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  • Video: What Could McDonald v. Chicago Mean for the Second Amendment?

    Tuesday was a momentous day for gun-rights advocates everywhere as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for McDonald v. Chicago. Coming on the heels of last year’s District of Columbia v. Heller decision, McDonald seeks to determine whether Chicago’s ban on handguns is Constitutional.

    We caught up with Alan Gura, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs (also the attorney in the Heller decision) and Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation to get their take on the oral arguments, the legal theories involved, and the importance of this case for the Second Amendment.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    47 Responses to Video: What Could McDonald v. Chicago Mean for the Second Amendment?

    1. Drew Page, IL says:

      I believe that the Second Amendment of the Constitution applies to individual citizens, not just those who are in a militia, the armed forces or in law enforcement. I also believe that individual states do not have the power to strip its citizens of the rights provided by the U.S. Constitution. I think that the majority of Americans believe those same things, but most likely we will never be able to convince those who disagree of our point of view.

      That being the case, all we can do is to continue to demand our rights under the the U.S. Constitution, as they historically been construed; continue to demand that individual states do not have the right to override the U.S. Constitution, or any of its amendments; contiue to demand that our elected officials support those rights and select Supreme Court Justices who support those rights.

      We can't go on continuing to define and redefine what the Second Amendment means every time we appoint another Supreme court Justice.

    2. Bruce Dunavin, Color says:

      It is a God given right to be able to protect yourself, your property and your family. No government entity has the authority to tell a law abiding citizen they can't possess a firearm. They had no authority to pass the law in the first place. Criminals are running amok in our streets, they have guns (and knives, clubs, hammers etc) and are killing innocent and unarmed citizens with monotonous regularity all while the government insists they know what's best for us. It's long past time to throw the politicians out of office who can't read and understand plain English as written in our Constitution and get some honest people in office. This is just outrageous that only the criminals have guns. Politicians should be prosecuted for their complicity in this tragedy. And it's long past time for America to get off its knees and take this country back from the sleazy, corrupt, incompetent, unethical, immoral and arrogant people who have run this country into the ground! This governemt is as corrupt as any in the world. They are nothing but a band of ruthless liars and thieves bent on stealing all they can get away with. The time has come to vote all incumbents out of office.

    3. Denny Long says:

      I believe that the language of the Second Amendment is clear. The militia means now as it did then, the people, not a standing army. What part of "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" do gun opponents not understand? I simply do not know what simpler language could have been written to protect these rights. There is nothing complicated about it! If anything, gun control advocates should be prosecuted for attempting to violate our civil rights.

    4. thomas wing eidson, says:

      I live in Chicago for 40 years under BOTH repressive Daley regimes. I am delighted to see this case being brought by Macdonald from Chicago as a true chicken coming home to roost. Go get em boys!

    5. E. Shelton says:

      Would have been nice if I could have actually understood what they said over the loud background noise. Could not understand a word they said.

    6. Babs CA says:

      The summary of the opinion in the WSJ 03-02-10 “Guns and the States” pertaining to the McDonald v. Chicago aptly states: The Justices needn’t go this far afield to find that the individual right to bear arms that they correctly upheld in Heller applies to the entire country. If the first Amendment’s right to free speech applies to the states, then so does the Second Amendment.

    7. James Gabrielson, Mi says:

      As a member of the NRA and a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, I fully support the 2nd Ammendment of the Constitution. I applies to individual citizens. I thank people like Alan Gura and Alan Gottlieb for defending law abiding citizens, like myself, against cities and politicians who think they can interpret the U.S. Constitution in any way they desire simply to further their anti-gun agenda. Guns are not, by themselves, illegal. There is no such thing as an "illegal" gun, as Mayor Bloomberg (N.Y.C.) would have you believe. There are simply those who utilize this tool in an unlawful manner. One can use a car, a knife, a hammer, etc in an unlawful manner. That doesn't make them "illegal". I believe the founding fathers, in drafting the U.S. Constitution foresaw that in the future there could come a time when government would get too big for itself and try to impose it's will, unlawfully, upon the people, and thus included the 2nd Amendment as well and the 4th and 5th Amendments. No, cities like Chicago and New York for that matter, are simply trying to explain away their inept lack of leadership in making their cities safe through skillful use of law enforcement. They would rather blame their failures on a "illegal" gun. Mayor Bloomberg's MAIG (Mayors Against Illegal Guns) has seen his membership in his organization drop considerably when mayors actually find out what his agenda is. Chicago is no different. If one looks at the statistics of cities and states who have passed "right to carry" laws you would see that crime, especially, violent crimes like murder, rape, robbery, etc have actually decreased. Why? The would be assailants do not know who is carrying and thus are fearful to attack someone when they don't know if they might be facing a gun. Bravo NRA, Alan Gura and Alan Gottlieb. Keep up the good work!

