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2021-06-07 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in 2ndAmendment , 406 references
[Comments enabled]  

.... guns, that is.

You might need them.

Citing firearm sale reports on the southwestern border, Chipman claimed the ATF defines an assault rifle as “any semi-automatic rifle capable of accepting a detachable magazine above the caliber of .22, which would include a .223, which is, you know largely the AR-15 round.”

So basically any rifle that fires one round for each depression of the trigger and can accept a magazine, other than a .22.


Because any rifle that can accept a magazine can accept one of any size.

Note that there is no legal definition of an "assault rifle."  By definition any weapon used offensively against a person is an assault, so such is an "assault rifle", since a person committed an assault with it -- whether it's fired or not.

The military has a definition, which is a select-fire rifle.  That is, a rifle which, by operation of a selector switch, can fire either once when the trigger is depressed or some number of times greater than one, including (but not necessarily) continually until the ammunition is exhausted.  In civilian and legal parlance a weapon which can fire more than once with each press of the trigger, whether all the time or by choice of the operator (e.g. by putting a switch in a specific position) is called a machine gun.

So what Chipman basically said is that he'd ban anything he could, Constitution be damned.

May I remind you that Miller, the "first" real gun control decision at the Supreme Court, said that weapons suitable for use by the military and infantry in particular, are in fact militia weapons and protected under the Second Amendment.  That case turned on whether a sawed-off shotgun was such a weapon.  The government lied, incidentally, in claiming it wasn't: Not long before that they had in fact not only ordered but used short-barrel shotguns in WWI.  They were rather handy in trench warfare, you see, where the length of a regular rifle was a problem for the person using it.

But enough of history -- oh wait, not quite enough.

You see, Chipman has apparently lied before; he was at Waco during the Branch Davidian disaster, but he apparently claimed last year that the Branch Davidians shot down two Texas ANG choppers with Barrett .50 caliber rifles.  Problem: Zero choppers were in fact shot down.  His was grilled on this during his testimony and now claims they were forced down.  Uh, there's no evidence of that either that I can find.

The reality of the BATFE is that much of what they do is unconstitutional -- blatantly so.  Then again so is much of other areas of the law these days, if you actually believe the Constitution means what it says.  For example, the Fourth Amendment is quite-clear and does not admit the capacity to search or seize without a warrant, yet that is violated daily.  Then there are all manner of constraints on taking, which did occur at the behest of various agencies and arms of the Federal Government over the last year.  Some people got very rich from all that taking and others got poor or displaced.  As just one example of many rent forbearance is flatly illegal by government mandate unless the government covers all of the landlord's anticipated cash flow including his profit because it is a taking by the government.  The 5th Amendment forbids this, except with just compensation.  There has been no compensation -- just or otherwise.

So-called "critical race theory" and set-asides as Biden put into place only for non-whites when it comes farms and other places is blatantly illegal.  So says the 14th Amendment.  Further, the 14th Amendment incorporates all of the Constitution's protections against states, forbidding the states to engage in discrimination.  That came out of the end of slavery -- and has been routinely ignored.

Note that the 14th Amendment does not care whether the reason is race, color, creed, religion or otherwise: Laws, policies or other mandates by the government, whether state or federal, that explicitly favor one person over another are unconstitutional -- period.

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

How hard is that to understand?

The Constitution is never more than one action by the government away from extinction.  The entire purpose of the 2nd Amendment is that so long as it stands as intended it will never need to be used as the government and its agents fully understand there are more of "us" than "them", and therefore acts that are repugnant to the Constitution, should the people decide the government must stop them, will stop.

Chipman does not respect this.  In fact, he would set fire to the whole thing.

That hasn't happened before where he's conveniently been, has it?

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2021-06-06 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in 2ndAmendment , 435 references
[Comments enabled]  

Well well look what we have here...

"Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment," Benitez said in the ruling. "Firearms deemed as 'assault weapons' are fairly ordinary, popular, modern rifles."
In his ruling, the judge also criticized the news media, writing, "One is to be forgiven if one is persuaded by news media and others that the nation is awash with murderous AR-15 assault rifles. The facts, however, do not support this hyperbole, and facts matter."

