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December 17, 2013

Arapahoe and Sandy Hook School Shootings: That Was Then, This is … Still Then?

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A schoolboy armed with a shotgun opened fire and wounded two fellow students on Friday before killing himself, the latest US mass shooting on the eve of the Newtown school massacre anniversary. The incident came a day ahead of the first anniversary of the Newtown shooting in which Adam Lanza gunned down 20 young children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“We were horrified to hear today of a school shooting at Arapahoe High School in Colorado, just one day before the one year mark of the Sandy Hook shootings,” said Tim Makris, executive director of Sandy Hook Promise.

The Newtown shooting briefly reignited the US gun control debate, triggered every time there is a major shooting, but attempts to pass tougher laws have made little headway in Congress.

“Tragically, this shooting marks the 25th school shooting in the one year since December 14. Our hearts are with all the families of Arapahoe High School today,” said Makris.

– from: New US school shooting on eve of Newtown anniversary (AFP via Yahoo)

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(photo 1: KDVR/Twitter photo 2: Newtown Bee caption: State police personnel lead children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in this handout picture from the Newtown Bee, in Newtown, Connecticut, December 14, 2012. All public schools in Newtown, Connecticut, were placed in lockdown on Friday following a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. photo 3: aerial photo arapahoe high school – mysuncoast.com. photo 4: aerial photo Sandy Hook Elementary School: KDVR/Twitter  photo 5: AP caption: Dec. 13, 2013: A woman screams as she arrives at a church where students from nearby Arapahoe High School were evacuated after a shooting on the Centennial, Colo., campus.photo 6: Jessica Hill/AP caption: A woman waits to hear about her sister, a teacher, after the shooting on Dec. 14.photo 7: Getty Images caption: Joanne Kostecka escorts her daughter Dominika, 17, from Shepherd of the Hills Church after a school shooting on December 13, 2013 at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado. photo 8: Michele McLoughlin/Reuters caption: First-grader Henry Terifay and his sister, fourth-grader Kelly, wait outside the school on the day of the shooting. photo 9: Craig F. Walker / The Denver Post caption: Authorities rush to Arapahoe High School in Centennial, CO December 13, 2013. A student who carried a shotgun into Arapahoe High School and asked where to find a specific teacher opened fire on Friday, wounding two fellow students before apparently killing himself, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said.photo 10: Jessica Hill/AP Photo caption: State Police are on scene following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles northeast of New York City on Dec. 14, 2012.photo 11: Rick Wilking/Reuters caption: An Arapahoe High School student prayed for shooting victim Claire Davis at the Centennial, Colo, school on Sunday. photo 12: PacificCoastNews.com caption: The victims of the Sandy Hook School shooting are remembered on Christmas Day at the memorials around Sandy Hook. photo 13: Brennan Linsley/AP caption: A student stares out a bus window as it arrives at a church to be reunited with family after students from nearby Arapahoe High School were evacuated their after a shooting at the school in Centennial, Colo., Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said the shooter shot two others at the school, before apparently killing himself. photo 14: David Friedman / NBC News caption: Students return to Hawley Elementary School on Dec. 18, in Newtown, Conn., the first day of classes since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary Schoool. photo 15: Karl Gehring, The Denver Post caption: Hundreds of Arapahoe High School students gathered for a candlelight vigil Saturday night to share their prayers for Claire Davis who was shot inside the school Friday. photo 16: Mario Tama/Getty Images caption: (L to R) Newtown residents Claire Swanson, Ian Fuchs, Kate Suba, Jaden Albrecht, Simran Chand hold candles at a memorial for victims on the first Sunday following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 16, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. photo 17 Ed Andrieski/AP caption: Media cover a briefing by Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., where 18-year-old shooting suspect Karl Halverson Pierson shot student Claire Davis, 17,on Friday, then turned the gun on himself. photo 18: Ned Gerard caption: Satellite trucks in Treadwell Park, in Newtown, Conn., Dec. 15th, 2012. The town park has become a small village for press and media that have descended on the town following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday.)

  • bystander

    With the photos of the latter event so closely mirroring the former…

    Do we have only one way to understand these events? Only one way to tell the story? Only one way to view it?

    Or, is it that we have a “resistance” – a “repressive barrier” – through which we cannot delve such that we’re incapable of a visual recounting except in this *one* way?

    Given the eerie similarities of those shots, It makes me wonder if more isn’t hidden than revealed. And, whether what’s been obscured isn’t more important than what’s shown.

    On the surface, this strikes me as photographic evidence that this is an event that is doomed to repeat itself over and over again, because the “lesson” we should have learned from the former – and didn’t – was offered yet again.

    Utterly, depressing.

    • http://www.bagnewsnotes.com Michael Shaw

      It’s a really interesting question — how much the approach to the coverage is that redundant versus how much the events themselves are.

      By the way, a few people have been reaching out the past couple days about the comment system, saying they haven’t been able to access it. Are you having problems, and if so, have you been using Firefox also? …Thx.

    • Ian T

      Interesting question.

      I wonder what photographs could break through that barrier… A few options would be: graphic pictures of wounded students; picture of the gunman; the weapons themselves (as evidence). In short, more up close and personal. Instead we have an outsider’s view, In many cases twice removed — either it’s a bird’s eye view (1 level removed), or it’s a telephoto shot of grieving onlookers, who are themselves at a distance (2 levels removed).

      But do we really want up-close-and-personal? Maybe, maybe not. It seems like we do when the violence occurs in some far-off place (war photos in the middle east, or natural disaster coverage in 3rd world countries). The issue of exoticism has been raised often on this blog, recently in the Philippines coverage, and to some extent in the Syria coverage. Perhaps the “repressive barrier” is that we can’t (or won’t) get too close when something this awful occurs too close to be exoticized.

