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Oh Ye of Little Faith: The Pro-Gun Movement's Total Disregard for Our Constitution


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: abuse, americans, congress, constitution, corruption, crime, democrats, dishonesty, ethics, freedoms, Govtfearmongering, guns, lies, media, obama, politics, propaganda, republicans, terrorism )

Kit
- 614 days ago - huffingtonpost.com
Pro-gun leaders like NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre would have us believe that "the guys with the guns make the rules" in our democracy. But nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, our Founders ratified the Constitution to obviate the need for-->



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katie edwards (1)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 8:13 am
noted
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 8:14 am
(photo credit: cybershooters.org)


National Rifle Association (NRA) board member and aged rocker Ted Nugent made national headlines in April when his threats against President Obama and Democrats earned him a visit from the Secret Service. But he has taken recently to uttering another mantra that is equally disturbing and revealing. At a concert in Forth Worth on August 25, Nugent told the crowd, "The whole world sucks. America sucks less." It was at least the fourth time in the last year he's publicly shared this derogatory opinion about the United States.

Nugent's remarks got me thinking about a seldom discussed but critical aspect of the modern pro-gun movement: Its total lack of faith in the system of government established by our Founders in the U.S. Constitution. It is that profound lack of faith -- more than anything -- that is responsible for the insurrectionist ideology ("Second Amendment remedies") that fuels the movement.

Pro-gun leaders like NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre would have us believe that "the guys with the guns make the rules" in our democracy. But nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, our Founders ratified the Constitution to obviate the need for political violence. The very first line of the document reads as follows: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." The Founders were telling the world that this brilliant new system of government -- this social compact -- would secure individual rights on a scale previously unknown in the civilized world. They protected liberty not by creating a libertarian society where every citizen was in it solely for himself, but by establishing a strong, energetic government and stressing civic responsibility.

In the face of this history and the plain terms of the Constitution itself, it is amazing to see modern insurrectionists like Judge Roy Moore, the controversial former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice, write things like, "Liberty and freedom are gifts of God, and not the government. The means by which we secure those gifts are ultimately in the hands and the 'arms' of the people." It's as if Moore is totally unaware of all the robust protections for individual rights spelled out in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The idea of liberty may be a "gift of God," but the Framers knew it could only be safeguarded if a robust government was in place to arbitrate private disputes and guarantee that each citizen has an equal voice in the affairs of the nation. Furthermore, what spurred the drafting of the Constitution was a fear that "licentiousness" -- freedom taken to excess -- was the greatest threat to individual liberty!

Nonetheless, Moore is far from alone in his belief that only private violence can be trusted to "secure the Blessings of Liberty." At the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Wayne LaPierre told those in attendance:

"Their laws don't work, their lies don't ring true ... Government has failed us with our money and our financial institutions. It has failed in running our post offices and trains. It has failed in enforcing our immigration laws, our drug laws, and our laws against violent criminals with guns. Heck, they can barely get the snow plowed ... By its lies and laws and lack of enforcement, government policies are getting us killed and imprisoning us in a society of terrifying violence."



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Josh Horwitz
Josh Horwitz

Executive Director, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
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Oh Ye of Little Faith: The Pro-Gun Movement's Total Disregard for Our Constitution
Posted: 09/17/2012 7:15 am
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National Rifle Association (NRA) board member and aged rocker Ted Nugent made national headlines in April when his threats against President Obama and Democrats earned him a visit from the Secret Service. But he has taken recently to uttering another mantra that is equally disturbing and revealing. At a concert in Forth Worth on August 25, Nugent told the crowd, "The whole world sucks. America sucks less." It was at least the fourth time in the last year he's publicly shared this derogatory opinion about the United States.

Nugent's remarks got me thinking about a seldom discussed but critical aspect of the modern pro-gun movement: Its total lack of faith in the system of government established by our Founders in the U.S. Constitution. It is that profound lack of faith -- more than anything -- that is responsible for the insurrectionist ideology ("Second Amendment remedies") that fuels the movement.