Both statements are true.

The AR platform truly is a swiss army knife when it comes to firearms.  You can fit it with multiple upper receivers that have different barrel types, profiles and configurations for different uses.  A bull barrel (heavy and fairly expensive) for target shooting, a light "government profile" one for hunting varmints and other modest-sized game or home defense, several different caliber upper options for various other hunting and target shooting purposes and you can even buy a "pistol" configuration that is indeed designed to be fired with one hand, although frankly I think that's sort of silly as the cartridge is not intended for this and as such they are extraordinarily loud and have a habit of spitting 1' diameter fireballs out the front end along with the projectile.

The weapon can also use "iron" sights, a "reflex" sight that can be used with both eyes open (excellent for home defense) or, for those of us with aging eyes who wish to target shoot or use it for hunting purposes, a scope of your choice.  Depending on the options you choose you can even have more than one set of sights available at a time; a battery-powered reflex sight and "backup" iron sights, for example, should the batteries go dead, or a "flip away" magnifier allowing a reflex sight to be a viable hunting weapon both in close and at longer ranges.

While it is certainly true that people have chose to use this type of firearm as a weapon in mass-shootings, the facts are that rifles of all sorts, including the AR-series rifles, kill fewer people than knives in an average year.  It's not close.  Indeed you're more likely to be punched or kicked to death than killed with a rifle of any sort, including an AR-15 -- by roughly double or more depending on the year, and clubs (including I assume 5 irons), hammers and similar are about as likely to be the instrument of your demise.  As the judge said: Facts matter.  Nobody's talking about registering or banning 5-irons -- or fists.

This ruling will of course be appealed, but perhaps -- just perhaps -- some common sense is showing up.

The facts are that guns are used more-often, by quite a bit, in defense than for illegal, offensive purposes.  Most of the time when a firearm is used for defense it doesn't have to actually be fired; the mere presence is frequently enough for whoever was in the middle of doing something ugly and criminal to decide that their action is a bad idea and change their mind.  Indeed Samuel Colt's revolver was called the "Great Equalizer" and a firearm is; it renders a 5'1" 100lb woman able to effectively stop a 250lb 6' man from raping and/or killing her, a near impossibility otherwise.

Go figure -- criminals don't like the prospect of dying any more than anyone else does and since we refuse to keep criminals in prison, well, that makes the remaining choices rather stark, doesn't it?

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2018-05-06 09:24 by Karl Denninger
in 2ndAmendment , 4632 references
[Comments enabled]  

Let's not mince words: Eric Swalwell is advocating for Civil War.

Instead, we should ban possession of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons, we should buy back such weapons from all who choose to abide by the law, and we should criminally prosecute any who choose to defy it by keeping their weapons. The ban would not apply to law enforcement agencies or shooting clubs.


The Parkland teens have taught us there is no right more important than every student’s right to come home after class. The right to live is supreme over any other.

Right here, Mr. Sawlwell is advocating for a civil war -- right now.

He is in fact advocating for millions of murders.

He is claiming as justification exactly the same argument made for keeping slaves -- that some people are superior to others.

Mr. Swalwell claims that the right to live is supreme over any other.

The problem is that without disarming everyone -- including every weapon, and that includes the police, he is declaring that this right only exists for certain people and not others and he intends to murder anyone who disagrees with them.

Let's not mince words: All laws are ultimately backed by homicide.  If you refuse to respect the validity of the law the guns will come out and they will be used on you.  That's homicide and those arguing for laws are in each and every case arguing for homicide.  We thus must debate for each and every law what category that proposed homicide falls into.  I remind you there are several categories of homicide, including:

1. Meritorious (e.g. shooting someone who is raping your daughter)
2. Justifiable (e.g. shooting someone who breaks into your home -- but has not yet attacked you.)
3. Accidental (e.g. you lose control of your vehicle due to black ice on the road, etc.)
4. Negligent (e.g. your car has terribly bald tires and hydroplanes, etc.)
5. Felonious (e.g. you stick up a bank and shoot a teller)

All homicide, in other words, is not equal.  Some is punishable, some is regrettable, some is just bad luck and some is worthy of cheering.  But make no mistake -- all laws are in fact declarations of intent to commit homicide upon those who disagree with them and the category of that homicide must be debated and agreed upon as that intent is inherent in the passage of any law.