      And to go a little deeper, maybe the problem isn’t that it’s too close to home, but that it’s exactly the opposite. A man-child terrorizing his own school over something as personal and internalized as wounded pride… that just isn’t something that really translates on a general level. If we’re talking about political oppression, or nature’s fury, or international war, we can in some way all relate. But something like this….?

  • GeorgeMokray

    “In 2012, there were 10 school shootings that left a total of 41 people dead and 13 wounded.” (http://www.thetrumpet.com/article/10345.18.0.0/society/crime/a-rapid-increase-in-school-shootings-in-2013)

    “‘Tragically, this shooting marks the 25th school shooting in the one year since December 14. Our hearts are with all the families of Arapahoe High School today,’ said Makris.”

    According to Jen Sorenson’s comic today, guns are now less regulated now than when the Newtown school shooting occurred:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/12/17/1263142/-Shooting-backwards

    • aSouthernMan

      Daily KO’s is not newsworthy – it is just an invention of George Soros.
      Unless you share the Sen Feinstein view that all private gun ownership
      should be ended – what is your solution? I’m not saying I have a great
      solution myself, but the mother of the Newtown boy bought the gun he
      used – I cannot imagine how she came to see that as a smart thing.
      In Karl Pierson’s case, he was described as having a socialist ideology,
      was ‘out there’ in his views and was bullied. Not sure there is enough info
      there to make judgment, but a Daily KO cartoon is basically liberal anti-gun
      crap. You will never see an intelligent discussion there – ever.
      Maybe there should be a journalism regulation requiring some registration,
      too? An Executive order is all it takes now, regardless of our Constitution.

  • williamdiamon

    The United Nations is not made up of people from around the world. It consists of governments from around the world, the enterprises meant to control the people of the world. Gun-control is an evil and draconian way to control these people, it reduces the common man to the status of herd animals. This is why governments propagate it. Gun-control does not make you safer (unless you are a criminal), it make governments safer. Consider the proposed “assault weapons ban”.

    America in perspective:
    Total murders- 12,664
    Handguns- 6,220
    Knives-1,694
    Hands and feet-728
    Hammers + clubs-496
    All rifles- 323 (that includes your “assault” + .50 rifles)
    Source: FBI 2011

    Why would anyone suggest banning the semi-auto rifle when more people have been murdered with “hands and feet” then all types of rifles? Because it is an effective battle weapon and the one a modern day Minute Man would carry. This is what concerns them, not your safety.

    • Robert Riversong

      Why? “Because it is an effective battle weapon and the one a modern day Minute Man would carry.”

      We don’t need or want “battle weapons” on the streets of America.

      Today’s “Minutemen” (which was a title used by right wing vigilantes in the 1960s) ARE the criminal elements of society.

  • bozhidar balkas

    if prayers worked, would we still need the priestly class? if constitution could be known [instead of being interpreted] would the master class let us have one?

  • bystander

    re: comments system
    Yeah, it’s been a real pain. I’m on Windows 7 / FF 26 and it absolutely had me locked out. I’d see a brief flash of “unscripted” comments, and then the endlessly spinning Disqus dial would appear. I finally decided to try clearing my cache and cookies, and the problem corrected itself. It’s something people on FF could try.

    re: title revision
    Whoa. Jeeze. Thanks.

  • Ian T

    re: comment system… I use Chrome and this morning had the same endlessly spinning Disqus wheel. Seems fine now, but I didn’t do anything aside from trying again ten hours later.

  • bystander

    Man you are a trip. Defending the 2nd while taking a cut at the 1st. Marx may be right after all; your own internal contradictions will take you down if we’re patient.

  • aSouthernMan

    I prefer both 1st & 2nd remain intact, the 2nd protects the 1st.

    And your hero Karl Marx ? You just contradicted yourself:
    “All I know is that I am not a Marxist.” – Karl Marx

  • Robert Riversong

    Michael Moore said that the power of the NRA would be gone if the mutilated bodies of the children at Sandy Hook were seen by the public.

    I think he’s right, and it’s a shame that the media draws the line at blood and gore, when that is the essence of the event.

  • Robert Riversong

    The 2nd Amendment has never protected anything in America but the egos of gun fetishists.

  • williamdiamon

    All American males, 18-45 years old are in the Militia. These are under our State’s Governor’s command. To be called up in times of insurrection, rebellion or invasion. The laws concerning your State’s Militia may be found in it’s Constitution. The Selective Service and the National Guard are separate and different from the militia. My State is considering a bill to raise the age limit as many vets have valuable skills and knowledge. This means that both you and I are in our State’s Militias. But I’m sure you can get a deferment for your hoplophobia.

    Now, a word from our sponsors…

    “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”
    - George Washington

    “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
    - Thomas Jefferson

    “The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.”
    - Thomas Jefferson

    “To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them.”
    - George Mason

    “I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians.”
    - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

    “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe.”
    - Noah Webster

    “The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.”
    - Noah Webster

    “A government resting on the minority is an aristocracy, not a Republic, and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it, without a standing army, an enslaved press and a disarmed populace.”
    - James Madison

    “Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms.”
    - James Madison

    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country.”
    - James Madison

    “The ultimate authority resides in the people alone.”
    - James Madison

    “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
    - Richard Henry Lee

    “A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves … and include all men capable of bearing arms.”
    - Richard Henry Lee

    “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…. The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”
    - Patrick Henry

    “This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty…. The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.”
    - St. George Tucker

    “… arms … discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property…. Horrid mischief would ensue were (the law-abiding) deprived the use of them.”
    - Thomas Paine

    “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

    “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”
    - Joseph Story
    The Founding Fathers wrote the 2nd and incorporated it into the Bill of Rights. If they considered it that important, and history has shown it to be, I will respect their wishes.

