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Recall the NRA's old rallying cry - "Guns don't kill people. People kill people."

Well, people with guns - yes, and explosives, too - can kill and injure a lot more people and faster than people without guns and explosives. As a 24 year-old showed us so vividly the other day in Aurora, Colorado.

Twelve people - ranging in age from 5 to 51 - have died and at least two more remain in critical condition. A total of 70 people were shot.

Reports say James Holmes "allegedly" - that word is miserably weak here, but it is necessary - strode into a dark movie theatre with three guns, one of which was a "military style" weapon capable of shooting 50-60 rounds a minute. Back in his apartment, which was rigged with bombs, were explosive components and 6000 rounds of ammunition.

Somehow, some commentators have suggested this incident - what a tragedy to be labelled with a minimal little word like "incident!" - should not be politicized.

Hell, Yes it should be politicized!
When it comes to guns, we look like a heavily armed third-world nation. What about those who argue - as some did after previous "incidents" of mass-murder on high school and college campuses and political gatherings - that if more of the population were armed and at hand in those locations, they could have prevented so many deaths by firing back? Late at night in a dark and crowded movie theatre?

When will we, the people, rise up and challenge the carefully parsed and honed arguments of gun clutchers who are against banning assault weapons (watch 'em surgically carve up the definition of "assault weapons"!), who allow virtually unpoliceable gun show sales, who empower concealed weapons, who lobby against even reporting gun statistics ... and dare public officials to challenge the single-issue advocacy of the gun lobbyists? How can elected officials skitter and duck and defer when the gun lobbyist's advocacy is so solidly counter to public opinion in poll after poll?

There will be no time like the present to campaign to reinstitute the Federal Assault Weapons ban.

And Yes, NRA and fellow apologists, that may be "just" the beginning. A darn good start it could be!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bad idea. (10+ / 0-)

    As of half a year ago, a majority of Americans ceased being ignorant about firearms.  That doesn't bode well for your insane quest to regulate utterly cosmetic qualities of firearms.  I'm willing to grant that most anti-gun advocates are earnest control freaks, not villains seeking to nefariously quash long held liberties.  But at some point your side needs to be called to account for the social and political damage done to the progressive cause.

  •  If I remember right (7+ / 0-)

    it was a schoolyard shooting by an assailant with an AK-47 that prompted the first assault weapons ban. Maybe this will prompt a new one--though not with the current dip-wads in the Republican House.

    Sometimes . . . I feel . . . like a redneck with chopsticks . . . Dreaming of squirrel while I'm sucking down squid . . .

    by Pale Jenova on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:38:03 AM PDT

  •  I blame my keyboard (7+ / 0-)

    for all tpyos.

    Spoons made Kirstie Alley fat.

    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

    by kestrel9000 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:44:56 AM PDT

  •  Guns don't kill people (4+ / 0-)

    but ammunition and bullets do.  Let the gun nuts have their guns.  Ban or severely restrict the amount of ammo that they can have.  Bullets have toxic material in them.  Anymore than 10 rounds is a safety (and fire) hazard that needs to be "inspected" by legal authorities.  Make it a fire safety issue.  2nd Amendment doesn't say anything about a right to have an armory full of ammunition.  

    •  Oh, I see. (8+ / 0-)

      Find a false justification.
      Kind of like requiring abortion clinics to have hallways a certain size and requiring their doctors to have emergency room access, so they can be more easily shut down by the state.
      Roe v. wade doesn't say anything about emergency room access.
      Thanks for the admission.

      "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

      by kestrel9000 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:54:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  False justification? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wilderness voice, heartobama

        How is that?  Ammunition is made up of EXPLOSIVE material is it not?  If a person has a stockpile of ammunition in their apartment and there is a fire, what exactly do you think will happen to it?  

        •  Hint: it won't explode. n/t (5+ / 0-)

          "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

          by happy camper on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 09:19:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hint: It does explode (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It sounds like firecrackers.  I know from personal experience  after calling 911 one very early Thanksgiving morning.  I lived in a trailer park at the time and was woken up by what I first thought was "firecrackers", then I though somebody was doing some crazy shooting.   Then I saw the black smoke coming from a neighbor's trailer on fire.  Fortunately they were away at the time.  

            •  You heard (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rockhound, wishbone, PavePusher, oldpunk

              the primers. Gunpowder burns, it doesn't explode. Unless the cartridge is contained within a gun barrel, the bullet doesn't go shooting off into something, either.

              "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

              by happy camper on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 10:14:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  ... (0+ / 0-)
                Gunpowder burns, it doesn't explode.


                The speed of the reaction is what distinguishes the explosive reaction from an ordinary combustion reaction . Unless the reaction occurs rapidly, the thermally expanded gases will be dissipated in the medium, and there will be no explosion. Again, consider a wood or coal fire. As the fire burns, there is the evolution of heat and the formation of gases, but neither is liberated rapidly enough to cause an explosion. This can be likened to the difference between the energy discharge of a battery, which is slow, and that of a flash capacitor like that in a camera flash, which releases its energy all at once.
                Gunpowder, also known since the late 19th century as black powder, was the first chemical explosive and the only one known until the mid 1800s

                "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                by indycam on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:07:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Your links refer to (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  wishbone, rockhound, PavePusher, oldpunk

                  black powder, not modern smokeless powder, which is used as the propellant in all modern firearms. The flintlocks in the vids use black powder. Smokeless powder undergoes deflagration, rather than detonation, when it is ignited. There's a difference.

