Gun Lobby Trolls, Flag Waving Liars

Gun Lobby/NRA Trolls

As you know, we have been invaded by the paid gun lobby web trolls for calling Alan Korwin on the carpet for repeating AND further embellishing one of the gun lobby’s favorite lies on C-Span.

Most recently, troll Bob S has been challenging my use of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) Kellerman Study which states:

In homes with guns, a member of the household is almost three times as likely to be the victim of a homicide compared to gun-free homes.

Like parrots squawking in unison the gun lobby trolls insist the study is “oft-refuted” and flawed. It isn’t flawed and NOBODY has questioned it, except admitted gun freaks.

I checked LexusNexus and found nothing refuting the Kellerman Study. One can be fairly sure if an NEJM published study is challenged and fails, heads roll and careers are destroyed. Today Kellerman maintains the highest level of credentials and respect in his field.

Wikipedia has a good synopsis of the gun-lobby/NRA attack.

Kellermann is well known for his research on the epidemiology of firearm related injuries and deaths, published over two decades in 50 peer-reviewed publications. In a 1995 interview, Kellermann saw firearm and other injuries not as random, unavoidable acts but as preventable public health priorities: “I grew up around guns. My dad taught me how to shoot when I was eleven or twelve years old. Firearms are fascinating pieces of equipment. I enjoy the sport of shooting, although I rarely shoot anymore. However, as a clinician, as someone who is committed to emergency medicine, it is equally evident to me that firearm violence is wreaking havoc on public health.”

In this polarized debate, Kellermann’s studies quantifying the risk of mortality associated with gun ownership attracted criticism from pro-gun organizations and individuals. A National Rifle Association of America web page contends that Dr Kellermann “severely understates defensive uses of guns,” and that his “conclusions provide anti-gunners propaganda.” Kellermann’s findings have been linked to the June, 1996 Republican-led decision of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee to strip US$2.6 million from the budget of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control – the exact amount previously set aside for NCIPC/CDC research into the causes and effects of firearm-related death and injury.

In one comment, troll Bob S made this desperate attempt to smear Kellerman.

You know, where even Kellerman admits the study was flawed

Following the link conjures an image of a greasy, white, gun-crazed pervert tapping away on a computer on the community room of some Baptist church deep in the boonies outside Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

So just as the gun lobby punished Kellerman for doing his job, Alan Korwin must be held to account for malicious and deliberate deception of the public.

And Alan can thank Bob S, for inspiring yet another public thrashing from OneUtah, for the gun lobby folks on the permanent record

PS: I notice David Hardy, (another peddler of lies using film) went away pretty fast, at least in name.

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  1. #1 by Bob S. on May 31, 2008 - 3:31 pm

    Cliff,

    Dr. Arthur L. Kellermann, one of the most prolific and influential health advocate sages, cites as supporting his view “that limiting access to firearms could prevent many suicides” an article expressly concluding the opposite.[54] An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) alleges: “Research examining the effectiveness of gun control in specific locales suggests that it can reduce violence.” However, the authors cite articles whose only relevance is in support of the opposite conclusion.[55] Another JAMA (p.530)article attributes increased homicide to increased cocaine use and gun availability among New York City minority teenagers.[56] The article cites actual evidence to show increased cocaine use, but its citations, supposedly showing increased firearms availability, indicate the reverse.[57]


    Even Kellermann later revised his numbers

    After controlling for these characteristics, we found that keeping a gun in the home was strongly and independently associated with an increased risk of homicide (adjusted odds ratio, 2.7; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.6 to 4.4). Virtually all of this risk involved homicide by a family member or intimate acquaintance.

    Perhaps there are other factors involved then just the gun in the house (same source)

    case households more commonly contained an illicit-drug user, a person with prior arrests, or someone who had been hit or hurt in a fight in the home.

    Another study puts the Odds Ratio (OR) much lower than Kellermann

    The adjusted OR for suicide was 3.44 (95% CI 3.06 to 3.86) for persons with a gun at home.

    Another study showing the revised, not the original information you posted.