    One more thing:
    The supreme law of the land is the Constitution. We can change the Constitution by amendments or via a Constitutional Convention. The congress can pass laws and the President can order by executive directive, but if these changes are contrary to the Constitution and declared so by the Supreme Court, they are null and void. Even if SCOTUS errors in it’s decision (they have been wrong in the past, remember the Dredd Scott case) It is your duty to ignore them at that point, as a patriot. Or you can follow unconstitutional laws and be considered a rebel. All Soldiers and public office holders all the way to the President swear to uphold and defend the Constitution. The Administration is a part of the Federal Government with duties and responsibilities to perform certain functions for “We the People”. “We” are the sovereign in this nation. not the government or even a political idol. The people defending the Constitution are called Patriots. Because that’s what patriots do. They conserve the Constitution that our ancestors gave their lives, fortunes and sacred honor for. the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The people who want to change the Constitution are called Rebels. Cause that’s what rebels do. They rebel from the norm. They overthrow and change constitutions. Just so you know which side of the line you are standing on.

    Why are you standing on the side of criminals, madmen, and tyrants who want to see America disarmed?

  • aSouthernMan

    Using your view – how do you equate the gun-violence stats
    coming out of Washington DC, Chicago, Detroit, etc. where they
    have the most restrictive guns laws possible?
    You can’t. Because your ideology only works on paper in real life.
    In general, most of us don’t need to worry, and don’t carry a gun
    anyway. You use words like vigilantes, and Right Wing. How about
    giving some credit to the millions of us that own and respect guns,
    and would not dare to use them like you use words – flagrantly and
    without a dimes worth of actual knowledge.

  • aSouthernMan

    So Robert – you have no recollection of why it was written,
    that revolutionary war thing that resulted in our Constitution?
    That people died for your right to be represented instead of ruled,
    for your right to speak freely, for your right to protect yourself
    and those who depend on you ? Exactly what do you believe in?

  • Robert Riversong

    “The Founding Fathers wrote the 2nd… I will respect their wishes.”

    Except you refuse to accept what they wrote. The PA anti-federalists, who were trying to scrap the entire Constitution, proposed language protecting an individual right to own and carry guns for self-defense and hunting, and that was emphatically REJECTED by Madison and the First Congress, since the 2nd Amendment was intended ONLY to preserve the “well regulated militia” – NOT the unorganized militia that you are so fond of.

    “Even if SCOTUS errors in it’s decision… It is your duty to ignore them at that point, as a patriot.”

    Then, as patriots, we must ignore the Heller and McDonald decisions, since they not only rejected 150 years of Court precedent but demonstrably and transparently ignored the intent of the Framers.

    In 1991, Warren E. Burger, the conservative chief justice of the Supreme Court, was interviewed on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour about the meaning of the Second Amendment’s “right to keep and bear arms.” Burger answered that the Second Amendment “has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud – I repeat the word ‘fraud’ – on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.” In a speech in 1992, Burger declared that “the Second Amendment doesn’t guarantee the right to have firearms at all”. In his view, the purpose of the Second Amendment was “to ensure that the ’state armies’ – ‘the militia’ – would be maintained for the defense of the state.”

    In fact, in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, one of the three listed purposes of the “well regulated militia” is “to suppress insurrections” of armed citizens like YOU.

  • Robert Riversong

    Clearly, the ignorance is entirely on your part.

    Urban gun violence can’t be controlled just by local gun laws, since crime guns cross borders and boundaries as easily as vehicle traffic.

    But most urban violence is due to blood lead poisoning, drug running, and poverty and hopelessness.

    However, NYC has one of the lowest gun murder rates of any large US city, and that’s at least partly due to its strict gun laws.

    Most crime gun trafficking is from red states with lax gun laws. The states with strong gun laws have very low rates of crime gun trafficking (and they are all blue states).

  • Robert Riversong

    We now live in a security state in which the NSA knows every move you make and every word you transmit on any kind of electronic medium.

    But 300 million guns didn’t prevent that, did it?

  • williamdiamon

    In his view, the purpose of the Second Amendment was “to ensure that the ’state armies’ – ‘the militia’ – would be maintained for the defense of the state.”
    Yes, and as the Bill of Rights are “individual rights” – not collective, and as you are in the Militia also, That means both you and I have the Right, and duty, to arm ourselves.
    What will you do if your Governor calls the Militia to arms?

  • Robert Riversong

    No, the Bill of Rights merely express the limitations of federal government power over the states and “the people”, which is a collective noun. The term “person” is used in the Constitution to refer to individuals.

    There is NO militia anymore, so the 2nd Amendment no longer has any functional purpose. The state militias have been replaced with the National Guard and the standing army.

    Even if you believe there still exists such a thing as the “unorganized militia” composed of all able-body males, the 2nd Amendment dealt ONLY with the “well regulated militia”, which, according to Article 1, Section 8 is disciplined by Congress.

  • williamdiamon

    My State is considering a bill to raise the age from 45 years old as many Vets have considerable experience. Do you think this would be happening if they are not real?
    All Militia is under the command of our Sate Governors, as it has been since the colonies. Check your States Constitution for clarity.
    You say there is no more Militia, that they are old and outdated. The events of our times indicate they are more relevant now then in the last 100 years.
    My ancestors were Patriots in the Revolution and Yankees in the Civil War, My aim is to preserve the Constitution and ensure civil rights for all. Mimic General Gage and you will find out how real the Militia is.