                  All forms of gunpowder burn very quickly. But I can tell you that the sounds the OP heard were the primers--that is the part that is struck by the firing pin, and in turn ignites the gunpowder charge.

                  You can dump smokeless powder into an ashtray and light it with a match. It will burn, but it will not explode.

                  "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

                  by happy camper on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:17:48 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  ... (0+ / 0-)
                    which is used as the propellant in all modern firearms.

                    Gunpowder explodes .

                    The explosion occurred when a brushfire inside the Evangelos Florakis naval base on the southern coast set off gunpowder confiscated by Greek Cypriot authorities from a ship sailing from Iran to Syria two years ago. Flinging debris over a two-mile radius, the blast shattered almost every window in the fishing village of Zygi.

                    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                    by indycam on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:31:57 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The powder was in (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      wishbone, rockhound, PavePusher, oldpunk

                      containers, so like the pipe bomb in your video, the combustion gasses were confined. This is what causes the explosive reaction.

                      Again, gunpowder by itself is not a high explosive. That is a fact.

                      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

                      by happy camper on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:38:02 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  "explosive reaction" ! (0+ / 0-)

                        Bingo .

                        The powder was in containers,
                        What sort of containers ?

                        "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                        by indycam on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:54:13 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Tightly sealed ones (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          rockhound, PavePusher, oldpunk


                          This is why people who store gunpowder for reloading purposes do NOT keep it in tightly sealed containers. This is basic physics.

                          Do you understand how the internal combustion engine in your car works? Same principle. Take something that burns rapidly, like gasoline, confine it tightly, and ignite it.

                          Notwithstanding your irrational need to believe otherwise, the chemical properties of modern gunpowder are such that it is not an explosive. There is no disagreement on that.

                          Is there a point to this?

                          "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

                          by happy camper on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 12:07:20 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The point is to show you made a blanket (0+ / 0-)

                            statement that is not true .

                            I see this being done over and over
                            by people who should know better . Its a game .
                            Gun powder explodes . End of story .

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 09:00:04 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  ... (0+ / 0-)
                            Do you understand how the internal combustion engine in your car works? Same principle.
                            Do you know how a ice works ? Really ?
                            I've spent far to much time studying them myself .
                            Gasoline burns and explodes inside an ice .
                            Gasoline is an explosive also .
                            But you of course knew this already , right ?
                            Notwithstanding your irrational need to believe otherwise, the chemical properties of modern gunpowder are such that it is not an explosive.
                            " irrational" ? Oh so you are going for the insults now ?
                            Good luck with that .

                            Its not an explosive ?
                            Except for when it explodes ?
                            Good luck .

                            The explosion occurred when a brushfire inside the Evangelos Florakis naval base on the southern coast set off gunpowder confiscated by Greek Cypriot authorities from a ship sailing from Iran to Syria two years ago. Flinging debris over a two-mile radius, the blast shattered almost every window in the fishing village of Zygi.
                            Was this or was this not the result of an explosion ?
                            Was it an explosion of gunpowder or was the gunpowder just burning ?
                            Tightly sealed ones apparently.
                            Are you jumping to conclusions sans facts ?
                            You know what people who do that are called ?

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 09:15:13 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  BTW, the railgun (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      rockhound, PavePusher, oldpunk

                      while cool, is not a firearm.

                      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

                      by happy camper on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:38:56 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  2nd Amendment does not say you can own an arsenal (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anna M, Dancing Frog

      Either.  Ok....everyone who wants one can have a BB gun with one box of pellets....everything else is a privilege and should be heavily regulated.

  •  Guns certainly help people kill people. (4+ / 0-)

    If I aim a loaded gun at you and shoot, you're dead or injured.

    If I aim my finger at you and yell "Bang", you're still fine.

    Guns are tools and they can and are misused.

    2012 bumper sticker: GOP = Greed.Oppression.Poverty

    by Barbie02360 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:55:45 AM PDT

    •  SO are and can be chainsaws. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IndieGuy, PavePusher

      Ever heard of Leatherface?

      "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

      by kestrel9000 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:57:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's a movie, right? (5+ / 0-)

        A chainsaw wielding maniac did't just kill 12 people and injure more, right?

        A chainsaw wielding maniac didn't kill people at VA Tech, right?

        2012 bumper sticker: GOP = Greed.Oppression.Poverty

        by Barbie02360 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:59:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rockhound, IndieGuy, PavePusher

          have some reality.

          Let's ban cars.

          "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

          by kestrel9000 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 09:02:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  False equivalence, much? (6+ / 0-)

            Car accidents, no matter how horrific, do not equal strapping on weapons with the intent to murder. Had he driven his CAR into the movie theater maybe only he would be dead. Walls are hard after all.

            People are creative when they want to kill but there is a reason why guns are used so frequently perhaps it's their accessibility.

            2012 bumper sticker: GOP = Greed.Oppression.Poverty

            by Barbie02360 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 09:06:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  the "tool argument" is specious... (6+ / 0-)

            ...what's the purpose of a chainsaw or aa keyboard or an automobile?

            What's the purpose of a firearm?


            •  Mine? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              oldpunk, rockhound

              Hunting, recreation and defense.

              What did you think I was going to do with them?

              •  Is an assault weapon for hunting, recreation ... (0+ / 0-)

                ... or defense?

                Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

                by TRPChicago on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 06:13:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, actually. (0+ / 0-)

                  I was going to leave it at that, but it's clear some explaination is required so as to not appear snarky.

