is a felony. The best way to keep the antis at bay is for the background check to WORK. Seems not enough diligence is employed when someone like this "passes". Am I missing something here?
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Old July 25, 2015, 12:17 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ed45
From what I read about the guy, there is no way he could submit form 4473 without lying which is a felony. The best way to keep the antis at bay is for the background check to WORK. Seems not enough diligence is employed when someone like this "passes". Am I missing something here?
While Houser was clearly a troubled person, had he ever been convicted of a felony? I know he had a record .... from what I recall maybe 30 years ago, but what I don't remember is if it was serious enough to disqualify him from owning guns.
A news report I hear stated his wife was so frightened of his behaviour she had all the guns they had removed from the house --- certainly a telling indicator in itself, I'd say.
A local TV news reporter (I am in Alabama, waaaaaay north of this guy's home town) went down and interviewed a few neighbors. One stated that Houser had plugged the pipes in his house with cement, sealed up windows, turned the gas on and attempted (unsuccessfully thank the Lord) to blow up the house. The local sheriff on video also said the guy was problematic.

As to the NICS check, at the pawn shop, perhaps there was a glitch in it. Remember it's a BUREAUCRACY and things in those oft go sideways. There will be no perfect system anywhere.
And we don't know that if he should have been denied, and HAD been, what he would have done. He might still have obtained a gun through some illicit means.

I do agree it would be good if the NICS check actually DID work. That would, as you say, be of great service to our side in the seemingly eternal debate with the antigunners.
But keep in mind something else in mind as well; most criminals don't walk up to the counter and try to buy a gun when they know that they have to fill out the 4473 and get screened by the FBI checking their bona fides. Of the few that do -- and it is a criminal act to try without as you correctly state commiting a felony -- the result is simple denial. It's been shown that there is seldom any follow up by law enforcement, ATF or otherwise. So I have to ask if they don't arrest and imprison these very few how effective is the NICS check, really, in the end? Does one believe the ex-con, upon denial at Academy Sports or...where ever ..... simply gives up trying to get a fire arm or will he next go to some underground seller?
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Old July 25, 2015, 01:41 PM   #4
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Good points Tommygun. It very much looks like if a bad or crazy lies through his teeth on the 4473 it does not effect the call-in. If the FBI pulls your name up and for reasons of system failure, length of time, severity of crime, etc. does not get a "hit" on your name, you pass the background check even though you violated the law in filling out the 4473.
When the media reports that he "purchased the gun legally", however, I have a problem. In fact he committed a felony to get the background check run. I recently found this:
When asked why Houser was denied a concealed carry permit in 2006, Taylor said it was because of prior charges. Russell Co. Sheriff Heath Taylor addresses the media about John ‘Rusty’ Houser’s criminal background. "We had the report of domestic violence against him and ’89 or ’90 he was arrested for an arson case in Columbus,” said Taylor. “So at the time he applied for his permit, he had the arson arrest in his history, as well as the domestic violence one.”
Question 11.i. is Have you ever been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence?
Anyway, I think the press claim that he bought the gun "legally" may be technically correct but not accurate.
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Old July 25, 2015, 03:28 PM   #5
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Has the media ever referred to a shooting-related firearm as anything other than "legally obtained" in the headlines? It seems that any scenario other than it being stolen by the person that used it is a "legal" one in their eyes.
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Old July 25, 2015, 06:52 PM   #6
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He used the legal process to buy it. That's what they mean and that what most people understand.

Your guys' argument that he lied is only going to lead to the background check being enhanced to close the "lie loophole" and require lie detector tests and psychological evaluations every time you want to buy a gun.

There are several articles stating he was involuntarily committed to a mental institution 7 yrs ago in Georgia.

Also some of his family members are saying he was bipolar and some times didn't take his meds.

He had previous restraining orders against him and domestic violence charges but those all seemed be be dropped by the family members according to several articles.

Let's focus on these issues instead of whining about stuff that is only going to lead more regulations and restriction for the sane and legally not-prohibited gun owners.
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Old July 25, 2015, 07:10 PM   #7
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Funny thing about criminals and crazies, the'll lie just like anybody else.
Falsifying 4473's fall under the many firearms crimes not prosecuted.
I'd rather see laws repealed than "improved".
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Old July 25, 2015, 08:58 PM   #8
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Major take away from this shooting, and the TN shooting by the likely terrorist -

BACKGROUND CHECKS ARE USELESS, AND INFRINGE ON THE RIGHTS OF LAW ABIDING PEACEFUL CITIZENS.

Time and again, bad guys skirt the entire process, lie, or were legal for a moment in time when they bought but then developed evil intentions. A 7-time convicted felon and 5 time deported man got a gun and shot a totally innocent San Fran woman recently.

