Just more willful ignorance

BLUF
The stereotype of gun owners is a lie. The media calls us male-pale-and-stale, and who cares if old white men are disarmed anyway. In fact, gun owners now look like a cross section of the USA. Minority urban women are the fastest growing segment of new gun owners. I think Democrat politicians are afraid that more women and minorities will decide to become gun owners. These new gun owners might enter the culture of armed America and protect themselves.

That fear keeps Democrat politicians up at night.

New Gun Owners are Invisible to the News Media and Democrat Politicians

More people own guns today than ever before. That growth is a continuation of a long term trend that goes back several decades. In addition to that gradual increase, we’ve also seen an extraordinary growth in new gun buyers in the last two years. We had to rewrite who owns guns and why they own them. Today, about four-out-of-ten families have a firearm in their home. Despite the astounding changes in gun ownership, the way some politicians talk about guns and gun owners is out of date. New gun owners are subjected to a crash course in being misperceived and misrepresented by politicians and by the mainstream news media alike.

What is real and what is fantasy?

Sitting President, Joe Biden, echoed old myths about gun owners at a fundraising event in June. He said,

“More people get killed with their own gun in their home trying to stop a burglar than, in fact, any other cause.. Think about that. Because it’s hard to do. It’s a hard thing to do.”

Mayor John Fetterman, the Democrat candidate for the US Senate from Pennsylvania, also felt the need to comment on guns and gun ownership. He said,

“I have seen with my own eyes at the scenes in my community what a military grade round does to the human body.” He said that rifles, particularly modern rifles, should be outlawed.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said,

“This whole concept that a good guy with a gun will stop the bad guys with a gun, it doesn’t hold up. And the data bears this out, so that theory is over.”

Those statements don’t fit what we know. We know a lot about new gun owners because we talked with them. Gun stores asked new gun owners why they wanted a gun so the gun shop employee could direct the customer to the appropriate products. The industry trade group representing firearms manufacturers and distributors collected those answers. The stereotypical gun owner used to be an old white man who bought a gun to go hunting. Several years ago, personal safety replaced hunting as the major reason new gun owners buy a firearm. Today, gun owners are from every demographic group; male and female, rich and poor, urban and rural. Gun owners represent every ethnic and racial group. About one-out-of-four African-American adults own a firearm. It seems strange that the mainstream media and politicians have deliberately ignored that change.

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We Are No Longer Conservatives; We Are Restorationists.

Conservatives have long struggled to define the term “conservatism.” This makes sense since it’s always been less a political ideology than a life philosophy. Perhaps even an attitude.

When asked to define conservatism, Abraham Lincoln replied, “Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?”

William F. Buckley updated his answer for the mid-20th century, framing it in opposition to liberalism. In other words, an anti-ideology. In his book Up from Liberalism (1959), Buckley declares conservativism is  “freedom, individuality, the sense of community, the sanctity of the family, the supremacy of the conscience, the spiritual view of life.”

A half-century earlier, G.K. Chesterton didn’t so much define the term as identify the action it requires.

All conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change. If you leave a white post alone it will soon be a black post. If you particularly want it to be white you must be always painting it again; that is, you must be always having a revolution. [Orthodoxy, 1908]

It isn’t enough to “stand athwart history, yelling ‘Stop.’” Conservatism requires intentional, aggressive work to evaluate the firehose of proposed changes, then promote the good ones and destroy the bad.

Or, as Reagan put it, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Reagan was prophetic. These days, conservatives spend a lot of time telling younger generations what it was once like to be free. We speak of lost liberties and wonder how best to restore them.

Here’s the plain fact: there’s no need for conservatism when there’s little left to conserve.

That’s why, over at The Federalist, John Daniel Davidson declared, “We Need To Stop Calling Ourselves Conservatives.”

Conservatives have long defined their politics in terms of what they wish to conserve or preserve — individual rights, family values, religious freedom, and so on. Conservatives, we are told, want to preserve the rich traditions and civilizational achievements of the past, pass them on to the next generation, and defend them from the left. In America, conservatives and classical liberals alike rightly believe an ascendent left wants to dismantle our constitutional system and transform America into a woke dystopia. The task of conservatives, going back many decades now, has been to stop them.

In an earlier era, this made sense. There was much to conserve. But any honest appraisal of our situation today renders such a definition absurd. After all, what have conservatives succeeded in conserving? In just my lifetime, they have lost much: marriage as it has been understood for thousands of years, the First Amendment, any semblance of control over our borders, a fundamental distinction between men and women, and, especially of late, the basic rule of law.

We have conserved a few things — gun rights, red-state economic policies, religious liberty (for now) — but it’s hard to argue with the main thrust of Davidson’s assessment.

The right isn’t conserving much but desperately trying to restore our freedom, our family, and our constitutional order.
Words mean things, and in the modern age, so does branding. I agree that “conservative” has outlasted its accuracy, but we need to call ourselves something. To that end…

We are no longer Conservatives; we are Restorationists.
We seek not to conserve the role of tradition in our society but to restore tradition to its rightful place.
Similarly, there are no national borders left to conserve; they must be restored.
The family is shattered and we must reintroduce this cornerstone of civilization. (That includes gender norms promoted from the dawn of time.)
Free speech must be placed back in the academy, workplace, and civil society.

All of this is work. Hard work. As such, it requires all of us to join the effort; neighbors, business leaders, teachers, and our government.

This is no longer the time for Conservation. On to Restoration.

What Do Girls Do?

There is an eight-year-old girl who likes to play in streams and look under rocks for squirmy critters. She not only knows how to throw a ball but enjoys doing it. She loves math and logic, and has no interest in dolls or dresses. She will grow up to be a woman. Because that’s what girls do.

There is another eight-year-old girl who likes to give tea parties for her stuffed animals. She likes to dance all the dances, often with other girls who like to do the same thing. She loves to read, and has no interest in trucks or trails. She will also grow up to be a woman. Because, again, that’s what girls do.

One of these girls may want to be an astronaut. The other, a chef. Or a mother. Or a lawyer. An actress. A racecar driver. Are all of these desires equally likely among girls? They are not. Girls are likely to want some things more than others. But guess what: the girls who aren’t girly are still girls. You can tell, in part, by the fact that they grow up to be women. Because that’s what girls do.