                       Despite being mis-nomered as "high-powered assault weapons", they are universally at the low end of the rifle power scale.  The AR-15 is only a little more powerful than a .22 Magnum, and uses a bullet only barely larger.  (5.56mm NATO/.223 Remington)  This cartridge is legally considered not powerful enough to hunt deer with in many places in the U.S., although it is quite sufficient for small game (rabbits, coyotes, some wild pigs, etc).  
                       It can be reconfigured for larger calibers (limited only by the length of the 5.56 round and width of the magazine) by changing the "upper", the barrel and chamber assembly.  Many of these are excellent deer calibers, on up to elk/moose.  In most states, one must use a magazine limited to 3, 4 or 5 rounds for game hunting.  California is one of the odd exceptions.  Their limit is a 10-round magazine for any purpose... but you can use it for any purpose but bird hunting.  Weird, eh?
                       The AR-10, the original big brother to the -15, is chambered in the larger 7.62mm NATO/.308 Winchester round, used for medium to large game for nearly a century.  Legal for hunting anything where rifle hunting is allowed.  This round is considerably longer than the 5.56, but all other info applies.
                       The Russian SKS and AK-pattern rifles were originally in 7.62x39mm caliber.  This is ballistically nearly identical to the .30-30 lever action rifle that has been used for hunting since the 1890's.  They are robust, if somewhat heavy for their size, and they are generally not as accurate as the AR series or bolt-action rifles, but they are excellent for hunting, also with applicable magazine restrictions.  They're not nearly as modular as the AR rifles, but it's getting there.
                       Note that almost ALL bolt-action or non-AR-semi-auto hunting rifles come standard in much more powerful calibers than the basic AR or AK.  Most have fixed-capacity 3, 4 or 5 round internal magazines, but many are capable of accepting various sizes of external mags.  

                       Well, you can target practice with anything.  AR-pattern rifles are among the most popular by far in current "High Power" competition, again mis-nomered.  (In shooting competition, "High Power" refers to anything above the lowly .22 caliber plinker.)  While the previous standard used to be the (military derived) M-1 Garand/M-14 (also semi-auto rifles capable of varying magazine sizes), the flexibility, light weight and accuracy of the AR has pretty much reduced those to a niche catagory.
                       Many long-distance recreation/competition shooters use semi-auto rifles in calibers up to .50 BMG, in famous machine gun round.  The guns they use are NOT machine guns, but they use the same size ammo.

                       Anything that can be used in "assault" can be used in defense.  Rather axiomatic, really.  So-called "assault weapons" are nearly ideal for two-handed gun defense for several reasons.  
                       1.  See reference to power level, above.  Using a lower-powered firearm reduces chances of over-penetration of walls and thus collateral injuries and damage.
                       2.  They are generally light weight and could be fired one-handed in an emergency (holding phone in other hand, child, etc.).  
                       3.  Shorter average length than a traditional bolt-action helps when manuvering through rooms of furniture, around cornors, through narrow hallways or door frames.
                       4.  They can easily be accesorized with lights and various aiming aids (illuminated sights, lasers, etc.) to ensure accurate shooting.  If shooting is required, we only want to hit the threat, not anything else.
                       5.  When properly employed, they are more accurate than hand-guns.  While this may not mean much at across-the-room distances, more accuracy is always better than less.
                       6.  The average number of shots fired in defensive acts is, IIRC, between 3 and 5.  But I'm not willing to restrict myself to average, unless you guarantee you'll be standing between me and the threat.  I prefer to have an advantage over the criminal.  Anyone who doesn't agree with that is, by definition, on the side of the criminal.

                  I hope that wasn't to pedantic and answered your questions, let me know if you need/want more information.

          •  at least make cell phones inoperable in them (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rockhound, oldpunk

            I'm terrified of talking drivers and there is no right in the constitution to talk and drive.

            How big is your personal carbon footprint?

            by ban nock on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 10:05:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Persons who were free to avoid (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rockhound, IndieGuy, PavePusher, oldpunk

          meaningful interaction with the mental health system, and law enforcement that can't be assed to follow-up on reports (that's you Clarence Dupnik) of a disturbed individual is the common denominator.

          You cite "guns".  I cite mental instability - which is a long-standing disability to gun ownership.

          You'll cite "GUNS".

          I'll cite the Happy Land Social Club fire, which killed 87 people in a few short, arson-filled minutes.

          My citation doesn't "energize the base" like your citation.

          Nancy, Harry, Eric and Barack can hold a fully-automatic AK-47 obtained from the BATFE armory and claim it's easier to get one of these, than walk home with a box of Skittles®.

          87 dead-by-arson doesn't equal 12 dead-by-gun.

          It must be the new math.
          I get that.
          Good news is, Romney hates guns as-much, if not more.

          There's no cause for guns to be in the hands of anyone with lower than million-dollar net worth.
          Your armed security after all, may not be that trustworthy, nor capable of taking on all comers.

          •  Help me, 43. Are you really equating chainsaws (0+ / 0-)

            ... and arson with guns that are used to kill or injure 70 people?

            Can we successfully police in advance against arsonists? Well, we try for after all, it is illegal. Chainsaws, I agree, are unusually dangerous. And are you seriously arguing that "mental instability" is "a long standing disability to gun ownership?" So, if we just policed the daylights out of the "mental instability" demographic, we wouldnt have to worry about guns?

            Oh, and what base are you "energizing" with that reference of yours to Skittles?

            Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

            by TRPChicago on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 09:40:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I never commented on chainsaws. Arson, yes. (0+ / 0-)

              You make the comment:

              Can we successfully police in advance against arsonists? Well, we try for after all, it is illegal.
              Yet we continue to permit the container sales of gasoline.
              We try for it after all, homicide by firearm is illegal.
              Just as homicide by arson is illegal.  