    8. Andrew Vickers says:

      The pre-amble of the second amendment is just context. The statement of law is in the second clause: "the right of the *People* to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed". This is an enumerated right and so, is not delegated to the states.

      It is plain as day.

    9. Angel, Arizona says:

      I am originally from Illinois and my parents were both raised in Chicago. Chicago has been a strong arm city since Al Capone and before.

      I agree with every post made thus far! Above all, I believe that the constitution should be the supreme law of the land, and it isn't.

      I don't own a gun but have been seriously thinking about buying one. We have that right. We also have the right to protect ourselves from tyranny from the government as well as protecting our homes and ourselves. I am getting way past tired that the government is stepping on the constitution where in, our God given rights are enforced!

    10. Web, Michigan says:

      It doesn't matter what happens here, sad to say, because if Hillary strikes her deal with the UN on the small arms treaty it's all over but the cryin. Forget what's going on with health care, cap & trade and all the other stuff in the lime light. You don't hear a whole lot about Hillery's dealings with the UN, do you? She is the most dangerous person in DC and make no mistake about it, if she succeeds with the UN deal, tyranny will prevail on a global scale and life as we know it will be over.


    11. Larry Ray Suiter,Nas says:

      i quote.

      " The Right to self-defense never ceases.

      It is among the most sacred,and alike necessary to

      Nations and Individuals."





      "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the

      People,it is an instrument for the PEOPLE to restrain the government

      ……..lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."


    12. Butch Holman - Jacks says:

      Very good article Mr. Stewart,

      I agree with all of the comments froom everyone, especially Drew Page's comment about defining and redefining the Second Amendment every time there is a change in a Supreme Court Justice. The U.S. Constitution is very clear and was worded as such. It is and always has been a founding document, not a changing document every time someone gets an idea to Change or Progress(ive) it. I hope for the best for you up in Chicago.

      Thanks again Heritage. Your whole team are Top Notch!

    13. David Bennett, Louis says:

      I also wonder what part of “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” do gun opponents not understand? Is it that they want criminals to have full reign and terrorize any law abiding citizen at their will? Or are the Democrats terrorized by an armed Citizenry because they know what they are doing is absolutely against the American populous and WRONG? I honestly feel that the DNC supports both. ACORN is a proven den of Thugs and Derelicts and would not be able to terrorize an armed citizen at will, my thoughts, sorry if anyone disagrees.

    14. Lloyd Becker, Washin says:

      Refer back when Illinois became a state. there should be something in their preamble of their Constitution stating that they accept the US Constitution. As in Washington States' Contitution this statement must be in the Constitution before thay can be accepted into the Union. If that statement is in the Illinois Constitution, then Chicagos' gun ban has been unconstitutional for these many years. No city ordinance may trump a state law. In this case, the Constitution. The Supreme Court of Illinois should have struck this down years ago. But, as usual certain people are progressive, or socialist. Maybe their Supreme Court fits the description.

    15. MIKI7 says:


    16. James T. Kucaba --- says:

      A Supreme Court ruling on whether the Daleys and their TRIBE of Jack-Booted Anti-Gun-Nazis can trash the Second Amendment and the entire US Constitution have the right ban the ownership of guns in Chicago T

      The Founding Fathers wrote the following statement: "The right (FREEDOM) of the people (EVERY US CITIZEN) to keep (OWN) and bear (CARRY) arms (ANY GUN) shall NOT be infringed (TAKEN AWAY)"

      What part of that simple statement don't the Daleys and their TRIBE of STUPID Anti-Gun-Nazis understand ?