  • Robert Riversong

    The militia referred to in the 2nd Amendment is ONLY the well regulated militia that is under the discipline of Congress and available to the the President “to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”.

    The US Constitution is silent on the unorganized militia.

  • williamdiamon
  • williamdiamon

    Here’s another good one:

    http://www.awrm.org/mission.htm

  • williamdiamon

    PS, I can down vote too.

  • Robert Riversong

    The US Constitution and the Bill of Rights is silent on the unorganized militia and has NEVER conferred any individual right to gun ownership or possession.

  • Robert Riversong

    Individual Right Fallacy

    To “bear arms” comes from the Latin “arma ferre”, which means to carry military weapons into battle. To “keep arms” meant to stock them in armories. And “the people” referred to the collective population, not to individuals. The Framers clearly understood the use of these terms.

    “In late-eighteenth-century parlance, bearing arms was a term of art with an obvious military and legal connotation. … As a review of the Library of Congress’s data base of congressional proceedings in the revolutionary and early national periods reveals, the thirty uses of ‘bear arms’ and ‘bearing arms’ in bills, statutes, and debates of the Continental, Confederation, and United States’ Congresses between 1774 and 1821 invariably occur in a context exclusively focused on the army or the militia.” – H. Richard Uviller & William G Merkel, The Militia and the Right to Arms, Or, How the second Amendment Fell Silent

    Sir William Blackstone (author of Commentaries on the Laws of England) wrote in the eighteenth century, at a time when there were no police or forces of law enforcement, about the right to have arms being auxiliary to the “natural right of resistance and self-preservation”, but conceded that the right was subject to their suitability and allowance by law:

    “The fifth and last auxiliary right of the subject, that I shall at present mention, is that of having arms for their defence, suitable to their condition and degree, and such as are allowed by law. Which is also declared by the same statute and is indeed a public allowance, under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.”

    The term “the people” was understood by the Framers as a collective noun, while “person” was an individual noun. “Person” is used only in the fourth and fifth amendments (unreasonable search & seizure and due process), while “the People” is used in the first, second, fourth, ninth and tenth. And the fourth clearly differentiates between “the People” and “persons”: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects…”

    The right to bear arms was not reserved for the state, but rather was an individual and personal right for arms only to the extent needed to maintain a well regulated militia to support the state. A militia recognizable to the framers of the Constitution has ceased to exist in the United States resulting from deliberate Congressional legislation and also societal neglect; nonetheless, “Technically, all males aged seventeen to forty-five are members of the unorganized militia, but that status has no practical legal significance.” – H. Richard Uviller & William G Merkel (2003), The Militia and the Right to Arms, Or, How the second Amendment Fell Silent

    “From the text as well as a fair understanding of the contemporary ethic regarding arms and liberty, it seems to us overwhelmingly evident that the principal purpose of the Amendment was to secure a personal, individual entitlement to the possession and use of arms. We cannot, however, (as the individual rights contingent generally does) disregard entirely the first part of the text proclaiming a well regulated militia necessary to the security of a free state.”

    “…we understand the Second Amendment as though it read: “Inasmuch as and so long as a well regulated Militia shall be necessary to the security of a free state and so long as privately held arms shall be essential to the maintenance thereof, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” “…to us, the language of the Amendment cannot support a right to personal weaponry independent of the social value of a regulated organization of armed citizens.”

    “The amendment thus guarantees a right to arms only within the context of a militia, not an individual right to arms for self-defense or hunting.” – David H. Williams (2003), The Mythic Meanings of the Second Amendment: Taming Political Violence In a Constitutional Republic

    In 1991, Warren E. Burger, the conservative chief justice of the Supreme Court, was interviewed on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour about the meaning of the Second Amendment’s “right to keep and bear arms.” Burger answered that the Second Amendment “has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud – I repeat the word ‘fraud’ – on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.” In a speech in 1992, Burger declared that “the Second Amendment doesn’t guarantee the right to have firearms at all”. In his view, the purpose of the Second Amendment was “to ensure that the ’state armies’ – ‘the militia’ – would be maintained for the defense of the state.”

    The centerpiece of the Court’s textual argument is its insistence that the words “the people” as used in the Second Amendment must have the same meaning, and protect the same class of individuals, as when they are used in the First and Fourth Amendments. According to the Court, in all three provisions – as well as the Constitution’s preamble, section 2 of Article I, and the Tenth Amendment – “the term unambiguously refers to all members of the political community, not an unspecified subset”… But the Court itself reads the Second Amendment to protect a “subset” significantly narrower than the class of persons protected by the First and Fourth Amendments; …the Court limits the protected class to “law-abiding, responsible citizens”.

    Justice Stevens’ dissent to Heller, joined by Justice Souter, Justice Ginsburg, and Justice Breyer:
    “No new evidence has surfaced since 1980 supporting the view that the Amendment was intended to curtail the power of Congress to regulate civilian use or misuse of weapons. Indeed, a review of the drafting history of the Amendment demonstrates that its Framers rejected proposals that would have broadened its coverage to include such uses… Unable to point to any such evidence, the Court stakes its holding on a strained and unpersuasive reading of the Amendment’s text…”

    “The Court also overlooks the significance of the way the Framers used the phrase “the people” in these constitutional provisions. In the First Amendment, no words define the class of individuals entitled to speak, to publish, or to worship. These rights contemplate collective action. While the right peaceably to assemble protects the individual rights of those persons participating in the assembly, its concern is with action engaged in by members of a group, rather than any single individual.”