Pro-gun leaders like NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre would have us believe that "the guys with the guns make the rules" in our democracy. But nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, our Founders ratified the Constitution to obviate the need for political violence. The very first line of the document reads as follows: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." The Founders were telling the world that this brilliant new system of government -- this social compact -- would secure individual rights on a scale previously unknown in the civilized world. They protected liberty not by creating a libertarian society where every citizen was in it solely for himself, but by establishing a strong, energetic government and stressing civic responsibility.

In the face of this history and the plain terms of the Constitution itself, it is amazing to see modern insurrectionists like Judge Roy Moore, the controversial former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice, write things like, "Liberty and freedom are gifts of God, and not the government. The means by which we secure those gifts are ultimately in the hands and the 'arms' of the people." It's as if Moore is totally unaware of all the robust protections for individual rights spelled out in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The idea of liberty may be a "gift of God," but the Framers knew it could only be safeguarded if a robust government was in place to arbitrate private disputes and guarantee that each citizen has an equal voice in the affairs of the nation. Furthermore, what spurred the drafting of the Constitution was a fear that "licentiousness" -- freedom taken to excess -- was the greatest threat to individual liberty!

Nonetheless, Moore is far from alone in his belief that only private violence can be trusted to "secure the Blessings of Liberty." At the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Wayne LaPierre told those in attendance:

Their laws don't work, their lies don't ring true ... Government has failed us with our money and our financial institutions. It has failed in running our post offices and trains. It has failed in enforcing our immigration laws, our drug laws, and our laws against violent criminals with guns. Heck, they can barely get the snow plowed ... By its lies and laws and lack of enforcement, government policies are getting us killed and imprisoning us in a society of terrifying violence.

In LaPierre's world, it's as if the U.S. government never fostered the most powerful economy in the world, or put Neil Armstrong on the moon, or won two world wars, or built a national system of highways, or prevented generations of senior citizens from living out their final years in poverty, etc., etc. And the system of justice spelled out in the Constitution? The NRA has completely given up on it. Bill of Rights protections? Worthless. The courts? Can't trust 'em. In Personal Firepower We Trust.

Perhaps most disturbing are the endless attempts to conflate our constitutional republic with some of the most brutal and inhumane dictatorships in human history (try Googling "gun control Hitler" sometime). Recently, when my organization, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, asked National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) General Counsel Larry Keane if he felt that individual Americans had a right to shoot and kill government officials in response to what they personally perceived as "tyranny," Keane tweeted back at us plaintively, "Just like the Jews in the ghettos of Warsaw? The South Sudanese? Kurds? The American colonists?"

Keane makes an important, but unintended, point. Countries that kill their own citizens are not democracies. As political scientist R.J. Rummel noted in his 1997 book, Power Kills: Democracy as a Method of Nonviolence, nations with strong democratic institutions do not murder their own citizens. A more recent study by Christian Davenport and David A. Armstrong II examined this conclusion statistically and found, "Democratic political systems have been found to decrease political bans, censorship, torture, disappearances and mass killing, doing so in a linear fashion across diverse measurements, methodologies, time periods, countries, and contexts." Well-developed democracies are the most effective means of preventing public and private violence, and the U.S. Constitution -- to this day -- remains the template for free societies.

Last year, the NRA criticized a blog I had written here at the Huffington Post in a column in their flagship magazine, America's 1st Freedom ("Fear and Loathing Post Tucson," May 2011). For believing in the system of government established by the Constitution, I was compared to Timothy Treadwell, who was killed by a grizzly bear after spending 13 summers around these creatures in Alaska. "Horwitz' fantasy that government can and will safeguard us from the brutal excesses of the state of nature reminds me of another individual who thought the designs of man -- in this case not the constructs of government, but the human values of compassion and fraternity -- could keep the brutality of the world at bay," wrote NRA editor Blaine Smith.