    Kellermann’s team found only six variables that were strong enough to be included in the final model. They found that the following variables were associated with the following increased murder risks:

    Murder risk,
    Variable Odds adjusted ratio
    —————————————————
    Illicit drug use 5.7 times
    Being a renter 4.4
    Household member hit or
    hurt in a fight in the home 4.4
    Living alone 3.7
    Guns in the house 2.7
    Household member arrested 2.5

    Looks like illicit drug use is a higher predicator, maybe we should outlaw that. Renting is another higher predictor, let’s get rid of renting and make everyone own their home, that will reduce the violence rate, right?

    Even in their own study, the authors state

    “Mortality studies such as ours do not include cases in which burglars or intruders are wounded or frightened away by the use or display of a firearm. Cases in which would-be intruders may have purposely avoided a house known to be armed are also not identified…A complete determination of firearm risks versus benefits would require that these figures be known.

    Don’t you think not including those issues might make it a flawed study?

    How many successful self-defense events do not result in death of the criminal? An analysis by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz (Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, v. 86 n.1 [Fall 1995]) of successful defensive uses of firearms against criminal attack concluded that the criminal is killed in only one case in approximately every one thousand attacks. If this same ratio is applied to defensive uses in the home, then Kellermann’s “43 times” is off by a factor of a thousand and should be at least as small as 0.043, not 43.

    So if the author revises his study, doesn’t not include important information; the study isn’t flawed? We aren’t using the same dictionary if that is the case.

    I have made no attempts to smear Mr. Kellermann; only show the conclusions he arrived at were flawed. I have said nothing against him. Please don’t lie about what I’ve said.

    Call me names, repeatedly make hypocritical attacks; it doesn’t matter to me. I’ll keep fighting for my rights.

  2. #2 by Cliff Lyon on June 1, 2008 - 9:20 am

    Thank you Bob S, for laying out the record and confirming Dr. Kellerman’s study. most of what your referenced was affirmed the now accepted estimate that the presence of a handgun in the home increased the chance, that someone in that home will be shot AND die from that gun.

    AND THATS JUST ABOUT DEATH! What about injury.

    Bob Dude. You are on a different plane. No parent gives a shit whether the confidence interval in the 3-times-more-likely adjusts 2%. Even the number were TWICE (2 times) more likely to die. No one cares.

    Then you talk about murders of drug dealers, addicts and criminals as if they don’t matter.

    How dare you think that somehow your rights trump the rights of every human being whose life is less secure because YOU DECIDED your need a hand gun just in case.

    People are people Bob. Not everyone is able or cares to learn how to handle a gun, and God knows many seasoned veterans screw up too. Not everyone is as responsible as you are. But you cannot hold the entire Country to your standards (as much as we’d like to) on the gun issue. It ain’t a car.

    We have enough trouble staying safe on highways among trained, licensed, and experienced drivers for whom driving is a PRIViLEGE.

  3. #3 by Bob S. on June 1, 2008 - 10:34 am

    Cliff,

    A couple of points about the Kellerman study
    1st you should admit the original numbers you posted were flawed. The question is did you know they were flawed but used them to manipulate the public?

    2nd, Kellerman’s study is still flawed and I pointed that out. His selection criteria intentionally limited cases were the use of handguns without injury happened.

    Mortality studies such as ours do not include cases in which burglars or intruders are wounded or frightened away by the use or display of a firearm. Cases in which would-be intruders may have purposely avoided a house known to be armed are also not identified…

    So his conclusion is severely flawed. If he is claiming that every time a handgun is used, 2.7 times as many people are murdered but doesn’t not include uses where someone was scared away, Doesn’t that many his ratio off? Of course it does.
    But Kellermann wasn’t out to find out if handguns were effective in self defense; his were to prove handguns were dangerous. That is why he excluded cases that would invalidate his point of view.

    I”m not sure what you are trying to say here,

    No parent gives a shit whether the confidence interval in the 3-times-more-likely adjusts 2%. Even the number were TWICE (2 times) more likely to die. No one cares.

    If I understand you right, parents do care. If I, as a parent that something was 37 more likely to be used in a suicide than to defend myself or my family, I would hesitate or re-think. That is why, I believe that Kellermann; slanted the numbers. That type of mis-information as been quoted and used to cast responsible gun owners as irresponsible. But the chances are drastically less than that, and Kellermann’s own notes prove it. He didn’t include cases where firearms were used and no one was hurt.