    “Similarly, the words “the people” in the Second Amendment refer back to the object announced in the Amendment’s preamble. They remind us that it is the collective action of individuals having a duty to serve in the militia that the text directly protects and, perhaps more importantly, that the ultimate purpose of the Amendment was to protect the States’ share of the divided sovereignty created by the Constitution.”

    “As used in the Fourth Amendment, “the people” describes the class of persons protected from unreasonable searches and seizures by Government officials [and] describes a right that need not be exercised in any collective sense [but] the Fourth Amendment describes a right against governmental interference rather than an affirmative right to engage in protected conduct.”

    “This thin reed of gun rights has only existed since 2010. In the 2010 McDonald v. Chicago case, the activist US Supreme Court reversed 142 years of precedent to extend the meaning of the 14th Amendment to prohibit states from prohibiting guns. It did so by a 5-4 margin. In other words, the nationwide Constitutional protection for gun ownership only came into existence in 2010 (not 1791) and even then by one single vote. So much for the everlasting, inalienable right to own a gun.” – Salvatore Babones, associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC.

  • williamdiamon

    Did you bother to read those links? Did you read the SCOTUS decision concerning Heller vs. DC?

  • Robert Riversong

    YOU’RE the one who stated that the SCOTUS sometimes makes mistakes and fails to be loyal to the Constitution. Heller is patently such a case, as every previous Court found not a shred of evidence in the Constitution for an individual right to arms outside of militia service.

    The Constitutionally valid opinion in Heller was the dissent by Justice Stevens:

    DC v Heller – Justice Stevens, with whom Justice Souter, Justice Ginsburg, and Justice Breyer join, dissenting:

    The question presented by this case is not whether the Second Amendment protects a “collective right” or an “individual right.” Surely it protects a right that can be enforced by individuals. But a conclusion that the Second Amendment protects an individual right does not tell us anything about the scope of that right.

    Whether it also protects the right to possess and use guns for nonmilitary purposes like hunting and personal self-defense is the question presented by this case. The text of the Amendment, its history, and our decision in United States v. Miller, (1939), provide a clear answer to that question.

    The view of the Amendment we took in Miller – that it protects the right to keep and bear arms for certain military purposes, but that it does not curtail the Legislature’s power to regulate the nonmilitary use and ownership of weapons – is both the most natural reading of the Amendment’s text and the interpretation most faithful to the history of its adoption.

    No new evidence has surfaced since 1980 supporting the view that the Amendment was intended to curtail the power of Congress to regulate civilian use or misuse of weapons. Indeed, a review of the drafting history of the Amendment demonstrates that its Framers rejected proposals that would have broadened its coverage to include such uses… Unable to point to any such evidence, the Court stakes its holding on a strained and unpersuasive reading of the Amendment’s text…

    Even if the textual and historical arguments on both sides of the issue were evenly balanced, respect for the well-settled views of all of our predecessors on this Court, and for the rule of law itself…would prevent most jurists from endorsing such a dramatic upheaval in the law.

    The preamble to the Second Amendment makes three important points. It identifies the preservation of the militia as the Amendment’s purpose; it explains that the militia is necessary to the security of a free State; and it recognizes that the militia must be “well regulated”.

    The parallels between the Second Amendment and these state declarations, and the Second Amendment’s omission of any statement of purpose related to the right to use firearms for hunting or personal self-defense, is especially striking in light of the fact that the Declarations of Rights of Pennsylvania and Vermont did expressly protect such civilian uses at the time.

    The contrast between those two declarations and the Second Amendment reinforces the clear statement of purpose announced in the Amendment’s preamble. It confirms that the Framers’ single-minded focus in crafting the constitutional guarantee “to keep and bear arms” was on military uses of firearms, which they viewed in the context of service in state militias.

    The Court today tries to denigrate the importance of this clause of the Amendment by beginning its analysis with the Amendment’s operative provision and returning to the preamble merely “to ensure that our reading of the operative clause is consistent with the announced purpose”. Without identifying any language in the text that even mentions civilian uses of firearms, the Court proceeds to “find” its preferred reading in what is at best an ambiguous text, and then concludes that its reading is not foreclosed by the preamble.

    “The right of the people”

    The centerpiece of the Court’s textual argument is its insistence that the words “the people” as used in the Second Amendment must have the same meaning, and protect the same class of individuals, as when they are used in the First and Fourth Amendments. According to the Court, in all three provisions – as well as the Constitution’s preamble, section 2 of Article I, and the Tenth Amendment – “the term unambiguously refers to all members of the political community, not an unspecified subset”… But the Court itself reads the Second Amendment to protect a “subset” significantly narrower than the class of persons protected by the First and Fourth Amendments; …the Court limits the protected class to “law-abiding, responsible citizens”.

    The Court also overlooks the significance of the way the Framers used the phrase “the people” in these constitutional provisions. In the First Amendment, no words define the class of individuals entitled to speak, to publish, or to worship. These rights contemplate collective action. While the right peaceably to assemble protects the individual rights of those persons participating in the assembly, its concern is with action engaged in by members of a group, rather than any single individual.

    Similarly, the words “the people” in the Second Amendment refer back to the object announced in the Amendment’s preamble. They remind us that it is the collective action of individuals having a duty to serve in the militia that the text directly protects and, perhaps more importantly, that the ultimate purpose of the Amendment was to protect the States’ share of the divided sovereignty created by the Constitution.

    As used in the Fourth Amendment, “the people” describes the class of persons protected from unreasonable searches and seizures by Government officials [and] describes a right that need not be exercised in any collective sense [but] the Fourth Amendment describes a right against governmental interference rather than an affirmative right to engage in protected conduct.