      It's abour time that the Supreme Court started protecting the individual rights that are guaranteed to "the people" by GOD and the United States Constitution … So I say: …SCREW THE DALEYS and Their Stupid TRIBE of Stupid Jack-Booted Anti-Gun-NAZIS !

      Yours in TOTAL disgust !

      James T. Kucaba – American Patriot

    17. Sam, WI says:

      Unless I'm mistaken, the US Constitution has a part referred to as the Supremecy Clause, which in essence states that the US Constitution is the supreme law of the land and therefore cannot be overridden on a state or local basis. As for the premise of keeping people safe, you would have to pass a law requiring every citizen to have their hands amputated, since if someone was really intent on killing someone else, they would only need their own hands.

    18. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      I learned much about substantive due process from this case. But I'm also pleased Gura persisted with the privileges or immunities argument regardless of the justices' objection. In any event, it's encouraging to see progress on such a fundamental individual right.

    19. Paul Schnake says:

      It is the intent of the second amendment to our constitution not use use firearms just for hunting, not to use firearms just for protecting our homes and belongings, but to use firearms to protect us against an intrusive government such as like we now have. The original tea party made a statement just before the revolution, I would not particularly like it, but perhaps now is the time that it must be done again.

    20. MaryHolloway Love, M says:

      The Constitution is very explicit in its first 10 Amendments, known as the Bill of Rights; HOWEVER, with activist Judges, the Hate Crimes Legislations, the First Amendment has effectively been rendered moot, ( one cannot speak freely against actions with which one does not agree, not criticize terrorists who kill Americans based on their 'religion') because it violates the HATE crimes law!! (How ridiculous! I believe that intent involves THOUGHT police and our founders NEVER intended that, and were sufficiently explicit in the SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED! Why should be was Americans EVER feel safe with those in power, with NO checks and balances anymore and JUDGES who rule as they FEEL, not as they can READ the words of the USA Constitution! If we ever needed the 2nd Amendment, it is NOW!

    21. Thomas Beckham Georg says:

      The Bill of Rights was not written to grant rights to the people by the government, It was written to protect natural rights, people are born with, from governmental interferance. The Founding Fathers knew well the methods used to subjucate a populace, they had just fought a war against those methods. They knew the best way to prevent the loss of freedom was and is an informed and armed populace. Armed and informed Americans are the last and best hope for freedom to endure on this planet. We can live armed and free or die as slaves to tyranny. This fight is as much about individual freedom and liberty as it is about self defense against violent criminals. A government thats disarms its citizens is just as criminal as an individual that steals your money or takes your life. Both are quite willing to use violence to force you to submit to their will. Remember the lesson of Hurricane Katrina and the city of New Orleans, the criminal disarmament of the citizens left them vulnerable to the depredations of government and non-government criminals. Do you want your front door bashed in by government sponsored criminals, who will use physical violence on every member of your household until they find and seize your firearms, and then drive off leaving you as prey to the dregs of society. A victory here will set back the agenda of those who would steal not only your posessions, but also your liberty and your life.

    22. Cindy, Canton GA says:

      First of all, I agree with ALL of the preceding comments!!

      Second of all, this whole thing is such a travesty, wasting the time of the Supreme Court and more taxpayer dollars for these proceedings~! As everyone else has described, it is ludicrous that we have to redefine the 2nd Amendment every time we get a new Supreme Court justice~!

      OF COURSE the 2nd Amendment gives every American citizen the right to keep and bear arms!


    23. Pingback: New Supreme Court cases could affect State 2a laws - Page 2

    24. James C. Gay Sr. Sev says:

      The Second Amendment is as clear as the noise on your face. It reads as it is there is no need for a debate on it. The Democrats are a bunch of gun grabbers and they should be voted out of office. But most likely we will never get most of them out of office. I am a life member of the NRA and so is my wife and we both stand for the Second Amendment and always will. You can go to collage for years and still not learn a thing, just look what we have in Washington,D.C.. But don't give up hope it is a up hill battle and if we keep up the fight I hope we win. Whats in a name (Barack Hussein Obama) . You would think that the Commander In Chief would support the Second Amendment because he took an oath to up hold the Constitution of the United States of America.