    Then you talk about murders of drug dealers, addicts and criminals as if they don’t matter.

    Wrong again Cliff. I don’t say or imply anyone doesn’t matter. I simply try to put the risk factors in perspective. Something seemingly lacking in your posting. If there is one segment of the population that is at overwhelming at risk, doesn’t it make sense to make a law that affects the entire country? No.

    As the numbers showed, Kellermann’s own study, there are other factors that determine the likelihood of violence than having a gun at home. Illicit drug use is the highest predictor. I point this out and I’m accused of not caring for people, that’s bunk.

    Being a renter is a higher predictor than having a gun in the home, but I don’t hear you calling for rental bans? Why not. You want to run everyone’s live, why not address the issues in order of importance?

    Criminal lifestyle is the highest predictor of violence, why not address that?
    Simple, because you, and everyone should know; Criminals won’t obey the law. Gun Control laws adversely impact lawful gun owners more than the criminals.

    And yes, My rights to a firearm do trump your and others right to feel safe. My firearms don’t make others less secure. IF, and that is a mighty big IF, my illegitimate use of a firearm endangers someone, we have laws to handle that.

    The biggest difference in our philosophies is you want to dictate how others may live and act. I don’t.
    I have advocated that every citizen carry a firearm, but I have never advocated a law requiring that. Because others cant or won’t be responsible with a TOOL (that’s all a firearm is), you want no one to be able to carry one.

    You are right it isn’t a car. In 1997, motor vehicle accidents had a rate of 16.3. Sounds awfully lot like many folks can’t or won’t learn how to handle one correctly, the entire homicide rate was only 5.8. If you really cared about people, you would address their inability to use cars correctly first.
    But is that really your goal or are you trying to limit my right because you don’t like it?

    Why have laws to address nearly every aspect of how to operate a motor vehicle safely, right?

    Are they working? Nope, people still drink and drive, drive while impaired under drugs, drive while impaired by lack of sleep, distracted, etc.

    What law is suddenly going to make everyone a safe and responsible driver?
    Answer, NONE. There is no way to required it.

    Liberty is risky. When you give people the freedom to something there is a possibility the right decision won’t be made. That is a risk I’m willing to take.
    Your efforts seem to be bend on reducing people’s liberty.

  4. #4 by Peter on June 1, 2008 - 4:55 pm

    Let’s see here:

    Your posting consists of 12 sentences you wrote, minus the quotations. Seven of them, (58%) contain insults or outright ad hominem attacks.

    What, simply being wrong on the facts isn’t enough for you?

    But don’t think that this is a criticism, quite the opposite. Please keep it up. We need more earnestly misguided folks such as yourself typing yourself into irrelevance.

  5. #5 by Albert O. on June 1, 2008 - 6:09 pm

    Peter:

    Is there a point to your comment? ‘Cause I am missing is if there is!

  6. #6 by Peter on June 1, 2008 - 7:14 pm

    Hi Albert,

    The point is simple: gun control hasn’t worked and trying for more is simply stupid. The histrionics and vitriol shown by Our Gracious Host isn’t unique to him, in fact, one can see this nearly anywhere the issue is under discussion.

    I recall reading somewhere that about 3% of the Colonial population was actually engaged against the British, the rest being Loyalists or didn’t get involved. Using that as a guide, that would suggest that approximately 3,000,000 (three million) so-called ‘gun crazies’ would actively resist any bans or confiscations. Besides the obvious logistical problems that any polity would face trying to carry out a confiscation, there is nowadays this thing called the Internet, and each and every child killed during a raid would become a posthumous YouTube star. Even rabid anti-gunners would be swayed watching the physical results of all their socio-political efforts.

    Trying to control an inanimate object is off point. It hasn’t worked with drugs, it didn’t work with alcohol. If that weren’t bad enough, unlike both recreational drugs and alcohol, guns aren’t associated with immoral behavior and have the benefit of having been specifically mentioned in our founding documents. I said ‘immoral’ not ‘illegal’, OK?