    “To keep and bear Arms”

    Although the Court’s discussion of these words treats them as two “phrases” – as if they read “to keep” and “to bear” – they describe a unitary right: to possess arms if needed for military purposes and to use them in conjunction with military activities.

    As a threshold matter, it is worth pausing to note an oddity in the Court’s interpretation of “to keep and bear arms”. Unlike the Court of Appeals, the Court does not read that phrase to create a right to possess arms for “lawful, private purposes”… Instead, the Court limits the Amendment’s protection to the right “to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation”. No party or amicus urged this interpretation; the Court appears to have fashioned it out of whole cloth.

    The term “bear arms” is a familiar idiom; when used unadorned by any additional words, its meaning is “to serve as a soldier, do military service, fight”. 1 Oxford English Dictionary 634 (2d ed. 1989). It is derived from the Latin arma ferre, which, translated literally, means “to bear [ferre] war equipment [arma]“… The absence of any reference to civilian uses of weapons tailors the text of the Amendment to the purpose identified in its preamble. But when discussing these words, the Court simply ignores the preamble.

    This reading is confirmed by the fact that the clause protects only one right, rather than two. It does not describe a right “to keep arms” and a separate right “to bear arms”. Rather, the single right that it does describe is both a duty and a right to have arms available and ready for military service, and to use them for military purposes when necessary.

    “Splitting the Atom of Sovereignty”

    Two themes relevant to our current interpretive task ran through the debates on the original Constitution. On the one hand, there was a widespread fear that a national standing Army posed an intolerable threat to individual liberty and to the sovereignty of the separate States… On the other hand, the Framers recognized the dangers inherent in relying on inadequately trained militia members as the primary means of providing for the common defense,

    In order to respond to those twin concerns, a compromise was reached: Congress would be authorized to raise and support a national Army and Navy, and also to organize, arm, discipline, and provide for the calling forth of “the Militia”. The President, at the same time, was empowered as the “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States”. But, with respect to the militia, a significant reservation was made to the States… the States respectively would retain the right to appoint the officers and to train the militia in accordance with the discipline prescribed by Congress.

    But the original Constitution’s retention of the militia and its creation of divided authority over that body did not prove sufficient to allay fears about the dangers posed by a standing army. For it was perceived by some that Article I contained a significant gap: While it empowered Congress to organize, arm, and discipline the militia, it did not prevent Congress from providing for the militia’s disarmament.

    This sentiment was echoed at a number of state ratification conventions; indeed, it was one of the primary objections to the original Constitution voiced by its opponents… New Hampshire sent a proposal that…suggested that the Constitution should more broadly protect the use and possession of weapons, without tying such a guarantee expressly to the maintenance of the militia… [U]nsuccessful proposals in both Massachusetts and Pennsylvania would have protected a more broadly worded right, less clearly tied to service in a state militia. Faced with all of these options, it is telling that James Madison chose to craft the Second Amendment as he did.

    With all of these sources upon which to draw, it is strikingly significant that Madison’s first draft omitted any mention of nonmilitary use or possession of weapons… it is clear that he considered and rejected formulations that would have unambiguously protected civilian uses of firearms… [I]t is reasonable to assume that all participants in the drafting process were fully aware of the other formulations that would have protected civilian use and possession of weapons and that their choice to craft the Amendment as they did represented a rejection of those alternative formulations.

    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person”.

    Madison’s initial inclusion of an exemption for conscientious objectors sheds revelatory light on the purpose of the Amendment. It confirms an intent to describe a duty as well as a right, and it unequivocally identifies the military character of both.

    The evidence plainly refutes the claim that the Amendment was motivated by the Framers’ fears that Congress might act to regulate any civilian uses of weapons.

  • williamdiamon

    So SCOTUS has been wrong all along? Did you notice the Miller decision concerning Militia arms?
    Well if you think they are wrong, what are you going to do about it? You better get a rifle and join a Militia if you think your Constitution has been hijacked by SCOTUS.

  • Robert Riversong

    The State v. Buzzard 1842
    The terms “common defense,” in ordinary language, means national defense. The reason for keeping and bearing arms given in the [Constitution] is clearly explanatory and furnishes the true interpretation of the claim in question. The militia constitutes the shield and defense for the security of a free State; and to maintain that freedom unimpaired, arms and the right to use them for that purpose are solely guaranteed. The personal rights of the citizens are secured to him through the instrumentality and agency of the constitution and laws of the country; and to them he must appeal for the protection of his private rights and the redress of his private injuries…

    United States v. Cruikshank (1876) found that the Second Amendment “has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government” and does not limit the States.

    Presser v. Illinois (1886) reaffirmed the Cruikshank decision. Cruikshank and Presser are consistently used by the lower courts to deny any recognition of individual rights claims and provide justification to state and local municipalities to pass laws that regulate guns.

    Robertson v. Baldwin (1897) stated that laws regulating concealed arms did not infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms and thus were not a violation of the Second Amendment. “The law is perfectly well settled that the first ten amendments to the Constitution, commonly known as the “Bill of Rights,” were not intended to lay down any novel principles of government, but simply to embody certain guaranties and immunities which we had inherited from our English ancestors, and which had, from time immemorial, been subject to certain well recognized exceptions arising from the necessities of the case… Thus, the freedom of speech and of the press does not permit the publication of libels, blasphemous or indecent articles, or other publications injurious to public morals or private reputation; the right of the people to keep and bear arms is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons.”