              The presumption is:

              "I have to mow my lawn - YOU don't need a firearm."

              I don't have to mow my lawn, I have professionals for that.
              Same for tree work.  Same for firewood.

              The assumption is, the police will handle any and all situations where a homeowner might "need" a firearm.  
              Let the professionals do that.
              Just as my lawn service handles the grass, the weeds, and the raking.

              Others have had varying results with that logic.

  • Never gonna happen. The GOP's a fully (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indubitably, Anna M, Crider

    bought arm of the NRA, and the NRA wants people to be able to gun people down, as we can see from their blinkered ignorance and flat-out refusal to support reasonable gun control.

  •  We can't regulate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Naniboujou, IndieGuy, TRPChicago

    guns, because any regulation is a slippery slope to banning them altogether.  As gun rights advocates like to point out, cars are more dangerous than guns, but we don't consider banning them.  On the contrary, we require licenses and require owners to register them, which is step one on the way to getting them banned.  I predict that sometime in the next few years, cars will be a distant memory.  All 300 million cars will be confiscated and then TYRANNY!!!!!!

    "Back off, back off, he's got his own dreams that won't come true!"- Robots

    by satanicpanic on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 09:06:06 AM PDT

  •  "Gun clutchers". I'm going to use that. It's great (5+ / 0-)

    It's always been obvious to me that guns are fetish objects that serve some deep-seated psychological purpose for many (most?) owners.

    I get it, I really do. They're beautifully crafted precision implements that have a very satisfying weight. They fit perfectly and comfortably into your hand(s). They give you an instant feeling of power and importance. And it's very satisfying to put that bullet right through the bull's eye. But it's a fetish, just like endlessly polishing that muscle car or dusting your collection of Hummel figurines. The difference is that this fetish kills people. Thousands every year.

    We have a .22 rifle trigger-locked in a locked cabinet in the attic because we have rabies and lots of nuisance racoons. I can understand a hunting rifle or shotgun for those so inclined. But an arsenal of handguns and assault rifles? Makes you a potential menace to yourself, your spouse, your kids, and anyone you take offense to, without making you measurably safer from home invasion or zombie apocalypse.

  •  No one fucking needs a 100-round drum. No One. (3+ / 0-)

    Follow Me on Twitter!!/ZeddRebel

    by TarantinoDork on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 09:18:28 AM PDT

    •  Rights aren't about NEED. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You don't NEED a computer and internet access, or even paper and pen.

      •  There are 12 people in Colorado who have no rights (0+ / 0-)

        No rights, no

        When the second amendment was written, it was physically impossible for one person to shoot 70 people in the span of 90 seconds.  It could not be done.

        For in the year that the Bill of Rights was adopted and the 600 years prior every gun ever made had one common feature.  It could load and fire a single round at a time.

        The founding fathers simply had no concept of a weapon that could be held by a single man, hold 100 bullets, expend every last round into a crowd in the span of 7.5 seconds., and then less than three seconds later be loaded and ready to fire again.

        There is nothing in the Constitution that guarantees your right to own something that has but one practical use...mass murder.

        You don't need it to hunt, you don't need it for self-defense, and if you need it for recreation I recommend jerking off instead.

        Follow Me on Twitter!!/ZeddRebel

        by TarantinoDork on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 06:10:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are of course, quite incorrect. (0+ / 0-)

          Please see grape shot and Girandoni air rifle.

          No full-auto weapon was used in this tragic, horrible event.  Thus your claim of "expend every last round into a crowd in the span of 7.5 seconds" is irrelevent to the discussion.

          As for your last line, please see my response here:

          •  Because firing AR-15 on full auto is impossible... (0+ / 0-)

            unless you have Youtube.

            Of course with 'bump firing' you trade accuracy for the rate of fire.  But when your target is a crowd of people who needs accuracy AMIRITE?

            Follow Me on Twitter!!/ZeddRebel

            by TarantinoDork on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:39:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, and you proved my point BTW (0+ / 0-)

              The Girandoni air rifle didn't reach American shores until 1803.  To think that in 1787 when Madison was writing the Second Amendment he had a novelty gun used by the Austrian Army in mind is just self-delusion.  To them a gun was a muzzle-loaded, single-shot device that could fire maybe three times a minute if the user was well-trained.

              The Founding Fathers simply had no remote concept of the things we call guns these days anymore than they had a concept of an F-22 fighter jet or a neutron bomb.  I'm pretty sure we don't have the right to own Fat Man & Little Boy.

              You don't need a 100-round or even a 30-round magazine to do it.  Nothing in the Constitution says you have the right to it.  I so don't fucking care if it spoils the plans of a bunch of wanker gun nuts weekend plans.

              Follow Me on Twitter!!/ZeddRebel

              by TarantinoDork on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 12:01:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I think we have more guns than people here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, PavePusher

    Shouldn't the murder rate in Idaho, Wyoming and Utah be double the murder rate in Illinois and New York?

    Idaho, Wyoming and Utah have lots of gun clutchers.

    I thought guns killed people?

  •  Another thread hijack by gunoholic demanding his (3+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    TRPChicago, sporks, indubitably
    Hidden by:

    right to be able to kill for the sheer psychological pleasure it gives him. Look at the history of regulating smokers exposing others including thier children to thier habit... it was thier right to smoke no matter what the cost to our society. And the cigarette industry provided bought and paid for experts to assist.