    And that is the other point I’m making: it’s the person, not the thing that we need to address. We need to hold the criminals accountable in the near term, and then we need to hold ourselves accountable in the longer term. Me, you say? Yep, we are all at fault here when we live separately, when we look at poverty and the fact that many young men go into the drug trade because there aren’t any alternatives as ‘someone else’s problem’. Sure, we’ll be called insensitive and racist. Get over it. There’s certainly more name-calling up above than that.

    Here’s a quick experiment: What do you call a black man with a gun? A) A Mugger, B) An Equal. Which did you choose?

    Since 1640, gun control has been used to keep those pesky minorities in check (including mine as a result of the Sullivan Law in NYC (damnable Eye-talians!)), because otherwise they would be able to demand a place at the table. Either you are in support of Liberty And Justice For All or you are not.

    In closing, I again encourage Mr. Lyin’ to keep it up. The more silly he and his fellow travellers become, the sooner this whole gun control nonsense can be put to bed, and the sooner we might realistically deal with the troubles that exist within our midst. I lived in the Bronx during the crack epidemic of the 1980’s; I saw what happened. I have no doubt if that the populace in general were armed, yes, if all those dangerous brown people had guns, the drug epidemic would have been stopped before it truly began. You don’t deal with dangerous and sociopathic people by surrendering your best means of defense. And demanding that others do can only make me wonder what your underlying agenda really is.

  7. #7 by Cliff on June 1, 2008 - 9:28 pm

    Uh Peter,

    Gun control HAS worked in other countries like England and Australia.

    Chances are you will fire back with some NRA generated propaganda and then I shall thrust my sword in those references and give your the real facts.

    Chances are, you don’t have them.

    As for you Bob. It doesn’t matter that Kellerman didn’t, as he acknowledges, deal with no lethal gun uses. But that was not the purpose of the study.

    The purpose of the study was to give the world some basic facts about what happens when you introduce a gun in the home.

    People use them, and not always for goos things.

    Its a simple fact really and of course would mean nothing if in fact guns were used more often to defend oneself. But since thats not the case, who really cares.

    Let me explain it another way: If you keep a gun in your home, its more likely an innocent person will be killed, than you will ever use it to defend shit.

    Fact. Done. Case closed.

  8. #8 by John Hardin on June 1, 2008 - 9:49 pm

    Cliff:
    How can we possibly produce any evidence to refute your claims if you dismiss all of it unseen as “NRA-generated propaganda”?

  9. #9 by Bob S. on June 1, 2008 - 9:52 pm

    Cliff,

    The purpose of the study was to give the world some basic facts about what happens when you introduce a gun in the home.

    That doesn’t make a bit of sense Cliff. That’s like saying, let’s study the effectiveness of airbags, but not counting any accidents where someone didn’t die.

    Millions of homes have firearms, in particular handguns, in them. Kellermann deliberately excluded those cases where a firearm was in the home, was reported used, but NO ONE was hurt. Gee, that’s a really effective way to study what happens when you introduce a gun into the home.

    People use them, and not always for goos things.

    This I agree with completely, but just because some people don’t use them for good things doesn’t mean we should ban them. Have knives been always used for good things? NO.

    How about prescription drugs? By your reasoning, since some people don’t use them for good things, we should ban them, right?

    Fact, done case closed nothing.

    As far as people not doing good things with firearms, care to comment on WHO are doing those things?

    (Hint, look at the risk factors–what was the highest risk factor?)

  10. #10 by jdberger on June 2, 2008 - 2:02 am

    I’m a paid gun lobby troll?

    Someone must be misrouting my check.

    This is unfortunate. This particular line of attack is getting old, too. About as old and tired as your repeated attempts at grabbing a Joyce Foundation grant.

    C’mon, Cliff – why the attack on Alabama and Baptists?

    And Cliff, given your noted failure at Google-fu - I wouldn’t put much faith in your ability to manage Lexis/Nexus. I’m still waiting for you to turn up all your great oppostion research on me.

    As far as Mr. Hardy is concerned, given that he’s a credentialed gun advocate, do you really think you have the right to question his position, Cliff? After all, where are your credentials in the gun debate? All you do is parrot the VPC and Brady (and half the time you can’t even correctly cut and paste). Geez – you even seem to be unaware of one of the most important Appellate Court decisions regarding the Second Amendment in the last 10 years, Parker v. DC. Isn’t that a little pathetic, Cliff?

