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My views on gun ownership

Discussion in 'Legal' started by mpd239, Sep 25, 2004.

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  1. mpd239

    mpd239 Member

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    I want to start by saying that I'm a young Democrat, generally fairly liberal but with unique viewpoints on several issues.

    Anyways, a friend sent me to the website www.a-human-right.com; and through that site I found these forums. In reading the site, and the initial poll, I noticed some illogical questions and statements. I find that insulated issue-oriented internet communities often diverge from mainstream viewpoints, and don't become aware of their radicalism or the illogical nature of some of their views. Don't get me wrong, I come into conflict with fellow Democrats often on issues of gun control, and am generally against it. But I just wanted to point somethings out, and hear some response to what I have to say.

    First of all, the Second Amendment has always been a collective right, and only recently has been interpreted as an individual one-- this is historical fact. It's something you should understand regardless of your viewpoint; I am in favor of individual gun ownership as a basic right, but am still willing to recognize this. More importantly, the Second Amendment has not been selectively incorporated to the states. Meaning, the US Constitution is a federal document, applying to the federal government. Selective incorporation of the Bill of Rights by the Supreme Court began in the early 20th century and has covered almost all rights-- but not the 2nd amendment. Thus, regardless of your interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, it does not, at this time, apply to state governments.

    But what I really want to talk about is the assault weapon ban. My view on gun ownership is this-- while actual incidents involving defense of property or self with a gun may be limited and unconvincing of the importance of gun ownership, the possibility of a gun held by a victim reduces crime in a manner that cannot be measured. Thus the statistics used to justify gun control should not be related to how many times a gun is used in defense, and the results, but should be cross-country comparisons of crime rates. When you look at statistics such as these, you find that while the US has a higher murder rate than countries with strong gun control, those countries have higher contact crime rates. Therefore there is a tradeoff, it seems-- the more guns, the more murder; but the less guns, the less risk incurred by criminals involved in lesser crimes. So I think a balance has to be found, most likely erring on the side of individual freedom and thus individual gun ownership.

    But, assault weapons have little place in modern society. Rifles and shotguns are designed for hunting, for the most part, and semi-automatic handguns are efficient in the realm of self-defense. But weapons like an AK-47 or Uzi are not designed for either-- they are designed for warfare. How can you logically claim otherwise? An AK-47 is not meant to kill one attacker, or fell a deer-- it's meant to efficiently kill several men. That's not something that is necessary or wanted in the modern United States. Thus in your poll, comparing banning assault weapons to banning a specific type of computer-- that's ridiculous. Computers have legitimate uses other than electronic crime, whereas an Uzi used in a drive-by is operating within its primary function. Its wrong to deny fifth graders Microsoft Encarta because of electronic crime; but I think gun enthusiasts should be mature enough to recognize the cost to society legalized assault weapons incur and thus relinquish their right to own such property. Legalized assault weapons enable terrorists and criminals to acquire means without risk, and this will result in more uses of the weapons.

    I just think these are some points you should all think about.
     
  2. Linux&Gun Guy

    Linux&Gun Guy Member

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    The 1994 AWB did not ban machine guns like the Ak-47 and the Uzi.

    As for your statement according to most of us the reason we should be able to own any sort of gun is because its an American right to do so. Just because a gun can be used to kill people doesn't mean thats what we do with them. We mostly collect and our only targets are steel plates. Modern millitary guns serve a place in the hands of private citizens and that is the primary reason for the Second Ammendment. The second is to resist tyranny from other nations and possibly our own government.

    Also the 2nd Ammendment was always a personal right. Read quotes from the founding fathers as to how they viewed the second ammendment.
     
  3. Gordon Fink

    Gordon Fink Member

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    Son, until you back this one up, the rest of your argument is invalid.

    ~G. Fink
     
  4. Drjones

    Drjones member

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    Hello and welcome. :)


    Sir, you will find that most of us here adhere very strictly to what the Founding Fathers had to say about....well.....pretty much everything.

    It is positively sickening that in today's world, holding the same views that the Founding Fathers of America held will get one branded an "extremist," "Radical," and other colorful epithets.

    It's ok....we're used to it though....


    You could not be more wrong. Many others will be along in short order to bury you in facts proving you wrong. :)

    Hope you've got lots of time to read.


    Here you are correct.

    The Second Amendment applies to "The People," i.e.; individual American Citizens.




    Sniper (hunting) rifles are incredibly effective at hunting humans too.