Except it wasn't my fantasy that the "constructs of government... could keep the brutality of the world at bay." It was the fantasy of our Founders who traveled to Philadelphia in May of 1787 to correct the deficiencies in the Articles of Confederation and establish a new system of government that could "insure domestic tranquility" and "secure the Blessings of Liberty." And while the NRA and the pro-gun movement might have absolutely no faith in their wisdom and foresight, most Americans still do.
*****

By: Josh Horwitz | Huffinington Post |

Josh Horwitz is the Executive Director, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 8:15 am

Sorry about all that crap in the article body, so little room to edit, I just missed that stuff.
 

Freya H. (304)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 8:40 am
Ballots are better than bullets! "When the gun owners make the rules" is tyranny, plain and simple. With votes, everybody is equal.
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 8:46 am

We don't have national referendums so we can not vote on single issues, we can only for a president and the Congress, along with state and local representatives. It's up to each of you to make a strong effort to let your local, state and federal office holders and make your desires known. It takes many phone calls, letters to these people, follow up calls and letters, letters to newspapers. Get active in groups that are working to support better legislation for gun laws. We can not stop all of the murder but we can make a strong effort to keep the ease of owning weapons of war out of the hands of those who have no business owning them.

 

Arielle S. (316)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 9:58 am
IMO, Ted Nugent is one of those "warning signs" - is he just a crazy, publicity seeking nut case or is he just crazy? There are SO many things that are different now than they were 200 years ago - I do believe we need updating and our first update should be these archaic notions we have about "arms".
 

Rose NoFWDSPLZ (273)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 2:25 pm
The laws must change
 

Robert Tomlinson (64)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 4:38 pm
It seems as if nothing less than a civil war will satisfy some of these characters.
 

Lydia D. (0)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 5:14 pm
When you have a nut case next door threatening to kill you who is quieted by the sight of your holding a gun, you will love your Second Amendment rights.

When terrorists repeatedly attack our citizens in mass shootings, some or which have been proven to be such terrorist attacks, we realize the deep need or our citizens to have the right to arm themselves against terrorist inspired hatred that has recruited nut cases to kill.

When the world is sane and safe is when the world has developed the inner world to self-actualize and be at peace on the individual level. We must educate, therapize, evangelize to pray and meditate according to one's choice to reach the highest level of dependency on Divine Love, liberating us from karma. Until then, guns are our right.
 

Suheyla C. (229)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 5:21 pm
noted
Thanks for saharing
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 5:26 pm

This is not about taking away second amendment rights. This is very simple and easy to understand, we do have laws that address the purchase and ownership of military grade assault weapons. All we need to do is enforce the laws we have.


If you are walking outside and brandishing a gun rather than calling the police about a threat from a neighbor than you too are breaking the law.
 

Robert O. (12)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 6:40 pm
We really do need to enforce the gun control laws we have though I believe making them more stringent wouldn't hurt either. It's discouraging that whenver the the mere mention of gun control is so much as whispered, there's a deafening chorus of "guns don't kill people, people kill people" or "once again big government is trying to take away our rights." It's always coming out of the mouths of the pro NRA, gun-toting zealots that think that being told what types of guns they can have access to or having to undergo a rigorous screening process to own a firearm is the same thing as having their second amendment rights revoked entirely. What a hysterical, alarmist bunch they are. That's what they're worried about meanwhile we've had a spate of shootings in this country in the past week and the loss of 20 young lives (and 6 adults) on Friday alone and still they don't see that something is seriously wrong with this picture? That's what happens when people have more bullets in their guns than IQ points in their brains. Thanks Kit.
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 6:47 pm

More nonsense propaganda from the NRA, Robert. People that have an agenda that has nothing to do with safety or individual rights. We also have a right to safety. It's very sad that this group has lead to so much fear that our schools are more "locked down" than many of our jails. The school in New Town, Connecticut was locked with rules that once the children were in school, anyone needing to enter had to ring a bell. The gun man shot our the locks.
 