    25. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Excellent point made Sam.

    26. Dan W Rykard says:

      What has happen to our constitutional right to protect our family's The gun does not kill it is the person and if they do not have a gun they will fin other means to kill.

      God Bless

      Walter Rykard

    27. William, Malta, Ohio says:

      I believe some years ago the Supreme Court decided a case in which they said the police have no requirement to protect the individual citizen. When then WILL protect us? Guess who – EACH OF US must defend ourselves! It follows logically that in order to do this, we each must have some sort of weapon with which to do this. Personally, I believe the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution provides that each individual has that right and it is in the form GUNS! There can be no doubt that without such self-protection, we do NOT have the means with which to provide for protecting our "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". I have faith that the Supreme Court will recognize that and rule accordingly..

    28. William, Malta, Ohio says:

      I believe some years ago the Supreme Court decided a case in which they said the police have no requirement to protect the individual citizen. Who then WILL protect us? Guess who – EACH OF US must defend ourselves! It follows logically that in order to do this, we each must have some sort of weapon with which to do this. Personally, I believe the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution provides that each individual has that right and it is in the form GUNS! There can be no doubt that without such self-protection, we do NOT have the means with which to provide for protecting our "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". I have faith that the Supreme Court will recognize that and rule accordingly..

    29. Kevin, Michigan says:

      Web from Michigan,

      I'm from Michigan too. What Hilary Clinton does with the UN means nothing if Congress does not ratify the treaty!

      That is why preventing Congress from ratifying such a treaty should be top priority. And that's also why we must get the Democratic party out of Office!

      If they ratify such a treaty we will end up fighting our own Government or living under tyrrany. If either of those things happens, then I will pray for victory or collapse of the United States.

      If I have to live under UN rule I'll pray for Nuclear War. GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!!

    30. Jim, Burbank, Illino says:

      I think its about time that our elected officials pay attention to the constitution and also listen to the people for a change. Are they or are they not supposed to represent the people!!! They are so out of touch with the American people.

    31. Dan Great Lakes Area says:

      "Web, Michigan on March 4th, 2010 at 9:00am said:

      It doesn’t matter what happens here, sad to say, because if Hillary strikes her deal with the UN on the small arms treaty it’s all over but the cryin. Forget what’s going on with health care, cap & trade and all the other stuff in the lime light. You don’t hear a whole lot about Hillery’s dealings with the UN, do you? She is the most dangerous person in DC and make no mistake about it, if she succeeds with the UN deal, tyranny will prevail on a global scale and life as we know it will be over.


      You are so sadly mistaken that it is not funny. The US Constitution clearly states that IT is the law of the land and that NO agreement shall superceed it's authority. As such Hillary can sign any damn thing she wants, BUT unless it is made part of the US Constitution by a constitutional amendment, it will have no effect as the Constitution already says that this is an individual right and has been upheld by well over 500 different US Supreme Court decisions since 1898. As such the ONLY way tochange the US Constitution is as per Article 1 Section 2…a Constitutional Amendment. And that just aint gonna happen as it has been treid over 20,000 times since 1787, and less then 30 have suceeded.