Sex isn’t assigned at birth. Sex is observed at birth.

Sometimes, in fact, sex is observed before birth. Most commonly, this happens via ultrasound imaging of the fetus. Less commonly, it is possible to look at the karyotype—a visual representation of fetal chromosomes, organized roughly by size—which has been obtained through the usefully diagnostic but somewhat risky mid-pregnancy procedure known as amniocentesis.

All mammals have “Genetic Sex Determination,” which means that we have chromosomes dedicated to starting us down the path of maleness or femaleness.

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“Bad Luck” and the Evanescence of Imperfection.

One of the few websites I check in on almost every day is RealClearPolitics.

I do so in part because of the range of its links—the editors cull many of the best columns from all sides of the political debate, so it’s a handy way to stay au courant—and in part for its expanding subsections on books, science, religion, defense, and other cultural topics.

Over the past several years, under the rubric RealClearInvestigations, the site has also been publishing its own incisive and independent investigative reporting on a wide range of issues. Those stories tend to be hard hitting and meticulously researched.

Every election season, they scour the polls and sift through the dross in order to supply readers not only with the results of a representative sampling of individual polls—which, as I note in a forthcoming column elsewhere, are often little more than a form of fan fiction—but also with the valuable “RCP average,” a kind of polling gold standard that pundits and prognosticators eagerly anticipate.

Finally, RealClear provides a constantly evolving digest of the news of the day arranged according to a handful of topics and printed in a single column down the left side of its home page.

In just 30 seconds, you can glance at those headlines and come away with a sense of the national mood.

Things on Sunday, Oct. 2, are not too cheery.

Under the rubric “Biden Administration,” for example, we find “Biden Says ‘We Can Afford’ Student Debt Forgiveness After GOP Lawsuit,” and “Fed-Backed Censorship Machine Targeted 20 News Sites,” a story about the Election Integrity Partnership, a consortium of four private companies that, under the aegis of the government, are surveilling, reporting on, and censoring conservative social media sites that publish stories displeasing to the administration.

Then we come to the topic of “U.S. Economy.”

Corporate Number Crunching Games Signal a Deteriorating Economy,” “Meta to Lay Off People for 1st Time,” “Fed’s Preferred Inflation Gauge Shows Price Surge Again Last Month,” and “Dow Ends Month Down Nearly 9%.”

Yikes.

There are other items on that list. None is what you would call upbeat.

This colloquy of gloom reminded me of a famous observation from the writer Robert Heinlein.

“Throughout history,” Heinlein wrote in 1973, “poverty is the normal condition of man.”

“Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded—here and there, now and then—are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people.”

Then comes the kicker: “Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.”

“This,” Heinlein added, “is known as ‘bad luck.’”

Of course, Heinlein was speaking ironically with that last bit.

The issue was not “bad luck” but virtue-fired stupidity.

All those “right-thinking people”—the people with the socially certified ideas, the kinder, gentler, mask-wearing, anti-fossil-fuel types—are on the ramparts, proudly toppling the atavistic instruments of their prosperity.

Very soon now, they will look around at the wreckage their good intentions have wrought and wonder who is to blame for the poverty, the chaos, the ruins that lay strewn where once, not so long ago, a vibrant civilization stood, supported by a mighty economy.

I am of two minds about this.

On the one hand, it’s an illustration of what the great philosopher Michael Oakeshott had in mind when he observed that “The evanescence of imperfection may be said to be the first item of the creed of the Rationalist.”

By “Rationalist,” I should add, Oakeshott meant more or less what we mean when we speak of “Progressives.” All are utopians of one stripe or another. Imperfection offends them. They cannot understand why, since they have identified and castigated it, it still exists.

They conclude, wrongly, that it must be because people are insufficiently enlightened by the progressive creed. Either that, or it must be because of people who perversely reject that creed. So they divide people who disagree with them as either ignorant or evil.

The former must be managed, directed, uplifted. The latter must be destroyed. On the other hand, the situation Heinlein describes is not an unavoidable fate. It isn’t “bad luck.”

Just as our mastery of the techniques of scientific inquiry enables us to make reliable progress in plumbing the secrets of nature, so our understanding of how markets work gives us the tools to manage the economy effectively. If, that is, we heed those lessons.

We have just pumped trillions of dollars into the economy, with the result that inflation is the worst it has been in nearly half a century. Who could not have foreseen that result? (Milton Friedman certainly would have.) 

We have willfully ignored the lessons of the market in order to indulge in all manner of utopian social engineering, with the result that economic growth has stalled and people are scared.

Robert Heinlein issued a useful warning. I wonder whether we will heed it?

Say Her Name

fletcher

Some victims are more equal than others.

If I were a real MAGA extremist, I’d be able to tell you about a specific murder trend happening in America right now, but I don’t want to get on the FBI terror watch list.

What I can tell you is this: we are living in a real-life version of The Purge. Murders are up at least 44 percent in two years.

For over two years, we heard a long list of murder victims shouted on TV every day. I know by heart the names and murder circumstances of Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Ahmaud Arbury, George Floyd, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, and many others.

This new trend is a little different. In fact, I couldn’t help noticing that some particularly gruesome recent killings have been met with a strangely subdued reaction by the mainstream media. Which is weird, because silence is violence.

Crime itself is nothing new. Like many of you, I’ve already been a victim of lots of crimes. Multiple cars broken into overnight, wallets pickpocketed at bars, that sort of thing.

I have also been the victim of a few much scarier crimes. Once, I was robbed at gunpoint. I was alone, walking home just after dusk on a prestigious East Coast college campus. The robber demanded my wallet as he jabbed his handgun into me. He snatched the $20 I gave him and ran away.

Last year, I arrived at a public park to retrieve one of my children from sports practice. As I pulled into the lot, I noticed a group of men hanging around a parked car. My inner systemic racist noticed that they were young, black, dressed like gangbangers, and smoking weed. My inner white privilege told me I should find a different place to park, immediately.

But I convinced myself that there was no way anything bad could happen here, in full daylight, in view of a playground full of kids, so I dismissed my inner “racist” and pulled into the lot.