The Constitution, however, is not the "10 Suggestions."  It is the supreme law of the land.  It trumps all other laws and cannot be changed by Statute or by judicial fiat.  The 14th Amendment says its protections and divisions of power extend to the State and local level, and denies the States any ability to infringe on its requirements.

The Second Amendment is clear on its face: Shall Not Be Infringed means what it says.  In addition the word militia means what it says too: All adult males physically capable of rendering armed resistance in the event of need who are expected to have their own arms and ammunition.  Go ahead and include the gals if you wish; works for me, but that's not the historical context.  In other words the gals are free to show up and render such resistance but able-bodied men are expected to.  There are exactly two ways to overrule those words: 1) Revolution or secession, at which point the Constitution ceases to exist entirely, all at once (that's the point of either of those events, duh) and 2) Amendment by the process set forth in the Constitution.

That many people will honor a law, ordnance or regulation that is expressly in violation of the Constitution does not obligate anyone else to do so.  That someone in any branch of government claims that the clear words written in said Constitution don't mean what they say does not obligate anyone to agree.  The Constitution is not a debate society; it is a set of facts and a contract between the people and the government.

The people have no obligation to honor a violation of that contract today or tomorrow irrespective of whether they have in the past.

If you wish to read the actual arguments made before the 2nd Amendment was adopted (along with the rest of the Constitution), along with what militia actually means go read both The Federalist and Anti-Federalist.  They set forth in black ink the debate that was held and why the elements of the Constitution exist along with the hierarchy of law that is inherent in this nation's governance.  They're not debatable either; they're historical fact and were in fact the elements of the debate, penned and presented, for the express purpose of making sure nobody could misunderstand their intent, the arguments presented and the outcome.

Now let me point out both why the Second Amendment actually exists and why the ordinary person needs to own not just one but at least two high-capacity, high-accuracy rifles -- like AR-15s.

This first permanent settlement in America is arguably Jamestown, in 1622.  It is now 2018.  That's 396 years.  In that time we have had two serious internal Civil Wars; one of which was successful in its aims (the Revolution) the other not (The Civil War or, if you prefer The War of Northern Aggression.)  That is one incident per 198 years, on average.  In other words there is a 0.51% chance per year of violent civil war or uprising intending to render moot the entire existing government across a material section of the nation's landmass.  May I remind you that America is in fact one of the best large land-masses in  regard to this risk; Continental Europe has had two serious internal wars in the last 100 years, for a per-year risk of 2% or four times ours.  Some parts of Europe have been much worse than that, as has most of the Middle East, South and Central America, Africa and a large part of Asia. We can argue over the reason for that later -- and the 2nd Amendment might be part of it.

0.5% per year is a very low risk, but it's definitely not zero.

An average adult lives to about 80, and is an adult at 18.  He or she is therefore an adult for approximately 62 years.

Now let me ask the question: What risk of calamity do you believe justifies your personal holding of insurance against the risk of your death in the event the bad thing happens?

If you live in a "100 year" flood plain this means on average over very long periods of time it floods once every 100 years.  Your mortgage is for 30 years.  Your mortgage company will require you to buy flood insurance because the cumulative risk of a flood during that 30 years is about 26%.  That is plenty for the bank to require you pay for that insurance -- or they won't write your mortgage.

What is the risk of, for example, contracting cancer during your lifetime?  The answer is about 38.5%.

What is the risk of needing an AR-15 to survive a severe civil conflict (defined as revolution or civil war) during your 62 adult years, given the history of such conflicts on the landmass known today as United States since people of white European-ancestry have been in permanent residence upon same?