The whole background check needs to be scrapped. It prevents zero determined individuals, and only serves as a huge inconvenience to citizens who have to prove their innocence before owning a gun. That in my view violates the due process clause.

Guns are widely available to those who cannot pass a check. They are stolen. Imported trough porous borders, along with drugs and other criminals. They are sold illegally by the ATF!!!! They are sold illegally by individuals like San Fran representative Lee.
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Old July 25, 2015, 09:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
As we have seen numerous times before, the word “legally” means he passed a background check for the firearm.
From what I read about the guy, there is no way he could submit form 4473 without lying which is a felony. The best way to keep the antis at bay is for the background check to WORK. Seems not enough diligence is employed when someone like this "passes". Am I missing something here?
He has a lengthy record of bad things, but apparently nothing that precluded him from owning a gun.
http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/24/us/lou...eater-shooter/
http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/...city/30612149/
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Old July 25, 2015, 09:51 PM   #10
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Logically that statement is too broad for the public since the thousands of denials of prohibited persons in the background check system can be pointed to as successes (in spite of the fact that someone who would perpetrate this sort of crime may not be stopped).

We have to be very careful about using the failures of the Brady system as our rationale of doing away with it when we oppose it on philosophical and not practical grounds. Saying, "See, the system is broken and needs to be done away with since it hasn't stopped Cho, Holmes, Roof, Abdulazeez or Houser from purchasing firearms through the NICS system.", won't convince anyone that it needs to be tossed. Saying, "The system has obvious faults and problems that have been discussed and the time and effort and money needs to be put in it to fix those failings so people like Cho, Holmes, Roof, Abdulazeez and Houser (people with a history of violent behavior and/or mental health problems so severe they carried out these mass shootings) are stopped. The infringement on the rights of law abiding citizens should not be treated so lightly and be so clearly wasted.", might resonate well with the public. The other is going to be treated as throwing the baby out with the bathwater by allowing the same and more to go undetected or undeterred.

What is the consequence of pointing out that the background check system itself failed catastrophically in 2 of the 3 recent shootings without providing suggestions on how they could have been prevented? What do we say when it is pointed out that if Roof or Houser had been denied instead of erroneously allowed to purchase they would not have stopped at that point and sought counseling, but instead they would have gone to a gunshow or classifieds or "guy" and made a private purchase without background check? Do we risk another call for UBCs even though so many of these people made their purchases "legally" using the NICS system (it is sophistry to claim their purchases were illegal for falsifying the 4473 since they followed the legal process and the system failed because of failures in the way in which they were processed)?

We can stand on an absolutist pedestal, but the public won't be impressed if all we offer is "See, it didn't work. Toss it out!". We need to do much much better than that.

There are no easy fixes, though. Lowering the bar for denial only hurts people who are no threat to others. Demanding psychiatric professionals and physicians report anyone with any risk and not just a certain one runs afoul of privacy and confidentiality medical protections. Holding family accountable only punishes them when they've struggled with keeping their family member sane and safe and can't see the person they've tried to save has hidden the evil in their minds from them. But what do we do and how do we do it so we protect the public and our rights?
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Old July 25, 2015, 09:51 PM   #11
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NICS check system is not the only system at fault. There are other systems that could have prevented most of these people from doing what they did. NICS is not a "catch all" for all the other programs/systems failing to stop these types of acts. In this case, we need a mental health care system funded by the wasted money used to institute/make 2nd amendment infringements. With proper funding to allow hiring specialized doctors and better equipment to provide long term treatment for the current persons being turned back out by the current medical "businesses".
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Old July 25, 2015, 10:25 PM   #12
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hso,

Nice work. Thanks.
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Old July 26, 2015, 09:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed45 View Post
When asked why Houser was denied a concealed carry permit in 2006, Taylor said it was because of prior charges. Russell Co. Sheriff Heath Taylor addresses the media about John ‘Rusty’ Houser’s criminal background. "We had the report of domestic violence against him and ’89 or ’90 he was arrested for an arson case in Columbus,” said Taylor. “So at the time he applied for his permit, he had the arson arrest in his history, as well as the domestic violence one.”
Question 11.i. is Have you ever been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence?
Anyway, I think the press claim that he bought the gun "legally" may be technically correct but not accurate.
An arrest is not a conviction. Sounds like he may have been arrested but never charged? Neither does a carry permit denial make one a prohibited person. In fact, carry permits typically have far higher standards. (here in Michigan, it is possible for an active duty Police officer to not be eligible for a carry permit)

Honestly, where things broke down here was in the PD or Prosecutors office not make a single charge stick for this guy. Sounds like he could have been a prohibited person several times over. Of course, he probably would have found a gun another way then.
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Old July 26, 2015, 09:06 AM   #14
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Today's news.... He was adjudicated a threat to himself and others and the court had ordered him to submit to mental health treatment some 5 years ago.