I called my husband and told him, “I think I just interrupted a gang meetup. These guys look like they have guns.”

He told me to ignore my inner racist. “It’s broad daylight, you’ll be fine.”

Thirty seconds after hanging up with him, I heard the unmistakable sound of gunfire close by. At first I thought I was dreaming. How could my inner racist have been so right? And then I thought, oh no, I was correct in my assumption that these guys were sketchy, and now I’m going to die a “racist.”

The shots were very loud, because they were being fired three feet behind my car. The shooter was crouched down and aiming at the guys who had been standing around the parking lot and were now running for their lives. I watched him shoot one man in the stomach. The victim clutched his guts, screaming, and fell to the ground.

I tried to make myself as small as I could. I learned that you can’t get down very far when you’re stuck in the front seat of a minivan. The shooter kept blasting away, and I called my husband back, this time to say goodbye. He was an hour away, totally unable to help me, and I just managed to tell him what was happening. Then I braced myself in case a stray bullet came through my car, and like the racist that I am, I prayed and waited for death.

When the shooting stopped, there was absolute silence. That was the moment I was most afraid, since I assumed the shooter would be searching for a getaway car, and I was the perfect carjacking prospect, since I’d been the only other person dumb enough to park in the lot. Take another car, I silently begged. Please don’t take this one, with the toddler car seats in it. Do you know how expensive those are?

I heard sirens in the distance. I waited on the floor of my car until a cop tapped on my window. As he took my witness statement he told me, “This parking lot is a gang hangout for the Bloods. What in the world are you doing here?” “Trying not to be racist!” I almost said.

Ah, the Bloods, of course. That would explain why the guys running away had been wearing red, and why the shooter wore a blue baseball cap. (The Bloods are one of the two big L.A. gangs; the other is the Crips. In the 1980s, even white kids from the westside couldn’t go out wearing red or blue, since the Bloods wear red, and Crips wear blue. It is as stupid as it sounds, and if you don’t believe me, go watch the Sean Penn movie Colors.)

My “racism” had tried to warn me, but I didn’t listen. The cop then beckoned for me to get out and look at something behind my car. There were bullet casings all around my car, inches from my tires. “Your car is in the crime scene so we can’t let you leave,” he told me, as another cop strung yellow investigation tape around my parking spot.

My son emerged from the gym with his team. I stared at him and realized that if they had walked out five minutes earlier, it might have been a bloodbath. Rounds had gone through at least two nearby cars, including one containing the parent of a boy on the team, but by some miracle no other innocent people were hurt.

The cop, a Latino guy, advised me to stay away from the park, since it’s near the projects that “the gang controls.” He was telling me to listen to my inner racist! What if I’d pulled up to the parking lot, taken a look at the group of men, and decided not to go in? Would that have been the right thing to do—or the racist thing to do?

As the police officer talked to me, furious people from the neighborhood stood on the other side of the police tape and yelled things like, “Fuck you! Get the fuck out, this is our neighborhood!” Looking back, I probably should have apologized to the polite young man who screamed “white bitch,” since my “racism” is certainly what drew the police to his park that afternoon—it may have even instigated the shooting.

Common Sense is “Racism”

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IT ALWAYS GOES BACK TO MARX, SOMEHOW…

Leftists will get impatient or roll their eyes when they hear someone like Jordan Peterson describe postmodernist “critical theory,” critical race theory, or any aspect of identity politics (especially the phenomenon of “gender fluidity”) as “cultural Marxism.”  And yet. . .

Michael Anton drew my attention to a passage in the transcript of Leo Strauss’s seminar on Marx that he taught at the University of Chicago in 1960 (emphasis added):

Partly basing himself on Adam Smith, Marx makes this suggestion: the inequality of capacities which is empirically undeniable is the effect rather than the cause of the division of labor. So the inequality of capacities, in other words, is a social product, not a natural datum. Great inequality of capacities is certainly the effect of the division of labor. The division of labor in its turn leads rather to the impoverishment of the activities of the individual. 

All this would seem to lead to the conclusion that with the abolition of the division of labor, eventually there will be equality of capacities. But does not the inequality have natural roots? 

Yet what is the historical process except the conquest of nature, and therefore also to some extent of human nature? But to what extent is the historical process a conquest of human nature and therefore a conquest also of natural inequality? Marx is unable to give a principle here, and that is a revenge for his contempt about the question of the essence of man; because if the essence of man remains so wholly indeterminate, how can you then have any principle here?

Comment: this preceding paragraph expresses exactly the premises behind Kamala Harris’s seemingly incoherent recent statement that demonstrates the Marxist roots of her thought: “So equity, as a concept, says: Recognize that everyone has the same capacity, but in order for them to have equal opportunity to reach that capacity, we must pay attention to this issue of equity if we are to expect and allow people to compete on equal footing.”

To continue with Strauss:

Let us read the clearest passage of Marx on the natural root of the division of labor: “With the development of property the division of labor develops. The division of labor was originally nothing except the division of labor in the sexual act.Period.

In other words—that is of course an absolutely fantastic assertion, because if you want to be realistic you would have to say that this division of labor is not limited to the sexual act; it has to do with procreation as a whole. You know that men do not become pregnant but women do. 

But this wholly unreasonable limitation to the sexual act instead of taking the whole, procreation, is characteristic of the whole procedure.

 Now if you think this through, what is the conclusion? If the division of labor is rooted ultimately in the bisexuality of man—that is the primary form—and the division of labor is to be overcome, let’s get rid of the bisexuality. Yet don’t laugh. I mean, it is silly but it is a very serious problem, and there is of course—and you know, I’m not speaking of Mr. or Mrs. Jorgensen* in particular [laughter], but I’m concerned with the—people have given some thought throughout the ages to the question of producing human beings in test tubes. You know, the homunculus problem.

Well, that is a practically absurd suggestion; that is clear. But we are concerned now—what is the principle which allows us to say that is absurd and not merely some vague knowledge of what we can do and cannot do?