    32. Jim, upstate NY says:

      As has already been stated, the second ammendment has nothing to do with hunting & has everything to do with maintaining the constitution (all of it, not just select sections) & the common citizens saftey and security no matter where a threat to them may come. Our forefathers were painfully aware that a gov't just like the one we have now would come into being, SO, they made sure we would have the means to "dispatch" that gov't by force if necessary and restore the law of the land (The US constitution). There was some scuttlebutt behind the scenes where I hear the word "revolution". It's no longer scuttlebutt, but on national TV. This astounded me. To hear those words scares the crap out of me, BUT, I do understand it may become a necessary evil. The democrats have come to the starteling realization the this undercurrent exists and as a result will redouble thier efforts to disarm each and every Amerrican citizen, hence the UN "small arms treaty". They have also crunched some numbers and figure out that the military (which is totally dependant on those citizens for supply) has 3 million members with 12 a million in support positions. There are 80 million gun owners in the US with 200 million guns. I don't care what kind of high tech equipment you have, the odds are to high, they will loose, eventually, especially if thier supply lines are being strangled. The word I am hearing is if Obama crames health care down our throats and the UN treaty gets ratified, civil war WILL happen. There is a "tipping" point, and when it comes, all hell is going to break loose. May God bless us all, I hope this does not come to pass

    33. Bob, Northwest India says:

      Mayor Daley has one of the most corrupt city governments in the country. About 10-12 years ago one of his big cheese department heads got nailed in a drug deal, selling cocaine and carrying an unregistered gun and had felonly convictions… Daley said nothing about that or when his son shot a kid in his summer hime in Michigan. I live close to Chicago but seldom go at night due to the fact that every time we have been in the Loop at night we have been accosted by street people and gang bangers. I can carry legally in my state next door but have to fear for my life if I go to Chicago. I hate to say this but the goofy Catholic priest that dances around and talks like a ghetto clown won't admit what the real problem is.. The certain ethnic groups that cause the violenece are never admonished,they just keep blaming it all on guns.. No one wants to address the real problem there. Hooray for Mr McDonald and his beliefs, may you win the case and walk around that corrupt crime laden city with something to protect yourself with. Now we have to worry about Hillary getting cozy with the UN and the small arms treaty, wake up Hilda .. we are a free nation with a bill of rights and the UN is nothing but an entity/organization that has no say so in our government. Just left wing liberal commie dreams to disarm America.

    34. LJ Wood Lawrencevill says:

      Don't those Dummy's thats trying to take away our guns, that they can not take away

      the guns of the outlaws, the outlaws don't care about gun bans because they can

      get their guns on the black market any time they want, and another thing those

      people don't understand is GUNS DON"T KILL< PEOPLE DO, if they ban guns

      then they will have to ban knives, axes, ball bats, hammers, and any thing else

      any one can use as a weapon,

    35. Billie says:

      Look at all steps of this government. Provoking violence on the good people of America.

      Obama can't wait to get his military neighborhood task force employed.

    36. June Gagnon Golden C says:

      Couldn't agree with all of you more- -and to hell with Hillary and the UN!

    37. Mike says:

      I agree….the 2nd. Amendment shouldn't even be up for discussion. Like others, it's plain as the nose on your face. The right of the people to keep & bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. PERIOD!

      Mark my words people……another revolution is brewing. It's only a matter of time….and it may be sooner than later.

    38. Tom, IL says:

      The Illinois Constitution, amended twice, in 1870 and 1971, has arguably stronger and more protective guarantees of the right of every citizen to bear arms. What is stated in ten short paragraphs of less than a page in the United States Constitution, is expanded to a Bill of rights that contains 32 paragraphs in 24 Articles in two and a half pages.

      First, it discards the U.S. preamble's (often distorted and misused) language " A well regulated Militia,being necessary to the security of a free State,and instead substitutes: "Subject only to the police power, . . ". The operative language is clear and straightforward: (Emphasis added) "The right of the individual citizen to KEEP and Bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED" ( Section 22, Article I). In addition, the very first words of the Illinois Constitution immediately emphasize the source and foundation of our Constitutional rights as based on Natural Law: (Emphasis added) "ALL MEN ARE BY NATURE FREE AND INDEPENDENT AND HAVE CERTAIN INHERENT AND INALIENABLE RIGHTS . . . "TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS AND THE PROTECTION OF PROPERTY, GOVERNMENTS ARE INSTITUTED AMONG MEN, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed". (Section 1, Article I – Thomas Jefferson would be pleased)

      See also sections 2,12, 23 and 24 of Article I, which, taken together, guarantee a seamless protection to the individual state wide.