    The Second Amendment is not about hunting.

    Yes, AK's and Uzis are excellent self-defense weapons.

    If you recall the LA Riots in '92, the only Korean shops that were not looted and destroyed were the ones whose owners stood on the rooftops with then-legal AK-47's, AR-15's and shotguns, oddly enough.


    Tell me why you think a building guarded by a man with an AK survived a rioting mob.


    Now tell me again that such weapons have no place in our society.



    But it is not wrong to deny law-abiding gun owners whatever weapons they want, simply because some guns are used in crime?

    Explain THAT logic to me.


    There are many rights that we could curtail or dissolve entirely in the name of safety.

    The question is; "how far are you willing to go?"


    This is a bold-faced lie propogated by the anti-gun lobby and is patently wrong and foolish on its face.

    I've got to run and I know many will be along shortly with the truth.
     
  5. nico

    nico Member

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    maybe I'm misinterpreting what you said, but if you really think noone (or the vast majority) here hasn't considered the issues you've brought up, you should come off your horse and look around a while.

    I'll let someone else shoot down your 2A arguments, but about the awb you're completely wrong. The fact that you use typical gun grabber rhetoric says that you don't know much about guns. NONE, I repeat, NONE, of the guns affected by the awb shoot more than one bullet with a single trigger pull. They are all SEMI-automatic. Also, the majority of the guns affected by the awb, and the ones you specifically mentioned, are less powerful than the typical deer rifle. The uzi that was banned by the awb is functionally no different than any other SEMI-automatic 9mm handgun asside from the fact that it looks like a sub machinegun. The SEMI-automatic AK47 that was banned by the awb is less powerful than most centerfire rifles and has comparable balistics to the 30-30. They make very good deer rifles for brush hunting as a few people here can attest to.

    However, since you apparently know more than us about guns, why don't you explain why the guns affected by the assault weapons ban are more powerful or somehow more deadly than the hunting rifles that you say are OK.
    btw, I know I said I wouldn't get into it, but the Second Amendment is not about hunting.
     
  6. Drjones

    Drjones member

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    I'd like to add that, frankly and no offense intended, but your post shows very clearly that you have never read the actual words of the Founding Fathers on any topic whatsoever.

    If you had, you would see how wrong your conclusions are and we would not be having this discussion.
     
  7. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Member

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    First of all welcome to The High Road.

    You are wrong about the 2nd amendment. Every amendment to the Constitution is an individual right. If you want a concise assessment of the English used in the 2nd Amendment do a search on my name. I recently posted a treatise on the sentence structure that was written by one of the nations top authorities on the English language. It is unambiguous.

    If you read the Federalist Papers you will discover that the Founding Fathers wanted to emphatically spell out the right of individuals to keep and bear arms for a reason. You would learn that the right was emphatically stated in order to provide a deterrence to tyranny. Tyranny in an otherwise orderly society usually comes from the government.

    There is not a single government in the past 200 years that has confiscated the guns of its citizens and not began a systematic elimination of some segment of its society with ten years.

    There is every legitimate reason for the citizens of this country to have any weapon they want to have. Freedom issues forth from the barrel of a gun. The suppression of freedom also issues forth from the barrel of a gun. The question you are asking is which side of Freedom do you want to be on?
     
  8. GigaBuist

    GigaBuist Member

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    Please define what should be an illegal assault weapon.

    Without using any brand names, model numbers, or the words "military origin."

    I've never seen somebody that promoted the AWB ever able to do this.
     
  9. Andrew Rothman

    Andrew Rothman Member

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    Um, guys, this is this fella's first and only post. T-R-O-L-L.

    And he is "...in favor of individual gun ownership as a basic right..." in exactly the same way as John Kerry is: subject to my own irrational biases.

    mpd239, stick around a while. Read some, learn some, ask some intelligent questions. If you open your mind and close your mouth a bit, you may yet reach some rational conclusions.

    But if you're here to bait us, go away, troll!
     
  10. mpd239

    mpd239 Member

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    The academic world considers the 2nd Amendment to always have been interpreted as a collective right; but I won't go into that because it had little bearing on my argument.

    In response to nico, I looked at the AWB and it bans all models of Kalishnikov rifles-- not just a specific model. You can make all of the technical arguments you want-- none of which were backed up with sources, thus rendering them entirely subjective in my eyes-- but the weapons outlawed were chosen due to their popularity in street violence. Thus, those with a criminal mindset apparently feel differently than you do, since they utilized these weapons over a deer rifle.