* NB, from the footnotes: “Christine Jorgenson underwent sex-reassignment surgery in 1951. Jorgenson, previously known as George William Jorgenson, Jr., became a celebrity after a front-page story in the (New York) Daily News in December 1952 told her story (“Ex-GI Becomes Blonde Beauty”).

On other words, Strauss more than 60 years ago anticipates one way in which the wholesale madness of Marxism would go retail in our time, and why sooner or later it had to express itself through direct hostility toward the essentially differences between men and women.

BLUF

Which brings us back to the Constitution, now as shredded and torn and lying on the floor of the Senate, as Caesar on the Ides of March. The easiest and most direct way to restore our American Republic (not “our democracy”) is to restore the Constitution in all of its salient particulars, including the restoration of the Ninth and Tenth amendments……

What’s in our future? Civil War? Partition? Amicable divorce? In the meantime, let me leave you with this, from my debut novel, the controversial Exchange Alley, written after my return from Moscow in 1991 and published in 1997 but set in the period just before the end of the Soviet Union:

There is an unmistakable odor about socialist countries that pervades every public place. It is a strong animal smell, composed in equal parts of sweat and unwashed clothes, Russian cigarettes, cheap perfume, piss, disinfectant, and leaded gasoline; in the heyday of Communism, every socialist country smelled the same. But in the mother church of Marxism-Leninism, the reek was stronger, sharper, more pervasive. It was the ur-stench of the Soviet system, the stink of a dying animal and with each passing year it got stronger and more difficult for foreigners, even fellow travelers in the west, to ignore.

Smell that here at home now? I thought you might.

What’s the Constitution Among Friends?

Thus spake the great George Washington Plunkitt, of Tammany Hall fame, and it makes a fitting epitaph for the noble experiment in self-government that is, or was, the United States of America. Last week, we discussed the now-explicit anti-constitutionalism and anti-Americanism of the modern Left, and their desire to see it on the ash heap of history, now that it’s served its purpose (like John Hurt in Alien) as their incubator and victim. From at least the time of Woodrow Wilson, the Democrats have despised the Constitution—which they think let them down in the battle over slavery—and have sought to kill it by the death of a thousand cuts, some of which have been delivered by the Supreme Court, some by legislation, and some by sheer inanition.

It’s time now to begin going into detail about what can be done and what can’t. The good news is, there are solutions, or rather, one simple one. The bad news is, it will never be implemented, because the century-long browbeating of the American public via the political establishment and their handmaidens in the news media makes that effectively impossible.

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She Can Shoot: The Rise of Female Gun Ownership
Women are one of the fastest-growing demographics in the firearms industry

Robyn Sandoval is seeing a sea change at the gun range: The executive director of A Girl and A Gun (AGAG) Women’s Shooting League is noticing that women are showing up to shoot more than ever before. “Every week, basically, we’re approached by a new instructor or range that wants to have a women-focused training program in their area,” Sandoval told Discourse.

Her experience is part of a great ongoing transformation in the gun world. Over the past two years, more than 5 million women bought a gun for the first time. That’s about 37% of the 13.8 million new gun owners that the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s dealer surveys identified over that time period. That makes women, alongside minority gun owners, one of the fastest-growing demographics in the firearms industry.

Why Women Are Buying Guns
In just over a decade, A Girl and A Gun has grown to include more than 200 chapters at 300 ranges across the country. And that growth only accelerated as America entered a period of unprecedented gun sales beginning in 2020. It’s no coincidence that period coincided with unprecedented chaos, Sandoval said.

“With the riots and the pandemic, most everything was kind of still fear-based…they’re afraid that they wouldn’t have access to protection,” she said. “That first responders wouldn’t be able to respond. Or they’d be targeted for violence.”

Breaking down barriers. A Girl and a Gun Executive Director Robyn Sandoval: “We’ve broken through a lot of barriers so that people recognize that the everyday moms and women of all walks of life are welcome at the range.”

A 2021 AGAG survey shared with Discourse shows that 45% of its membership were new shooters. The top reason those new shooters gave for buying a gun was concern over rioting and civil unrest. 59% of the new shooters listed a fear of physical safety or new gun bans as a reason they decided to buy.

But those weren’t the only reasons women gave as they began to seek out training and competition. One reason was simply the realization that something like AGAG was available to them.

“Many of them have just learned that training is an option for them,” Sandoval said. “That’s something we’re seeing more and more is that a lot of women thought that you had to be an operator or have law enforcement experience, or that civilian courses were not available to them, or nobody in their social circle had taken them before. Now, at A Girl and A Gun, we’ve broken through a lot of barriers so that people recognize that the everyday moms and women of all walks of life are welcome at the range.”

That may be surprising to many people, but not Sarah Hauptman. She has been involved with gun-rights activism in Minnesota for years and recently started helping to run the holster company Phlster, which her husband founded in 2011. There’s a big difference between when she first started shooting and today, she said: Women are increasingly a fixture at gun ranges.

A path for women. Phlster owner Sarah Hauptman: “When your friends shoot, and you see female faces shooting, and you see people who look like you, it’s a lot more accessible.”

“It used to be you’d go to a shooting class, and you’d be the only girl there,” Hauptman told Discourse. “Now, more often than not, there’s several.”

That kind of representation matters, Hauptman said: It’s created a kind of snowball effect. “When your friends shoot, and you see female faces shooting, and you see people who look like you, it’s a lot more accessible,“ she said. “You don’t have to swim against the current to get into it. There’s a path for you.”

Hauptman said breaking down the barriers to entry also leads many women to embrace what she sees as the empowering nature of gun ownership. Hauptman herself did not grow up with firearms. She only became interested later in life after she and her mother decided to try out shooting and had a proverbial blast. “The fun got me into it and kept me into it,” she said.

But after the fun factor brought her to gun ownership, it was its practical utility that made her want to stay. And it even made her want to advocate for others to get involved.

“You kind of realize, ‘Oh, this actually gives me a lot of capability, and it is a kind of equalizer,’” she said. “Once you realize that you can control that power and make it part of your life and add to your ability with it, you’re not giving that back. You’re not letting anyone take it from you either.”