But I'm glad to know that the HIPA laws likely "protected his privacy"
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Old July 26, 2015, 09:39 AM   #15
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He has a lengthy record of bad things, but apparently nothing that precluded him from owning a gun.
In 2008, he was "involuntarily committed" to a mental institution.

BO will use this to justify more Govt probing into medical records, although this should have been reported through the court
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Old July 26, 2015, 09:52 AM   #16
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It seems logical that since the vast majority of these killers suffer from serious mental problems their file should include any judges order for commitment. I favor least government intrusion but also hate to see a schizophreniac walk into a gun store and plunk down a credit card for a firearm.
As has been mentioned above, this morning news:
Court records reviewed by The Associated Press strongly suggest Houser should have been reported to the state and federal databases used to keep people with serious mental illnesses from buying firearms, legal experts said.

"It sure does seem like something failed," said Judge Susan Tate, who presides over a probate court in Athens, Georgia, and has studied issues relating to weapons and the mentally ill. "I have no idea how he was able to get a firearm."
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Old July 26, 2015, 10:20 AM   #17
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The spotlight now rests on the present mentally unstable type who has somehow circumvented an obvious "Loophole". I think "Loopholes" are better described as a whackamole game because when one is closed another is exposed and exploited by those who refuse to behave by the norms of society. This is exacerbated when done in what has become an A moral society in which judgement only comes from a court and society's is stifled by political correctness.
Given what appears to be an endless stream of laws to improve laws at the cost of personal freedoms I question our ability to repair or improve on current laws without it costing us in the end.
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Old July 26, 2015, 11:01 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Snyper View Post
In 2008, he was "involuntarily committed" to a mental institution.

BO will use this to justify more Govt probing into medical records, although this should have been reported through the court

As long as this crap continues to happen, making headline news nearly every night, something is going to be done. There is no way around it. As legal, responsible gun owners, we have for quite some time said that there needs to be someway to keep guns outta the hands of those with Mental Health issues and it's not by compromising the rights of those of us without Mental Health issues. There needs to be a better system of keeping track of those folks that are already deemed and obviously a threat to others. Iffin I remember correctly, even the shooter's family had a restraining order against him at one time and had avoided contact with him for a decade. Only recent contact with him was to give him some money and hope he went away. I believe it will be the general public demanding something be done and BO will only be doing what any other elected official does......comply with the demands of the majority of his constituents.
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Old July 26, 2015, 11:08 AM   #19
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We have to be very careful about using the failures of the Brady system as our rationale of doing away with it when we oppose it on philosophical and not practical grounds. Saying, "See, the system is broken and needs to be done away with since it hasn't stopped Cho, Holmes, Roof, Abdulazeez or Houser from purchasing firearms through the NICS system.", won't convince anyone that it needs to be tossed. Saying, "The system has obvious faults and problems that have been discussed and the time and effort and money needs to be put in it to fix those failings so people like Cho, Holmes, Roof, Abdulazeez and Houser (people with a history of violent behavior and/or mental health problems so severe they carried out these mass shootings) are stopped. The infringement on the rights of law abiding citizens should not be treated so lightly and be so clearly wasted.", might resonate well with the public. The other is going to be treated as throwing the baby out with the bathwater by allowing the same and more to go undetected or undeterred.
Very well stated.

I have to agree with this. Background checks are not going away just because we want them to. As a matter of fact the fed is spending more money every year to enhance them and more states are cooperating to get more personal mental health information into NCIC.

http://www.search.org/mental-health-...e-past-decade/

This doesn't look like something that is going away, especially when you consider the polls of people (including gun owners) that support background checks. We just had a statewide UBC passed here and it absolutely could not have happened without the support of gun owners. It passed by a large majority.

If you watch the legislation in most states there are bills perpetually being introduced for UBC's. They may not catch on at first but they will in time. Here they couldn't get one passed in the house so it was put on an initiative and passed by the voters, even though it was vague and poorly written.

When someone asks me about UBC's these days I just say the NICS system is broken. That's a factual statement. What I don't say is it will never work. I also don't say it can never achieve it's intended purpose of keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and criminals even if they had every criminal and mental health record in the country, which they will never have.

The general public will never accept that however and are willing to strive to pass legislation for UBC's. Having worked in gov't for awhile I know that these programs need to be funded before they can be implemented. Most are under funded or not funded at all and they are mere shells just like NICS.

I don't stir the pot anymore, I just don't vote for this nonsense and don't support it. I also support the NRA and SAF. You might say I'm an informed voter and leave it at that.
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Old July 26, 2015, 11:47 AM   #20
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In 2008, he was "involuntarily committed" to a mental institution.