    So, once again, you leap into the fray with your infantile screaming, pounding on the floor like a two year old who just lost his cookie.

    Wipe your tears, Cliff. Get over it. War’s over, man.

  11. #11 by Cliff on June 2, 2008 - 4:44 am

    Its easy Hardy. Here in the real world, we’ve got the tools to determine fact from chaff. Thats hows come we have cars and cure, space missions and computers.

    From the looks of your website, you’ve recently begun to emerge from the eighties. When did life pass you by?

  12. #12 by Bob S. on June 2, 2008 - 5:15 am

    Cliff,

    Since you’ve refused to acknowledge most of the information I’ve posted about England’s crime rate, how about you telling us?

    You say gun control has been successful in England and Australia, right?
    So what constitutes a success?
    Overall crime rate down?
    Violence levels down?
    Murder rates down?
    Robbery down?

    How about posting the supporting information to back up your claim? And remember, don’t use isolated facts or numbers- you don’t like that.

  13. #13 by jdberger on June 2, 2008 - 8:12 am

    Please compare and contrast the “effectiveness” of gun control in England and Australia with the efectiveness of gun control in Russia and Mexico. The former have had a tradition of civilian firearms ownership (up until the last century) the latter have not had any tradition of legal civilian firearms ownership.

    So Cliff? Can you make anything of the statistics? Or are you just a Joyce Foundation troll? An angry ineffectual liar?

  14. #14 by jdberger on June 2, 2008 - 12:16 pm

    In one comment, troll Bob S made this desperate attempt to smear Kellerman.

    You know, where even Kellerman admits the study was flawed

    Following the link conjures an image of a greasy, white, gun-crazed pervert tapping away on a computer on the community room of some Baptist church deep in the boonies outside Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

    Cliff Lyon has shown that his reading skills are pretty lame, his grasp of history is lacking, he’s without basic math skills – and now he understands nothing about geography.

    San Ramon, California isn’t anywhere NEAR Alabama, Cliff.

  15. #15 by Peter on June 2, 2008 - 1:16 pm

    Cliffy,
    You must really think, that is if you think at all, that I’m as stupid as you are. Since you are as dense and as mentally gifted as a brick, I’ll lay it out for you in a way that not even you can misinterpret:

    I am not going to play ‘duelling gun studies’ with you. The so-called ‘studies’ you insist on citing are either generally discredited or are based on suspicious methodology. That would be bad enough, but citing other studies, ones that the grown-ups (ie, not you) generally agree are accurate, are dismissed out of hand by you. I don’t claim to be the smartest guy around, but I’m clearly smarter than you are, certainly smart enough to not engage you in a way that you think you can respond to.

    The only one here that takes you seriously is you. I visit here because I’m waiting for stuff that I get paid for to finish up, usually re-installs of operating systems. As an unintended benefit, you get more and more silly with each posting.

    I know that within my own immediate neighborhood there are between 45-60 firearms of all types. My development was built in 1979-80, and during all that time there have been Zero shootings. Which means that your unfounded assertion:
    “Let me explain it another way: If you keep a gun in your home, its more likely an innocent person will be killed, than you will ever use it to defend shit.” is at least untrue, and based on your current and earlier statements is rather more likely a willful lie.

    But please don’t stop, and don’t change anything, Mr. Lyin': you’re helping our side more than you can possibly imagine. Please keep claiming that gun control in the UK and Australia is working. When someone repeats that canard to me, all I have to do is point out Teh G00gle, and the claimant gets to refute that BS all by him/herself without any additional effort from me. I like easy. Easy is good. Useful idiots are good, therefore you are good. Keep it up, Cliffy.

  16. #16 by Albert O. on June 2, 2008 - 2:43 pm

    Peter:

    Wasn’t it you just a few hours ago that criticized the use of ad hominem attack?

    So what are you – a pot or a kettle?

  17. #17 by Anonymous on June 3, 2008 - 6:00 am

    Cliff,

    Any statistics or other data to back up your claim of the effectiveness of gun control in England and Australia?

  18. #18 by Scott on June 9, 2008 - 9:51 pm

    Who cares what these anti-individual rights people keep saying?

    Kleck refuted Kellerman back in 92 in POINT BLANK (thats a book Cliff, maybe you ought to read it).