Hauptman said that’s why more women are turning toward firearms to provide for the safety of their homes—households for which they are more often primarily responsible. “I think more women are taking responsibility for their own self-protection,” she said. “More women are living alone. Whether they’re single moms or whether they’re just single women, more women are solely responsible for their own self-defense.”

That’s borne out in AGAG’s data too, which shows 37% of its members are single. “More women than ever before are actually becoming the first gun owner in their home, as opposed to it being more male-driven in the past,” Sandoval said.

Less Pink, More Practicality
The gun industry has taken note of the increasing prominence of female shooters. Sandoval said the market has evolved for the better in recent years. Gun companies are now doing much more than just making superficial appeals to female shooters.

Ten years ago, it was a “pink it and shrink it” mentality when it came to product development. But now, there are really thoughtful products that women want to use, that are developed for women, that fit women’s hands better, that fit their bodies better, that give them more options for concealed carry. It used to be where women’s choices in concealed carry were pretty limited to really small guns, and now, most women, regardless of their size, can carry a full-size, even decked out with lights and optics.

Sandoval singled out Glock’s introduction of slimline models, such as the Glock 43 a few years ago, and Walther’s recent release of the PDP F-Series as examples of major industry players emphasizing designs that appeal to women. While those guns are also popular with men, their design took the unique needs of women into consideration. Sandoval said Walther consulted with AGAG on the design of the PDP F-Series, and the company’s process included measuring the hands of a thousand women to better tweak the layout of the pistol’s trigger and controls.

Mark Oliva, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said those kinds of considerations are becoming more and more common in the industry. “Designs of handguns for personal protection are incorporating features long sought by women, including smaller frames, lighter springs, redesigned magazines for easier loading, and shotgun and rifle stocks designed to more readily fit the needs for women with length of pull,” he told Discourse. “The AR-15, due to its easy adaptability and customization, has been a rifle that can easily fit the needs of women gun owners by simple and small adjustments.”

Sandoval also praised the latest innovations in concealed-carry options made with women shooters in mind, including those from Hauptman’s company and its competitor Dene Adams. “The Phlster Enigma has been a game changer in the industry,” Sandoval said. “That’s rocked the training world. Dene Adams also has really great products. I love that [Dene Adams products] have Kydex holsters in them to make everything safer. There’s a lot of activewear and concealment wear out there that don’t have the safety controls in place that instructors want to see.” She said the Kydex inserts help cover the trigger of the firearm to stop the trigger from being pulled unintentionally.

Both Sandoval and Hauptman emphasized that certain gun features that appeal to women, like the thinner grip of the Glock 43 or the Enigma’s beltless holster system, for example, are just as appealing to many men. In fact, while the Enigma has quickly earned a sort of cult status among female concealed carriers, it is even more popular with men.

“Our product is 100% gender neutral,” Hauptman said. “It works on basic physical principles that can be applied to any body type. The reason that it’s popular among women is because women are just less likely to wear belts.”

She said Phlster’s goal is to make it easier for everybody to carry regardless of their gender. However, women have long been underserved in the gun-carry market. So being able to more directly address their needs has helped the company gain an enthusiastic following.

“More women are successfully carrying, and they’re not giving up,” Hauptman said. “They’re not saying, ‘I can’t get it to conceal, so I can’t carry.’ And they’re not saying, ‘I can’t get comfortable, so I can’t carry.’ And they’re not saying, ‘I don’t feel safe.’”

Instead, they’re more easily surmounting the barriers that traditionally kept women from owning firearms. Hauptman hopes that brings more of them into the gun-owning community, and, ultimately, into gun-rights activism. “If we can make it easy for people to carry and have a stake, then those people have a much higher chance of going on to become advocates and preserving the Second Amendment for everyone,” she said.

Polling has consistently shown women are more supportive of gun restrictions than men. Women have also traditionally lagged behind men in gun ownership. As more women become gun owners, though, they may be affected by another long-term polling trend where gun owners are less supportive of gun restrictions. If more women become gun owners, and they become less supportive of gun-control laws, it could have a significant impact on gun laws at every level across the country. These trends are definitely worth watching in the years ahead.

The future of female gun ownership is bright—and it will likely continue to shine, Hauptman maintains. “I don’t know if as many women at their core will ever be as interested in shooting as men,” she said. “But I think the snowball effect is probably going to continue for a while.”

The Declaration of Independence is Unconstitutional

While there is plenty of talk and rhetoric proclaiming all that is “Constitutional” or “Unconstitutional”, when we examine and recognize that document which more than any other represents the soul of America, we find that document is: The Declaration of Independence.

With the simple preface, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”, the novel idea of constructing government solely as best servant to the People and their God given privileges was born.

Because of the Declaration, and specifically this prefatory clause, the United States has developed a whole philosophy of thought called “American Exceptionalism”.

This philosophy is what makes us special, different from any other nation on earth, and dare I say… Better!

To the chagrin, of our current Commander in Chief, better is not better at all.  In fact, better, a.k.a. American Exceptionalism, in the mind of our exalted leader, is arrogance.

To think, that we individuals might strive for excellence, driven by nothing other than our own will and the Providential opportunity with which we are presented is obscene to those like Obama who embrace a Statist ideology.

At his core, the Statist is a parasite who requires a subjugated public to advance himself.  Unlike the rugged individualist who advances by grit and determination, the Statist assembles his power through propaganda that pits those rugged individualists in society who have achieved, against the sloth groups who have been convinced that achievement is an accidental occurrence falling upon those who have been “lucky”.

Out of this thinking is bred a whole line of thought that has undermined our Founders vision for America and has convinced our populace that the Constitution is a “living, breathing” document which must be tempered by the populist mood of the age.

And of what character is this mood which is now arbiter and driver of public policy in America?

Schizophrenic, ignorant, sanctimonious, and dishonest are adjectives which come to mind.

It would seem, if we could apply contemporary American views and compare them to the theme of the foundational clause upon which our whole government has been built we ought to be able to find a congruence of understanding.