The math is simple: 1 - (cumulative odds of NOT having it happen over 62 years), or in arithmetic notation 1 - (0.9949 ^ 62)

Ready for the result?

It's 27.17% -- higher than your house flooding if you live in a 100 year flood plain.

What if we keep taking in immigrants who refuse to assimilate and we become more socialist much as Europe has done over the last several hundred years -- and our risk in fact looks like theirs based on the last 100 years?  What is the risk you will need that AR-15 during your adult lifetime in that case, which I think is a fair argument on the risk we take today given that we refuse to secure our borders and expel those who are here illegally now, never mind taking in "refugees" who are not required to demonstrate their respect for and intent to honor our Constitutional protections?

Sitting down?


That's right -- there is a 71.4% chance that Europe will suffer a war of similarity to WWI and WWII during a person's adult lifetime, based on the two World Wars.  It's not much different odds, incidentally, if you start enumerating all the other wide scale wars (civil and otherwise) on the European Continent all the way back to the time of the Roman Empire!

You are reasonably close in odds to needing that rifle as you to are to getting cancer during your lifetime.  Indeed, it's about 70% as likely.

You're also more likely to need that AR-15 than your home is to flood during a 30 year period if you live in a 100 year flood plain.

Both of those risks are the best-case scenario and require an immediate 100% "about-face" on expelling all illegal immigrants currently here and requiring 100% of those who wish to immigrate legally be verified as to their intentions to respect and honor our Constitution and its requirements.

If we do not get rid of all the illegal invaders in this nation and keep admitting those who have no respect for or intent to follow our Constitution, along with putting people with rank disrespect for same in Congress and our Executive like Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, Eric Swalwell and both Presidents Obama and Trump then it's a fair bet that your odds are not 27.1% but far closer to 70%.

In other words, it's odds-on you're going to need those guns.

If the bad happens while you might need a pistol, a hunting rifle or .22 for secondary defensive or eating purposes your primary weapon requirement is going to be a high-powered rifle like the AR-15.  You will also need a nice-sized stack of high-capacity magazines loaded and ready to go, a case (or more) of ammunition to reload those magazines with and two rifles, because in such a situation you will not be able to get parts or spares for your gun and thus two is one and one is none.

Further, in such a situation just like in every other similar situation over time there will be plenty of people who have nothing EXCEPT said rifle and will attempt to take everything you have from you, using the complete breakdown of ordinary civilization as their excuse, murdering you and your family in the process.  We see myriad examples of this all over the world today, including in Syria right now.  You will either be able to attempt to stop them because you personally posses a high-power rifle and ammunition for it or you will be murdered, anyone who happens to be female will likely be raped first and everything you own will be confiscated or destroyed.

There is utterly nobody who has graduated from High School who should not have been able to within seconds compute these odds and understand both how the math works behind this and why.  That there is any uptake among the people of this country for such an act as confiscation of these weapons from civilians is proof positive that our government has intentionally failed to educate our young people for decades and has intentionally failed for the explicit purpose of making them unable to calculate the odds of such an event and thus understand why it is absolutely critical that these weapons not only be perfectly legal for ordinary people to posses but that their possession and proficiency in their use must be encouraged.

Indeed it is likely that the pre-NFA state of the law prior to the 1930s is why America has a risk of such war or revolution that is one quarter of that of other developed and similar cultures and nations -- specifically, the entirety of Europe, Central and South America, Africa and most of Asia.  That's the vast majority of land-mass on this planet.

But in today's world with people like Eric Swalwell in Congress and our de-facto refusal to demand that any who wish to immigrate to the United States do so only under the expectation and belief that they agree with the Constitution in all respects the risk in the United States of you needing that rifle today is much more-likely to be akin to that of someone who lives in Europe.

You don't need one AR-15, in short.

Every adult in fact needs two or more of them because during your adult life you're odds on to experience the very unfortunate set of events that will require you own and have a working one, right now, or you and all of those who you love will be dead.