    To the responder who called the terrorist argument ridiculous-- I don't know about you, but I felt a lot safer when I knew it was illegal for a militant Muslim to walk into a gun store and purchase an AK.

    And finally, to the person who talked about having a right to own assualt weapons in terms of a gun enthusiast/collector-- you're right, the boundaries eventually become difficult to define. That's why you have to use common sense! By your argument, it should be legal to own an operational Abrams tank-- but I don't think anyone here would agree with that. Society has to come together and draw a line at what is necessary for hunting/self-defense and what is simple excess. Given a choice, society would almost certainly outlaw those weapons as it did in 1994-- gun control is largely popular amongst the American public (perhaps too popular, admittedly). Bush is simply trying to energize his base by letting the AWB phase out.

    I never claimed to know more about guns than anyone on this board, and I take offense at the implication. I just posted to share my opinion.
     
  11. mpd239

    mpd239 Member

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    Drjones-- I've read the US Constitution, Declaration of Independence, most Federalist papers, and numerous modern writings on the formation of the American state. I'm a Politics student at one of the top programs in the country; I have read plenty. I simply pointed out a widely accepted interpretation of the Second Amendment (widely accepted amongst scholars, no less); there is no basis for insult there. And if you are commenting on my selective incorporation argument, I suggest you do some reading yourself.
     
  12. Solo

    Solo Member

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    If I may call your attentiont to a few points:

    Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference. When firearms go, all goes. We need them every hour.
    -George Washington, address to 1st session of Congress

    The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.
    -Samuel Adams

    No man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. -Thomas Jefferson

    The laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
    -Thomas Jefferson, Commonplace Book, 1774-1776

    Arms in the hands of the citizens may be used at individual discretion for the defense of the country, the overthrow of tyranny or private self-defense.
    -John Adams.

    The Second Amendment states that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, period. There is no mention of magazine size, rate of fire or to what extent these arms may resemble assault rifles. All rifles were assault rifles in those days. Furthermore, if the gun laws that Massachusetts has now had been in force in 1776, we'd all be Canadians, and you know what kind of weather Canada has.
    -P. J. O'Rourke (b. 1947), U.S. journalist. Parliament of Whores (1991)

    I am opposed to all attempts to license or restrict the arming of individuals...I consider such laws a violation of civil liberty, subversive of democratic political institutions, and self-defeating in their purpose.
    -Robert A. Heinlein, in a 1949 letter concerning Red Planet.

    You can't get around the image of people shooting at people to protect their stores and it working. This is damaging to the [gun control] movement.
    -Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center, referring to the Korean shopkeepers who guarded their property and defended their lives with so-called "assault weapons" during the L.A. riots., Washington Post, May 18, 1993

    Since police started keeping statistics, we now know that assault weapons are/were used in an underwhelming 0.026 of 1% of crimes in New Jersey. This means that my officers are more likely to confront an escaped tiger from the local zoo than to confront an assault rifle in the hands of a drug-crazed killer on the streets.
    -- Joseph Constance, Trenton NJ Deputy Chief, Testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, August 1993

    The Founders weren't thinking of cell phones, fax machines, computers, the internet, television, or the printing press, either. So, since those items are used to commit bank fraud, credit card fraud, computer fraud, coordinate illegal and terrorist activities, distribute child pornography, communicate dangerous, extremist ideologies, and conduct a wide range of other negative activities that cost the government, the national economy, and private citizens billions of dollars each year, access to them must be restricted. This is not a First Amendment issue, mind you, since the Founders didn't have any idea that these devices would someday exist, and could not have predicted the havoc that would come of them. You are still free to possess your pens and parchment paper, and use them as you please, just as the Founders intended.
    -Sgt. Saber

    Criminals will always be defined by their capacity for evil, not their tool of choice.
    -Anonymous

    Assault rifles have never been an issue in law enforcement. I have been on this job for 25 years and I haven't seen a drug dealer carry one. They are not used in crimes, they are not used against police officers.
    -- Joseph Constance, Trenton NJ Deputy Chief
    Since police started keeping statistics, we now know that assault weapons are/were used in an underwhelming 0.026 of 1% of crimes in New Jersey. This means that my officers are more likely to confront an escaped tiger from the local zoo than to confront an assault rifle in the hands of a drug-crazed killer on the streets.
    -- Joseph Constance, Trenton NJ Deputy Chief, Testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, August 1993

    If the existing assault weapons ban expires, I personally do not believe it will make one whit of difference one way or another in reducing death and injury.
    -Tom Diaz, of the pro-gun-control Violence Policy Center.