    United States v. Miller (1939) was a unanimous decision that the “obvious purpose” of the Second Amendment was to “assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of” the state militia. In reliance on Miller, hundreds of lower federal and state appellate courts had rejected Second Amendment challenges to our nation’s gun laws over the last seven decades.

    Lewis v. United States (1980) determined that the Second Amendment guarantees no right to keep and bear a firearm that does not have “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia”.

  • williamdiamon

    It’s very clear at this point that you believe the American citizen has no right to own weapons. You have twisted the Founding Fathers sentiments to this effect and ignored court rulings, only latching on to minority opinions when in concert with yours. The Constitution and the majority of Americans are a hindrance to your ideals. 100,000,000 of us own 300,000,000 weapons, for defense of our selves, loved ones, community, and Nation. Perhaps you can find similar views in a communist country, as you will never be at peace here. just sayin

  • Robert Riversong

    You have nothing but straw man arguments.

    I have stated NOTHING about any right to gun ownership, other than the historical fact that nothing in the Constitution protects any such right.

    Some state constitutions do so, but mostly in 20th century amendments, NOT in the original wordings.

  • williamdiamon

    You must have missed this,

    Now, a word from our sponsors…

    “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”
    - George Washington

    “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
    - Thomas Jefferson

    “The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.”
    - Thomas Jefferson

    “To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them.”
    - George Mason

    “I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians.”
    - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

    “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe.”
    - Noah Webster

    “The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.”
    - Noah Webster

    “A government resting on the minority is an aristocracy, not a Republic, and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it, without a standing army, an enslaved press and a disarmed populace.”
    - James Madison

    “Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms.”
    - James Madison

    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country.”
    - James Madison

    “The ultimate authority resides in the people alone.”
    - James Madison

    “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
    - Richard Henry Lee

    “A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves … and include all men capable of bearing arms.”
    - Richard Henry Lee

    “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…. The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”
    - Patrick Henry

    “This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty…. The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.”
    - St. George Tucker

    “… arms … discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property…. Horrid mischief would ensue were (the law-abiding) deprived the use of them.”
    - Thomas Paine

    “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

    “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”
    - Joseph Story

    What, pray tell, do you think they meant????????????

  • Robert Riversong

    Apparently, though you acknowledge the Constitution to be the highest law of the land, you haven’t yet read it, for there is not a single word anywhere in that document which grants citizens a right to own firearms, let alone use them in TREASONOUS rebellion against the government constituted by that document.

  • williamdiamon

    That would be the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights. You’ve heard of it, what does it mean to you?

  • Robert Riversong

    I’ve spelled that out already in excruciating detail, but you quite clearly have a serious reading comprehension deficit.

  • williamdiamon

    Right.

  • aSouthernMan

    Ditto on the NSA. I was not referring to total anarchy and rebellion though. Just that when the Founders wrote the 2nd, the idea was to never have a government that was in total control. And we don’t have to allow the NSA to go on unfettered if we elect representatives that feel the same way.

  • aSouthernMan

    Thanks again for ignoring my point, and choosing to claim
    high ground by ignoring the reality. Especially using the same
    “Clearly” line that Marie Harf rudely uses on reporters when
    she cannot answer the direct questions put to her.
    You know DC is so tight, that David Gregory got himself some attention by just showing a clip. And I assume you also know the authorities did not prosecute him. Both Chicago and DC have what most consider STRONG gun laws – yet they are murder centrals of the US. You say the guns come from Red states? Maybe they came from the Obama administration, whose Fast and Furious plan put thousands of weapons into known criminal hands. Do you agree or disagree that Atty Gen Holder should be prosecuted for violating our own Gun Laws??
    Welcome to your future world – the one where someone in government decides on a personal basis to prosecute, or not
    to prosecute. I truly wish no one would be harms way from a gun. But this is not chess nor a Red/Blue thing when you reach
    back to what the 2nd was for – to protect the 1st. If the 2nd falls, the 1st will be right behind it. You disagree with that,
    of course. It’s just that when it happens, it happens to all citizens. Just like Obamacare.

  • Robert Riversong

    Clearly, the ignorance is entirely on your part.

  • aSouthernMan

    From your legal posts, it seems like that the Constitution
    is just another legal contract to you. But from the Founders
    viewpoint, having a King with a standing Army ready to cut
    them down if they dared to disagree – their intent was clear.
    Given all that, I think we can agree on one thing – what
    happened to Claire Davis is unacceptable – Period.
    No political pun or jibe intended – just making that clear.

  • Robert Riversong

    No, the Constitution is NOT a contract between citizens and the federal government, which anti-federalists like you would have us believe – guaranteeing individual rights.

    It is a compact between the Several States (which were sovereign entities) and the new centralized federal government, defining the limits of power and the respective legal realms of each.

    In the case, specifically, of the 2nd Amendment, it was a balancing of power over the well-regulated militia between the states and the federal government, and a guarantee that Congress would not disarm the state militias – nothing more.

    You want the Constitution to include every political opinion expressed by the Founders prior to its writing and ratification. It is NOT a policy paper, but a foundational legal document which was intended to include just enough, but no more, on which to base a democratic republic that was accountable to both the states (Senate) and the body of the people (House).

    While the US Constitution has 8,500 words, state constitutions vary from 8,295 (Vermont) to 357,157 (Alabama), but most are much longer than the federal document because they have to detail the social contract between the states and their citizens, whereas the federal constitution relates primarily to structural issues and federal/state relationships.