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I'm done being nice.

And I'm doubly-done with the damned leftists in this country performing the moral equivalent of ritual human sacrifice of children to advance their gun-control agenda.

That's what I charge they're doing. 

And I'm going to back it up with mathematics, using just one of the common psychotropic medications used commonly today -- Paxil.

This is from the prescribing information for Paxil:

Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk:

Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), both adult and pediatric, may experience worsening of their depression and/or the emergence of suicidal ideation and behavior (suicidality) or unusual changes in behavior, whether or not they are taking antidepressant medications, and this risk may persist until significant remission occurs. Suicide is a known risk of depression and certain other psychiatric disorders, and these disorders themselves are the strongest predictors of suicide. There has been a long-standing concern, however, that antidepressants may have a role in inducing worsening of depression and the emergence of suicidality in certain patients during the early phases of treatment. Pooled analyses of short-term placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and others) showed that these drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 18-24) with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. 

That's a problem.  What's worse is this:

The following symptoms, anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania, have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder as well as for other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric. Although a causal link between the emergence of such symptoms and either the worsening of depression and/or the emergence of suicidal impulses has not been established, there is concern that such symptoms may represent precursors to emerging suicidality.

And it doesn't end there:

Screening Patients for Bipolar Disorder

A major depressive episode may be the initial presentation of bipolar disorder. It is generally believed (though not established in controlled trials) that treating such an episode with an antidepressant alone may increase the likelihood of precipitation of a mixed/manic episode in patients at risk for bipolar disorder.

Now let's be frank: Mixed manic states are mental states during which all sorts of really ugly things happen, including panic attacks, agitation, impulsiveness, paranoia and rage -- all at extreme levels.

In other words, if you miss someone being bipolar and give them this drug you may precipitate a full-on Hulk-style "rage monster" sort of attack!

How often does something like this happen?

Activation of Mania/Hypomania:

During premarketing testing, hypomania or mania occurred in approximately 1.0% of unipolar patients treated with PAXIL compared to 1.1% of active-control and 0.3% of placebo-treated unipolar patients. In a subset of patients classified as bipolar, the rate of manic episodes was 2.2% for PAXIL and 11.6% for the combined active-control groups. As with all drugs effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder, PAXIL should be used cautiously in patients with a history of mania.

So if you miss a bi-polar person in your "analysis" before prescribing, it's more than doubly-likely that they will have a "rage-monster" episode than if not.

So let's assume we're not talking about bi-polar people -- that is, let's make the assumption that we properly screen for each person and perfectly identify all bi-polar people before we prescribe.

What is the expected number of people who will undergo some sort of manic episode, which includes the subset that will turn into rage-monsters and shoot up schools, movie theaters and other public places?

Answer: About 0.7% more that can be charged to the drug (the risk if you do nothing is 0.3%.)

Other similar drugs have similar risk profiles; Paxil is not particularly-remarkable in this regard. 

I note, and you should note, that 0.7% is a pretty low risk!  That is, 993 people out of 1000 can get a perfectly good outcome from the drug (or at least no harm) but that other 7 in 1000 have an outcome ranging from bad to catastrophically-bad.

Now let's assume for the sake of argument that we are 99% effective in physician monitoring of these patients.  That is, we're able to somehow confirm that they take the drug exactly as prescribed (no more or less), and we have enough time and physician resources to evaluate them on a regular and continuing basis.  This, incidentally, is a fantasy-land level of performance; no profession could possibly meet that standard of care, but we'll use it to make the point.

But this level of performance, which we can never meet, would provide that of the rage monsters we potentially create with these drugs we catch 99% of them before the episode escalates into something "bad."

That's 1% of 0.7%, incidentally, or 0.007% of the total users who (1) have the bad reaction and then (2) we fail to detect via monitoring.  In other words, those are the people who shoot up the schools, movie theaters and US Representatives.

The last figures I have are that in 2005 27 million people in the United States, or close to 1 in 10 of all persons, are on some sort of antidepressant carrying these risks.