JL A. (275)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 7:36 pm
NRA members want bans on automatic weapons and background checks--the corporate leadership puts their money into fighting those proposals...........is it because ALEC tells them to do so?
 

Nimue P. (230)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 7:38 pm
Noted, thanks Kit.
 

Dorothy N. (63)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 8:18 pm
Kit. B., I owe you SO MANY STARS...

Thought I'd bring this into the discussion - check out: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/15/1170462/-It-s-not-just-a-few-mass-killers-who-are-sick-and-twisted-Some-gun-manufacturers-are-worse?detail=email

Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 03:38 PM PST
It's not just a few mass killers who are sick and twisted. Some gun manufacturers are worse

by Meteor Blades
 

Janice P. (5)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 8:21 pm
Noted.
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 8:28 pm

I read that article Dorothy and I recommend it to anyone as a very note worthy piece of writing. We all must be completely informed or the fringe wrack-a-dooles win.
 

Louise D. (38)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 10:06 pm
The tired old mantra is that guns don't kill people, people kill people. Yes but guns are specifically designed to kill The designer of the gun had clearly not been instructed to beat about the bush. 'Make it evil,' he'd been told. 'Make it totally clear that this gun has a right end and a wrong end. Make it totally clear to anyone standing at the wrong end that things are going badly for them. If that means sticking all sort of spikes and prongs and blackened bits all over it then so be it. This is not a gun for hanging over the fireplace or sticking in the umbrella stand, it is a gun for going out and making people miserable with. With every school shooting there are people claiming that the government will take their guns away. When a gun store owner was interviewed after the latest school shooting was interviewed he wanted teachers to be armed, showed the type of empathy that only a psychopath could show. If anything the likes of Ted Nugent show the need for guns to be taken away. By the way, wasn't Ted Nugent supposed to be dead or in jail by now, funny how he seems to be alive.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday December 17, 2012, 2:50 am
The laws must be changed now
 

Ben Oscarsito (353)
Monday December 17, 2012, 4:29 am
President Barack Obama and Gun Rights. (About.Com. Civil Liberties)
In the run-up to the 2008 presidential election, many gun owners worried about the consequences of victory for Democrat candidate Barack Obama...
National Rifle Association Executive Director Wayne LaPierre said prior to the 2008 election that "Never in NRA's history have we faced a presidential candidate — and hundreds of candidates running for other offices — with such a deep-rooted hatred of firearm freedoms..."

After Obama’s election, gun sales reached a record pace as gun owners snatched up guns, particularly those that had been branded assault weapons under the defunct 994 Assault Weapons ban, out of an apparent fear that Obama would crack down on gun ownership. The Obama presidency, however, has been largely uneventful in terms of how it has impacted gun rights...

My comment; -A neverending story...???
http://civilliberty.about.com/od/guncontrol/a/Barack-Obama-Gun-Control.htm
 

John Gregoire (254)
Monday December 17, 2012, 6:21 am
One gun per person that can hold no more than one bullet each. That's all that is needed by a good hunter or target shooter. But let's also address what causes these crazies. Look at violent video games, TV and movies as well as permissive parenting.
 

Kathy B. (98)
Monday December 17, 2012, 8:00 am
Before Obama was first elected, he said he was not going to do anything with the gun laws, because there was no backing for him to do so. Apparently the NRA either didn't hear him, or chose to ignore that.

I think he's got backing now, and I think the NRA is a terrorist organization.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Monday December 17, 2012, 9:27 am
Interesting article Kit. Thanks.It was not exactly what I expected it to be.