BO will use this to justify more Govt probing into medical records, although this should have been reported through the court

Quote:
As long as this crap continues to happen, making headline news nearly every night, something is going to be done. There is no way around it. As legal, responsible gun owners, we have for quite some time said that there needs to be someway to keep guns outta the hands of those with Mental Health issues and it's not by compromising the rights of those of us without Mental Health issues.


A few sources are saying that when he was "involuntarily committed" that either it wasn't reported as it should have been, or was reported incorrectly.

Its looking like that was the failure point.


We don't need more laws. 'Common sense' laws are there but they are failing due to lack of follow through by the Govt.

The failure point of existing laws and who' responsibility is the drum that should be beat on. In this case, its sure looking like another failure by the govt to follow through on its own existing laws.
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Old July 26, 2015, 12:04 PM   #21
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The common thread in these shootings isn't background checks or even gun laws; but untreated mental illness. As a society, we just don't have any real system for dealing with mental illness unless you are fortunate enough to have a supporting family willing to bankrupt themselves to pay for your treatment.

There are mentally ill people (and I don't mean people with PTSD or anxiety problems - I mean full blown crazy) that bounce around from homeless to shelters to jail; but are more or less out there in the streets with us, untreated.

The whole NICS systems as applied here is predicated on allowing mentally ill people who are a danger to themselves or others to wander among us freely; but not to buy firearms.
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Old July 26, 2015, 12:05 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by buck460XVR View Post
As long as this crap continues to happen, making headline news nearly every night, something is going to be done. ...

I believe it will be the general public demanding something be done and BO will only be doing what any other elected official does......comply with the demands of the majority of his constituents.
buck460XVR, I too have this concern. I worry about the voices of the gun rights supporters being eventually ignored by politicians who also hear the anti's screams for enacting gun control. It may be hysterical and not based on facts, but “gun control” gains supporters every time there is a media frenzy reaction to a mass shooting. It may not be anyone readers of THR know, but they can’t help but be influenced. Additional gun-control supporters will be the "fence sitters" who take up the cause. It may not even be a majority of politician’s constituents, but the ones who speak loudest.

It certainly seems like the most of "the press" does not cover guns favorably either. It'll cause even more fence sitters to fall on the side of "anti-gun". In my area anytime anything about guns comes up, they ask a survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting how they feel about it. And ... it's not surprising what they say.

The question is: "What can be done about it?" I have taken a few non-shooters out to the range just to show that one does not need to be a criminal to own a gun. If they want to go again, I point them at a formal class and a firearms retailer. I have got only 2 of 8 to buy their own gun, but I don't think the other 6 are anti-gun. Another thing to do is join gun rights political groups. Lastly, find out who your state and federal representatives are and write them even if you consider them a lost cause. Your voice needs to be heard; don't forget to say you're a registered voter. An e-mail is good, but a letter is better. If you are not that good of a writer, the gun rights groups have plenty of good letters.

chuck

PS: If you do write your representatives, you'll get lots more gun/non-gun related political junk mail.

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Old July 26, 2015, 12:48 PM   #23
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The whole NICS systems as applied here is predicated on allowing mentally ill people who are a danger to themselves or others to wander among us freely; but not to buy firearms.
And that is exactly why NICS will never be what most people think it is, a wall between them and the next nut job that gets a gun.

We are seeing proof of that almost every week. Even LEO's are admitting it openly now. The system doesn't work.

The issue of untreated mental illness is being covered up because the fed and congress doesn't have the desire to deal with it. They spend more money for an enhanced NCIC database and claim that's the solution.



I might add that the Brady bill was enacted because of the deranged shooter John Hinckley Jr. and the assassination attempt of president Reagan in 1993. The real issue even then was mental illness. If it wasn't they would have put Hinckley in prison instead of a hospital. If the federal gov't had passed some reform for mental illness then we wouldn't be where we are today with a mass shooting almost every week.
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Old July 26, 2015, 01:09 PM   #24
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Who decides what mental illness is serious enough to have your rights curtailed and to what degree?
Where do we come up with the communal funds for such an undertaking?
Do we all submit to some government test and if so at what intervals?
Should our mental condition only be relevant with regards to firearms? Knives? Garden tools?
Gasoline, Automobiles?
Some say we must recognize the need to have ever progressive laws to keep us safe, I say tyranny is the only result of that notion.
Life on this planet is inherently dangerous when we move outside of the protective shield that the gov. tries to cover us with, understanding that will be more productive than new laws.
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Old July 26, 2015, 01:33 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Cooltrain49
I might add that the Brady bill was enacted because of the deranged shooter John Hinckley Jr. and the assassination attempt of president Reagan in 1993.

Methinks thou meanteth 1981 .....
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