So if 0.7% of 27 million people have a manic episode caused by these drugs -- that is, under perfect conditions where we catch every single bipolar individual first and never prescribe to any of them we will have 189,000 persons in a year who have a manic reaction to these drugs.

That's horrifying. 

But what's worse is that if we assume 99% effective surveillance by the medical profession -- that is, 99% of the time the doctor intercepts the person with the manic episode and modifies or terminates their use of the drug before something bad happens....


We're surprised that there are a few of these a year, when we create more than 5 of them each and every day with near-perfect performance -- and likely several times that many given the real-world monitoring that can actually be achieved?

We create these Zombies.

We prescribe the drugs to them.

We do this knowing that the risk exists and that at least one subset of that risk is materially higher for those under the age of 25 who are consuming these drugs. 

In point of fact, most of the rage monsters who have committed these crimes are under the age of 25 and either using or having recently terminated the use of these drugs.

Again I reproduce the information directly from the maker of Paxil:

There has been a long-standing concern, however, that antidepressants may have a role in inducing worsening of depression and the emergence of suicidality in certain patients during the early phases of treatment. Pooled analyses of short-term placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and others) showed that these drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 18-24) with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24;

Something changes around the age of 24 with these drugs and their interaction with the human mind.  We don't know exactly what it is, but we know that it happens.  We also know that these substances have a low but present risk of inducing mania -- and one of the many ways that mania may express includes rage.

Utterly nobody is bringing this element to the table in debate, but we must, as the rise of these incidents is directly correlated to the gross increase in the number of people, including most-especially young people, taking these drugs.  The number of users doubled from 1996 - 2005.

If you want to address a problem you must look at the data and follow it where it leads. 

Where it leads is into a horrifying mess of prescription psychotropic drug use among our youth and the rare but catastrophic side effects they sometimes produce.

I have friends who have versions of the problem in their families among older individuals; members of the family who doctor-shop for prescription on top of prescription and are mentally questionable to start with.  We're supposed to have some sort of reasonable check and balance on this and indeed Florida claims to have clamped down on the "pill mills" but I can tell you right now that this is utter and complete crap.  There is nothing preventing people from going to 10 different doctors until they find three or four that will write scripts and then abusing the drugs -- and when they run out "early" calling up for a refill -- and getting it.  It happens every damned day and if other family members try to intervene, including getting the physicians or the law involved (prescription fraud is supposed to be illegal!) they're blown off!

It's true that most of the crazy people in the world aren't violent, and that being crazy, standing alone, is perfectly legal.  It's also true that nearly all of the people who take these drugs won't become violent -- that's a side effect that only bites a tiny percentage of the people who take the drug.

But the risk of turning people into rage monsters and suicidal maniacs appears to be mostly confined to those under the age of 24 according to the drug companies own information and this information is strongly correlated with the actual real-world data on these incidents.

We must have a discussion about this as a society.  We might decide that out of the 27 million or more Americans taking these drugs that enough get benefit that we are willing to accept the occasional school or movie theater shooting gallery as the price of prescribing these drugs to those under the age of 24.

If so then we need to be honest about the trade-off we have made as a society and shut the hell up instead of dancing in the blood of dead children to score political points and destroy The Constitution.

But if not, and you can count my vote among the "No" votes in this regard, then we must ban these substances from those under the age of 24 until we understand what's different among that age group that alters the risk unless and except those persons are under continual professional supervision such as inpatient hospitalization.

Yeah, I understand this will cut into the profits of the big drug companies and thus is "unacceptable" to many political folks, not to mention that the media won't even talk about the subject due to the advertising they run on their networks on a daily basis for this drug or that.

But unless we want to keep burying kids we had damned well better have that debate.

Mr. Biden, Mr. Obama and the rest on both the left and right who are refusing to go where the data leads are all practicing the moral equivalent of ritual child sacrifice, fueling the pyre under the bodies of our kids with the Bill of Rights.

Stand up America and say in a loud voice: ENOUGH!

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