    The biggest question is how do we avoid something like the problems that prohibition caused. A total ban is bad but we have got to start having a real conversation about guns. The problem is that gun addicts want no restriction and the rest of us just have to be exposed to the toxic roulette wheel of when they decide to use those weapons on us... Listen to the threats made... it is not a right that provides liberty. It is a right to bully, threaten and impose thier psychic pain on others at randomwe whenever they want.

    I own guns but they seldom come out of thier cases. I do not own guns to kill anyone who is not a threat to my life in my own home or vehicle. I long ago put away my guns I used to kill wild animals ... figure we are doing such a wonderful job of habitat destruction and killing to make more room for more humans that it was a wash as to value. But I don't arm up to go to political events or theaters or restaurants or schools or churches or ... Perhaps that is the major angle we should look at.

    How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

    by boophus on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 09:30:38 AM PDT

  •  This country doesn't need (0+ / 0-)

    a conversation about sensible regulation of guns, it needs a conversation about semantics.

    "Back off, back off, he's got his own dreams that won't come true!"- Robots

    by satanicpanic on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 09:40:46 AM PDT

  •  kestrel9000 don't let them provoke you into (5+ / 0-)

    saying something you will regret

    It's a old strategy but it can still work.

    Don't get fooled into getting banned.

  •  Death by GSW (0+ / 0-)

    Cause of death: gunshot wound. Case closed.

  •  I don't know if you've ever been in a "heavily (6+ / 0-)

    armed third world nation" but we don't look like one at all.

    For one thing every single gun is usually an AK clone, for another everyone carrying a gun is on the government payroll, wether that govt is a national govt or a warlord. No one has guns who is not part of the ruling folks.

    Also all police and military which are pretty much the same carry them, there are no pistols.

    What's more most gun crime in the US doesn't involve anything remotely resembling your scary looking guns. Statistically all rifles contribute to less homicide than knives. Of the "all rifles" category, scary looking guns that shoot many bullets at a time are a subset.

    I'd forget the guns and try to win an election.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 09:54:00 AM PDT

    •  There are 270,000,000 guns in the US in the ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... civilian population. That's about 88 firearms per hundred people.

      (Those are estimates, to be sure, rom But stats are hard to find; the gun lobby pretty effectively closes off a lot of statistical recordkeeping and reporting of gun ownership in the US.)

      At that, among 178 nations, the US ranks first in gun ownership. Which, you are correct, beats third world nations all hollow!

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 10:17:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, this is silly: (6+ / 0-)
    (watch 'em surgically carve up the definition of "assault weapons"!)
    What definition? The "assault weapons" ban created a political definition out of whole cloth, exactly like politicians made up the term and definition "partial birth abortion." It's political jargon, nothing more.
    •  But "silly" has found its way into general use. (0+ / 0-)

      Wikipedia articles on guns, for example, are filled with words like "cosmetics" to describe guns, and the challenges of defining "assault weapons" and the laundry lists of characteristics that might/should/must/cannot be weighed and evaluated in reasoning through these issues.

      It's the gun lobby that does that kind of carving and parsing, Kaili, and calls it "cosmetics." We would shut down the US Code of laws and regulations if other legislation had to contend with with the definitional precision and dark-alley meanderings the Guns Rightists demand on its issues.

      No, I don't think it's silly to see how the gun lobbyists argue so strenuously not to write broad brush regulations ... and then take their scalpels to the most minutely-crafted definitions. They've lost credibility with their blunderbuss attacks on any - any - regulation of guns.

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 10:29:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hang on there. (5+ / 0-)

        The political definition of "assault weapon" is about cosmetics. Here's that Wikipedia definition you're talking about:

        The federal assault weapons ban specifically prohibited 19 guns considered to be assault weapons. These were all semi-automatic firearms, meaning that they can eject spent shell casings and chamber the next bullet without human action, but (as opposed to automatic firearms) only one round is fired per pull of the trigger.[3] In addition to the 19 weapons specifically prohibited, the federal assault weapons ban also defined as a prohibited assault weapon any semiautomatic rifle with a detachable magazine and at least two of the following five items: a folding or telescopic stock, a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon, a bayonet mount, and a flash suppressor or threaded barrel (a barrel that can accommodate a flash suppressor); or a grenade launcher. The act also defined as a prohibited assault weapon semi-automatic pistols that weighed more than 50 ounces when unloaded or included a barrel shroud, and barred the manufacture of magazines capable of carrying more than 10 rounds.[4]
        The size of the pistol grip makes it an assault weapon? The weight of the gun makes it an assault weapon? When gun manufacturers used lighter materials to make the guns weigh less to be compliant with the 50-ounces rule, people said that was just exploiting a loophole to get around the law. Well, no. If the law bans guns weighing 50 ounces or more, then a gun weighing less than 50 ounces is compliant, is it not?

        These are cosmetic features. They threw together a list of guns considered scary, tossed in some scary features, and labeled them "assault weapons."

        •  Kaili, wasn't it the gun lobbyists who helped ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... "throw" the laundry list of "cosmetic" features in that law and the Wiki article? (And you didn't quote the laundry list, just the categories.) That's my point.

          It's those who favor guns, make them, sell them - lawfully, to be sure - and rightfully possess them and use them responsibly who put together lists like the one found in the old Federal Assault Weapons law.

          But to try to understand what we're disagreeing about, have you met a definition of "assault weapon" that you like? I'm not being facetious, here, I'm doing what a reasonable legislator should do, search for common ground.

          Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

          by TRPChicago on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 10:50:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't like (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wishbone, IndieGuy, rockhound, PavePusher

            when politicians make up terms that don't really mean anything. So I can't say I'd be down with any invented definition of "assault weapon." You want to ban certain types of guns? Okay. Call it the Federal Ban on Semi-automatic Pistols Weighing More Than 50 Ounces When Used in Conjunction With A Magazine Capable of Carrying More Than 10 Rounds. (That's still pretty dumb, actually, since you could make a magazine capable of more than 10 rounds, because magazines can be altered and enhanced in all sorts of ways, so the entire magazine issue is a whole 'nother can of worms, but anyway.)

            That's not as sexy or scary-sounding as "assault weapon," though, is it?

            The reason I compare it to "partial birth abortion" is that it is, to me, exactly the same thing. There's no such thing in medical textbooks; no one learns "partial birth abortion" in med school. Politicians combined a certain technique of a certain procedure with the timing of when the procedure is performed (i.e., if the abortion is performed at a certain stage of the fetus's development, it's described as a partial-birth abortion, regardless of the actual technique).

            That's some bullshit right there, but the anti politicians knew that railing against "partial birth abortion" was a lot more effective than railing against "dilation and extraction to remove a fetus that is developed enough to require dilation of the cervix for its extraction." Wikipedia

            If we want to have an honest conversation about effective gun control laws—which I do support, with the emphasis on effective—we should all refrain from using political nonsense jargon.

            •  OK. Again: help me define "assault weapon." (0+ / 0-)

              I don't think analogizing with your very appropriate antagonism to the term "partial birth abortion" when virtually any ban on abortion is a lousy idea doesn't - for me, at least - move the ball forward on gun regulation issues.

              Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

              by TRPChicago on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:46:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wait a minute. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                IndieGuy, rockhound, PavePusher

                I just explained why I don't think there's any value in coming up with a definition for "assault weapons." So I'm not sure why you're asking me to do that.

                I believe there are ways to combat gun violence in this country. I do not believe that banning types of guns, ammo, scopes, magazines, etc. is the effective way to go about it.

                Honestly, when incidents such as these happen, my first thought isn't about our poorly enforced gun control laws; it's about our incredibly shitty mental health care in this country.

                If you're looking to keep certains kinds of magazines, for example, out of the hands of someone who is mentally and psychologically unbalanced and is looking to inflict violence and tragedy on people, I think you're already too late.

                We should be addressing what leads people to engage in such behavior, and how, if we actually had real mental health in this county that was affordable and accessible, we could help people who need it before it gets to that point. I don't think for a second it's 100-round magazines that make people unbalanced and violent.

                •  My thought was to see if you were fixed on ... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... the definition (discussing it would inform one seeking accommodation and have value to them) or against the whole idea. That was not clear to me before, despite that in what you write, you usually are quite clear.

                  I'm for banning assault weapons. I personally have no trouble defining them, but I would look to others to help fashion a workable definition, like good laws and good legislatures should do.

                  I also favor regulations - restrictions would be a more accurate term - on gun show sales, on reliable reporting of gun violence, on registration of guns and on those who use them. I don't trust any industry whose members and adherents say they polices themselves. And I have no patience for people who argue flatly that regulation is bad, because I lawyered for a highly regulated company in a highly regulated industry for 35 years. As for civil liberties, none of the amendments in the Bill of rights is absolute, former Justice Hugo Black to the prominent contrary, so the absolutism of the Second's Righter's carries no weight. The argument that regulating guns would deprive citizens of their sacred liberties is so speciously broad that it deserves rejection out of hand. (I doubt an assault weapons ban would fall afoul even of this Supreme Court, where it will surely be tested. So be it.)

                  An assault weapons ban is a good step. Would that prevent Aurora? Or mentally unstable people from using weapons? It would reduce the number and availability, and illegalize their use altogether and under any civilian circumstances. These would be good first steps that would not - in my view - limit the rights of any sensible civilian gun owner. Would that be a start to more severe regulation? That could be said of any regulation.

                  Considerably more regulation of inherently dangerous instruments like guns are fine by me - and wouldn't need to limit hunters or hobbyists. However, I'd start with the obvious and immediate and look to work with reasonable people to enact such a ban.

                  And by the way, are you seriously arguing that 100-round magazines don't empower unbalanced or violent people? Do you really think we must prove that guns "make" them that way in the first place?

                  Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

                  by TRPChicago on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 02:17:33 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Then state your definition. (0+ / 0-)

        Make sure it doesn't include firearms useful for hunting, defense, sporting use and those applying to a constituted milita.

        Good luck.

        •  Do you honestly believe "assault weapons" will... (0+ / 0-)

          ...  be confused with "hunting, defense, sporting" uses? (I've no idea what a "constituted militia" is. You've got me there.)

          And Yes, I mean the weapon used by the Aurora shooter. That's not a legal definition, to be sure, so I'd be glad to be advised by gun rights advocates who are willing to address the issue of gun violence by limiting the proliferation of guns. But those who deny that assault weapons empower people who want to shoot a lot of people very fast are not advancing the conversation I wrote this diary to have.

          If the core argument is that NO definition can be right and there should be no regulations on guns and gun users, I got it. We'll just not agree.

          Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

          by TRPChicago on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 06:39:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The weapon used in Aurora is also used... (0+ / 0-)

            for recreational, competition and hunting shooting activities.  It is highly modular, easy to reconfigure for various purposes.  

            Any weapon can "empower people" who want to kill.   They can also "empower" defense.  So'called "assault weapons" have no particular edge in that field.