Let’s try:

We hold these truths to be self-evident,

These truths are unarguable, anyone from any walk of life, regardless of background, social or economic class, educated or uneducated would agree on undeniable fundamental truths.  What are fundamental truths?  Do all our inhabitants agree about them?

that all men are created equal,

declaring us all subject to the same unarguable truths, the same rule, and the same law.  No individual or group would be afforded any more or any less in the eyes of our law; ergo, it is not by accident that Lady Justice adorns a blindfold when ascertaining weights on a balance scale.

that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,

That separation of Church and State thing kind of falls apart right here.  Unalienable meaning that they cannot be taken away, and that we are endowed by our Creator—God, specifying exactly who endowed us with our Rights.  It is not a stretch to infer government’s only role here is to protect what God has provided.  Do all American’s believe this?  Is this the contemporary understanding of “Constitutional”?

that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

While the Founders were content to allow us to use our imagination in interpreting what unalienable rights we were endowed with, they wrote down a couple to make sure we got onto the right track.  Our most important rights were listed, and it is not by accident that Life was put first.

The order of rights was listed in a prioritized manner exalting Life the supreme right, and should any Right conflict with another, the latter would yield to the former.

If a mother felt pregnancy was in some way threatening to her Liberty, her baby’s right to Life was, in the scheme of things, of such priority that mom’s Liberty could be impinged for the duration of the child’s term.  Using the word “was” instead of “is” might seem offensive, however, in today’s culture, do we respect this distinction?  Is abortion today viewed as greater right than is Life?

Has Roe vs. Wade established a women’s right to end her pregnancy at any point before a child’s birth, for any reason?  Have we not heard Senators and Representatives state that the “right to choose” is a Constitutional right?

Politicians love to invoke all that is “Constitutional” or “Unconstitutional” in support of their views or positions, but if we cannot even agree on the most fundamental right from our most fundamental document, how on earth can we intellectually interpret whether or not Arizona can or cannot ask someone who has broken a law if he/she is in this country legally or not?

Today the United States recognizes Constitutionality of the Constitution, based not at all upon the words of the document, but upon the urges and inclinations of those who have seized power by appealing to the largest voting bloc.

There is no such thing as a Constitutional right which cannot be readily overturned, and in the contemporary interpretation, our Declaration of Independence is…

Unconstitutional.

The left is destroying the family one sexualized child at a time

Why would important, sophisticated, secure, even insanely wealthy individuals on the Left want to destroy Americans’ family lives? This is not a theoretical issue because the woke goal of family destruction may, in the end, afflict millions of innocent people. The reason behind this goal seems to be to clean up what the left identifies as the world’s excess of human flotsam. The preferred method is to sexualize children.

The default condition for humanity is and always has been the family, due in no small part to hormones and pheromones. The family also means safety. The nuclear family, though persistently imperfect, has always been and remains today the safest place for both children and adults.

The Left’s preferred method for destroying the family is to sexualize children very early. If children can be taught early that they can drink the milk for free, they will not have to buy the cow. In other words, adults raised under loosened standards of sexual conduct will not feel required to assume the responsibilities of raising a family.

Image: A little boy “drag queen” interviewing a drag queen. YouTube screen grab.

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Long, and pulls no punches.

BLUF
We are at this place again, except the monstrous child abuse is not happening behind closed doors. It’s happening out in the open, in major hospitals, schools, and other institutions. Like eugenics in the early 20th century, it is celebrated by all the most progressive institutions in our society. All of us are propagandized daily to accept and affirm it. What the criminals in clerical collars who violated the innocence of children never dared to do openly, the trans-totalitarians in doctor’s coats and other symbols of authority now shout from the rooftops. As Chris Rufo recently documented, these activists have infiltrated schools with an army of sex-and-gender radicals. Meanwhile, from the rest of us? Aside from resistance here and there, nothing.

What are you going to do about it? What are you going to tell your children one day? Chris Rufo, Matt Walsh, Christina Buttons, Chaya Raichik, and Billboard Chris Elston will be able to hold their heads up in honor, if they will have been allowed to keep their heads, that is. How about you, pastor? How about you, doctor? How about you, Mom and Dad?

Trans Totalitarianism: Time For Moral Panic.
People have been propagandized out of having a healthy reaction to a moral horror — the colonization of children’s minds and bodies — overtaking our society

The phrase “moral panic” refers to a fear-driven mass overreaction to a phenomenon that is either false or minor. Witch hunts are the usual manifestation of a moral panic. There are no witches (well, technically not true, at least these days, but the witches didn’t poison the well), so to freak out and persecute women because they might be a witch is a classic example of moral panic. The Satanic abuse craze of the 1990s is another. Again: a “moral panic” ensues when there is a mass freakout over something that doesn’t exist, or is extremely minor and in no way justifies the size and intensity of the reaction.

The other day, I saw on Twitter someone saying that they are a good liberal and all that, but they are really worried about what they’re seeing regarding the emerging culture of the medical and teaching professions encouraging children to transition to the opposite sex. “But,” said this person, “I don’t want to surrender to a moral panic.”

I submit to you that a moral panic is precisely the correct response to this egregious phenomenon. That is, what is happening is so hideous, and so widespread, and the reaction by most people to this point has been so muted to non-existent, that if you are not panicking, you are not paying attention.

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My Advice to the Young

Quite often, I am asked for my opinion. You might think that the topic would be politics, or history, or perhaps business, but usually, it is not. Rather, I am asked how a young man should approach his life, in these days of confusion, of uncertain future, of corrosive liquid modernity. In response, I piecemeal a relatively short answer, tailored to the questioner. After numerous such quick exchanges, I decided to think more deeply on the question, seeking principles of general applicability. So here is my advice to the young, by whom I mean men and women between eighteen and thirty-five, about how to approach their futures.

My advice is more directed at men than at women—but I direct advice to women as well, mostly separate and different advice. I hesitated a little bit to offer advice to women—until I realized my hesitation had been hypnotized into me by decades of feminist propaganda, which falsely claims that men should never instruct women, only the reverse. In truth, any man, and especially a father, should most definitely not just offer advice, but issue directions, to both men and women. The idea that men should not direct women in life choices is a degenerate artefact of modernity; relationships between men and women are partnerships, necessarily involving mutual instruction.