      Lest one fears that the cost of ridding one red herring from the debate comes, in Illinois, at the cost of adding another; remember two fundamental rules: (1) the "police powers" , (largely a New Deal expansion),however and wherever they are variously defined, are judged by, and limited, to compliance with both U.S. and State Constitutions, and, (2) A sovereign state in our Federal system may only pass laws that EXPAND the citizen's rights even more broadly than the U.S. Constitution; it can not reduce or limit them.

      I hope this is of assistance. Keep up the good fight.

    39. Tom, IL says:

      OOPS! There are TWO "to begin withs" in the first paragraph and first words of the second: Please change the second paragraph to begin "First," and delete " To begin with" Thank You, Tom

    40. Ed, Ohio says:

      I would like to make two important points here. 1. I noticed that alot of people keep refuring to our politicians as The Government. This is incorrect, while they may work in our Government seats, ( State or Federal ), they are not the Government. The Government of this country is supposed to be ( We The People ). Our forefathers deemed that We The People should be self governig.

      2. The people in our capitals, ( both State and Federal ), work for us, at least they are supposed to. Which brings to mind the words, ( No Taxation Without Representation ), so if our employees, ( politicians ), are not doing the job which we hired them to do, then maybe We should stop paying the bills.

    41. Gary Johnston, Roane says:

      I thank God every day that Barock Obbb ommooa ( unable to even say or spell his name ) was elected and shocked this great country of ours into waking up to stop and reverse the continual erosion of our fundamental rights, including the RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. Please keep the faith everyone until November when we will send a clear message when we throw them out of office. Proud to be co-chair of the Roane County, Tennessee Tea Party movement.

    42. GEORGE EDMUNDS says:










    43. Bill J. New Jersey p says:

      I hope 2nd amendment wins bigger than DC & Heller. We law abiders in Jersey have the worst gun laws in the nation. We might be able to keep arms but are denied the right to "Bear" them for our own protection. You have to jump through hoops to get a permit to carry. Common abiders just can't do it unless you demonstrate to some liberal judge that you carry diamonds or large sums of money around that need to be protected from being stolen rather than to protect your own life! I hope that we can win big so just maybe we abiders in Jersey can one day have the right to protect ourselves, family and property just like those of you who are lucky to have that right at the present time.

    44. Joseph Murray, Round says:

      With regard to those who oppose the enumerated rights of the Second Amendmant to the US Constitution, as in the case McDonal v. Chicago; the old 'saw' about being blind has it so right, namely, "There are none so blind as those who will not see".

      Blindness of the mind itself brings about a total unwillingness to consider any and all other points of view. Hence our present needs to, once again, Enumerate the rights of the Second Amendment.

    45. Dougla A Giese , Osa says:

      The 2nd amendment to the constitution is very clear as is the rest of the constitution. If supreme court justices spend much time on this, just maybe they are in the wrong profession!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and the wrong country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    46. Social Studies Teach says:

      As a law abiding conservative American citizen who bleeds red, white and blue, who comes from generations of war veterans, who teaches American History in New York State public schools and who is an NRA life member; I will continue to challenge the deranged liberal agenda that seeks to undermine the values that our nation has been built upon. Some where along the line liberals politicized gun owners on an equitable level to that of a street gangster who knows little of our history, deals drugs and terrorizes neighborhoods. To the factual contrary; the law abiding gun owner IS the militia that our forefathers defined and is essential to the safety and security of a free state. What our politicians lack are the lessons of history which detail the horrors of totalitarianism upon unarmed citizens. We as citizens are the last line of defense against tyranny in face of our enemies who seek to undermine the stability of our nation and destroy the Constitution of the United States. We have always been and will continue to be the GREATEST country in the world IF WE THE PEOPLE continue our traditions in the direction of our forefathers intentions and keep the god given right of self-defense alive well into our national future. Stay well friends and legally fight the good fight against the liberal agenda who wishes to deprive us of our guaranteed liberties. I leave you all with a quote from one of our greatest Presidents Ronald Reagan.

      "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."

      Ronald Reagan

      40th president of US (1911 – 2004)

    47. hoopers insurance as says:

      I have to hear exactly what Weldon has to say about that!?!

      -Sincere regards


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