            Note that the shooter had home-made grenades in his apartment.  Why he didn't use those, we may never know, but if he had, he could easily have killed many more people.  

          •  Oh, by "constituted militia"... (0+ / 0-)

            I mean a portion of militia that has been called to active duty, and the weapons they would bring with them to serve with.

    •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's a propaganda term crafted to evoke an emotional response in low-information voters. Coupled with TV images of scary-looking guns, it establishes a frame. The attempt to turn it into a statute provoked eye-rolls among high-information voters.

      Let's have what Darcy Burner called an "adult conversation", which means dropping appeals to emotion and figuring out what will work best with the least damaging side effects. Anyone with compassion will have an emotional response, but effective action requires reason.

      For example, anyone whose preferred solution is a ban should explain rationally and medically how the Aurora victims would have been less dead if Holmes had had to buy his weapons on the black market.

      Anyone who thinks that more concealed carry would have allowed the theatergoers to stop the evil should explain, rationally and tactically, how the ^*&!! that would have worked.

      "What's your idea, then?!" is a fair question to ask me. Two measures would reduce violence both with and without firearms, and don't restrict the choices of gun hobbyists. First, make mental health treatment more readily available. Second, for FSM's sake, decriminalize drugs! Both are good ideas anyway and will actually save lives.

  •  It Never Ceases To Amaze Me..... (6+ / 0-)

    That some of the same liberals that abhor the inequities & futility of the "War on Drugs," are ready as ready can be to use incidents like these to begin an equally stupid "War on Guns" that would be doomed to the same problems.

    Because passing a law to ban something has always solved things, without any repercussions, right? How many times have legislators passed laws banning something that didn't get rid of the banned substance, have largely been fiascoes of wasted resources that did NOTHING to solve the underlying problems, and created black markets & more violence.

    The Federal Assault Weapons ban was a joke of a law. It wasn't based on whether a rifle was "dangerous." It was based on the cosmetic features of the rifle that made it look dangerous. And what did the manufacturers do? They just adjusted the cosmetics of the rifles to get around the law.

    •  A 50-60 round weapon just "looks" dangerous? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      A rifle is dangerous. That it is not dangerous isn't an argument gun owners use.

      Gun owners I've talked to over the years, most of whom seem to be members of the NRA, know full well how inherently dangerous guns of all kinds are. And they are near-religious in their insistence on training on the use of guns, limited areas to use them (i.e. none advocates civilians carrying guns on a college campus or into a bar, etc.) and concerns over the breadth of permissive concealed carry laws. And not one supports the availability of assault weapons, although they do point out that reaching a satisfactory definition can be problematic.

      What are the bad repercussions of banning the sale, trading, use, etc. of assault weapons?

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 10:44:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  *sigh* (3+ / 0-)

    Why is it that any suggestion that it would be reasonable to further regulate firearms always lead to a train wreck in the comments?

    I fail to see any connection between self-defense and automatic weapons that fire hundreds of rounds a minute.

    Unless you are defending yourself from the zombie apocalypse?

    And I sincerely doubt that anyone is going to walk into a theatre and kill and main 70 people with a chainsaw...or a knife...or a car...or even a revolver.

    Here is the text of the 2nd Amendment:

    "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
    Catch that phrase?  Well regulated?  The text of the amendment itself states the government has the power to regulate weapons.

    You find no such qualifier in the 1st Amendment regarding the rights it guarantees.

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
    In fact, it explicitly states "Congress shall make no law."

    And infringe is an interesting word choice; its definition: "to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another."

    Encroach upon in a way that violates law or rights; if it is necessary to specify that regulation can not be done in a way that encroaches upon rights, then clearly there are boundaries within which regulation does not violate laws or rights.

    So instead of slamming everyone who suggests that some gun control regulations are necessary and proper, why don't we discuss what is and is not reasonable and legal?

    And now, I predict those who disagree with me about the boundaries of regulation will open fire.

    Though I would love to be disappointed in that prediction.

    If the founding fathers thought corporations were people why didn't they just say so?

    by Notthemayor on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 10:14:32 AM PDT

    •  "automatic weapons" are the issue here. (0+ / 0-)

      It actually does help to know something about the subject before pontificating.

      And the "regulated" clearly applies to the militia, not weapons.  So your presumptions fail from that point as well.

      Please, present what you think would be "is and is not reasonable and legal".  Only then can we see if we "disagree with me about the boundaries of regulation".

      •  Actually... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        As you are certainly more knowledgeable about guns than I, I would very much be interested in hearing views from people on your end about what...if believe would constitute reasonable regulation.

        And as for the militia thing...I think a reasonable argument could be made that since there is no more militia...and the militia is the specific reason cited for leaving guns alone...the the whole amendment is actually null and void.  It's not the argument that I'm making, but I don't think that it would be completely off the wall either.

        And would not regulating the militia...if it still existed...theoretically include regulation of their weapons?

        If the founding fathers thought corporations were people why didn't they just say so?

        by Notthemayor on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 07:19:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think we mostly have reasonable regulation now.. (0+ / 0-)

          ...especially where I live in Arizona.  

          There is a Militia, please check current Federal and State laws.  Several states have active official state militias, though usually poorly funded and highly volunteer.

          And the militia is a reason, not the sole reason, see Amendments 9 and 10.

          The regulation you speak of would be regulating the weapons of the Militia, while under active duty.  Once released, their personal property would no longer be under any particular military regulation.

    •  Aaaargh.... typo! (0+ / 0-)

      "automatic weapons" are NOT the issue here".