I think about this idea of Militia. It seems that was part (or all) of the reason given for bearing arms. I can also see hunting and self-defense (especially back then) being legitimate reasons. I say this having never lived in a home that did have guns. One grandfather was a hunter, that was their meat back in the depression. But Mom and Dad kept kept guns. ANd neither do my husband or I. NOt a gun family though I can see a need for some.

John Gregoire, I like your idea- one gun person and one bullet per gun.
 

Carol D. (108)
Monday December 17, 2012, 1:06 pm
Sounds to me like just a lot of spoilt little boys will cry if they lose their guns. The children have more rights than you to be born and live without getting shot . Grow up other countries can live without guns and do

signed and noted
 

monka blanke (74)
Monday December 17, 2012, 1:16 pm
to hell with those sick gun laws. Hold a referendum, sign petitions, occupy...there must be a way...!!
 

Aletta Kraan (146)
Monday December 17, 2012, 6:34 pm
Noted, get rid of guns !!!!
 

JL A. (275)
Monday December 17, 2012, 6:59 pm
United States Law Code – the law that governs the entire country – contains a definition of terrorism embedded in its requirement that Annual Country reports on Terrorism be submitted by the Secretary of State to Congress every year. (From U.S. Code Title 22, Ch.38, Para. 2656f(d)

(d) Definitions
As used in this section—
(1) the term “international terrorism” means terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than 1 country;
(2) the term “terrorism” means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents;
(3) the term “terrorist group” means any group, or which has significant subgroups which practice, international terrorism;
(4) the terms “territory” and “territory of the country” mean the land, waters, and airspace of the country; and
(5) the terms “terrorist sanctuary” and “sanctuary” mean an area in the territory of the country—
(A) that is used by a terrorist or terrorist organization—
(i) to carry out terrorist activities, including training, fundraising, financing, and recruitment; or
(ii) as a transit point; and
(B) the government of which expressly consents to, or with knowledge, allows, tolerates, or disregards such use of its territory and is not subject to a determination under—
(i) section 2405(j)(1)(A) of the Appendix to title 50;
(ii) section 2371 (a) of this title; or
(iii) section 2780 (d) of this title.
 

James Maynard (68)
Monday December 17, 2012, 8:35 pm
We need to enforce the "well regulated" portion
of the Second Amendment and we need a very
serious discussion about the whole damn thing.
 

Judy C. (106)
Tuesday December 18, 2012, 12:10 am
Trust that Ted Nugent will always be a crackpot! People like Nugent and LaPierre have a very warped perception of human nature, and it seems like the chasm between their views and those of the Founding Fathers are almost too great to bridge. The only conclusion I can come to is that even the most ignorant, myopic, even depraved people have a right to express their opinions. I think the answer lies in the fact that no system is ever perfect, but we must not let the evil in the world derail the vision of our compact to form the best, most principled government we can. The words read "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union". The emphasis is on "We", and on striving for a "more perfect Union".

Terrible things do happen in this world, and there are very sick people like the latest gunman. We each can decide whether we can trust law enforcement to protect us, or whether we need to arm ourselves. When the constitution was written, people did live in remote areas, and communication technology to call for help didn't exist like it does today. Back then, I might have felt I needed a gun. Today, however, it would make me feel less safe. I definitely don't think the answer is to have a bunch of belligerent individuals whose worldview is "every man for himself", walking around in our high-pressure urban environments, toting firearms!
 

JL A. (275)
Tuesday December 18, 2012, 12:59 am
You cannot currently send a star to Judy because you have done so within the last week.
 

Gloria picchetti (286)
Tuesday December 18, 2012, 3:26 am
Green star to Kit! I hope 2013 is known for the anti gun laws passed.
 

Aaron Bouchard (126)
Tuesday December 18, 2012, 10:41 am
Noted, guns suck
 

ewoud k. (73)
Tuesday December 18, 2012, 1:55 pm
Thanks for posting Kit, quite interesting point of view.