My advice is predicated on my optimistic vision of the future, which I have laid out elsewhere in detail. I assume that the political and social structures of what is now called America will, within no more than a decade, be very different, after some difficulties. If you believe that current American structures will last indefinitely, you should not listen to me. You should either scrabble to join the ever-more-crowded professional-managerial elite, or join the Amish. If you believe that a fracture followed by reworking of our society is coming, then I have something to offer you.

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MESSAGE TO THE UNVACCINATED:

“Even if I were pollinated and fully vaccinated, I would admire the unvaccinated for withstanding the greatest pressure I have ever seen, even from partners, parents, children, friends, colleagues and doctors.

People who were capable of such personality, courage and critical ability are undoubtedly the best of humanity. They are everywhere, in all ages, levels of education, states and ideas. They are of a special kind; they are the soldiers that every army of light wants to have in its ranks. They are the parents that every child wants to have and the children that every parent dreams of having.
They are beings above the average of their societies, they are the essence of the people who have built all cultures and conquered horizons. They are there, next to you, they look normal, but they are superheroes.

They did what others could not, they were the tree that withstood the hurricane of insults, discrimination and social exclusion. And they did it because they thought they were alone, and believed they were the only ones.

Banned from their families’ tables at Christmas, they never saw anything so cruel. They lost their jobs, let their careers sink, had no more money … but they didn’t care. They suffered immeasurable discrimination, denunciation, betrayal and humiliation … but they kept going.

Never before in humanity has there been such a “casting”, now we know who are the best on planet Earth. Women, men, old, young, rich, poor, of all races or religions, the unvaccinated, the chosen of the invisible ark, the only ones who managed to resist when everything collapsed.

That’s you, you passed an unimaginable test that many of the toughest Marines, Commandos, Green Berets, astronauts and geniuses could not withstand.
You are made of the stuff of the greatest who ever lived, those heroes born among ordinary men who glow in the dark.”

Author unknown

For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing. Acts 17:21-31

BLUF
None of this is to say that whatever the Current Thing happens to be is trivial or unimportant; it’s only to say that Current Thingism is a sign of democratic decay that erodes the vital role of deliberation that is essential for our system of government. With all this in view, the fact that so many of the self-professed defenders of Our Democracy are so adamantly devoted to the Current Thing calls their motives into question. The next time you see an American flying a Ukrainian flag, ask yourself: could they find the nation on a map?

The Tyranny of the ‘Current Thing’

There is no better evidence of the managed nature of what passes as “democratic deliberation” than the recent development of “Current Thingism.” Even if you aren’t familiar with the term, you know the phenomenon well. There are many crises unfolding in contemporary America, and the “Current Thing” is whichever one our elites insist should be the focus of our attention at the present moment.

For a while, the Current Thing was #MeToo. From 2016 until 2018, the Current Thing was Russian collusion. After that scheme unraveled, we moved through a series of Current Things, each of which was said to compound the grave threat Trump supposedly posed to Our Democracy: in March 2020, it was Covid-19; for a few months that summer, it was systemic racism; then, it was the Delta variant; finally, for a stretch of early 2021, it was the January 6th “insurrection.” And when Russia invaded Ukraine, Ukraine became the Current Thing. You knew it was the new Current Thing because all the smart people suddenly changed how they spelled and pronounced “Kiev.”

So, you know what the Current Thing is. What, then, is “Current Thingism”? Current Thingism is the default mindset of a certain segment of the American population: typically, the professional, liberal, educated, urban caste of society. Current Thingism is an enduring assumption that whatever the Current Thing happens to be, it should, in fact, be the Current Thing—the issue among issues.

Current Thingism also enables some judgment on the part of the Current Thingist. Because the Current Thing deserves our total attention and deference, anyone who disputes the existence or the urgency of the Current Thing is a problem. The person who does not concede the urgency of the Current Thing is dumb, dangerous, or both. Remember the treatment of those who doubted the efficacy of masks? Those who were reluctant about mRNA vaccines? Those who doubted the wisdom of sending billions of dollars to fund Ukraine’s defense? Such is the fate of those who don’t get in line with the Current Thing.

Although America has many pressing problems, Current Thingism itself is a threat to the nation. To some degree, it is a threat because America is facing so many crises. Current Thingism artificially elevates one political concern over all the others, which justifies inaction on other matters that may, in fact, be more urgent. Some will argue that while the term “Current Thing” is new, the phenomenon is not: they might say that certain issues have always been prioritized over other issues. They’re right and wrong.

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Japan’s Gun Restrictions Are Far From Sufficient To Explain Its Low Crime Rate
While gun control enthusiasts rushed to defend Japan’s firearm restrictions after Shinzo Abe’s assassination, copying that approach in the U.S. is legally, politically, and practically impossible.

The improvised weapon that an assassin used to murder former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last Friday suggests both the impact and the limitations of strict gun laws that make it nearly impossible to legally possess firearms. If it were easier to buy a gun in Japan, the killer presumably would not have resorted to a homemade, jerry-rigged device consisting of two metal tubes bound together with electrical tape. At the same time, the incident demonstrates that no amount of legislation can prevent someone from obtaining a firearm if he is determined to do so.

Abe’s killer constructed a double-barreled weapon that was about 16 inches long, capable of firing two rounds without reloading. The New York Times reports that “it is unknown what kind of ammunition was used.” But in a video of the assassination, “two shots can be heard, approximately two and a half seconds apart, with a deep report that suggests they came from a cartridge such as those fired by a shotgun commonly used by civilian hunters.” The Guardian reports that police found “several similar homemade weapons” in the killer’s home.

While they are less reliable and accurate than factory-produced firearms, such guns can be readily made with materials commonly available from hardware stores. A bigger investment is required for more satisfactory results. But even without prefabricated parts, Reason‘s J.D. Tuccille notes, a CNC mill like the Ghost Gunner 3 “can turn a raw block of metal into an AR-15 receiver.” People also can “use widely available designs to craft a firearm with 3D printers,” with results somewhere between the two other options.

“Japan has exceptionally strict regulations that prohibit the average citizen from obtaining a factory-manufactured firearm,” the Times notes. “Civilian ownership of firearms, except for those used for hunting purposes, is generally prohibited by the country’s Firearms and Swords Control Law.”