    State after state are passing (or liberalizing) their concealed carry and castle doctrine laws, the SC is poised to affirm what we (who are actually logical) have know all along, that the 2nd does indeed protect an individual right.

    The CDC can’t find evidence of ANY gun control law working (in America). And of course we can see how as the UK has traveled down the “slippery slope” (yes Virginia – there is one) as their violent crime rate has risen to where Wales is now the most violent developed country in the world. Who knew? Certainly not the anti-gunners for who whom gun control is an article of faith.

    And now “gun control” is the 3rd rail of American politics. What a hoot to see the Hildebeast and the fraud (thats the big BO) of course trying out red-neck each other.

    The point is, we’re winning, because we have the facts, and despite Cliff’s claims to the contrary he doesn’t.

    So remember guys, engaging people like Cliff is like wrestling with a pig, you’ll only get dirty and the pig likes it.

    Don’t waste your time with him.

  19. #19 by Albert O. on June 10, 2008 - 12:14 am

    Scott:

    Apparently, a lot of folks care.

    If the issue were as simple as you portray, it would have been settled a long time ago.

  20. #20 by Bob S. on June 10, 2008 - 5:52 am

    Scott,

    I agree and disagree with you about people like Cliff. We may never change his opinion, but in the long run that isn’t why I do this.

    I do it for the folks who may not have thought about the issues. The fence sitters who think that “reason regulations” aren’t bad. The ones that don’t realize there are over 20,000 laws already on the books.

    I do it for the folks that hear statistics like Kellermann’s and not realize how badly flawed they are….sometimes the first counter point is guys like you talking about how off the numbers are.

    I do it for the folks that hear the big lies told so often they don’t realize there is another side. A couple of reasonable voices can bring out the logic behind the lies the other side tell.

    I do it for statements like Albert’s. Because the gun banners are always going to keep trying, presenting the other side shows why it hasn’t been settled a long time ago. Some issues have to be taken care of on a local, state and federal level constantly.

    Great post Scott, keep it up.

  21. #21 by Albert O. on June 10, 2008 - 9:00 am

    Bob:

    Up to your old tricks again, I see, where you simplify the argument/debate by arguing there really is no debate at all. The Chimp still has one hundred or so days remaining in office – maybe you should apply for a job.

    PS While we are oversimplifying the debate, here’s a piece of evidence that provides rock solid proof that Cliff is correct on the danger of guns in the home:

    http://stage-v2.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=3495479

    Gee, I bet this idiot wishes he had listened to folks like Cliff and not the pro-death crowd!

  22. #22 by Bob S. on June 10, 2008 - 10:03 am

    Albert,

    I’m not arguing there is no debate, I’m stating that I think it unlikely I’ll change Cliff’s opinion. I’m stating that the reason the debate has gone on as long as it has is because people who want to ban guns keep trying time and time again.

    As far as the danger of a gun in the home, I have never argued that accidents can’t happen. Far from being a cry to remove all guns from homes, this should be a wake up to tell people how to safely handle them.

    Do people accidentally overdose on drugs? Yes, are you calling for drugs to be removed from every house? Why not.

    How about pools? Swimming pool accidents kill more children than firearms, care to ban swimming pools?

    How about the recent crime in another country…murderer goes on a rampage and kills 7 people, injuries 10 more with 2 different weapons? Should we ban those weapons?

    By the way, the weapons were an automobile and a knife.

    TOKYO —

    Seven people died and 10 others were injured after a man hit pedestrians with a truck and then stabbed passersby Sunday in broad daylight on a street in Tokyo’s busy Akihabara district, a popular electronics area and a magnet for comic and animation fans

    Gun control isn’t about controlling guns, it’s about controlling the people.
    Notice how Cliff hasn’t came back to the effectiveness of gun control in Australia or England?

  23. #23 by mikee on January 27, 2012 - 8:49 am

    Albert, the negligent homicide article you linked to is a story that is sad. The man who was killed did several things wrong which led to his death, including not following basic handgun safety rules and letting others around him not follow basic safety rules. This might be a good example to use, for emphasizing the reason for safe gun handling rules and more public education about safe gun handling.

    However, this death is not a reason to limit the rights of others.

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