  • aSouthernMan

    You introduced yet another term on whim in reply. Federalism, Anti-Federalism are terms that involve a complex series of papers laying out the case for a major group of topics, not a simple rubber stamp. But you implied you have this complete knowledge, and thus have labeled yourself a 100% Federalist.
    OK, you are a Federalist. Me, I would say parts of both, but leaning more toward Federalism, not Anti-Federalism.
    No , I don’t agree with your view of the 2nd Amendment, and you don’t agree with mine – no problem. I may not like your way of expressing them, but I respect the fact you have given it a lot of serious intelligent thought. And I’m glad you join me re Claire.
    A poster discussing the tragic pictures here referred to a derogatory cartoon labeling Gun Owners / NRA as if those
    were the root cause of the tragedy, thus this post series.
    Neither I, the NRA or anyone of any common sense believes that guns are tools to resolve personal or social issues. But how in the hell might Karl have come to that conclusion ??
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pItiypwjHx4

  • Robert Riversong

    You appear more ignorant with each new post, and show absolutely NO reading comprehension skill or rational thought process.

    I introduced nothing “on whim” but because it is central to this discussion.

    Federalism and anti-federalism were the two primary opposing ideologies of the Founding period – NOT terms or “topics” in papers.

    And, nothing I’ve ever stated would indicate that I am a Federalist, as I have ONLY been describing the political currents of that time, and the intent and meaning of our founding documents (which were largely federalist in nature).

    From you comments, you don’t have a clue about the federalst/anti-federalist conflict.

    And I never said that I don’t agree with your perspective. I have proven that your perspective is ahistorical and counter-factual.

  • aSouthernMan

    Time to close on this, and enjoy life with our family and friends.
    Thanks for the intelligent discussion, and best Holiday wishes
    to you and your family.

  • edwardchamberlain

    I read an interesting proposal on guns by an anarchist over on Alternet he wrote…” the ruling class can have and use anything; the upper classes and the cops can have machine guns and chemical weapons; further down, the working class will be selectively allowed less powerful stuff; and finally there are ‘certain people’ who will not be allowed to have anything. I’m sure we know whothey are. Perhaps gun control should start at the top.”

    Would you still view positively an Unconditional Basic Income policy, if the US were real anarcho-syndical/Socialism or even State Socialism a la Soviet Union and the eastern bloc? Or would a policy like that not conform… as in Vladimir Lenin, who said, “He who doesn’t work, shall not eat.” I really would appreciate some guidance on this, and I respect your opinion very much. I think it would lose in democratic vote, given that the UBI doesn’t even get a majority of left-leaners at Alternet amid our current savage capitalism context. However, I want to know how which way you would vote the measure?

  • edwardchamberlain

    You must think I am crazy, I am not; it is just that, I am not sure, if I should continue on advocating for UBI, if socialism is not about helping the disadvantaged, but rather making everyone produce goods, even if in a post-colonial and post-apartheid political economy, the most disadvantaged (indigenous hunter-gather and slaves and others who were marginilized) did not really have a say in agrarianism, industrialization, de-industrialization, etc. And now are expected to work in fast-food or drop dead, within this social-democratic and certainly in the event of the coming of socialism, they will be told to serve fries to their mostly white knowledge-worker comrades on lunch break… generally speaking… using demographic probabilities. Should I give up on advocating a UBI or not? Please, if you dont want to reply, I can understand, but could you atleast just vote up or down my comment in regard to my question. I promise not to bother you ever again, it is just that I could use a little advice on this UBI thing.

  • Robert Riversong

    I don’t generally respond to old threads reopened, but I support Thomas Paine’s economic redistribution ideas, based on the notion that all wealth is derived from the use of the commons, which rightly belongs equally to all.

  • edwardchamberlain

    total federal and state spending on means-tested welfare programs in US = 950 billion

    total spent on social security, disability, and survivors program in US = 1.3 trillion

    Jim Hanson carbon tax to bring emissions down to 350ppm = approx $ 1.24 trillion

    Total revenue for Social Security UBI =

    _____________
    $ 3.490 trillion
    _____________

    ——————————————————————————

    benefits $ 15,000 per year for every citizen age 20-65

    $ 26,000 per year for every citizen age 65 or older

    - both amounts tied to inflation going forward

    Total payout for Social Security UBI =

    _______________
    $ 3.490 trillion
    _______________

    ——————————————————————————–

    I know it will never happen. But on the merits, does that sound crazy? Or is it bad economics? Or bad social incentives, etc.?

    Last question on this thread, I swear….

    would you support said policy?? Even just an up or down vote from you, and I’d be much obliged…

  • edwardchamberlain

    Please sir, this is important. Is the plan I outlined something you could support. If so what changes would you make to. I need feedback on this, you are Yoda, I am but a humble Ewok. I will never bother you like this again, you have my word. But I need you on this, help, please.

  • edwardchamberlain

    I would like to make the benefits to children and non-citizens too, both legal and illegal. Or better yet, set up an international mech. that would reach every human on the planet; but it gets too big and expensive. If that is the case, does that mean my model is not viable?

    You got an A+ in logic. I took Algebra about 5 times, and never passed. Just briefly tell me how my policy looks logically.

  • Robert Riversong

    Are you a stalker in the non-virtual world as well?

  • edwardchamberlain

    No, I used to read your posts on Disqus and at Alternet. I think you read mine, did you? But like I said, I respect your opinion, and out of all the people whose opinion I asked on my UBI proposal, you were the only one who thought it was good, no one else supports the measure, but in my opinion you are smarter than them.

    So, I know that it must have some merit. But since your Disqus is now private, I had to use google, so I could ask for your advice. I mean you no harm, and I am not stalking you, and I will stop bothering you, but do my numbers sound logical to you?

  • Robert Riversong

    “I will stop bothering you”

    You’ve said that three times but continue to stalk me. Go away.

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