    The NRA is right...handgun controls do little to stop criminals from obtaining handguns.
    -Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center
     
  13. forquidder

    forquidder Member

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    Propoganda

    Reading over your post I see that virtually every assertion that you have made regarding gun ownwership, civil rights, crime statistics, intent of the Second Amendment etc. is false.
    If you are truly interested in finding the truth concerning these issues I recomend doing a little homework and comparing each assertion you have made with the actual facts. You may be surprised what you come up with. As it is, your post could have come directly from propoganda disseminated by the Brady Bunch, VPC etc..
    Your willingness to take a gander at the website www.a-human-right.com is commendable but it is only the first step in actually finding the real truth about firearms ownership in this country.
     
  14. pbhome71

    pbhome71 Member

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    You will need them, when you come to get mines.

    Welcome to THR. I hope that we'll see more of your opinions and points.

    -Pat
     
  15. RavenVT100

    RavenVT100 Member

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    If you really are a poli sci student at one of the "top programs in the country," by now you'd probably have been taught some critical thinking and debate skills. One thing you should know by now is not to come in with an unsubstantiated argument and then make an appeal to authority with absolutely no tangible evidence to back it up. If you're so sure that the Second Amendment's real meaning is that which you say, you'll have no problem linking a reference, will you? Or do you mean to say that all we need to know is that you're a political science student, and that this fact alone should speak for itself?

    I think you need to come down just a tad from your ego trip. You've already demonstrated that you don't really know enough about firearms to properly articulate your argument. We're not all a bunch of uneducated rednecks, you know.
     
  16. Telperion

    Telperion Member

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    mpd239,

    We are not an insulated community. Anybody is welcome at THR, as long they follow some simple rules on civil discourse. Unlike some other sites, we do not boot people for ideological differences, but you will get an earful from our members.

    The textual, historical, judicial, and legislative evidence all support an individual rights interpretation. Unlike you, I am willing to cite some sources: to keep things brief, go to www.guncite.com and read the documents on the left side of the page.

    I won't respond to any of your comments on the assault weapons ban unless you can give me a precise definiton of what is an "assault weapon".
     
  17. GigaBuist

    GigaBuist Member

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    The AWB did -not- ban everything based off the Kalisnakov design. California has a law that does that, but it never existed at the Federal level.

    Those are specific brands. Not covered by the ban were these:
    [​IMG]

    Both purchased legally during the ban and in compliance with the ban. These are not "pre ban" or grandfathered in. They were produced after 1994 and have always been legal.

    Regarding their choice in crime, please come up with some data on this one. I've never seen a valid study showing assault weapons were commonly used in crimes. Here's a page that debunks that myth:

    http://www.awbansunset.com/crime.html
     
  18. Drjones

    Drjones member

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    There are lots of things that are "widely accepted by scholars."

    It does not, by any stretch of the imagination, mean that they are correct in anything they say or think.


    Here's a challenge for you;

    Provide us with some concrete evidence that the Founding Fathers never intended firearms ownership to be an individual right.
     
  19. Drjones

    Drjones member

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    There are lots of things that are "widely accepted by scholars."

    It does not, by any stretch of the imagination, mean that they are correct in anything they say or think.


    Here's a challenge for you;

    Provide us with some concrete evidence that the Founding Fathers never intended firearms ownership to be an individual right.

    This request should, of course, be quite simple since the philosopher kings in their ivory towers are so knowledgeable on this topic.
     
  20. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator

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    First of all, welcome to THR!

    I, for at least one, am glad you are sharing your opinions with us. I trust you will also listen with an open mind as is the case with most of us.

    When you say:
    I believe you are wrong on both counts. Second count first - the meaning and interpretation of the 2nd Amendment has considerable bearing on your argument. Without it, you most likely would not feel the need to present your argument in the first place. Thank God we have the 2A and we are arguing about it.

    Now for the first point. The academic world has not always considered the 2A to be a collective right. Professor Lawrence Tribe (Harvard), one of the nations foremost constitutional scholars, has stated he interprets the 2A as an individual right. Unfortunately the link to an article I had on file is no longer valid, but I did find the wording of the article in an old thread on The Firingline. Please let us know what your interpretation of his interpretation is:

    http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23988&highlight=tribe
     
  21. Graystar

    Graystar Member

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    I see you’re from New York City. Being a New Yorker myself, I can understand your ignorance. I’ll try to help you out here.