Another thing: allowing firearms for self-defense might (I say might, I don't say must) be a defendable issue -but on the other hand, when was the last mass-shooting where some one defended himself?- but the weapons that were used by Adam Lanza were assault weapons, at 100 rounds a minute you don't defend yourself, you commit a massacre - just like he did.

Why on earth are these kind of weapons for sale?

 

greenplanet e. (157)
Tuesday December 18, 2012, 5:58 pm
The gun craze is not about the second amendment, which had an historical context and could not have predicted the ever more violent guns of today. The gun craze probably benefits gun manufacturers/companies more than anything. It's marketing to say we need guns!
 

Angelika R. (146)
Tuesday December 18, 2012, 6:24 pm
watch the idiot LaPierre in  this internal NRA members video - no wonder so many srewed minds out there..
 

Kit B. (277)
Tuesday December 18, 2012, 7:48 pm

Thanks Angie, I realize that many think the NRA is strong and all powerful but look at how they use the power. They supported legislation that protects the gun manufacturers, not their membership or gun owners. They spent about 17 million on the past election to defeat President Obama, and supported only those candidates they grade with an A on "gun rights". The truth is this is not about the right to own a gun but about the armory that some are convinced (by the NRA) they need to have. For what possible reason? Many Americans own a gun or a rifle/shot gun. No one cares about that, we care about this mania of owning military assault rifles and extended cartridges, that hold up to 30 rounds. It's also about these "gun shows" that encourage and allow anyone without even an ID to buy any sort of military weapon. The life you save may be your own.
 

John S. (300)
Wednesday December 19, 2012, 4:02 am
I'm I mistaken in thinking that we should look to overthrow this perfect union every 20 years or so?
 

Lois Jordan (54)
Wednesday December 19, 2012, 3:35 pm
Glad to know that Sen. Feinstein will be introducing the Assault Weapons Ban soon. We must all remember to tell our Congress critters to support this and not water it down or hold it up.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday December 19, 2012, 6:24 pm
The world sucks, and America also sucks, sometimes more! This is why the founding fathers thought we should have more revolutions, from time to time. While I disagree about the need for government, government should never become so large (as it is) that we start losing our rights. The minute we ban guns is the minute we have lost all hope.
 

Kit B. (277)
Wednesday December 19, 2012, 7:07 pm

You sound like such a happy man Chris Fugate. Share that sunshine.

I think American is a very good place to live, we have our problems but this is the land of my birth and for most Americans a very fine country, indeed.
 

Kit B. (277)
Wednesday December 19, 2012, 7:09 pm

Chris Fugate : "The profile you are looking for could not be found."

A troll!
 

Just Carole (341)
Wednesday December 19, 2012, 7:21 pm

Just HAD to visit here . . . after seeing Kit's 7:07pm quote above.

I don't think Cris is totally wrong [dodging rotten eggs] . . .

I just think he thinks "absolutely" (meaning, in a Conservative vein, that he exaggerates and forms opinions based upon not fully reading and comprehending).

To some people, if you say, "There is NO reason common citizens need to have military-style assault weapons," they skip several words and only read: "There is NO reason citizens need weapons."

Rational people understand that:

1. There is no way a predominantly Republican House is going to pass anything like that; and

2. There is no way even a Democratic Senate would pass it.

And why??????? Because they understand that the Second Amendment DOES have a purpose -- but, it's just NOT to allow citizens to "lethalize" other citizens efficiently.

But then, most readers here have seen this before . . . right?

 

Kit B. (277)
Wednesday December 19, 2012, 7:59 pm

You are too kind, Carole. That assumes that the person in question even read the article. Yes, many jump to conclusions with out knowing the facts or assuming they know the facts. I do not accept that blocking the sale or purchase of military grade weapons in any way harms any amendment, though I do understand why some do.
 

Thomas P. (468)
Friday December 28, 2012, 2:00 pm
Noted...thanks Kit. James M...absolutely right!
 
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