  •  Yes. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    let us just picture an alternate scenario in Aurora:

    Man stands up in the front of the theater, throws a smoke bomb into the crowd, and stands there with a machete, and three switchblades.

    Now many dead and wounded, in this scenario?  One or two dead, maybe three or four wounded, before people tackle him to the sticky theater floor.

    Instead, we have what we have.  It is legal for regular Americans to own guns that can hold 100 rounds at a time.  

    And we all know what the result of this scenario is.

    "A recent study reveals Americans' heads are larger than they were 150 years ago but sadly there is no indication that the extra room is used for anything." - entlord

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 10:25:14 AM PDT

  •  If the goal is to improve public safety by (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    implementing more restrictive gun ownership laws, would it not make sense to get your facts straight?

    The federal "assault weapons ban":

    Banned the manufacture, import and sale of certain scary-looking semi-automatic weapons.

    Other less scary-looking semiautomatic weapons with identical operating mechanisms were never banned.

    Around 100 million existing high capacity magazines for both scary and not-scary semi-autos remained on the market.  Prices did increase.

    Gun homicides in the US are regionally and demographically concentrated, and are closely associated with gangs and the drug war.

    So, end the drug war, work for anti-poverty and other social programs, push for regulations that focus on the characteristics of the buyers rather than the guns, and try to avoid alienating hunters and sport shooters and libertarians whose support will be crucial in passing any reasonable laws.

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 10:56:29 AM PDT

  •  focus should remain on guns (0+ / 0-)

    as much as the media and craven politicians will try to redirect it towards "an unpredictable tragedy", "the price for having an open society", etc

  •  It is beyond irony to see a Chicagoan... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PavePusher, Rimjob

    ...who lives in a city where a dozen children can be murdered on a typical summer weekend using the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado as a springboard for a discussion of gun control. Chicago which continues to refuse to comply with the Supreme Court decision to allow its honest citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights has one of the highest murder rates in the nation, and yet serial killers of children roam the streets with relative impunity. The major problem is the war on drugs that empowers lawless street gangs that in turn intimidate entire communities so that they fail to cooperate with police, and name the murderers in their midst. There are reasonable steps that can be taken to help reduce both the carnage on Chicago streets and the ability of insane people to obtain weapons. Ending the war on drugs and requiring mental health professionals to cooperate with authorities to insure that those with mental health problems cannot buy or possess firearms are just two, but two that are rarely mentioned as feasible.

    You want twelve dollar gasoline? Bomb Iran!

    by wishbone on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 01:05:18 PM PDT

    •  Hey, Wish, I'd opt for all the above. (0+ / 0-)

      First, I agree with you that gun violence is a terrible problem, but not that serial killers of children roam the streets of Chicago with impunity, relative or not.

      Second, I'm all for getting drugs ff the streets and dealing harshly with dealers. And what the Reagan administration did to gut care for mental health was penal.

      Third, Yes, I'd limit guns so that insane people have a harder time getting them.

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 02:33:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Second, I'm all for getting drugs off the... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...streets and dealing harshly with dealers."

        Yeah, we have only tried that for the last fifty years or so to no avail. Prohibition is the problem, and those of us from Chicago should know that better than anyone. He was called Al Capone. Prohibition only enriches the gangs that kill kids in our town, and repeating the same old approaches that have never worked will only give you the same old results.

        You want twelve dollar gasoline? Bomb Iran!

        by wishbone on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 02:53:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I thought you were arguing FOR banning drugs. (0+ / 0-)

          So you're arguing that banning drugs hasn't worked very well, so banning assault weapons isn't a good idea? And Yes, prohibition was a bad idea. Are you equating assault weapons with alcohol?

          Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

          by TRPChicago on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 06:47:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  arguing gun policy here won't change any minds (0+ / 0-)

    and will have no effect on policy, but it definitely will help divide the Democratic Party.

     some will rethink their position and swing further to the left because they don't believe Dems are doing enough, while others turn more to the right because they believe in the longstanding interpretation of the 2nd Amendment.

    we've been through this shit before, and republicans love it.

    my suggestion is that instead of fighting with one another, we need to throw the issue squarely on the gop's lap and make them defend it. this is their baby, make them own up to it.

    i want to see Mitt Fucking Romney on prime time TV telling America that freedom isn't free and the occasional massacre of innocents in a theater or at a school is just something we have to accept.

    that is how elections are won.

    and just maybe, after we secure a Democratic Majority that can address some of the other big issues in society, people will be a little happier and less inclined to freak out and start killing each other.

    i think that's the place to start.

  •  actually, guns, by themselves, don't do (0+ / 0-)

    much of anything. stupid people, with guns, kill people. that said, a gun's only reason for existence is to kill. a car's primary purpose is to move people to and fro, safely. yes, occasionally cars do kill, but that isn't what they're designed for. that was just to nip the mandatory, barking mad NRA freak talking point in the bud.

    if some of those people in that theatre had been armed, there would, most likely, be more dead and wounded, not fewer, given the facts and circumstances. as inexperienced, barely trained yahoos started shooting blindly in the dark, at a guy wearing full body armor. better and safer to wait until trained people are able to get in, or he runs out of ammo, or, as in this case, his gun jammed.

    yes, gun control can help reduce the level of gun related mayhem. had mr. holmes been forced to use a baseball or a knife, he may have gotten a few people, but not nearly as many, before being wrestled to the ground. he shouldn't be able to purchase 6,000 rounds of ammunition over the internet either. only someone involved in olympic level shooting competitions, or looking to start a war, needs that much ammo.

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