    Before the war broke out between the colonies and England, King George tried to empty the armories, thereby depriving the colonies of their ability to fight. The Second Amendment is a direct result of that action. At the time of its passing, the only idea behind the Second Amendment was to prevent the federal government from attempting any action that would disarm the states.

    Nowhere else, in the totality of law, does the concept of “collective right†exist. This is a concept that the federal government created to justify the National Firearms Act of 1934. There is a very good reason why this concept exist no place else...it makes no sense. A group of people cannot have any greater rights than those of the individuals that comprise the group. If a state has the right to keep and bear arms, it is only because the individuals of the state possess that right.

    You’re knowledge of self-defense with firearms is clearly lacking. The proof is easily available and quite convincing. The National Crime Victimization Survey, conducted by the federal government every year, and used as a major crime indicator across the country, clearly demonstrates, year after year, that the best way to avoid injury in a violent attack is to fight back with a gun...even better than complying with the attacker. Also, keeping a gun for self-defense has nothing to do with crime statistics. It has everything to do with an individual’s right to fight for his life when faced with a violent offender. It does not matter if gun ownership causes crime to go up or down. What matters is that criminals will always have guns, people have the right to defend themselves, and guns are the best way to do that (as proven by the NCVS.)

    As for assault weapons, again you’re missing various points. Several of the banned features are very useful for target shooters. Also, while there are some very good points to be made about the fact that these weapons are not any more dangerous than other rifles, the most important point to realize is that the ban was completely ineffective, and ineffective laws should be removed. As long as an effective law exists, it must be enforced...and that cost money. It’s ridiculous to waste resourced enforcing a law that provides no benefit. It’s much better to get rid of the law and put those resources to better use.
     
  22. mpd239

    mpd239 Member

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    "If you really are a poli sci student at one of the "top programs in the country," by now you'd probably have been taught some critical thinking and debate skills. One thing you should know by now is not to come in with an unsubstantiated argument and then make an appeal to authority with absolutely no tangible evidence to back it up. If you're so sure that the Second Amendment's real meaning is that which you say, you'll have no problem linking a reference, will you? Or do you mean to say that all we need to know is that you're a political science student, and that this fact alone should speak for itself?

    I think you need to come down just a tad from your ego trip. You've already demonstrated that you don't really know enough about firearms to properly articulate your argument. We're not all a bunch of uneducated rednecks, you know."

    Excuse me? I didn't come here to write a research paper or make a formal argument. I came here to discuss some opinions. And all I've gotten back is subjectivity masked as objectivity due to the inclusion of a "source" (which inevitably has "gun" in the web address) or insults. I will look for a forum that better suits my purposes.
     
  23. Spot77

    Spot77 Member

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    You don't need a Porsche 930 Turbo to drive the maximum allowed speed limit of 65 mph either.


    You see, it's a personal freedom you have ,to purchase a car whose sole purpose is performance handling and speed.

    Gunowners should have the choice to own firearms capable of holding 30 rounds, even though they only need one round to punch a hole in a target, knock over a beer can, or >GASP!< shoot somebody threatening their family.
     
  24. RavenVT100

    RavenVT100 Member

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    Insults? The only insult that has been thrown in this thread is the insult to our intelligence, which you made when you thought you could come in here and expect your opinion not to be held up to review.

    What did you think, that we were going to come out and tell you what you wanted to hear? It's obvious that you have preconceived notions about firearms that are based on a lack of knowledge. Don't be surprised when you actually learn something that you didn't think was true.
     
  25. Kaylee

    Kaylee Moderator

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    *ahem*

    Well as a young Democrat from New York City, I'm sure you've studied firearms laws, engineering, and social issues much more than us poor yokels from the red states. Certainly your comments show just how well you comprehend the Federalist papers, the politics of the 1790's and the adoption of the Constitution, and the legal and practical effects of the '94-'04 ban. :scrutiny:

    In the end though, even if you manage to convince yourself that the crimes of one person justify infringing the rights of a third innocent party, you're still stuck with one basic, unalterable fact.

    We already have them.

    We're already here.

    And neither they, nor we, are going away.

    Have a nice day, and please, feel free to search for other people that "suit your purposes."
     
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