Times reporter Max Fisher suggests that the assassination, which might look like a failure of Japanese-style gun control, “is a reminder of, and maybe even underscores, those restrictions’ success.” He notes that the attack was shocking not just because of the high-profile target but also because gun violence is extremely rare in Japan, where civilians owned an estimated 377,000 registered and unregistered firearms in 2017, or about 1 per 300 people. The U.S. ratio at the time was estimated to be about 1.2 per resident, or 400 times as high. Taking into account gun sales since then, the current U.S. ratio is even higher.

That comparison reflects a stark difference in public policies, but it also reflects a stark difference in the facts that policy makers must contend with. Even leaving aside the constraints that the Second Amendment imposes on gun control in the United States, the fact that Americans already own more than 400 million firearms means that copying Japan’s approach is not a feasible option.

That reality also means that politically possible options—including widely popular proposals such as “red flag” laws, bans on particular kinds of guns or magazines, and expanded background checks for gun buyers—will have only a marginal impact on access to firearms in the United States. Furthermore, that impact will be felt most by peaceful, law-abiding Americans, since criminals are highly motivated to obtain weapons and have many extralegal ways to get them.

Keeping those points in mind, what does Japan’s experience tell us about the effectiveness of gun control? “The country experiences fewer than 10 gun deaths nationwide in most years, compared to tens of thousands in the United States,” Fisher writes. “Since 2017, Japan has recorded 14 gun-related deaths, in a country of 125 million people.”

Fisher overstates the annual number of firearm homicides in the United States, which in the decade from 2011 through 2020 averaged about 10,500. But he is certainly right that people kill each other with guns much more often in the United States than in Japan. And not just with guns.

In 2017, Japan had the world’s lowest homicide rate: 0.2 per 100,000 people, compared to 5.3 per 100,000 in the United States. Nearly 11,000 of the more than 15,000 murders recorded in the U.S. that year, or about 73 percent, involved firearms. Even if none of those gun murders had happened, in other words, the U.S. homicide rate still would have been more than seven times as high as Japan’s. And taking into account substitution of weapons, even the impossible feat of eliminating all civilian-held firearms would leave an even larger gap between the two counties.

The relative prevalence of guns clearly is not enough to explain the enormous difference in lethal crime between Japan and the United States. That much is also apparent from comparisons between Japan and other countries with strict gun laws. The homicide rates in Australia, Germany, and the U.K., for example, are several times as high as the homicide rate in Japan, although still a fraction of the U.S. rate. In Russia, which has gun laws substantially stricter than the ones Americans face, homicides are even more common than in the United States.

Japan’s gun restrictions do not explain why murders committed with alternative weapons, including knives and blunt objects as well as homemade firearms, are so unusual in that country. Japan’s remarkable peacefulness clearly goes far beyond the firearm regulations its legislators have decided to impose.

“Pressure to conform and internalized willingness to do so are much stronger in Japan than in America,” Independence Institute gun policy scholar David Kopel noted three decades ago. Kopel argued that “the spirit of conformity provides the best explanation for Japan’s low crime rate.”

Japan stands out in another way: Its suicide rate is relatively high. In 2019, the rate in Japan was 14.6 per 100,000 people, compared to 13.9 per 100,000 in the United States, 10.5 per 100,000 in Canada, 8.5 per 100,000 in the U.K., and 4.6 per 100,000 in Greece. When it comes to suicide, the scarcity of firearms in Japan does not seem to have had the effect you might expect.

In any case, the urge to defend Japan’s firearm restrictions after Abe’s assassination, while predictable in the context of the U.S. gun control debate, is beside the point when it comes to practical policy discussions. The same “spirit of conformity” that Kopel saw as important in explaining Japan’s low crime rate, he suggested, “also explains why the Japanese people accept strict gun control.” By contrast, he said, “a gun ban in America similar to that in Japan would be alien to our society, which for over 300 years has had the world’s strongest gun culture.” He argued that “Japan’s gun laws are part of an authoritarian philosophy of government that is fundamentally at odds with America’s traditions of liberty.”

Whether or not you buy that analysis, more than 400 million facts on the ground vastly complicate any practical lessons that American policy makers can draw from Japan. Neither those facts nor the constitutional constraints imposed by the Second, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments can be wished away, no matter how much American gun control enthusiasts might like to pretend otherwise.

BLUF
They could have taken their victories and shut up, but they couldn’t. They had to push and push and push and push until they finally ended up in court. They can’t stop because their rage comes from the vast, burning nihilistic emptiness inside them that no amount of expanded abortion rights or “pride” months or drag queen story hours or transgressive love stories in Disney cartoons can ever satisfy.

….in the end, that’s what they really want. An end to their restlessness and their war against their own savage gods. All we want, by contrast, is to be left alone with a culture we love and prize and wish to pass on to our children. But they want to take us with them because, as we all know, misery loves company. Either we’ll learn to care, or they’ll die trying. Because in their world, right now, everything’s coming up guns and Roeses, and they can’t have that, not now, not ever.

Guns N’ Roeses.

It has long been a dictum of mine that, as far as the progressive Left is concerned, “they never stop, they never sleep, they never quit.” After their twin defeats at the Supreme Court last week, regarding two of their most sensitive issues (both of which derive from their devotion to cultural suicide, which is their principal objective), don’t expect them to give up easily. They subscribe to their version of Islamism or the Brezhnev Doctrine: once they’ve conquered moral or physical tparerritory, it can never go back to the way it was. They see themselves as the heroes of their own movies, good red-diaper babies constantly battling the forces of revanchism and irrendentism, which are you. The idea that they’re the bad guy never occurs to them:

These are, after all, the same people who refused to accept George W. Bush’s narrow presidential victory in 2000 (“selected, not elected”); refused to accept Bush’s win over John Kerry in 2004; rained hellfire and brimstone down on poor Sarah Palin, whose only crime was a surfeit of motherhood, and snarlingly turned on her running mate and their erstwhile favorite maverick, John McCain in 2008; and went bonkers over the surprise victory of Donald Trump in 2016, thus triggering the entire “Russian collusion” hoax that started with Hillary Clinton and eventually came to embrace the FBI, the intelligence community, the media, and the judicial system.

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