So how does one pay tribute to the retiring federal Member of Parliament who played a pivotal role in not only ridding Canadians of the hated long-gun registry, and through it all, championed the rights of law-abiding gun owners across the country for over two decades?
You throw a party, of course!
Over 200 guests packed a hall in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, on August 28th to pay tribute to out-going Yorkton-Melville M.P. Garry Breitkreuz who is wrapping up 22 years of public life on October 19. Organized by the local Conservative Electoral District Association, fellow Saskatchewan M.P. and friend David Anderson (Cypress Hills-Grasslands) MC’d the event while House of Commons’ Speaker, Andrew Scheer, (Regina-Qu’Appelle) was special guest speaker. Along with a number of current and retired members of Parliament, local mayors, long-time supporters, friends and family, Garry was recognized for the tremendous work he has done both in his constituency as well as for his national efforts fighting for the rights of Canada’s gun owners.
Reflected in the many speeches by colleagues, friends and family was Garry’s opposition to the Liberal government’s sweeping firearms legislation in 1995, Bill C-68 and in particular, the long-gun registry. And through all the challenges his work would bring, Garry’s faith, his unwavering support for his party, his team spirit, and willingness to help others were seen as steering him well in his political life.
The CSSA’s very own Tony Bernardo took a few moments to thank Garry for his years of outstanding work and leadership on behalf of law-abiding firearm owners across Canada. Bernardo spoke of the recognition – both nationally and internationally – that Garry has received for his efforts, noting several awards from organizations such as the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Safari Club International, and of course, the CSSA.
Looking back on an exceptional career –
Many e-news readers may not know that Garry was a reluctant politician, at least at first – he really didn’t want the job – he was a teacher by trade and had no thoughts of becoming a member of Parliament. But he was encouraged to run for the nomination of the Reform Party back in 1991, and he only agreed on the condition that the party could convince at least other three candidates to run against him for the nomination.
In the end, five people ended up running for the Reform Party in Yorkton-Melville, and well over a thousand party faithful gathered for the nomination meeting in April of 1992. Against all odds, Garry won the nomination on the first ballot. He was dumbfounded, utterly speechless. He credits his team – many of whom continued to support him through six subsequent elections and under two other party banners.
A year and a half later, Prime Minister Kim Campbell called a federal election, and Garry faced yet another hurdle. He was running against the NDP’s long-sitting member, Lorne Nystrom – a seat regarded as the safest in the province for that party.
Garry took this task to heart. He saw our national deficit and debt as a moral and ethically bad situation and worried for the future of his children and grandchildren. So in the year and a half before the election call, he rallied his team and began to work hard. He literally wore out a few pairs of shoes door-knocking throughout the entire constituency. And in the end, against all odds, he was elected Member of Parliament for Yorkton-Melville.
Of course, the best leaders need to be good listeners, so as an MP Garry began listening to his constituents. When the Chrétien government introduced broad firearms legislation (including a long-gun registry) back in 1995 in response to the college campus shooting at L’École Polytechnique, Garry had to take those listening skills to a whole new level.
At that time, then Liberal Justice Minister Allan Rock had outraged the firearms community with these infamous words: “I came to Ottawa with the firm belief that the only people in this country who should have guns are police officers and soldiers.” Garry’s constituents were angry.
On a cold winter’s night at an overflowing town hall meeting in Preeceville, Saskatchewan, Garry’s constituents challenged him on Bill C-68 and his thoughts on gun control. They asked him to scratch beneath the surface on the new gun control bill and to report back.
And so it began.
Garry and his staff began digging, and it quickly became evident how unfair, ineffective and costly the bill really was. Armed with his research, Garry faced one of his greatest hurdles: convincing the naysayers in his own party that taking on the gun issue was the right thing to do. It was no easy feat, but keeping the issue on the front burner, Garry won the day and held the portfolio in both the Reform and Canadian Alliance parties. Stephen Harper would eventually appoint him Official Opposition Critic for Firearms and Property Rights in recognition of his commitment and talents. But more importantly, Garry kept the Liberal government’s feet to the fire.
Now comfortable with his role in Parliament and after many years of extensive research, including more than 550 Access to Information requests, Garry’s persistence finally paid off when he exposed the hidden costs of the long-gun registry at more than a $1 billion.
Those findings then led to a financial audit of the gun registry by the Auditor General of Canada in 2002 and in December of that year, the A.G. confirmed what Garry had been saying for years: that the registry had cost taxpayers more than 500 times the original estimate. It was a huge vindication for Garry who had faced his share of skeptics on the issue over the years.
Over the course of his career, Garry Breitkreuz became a household name as one who would fight for the rights and freedoms of Canadians, and his work continued behind the scenes when the Conservatives formed government in 2006.
Garry himself an angler, hunter, sport shooter and all around outdoorsman, decided early on in the Conservative mandate to form a group of like-minded MPs who could promote Canada’s outdoor heritage activities. He founded the Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus, an all-party caucus that seeks to protect and promote fishing, hunting, trapping and sport shooting as acceptable, traditional, environmentally sustainable outdoor heritage activities. To this day, it remains one of the largest caucuses on Parliament Hill.
After a couple of failed attempts in a minority Parliament, Garry was delighted to finally see the long-gun registry repealed by Parliament in 2012 – what he considers his greatest achievement in an impressive career.
Garry worked closely with Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney in 2014 to formulate the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act – that bill passed in June 2015. He acknowledges that there is much more to do and that will come with a re-elected Conservative government.
Looking back on his 22 years in Parliament, Garry credits his success to his Christian faith, his family and his supporters. He is a firm believer in honesty and doing what is right. When opposition members would try to distract him from his message during debate in the House, Garry said: “They can lie louder, but I can tell the truth longer.”
In the end, he attributes the support and patience of his supporters to having made a difference in the history of Canada. According to M.P. Wayne Easter, the Liberal Justice Minister under Paul Martin, the Liberals lost some 60 seats in the 2011 election over the firearms issue giving the Conservative Party the edge it needed to form a majority government. Garry summed it up this way: “If you hadn’t worked hard to get me elected – that wouldn’t have happened. My family, my staff, firearms organization leaders and members – those who organized hundreds of meeting, who distributed all the news release we put out that bypassed the national media and eventually made the issue a huge election issue – they all deserve credit.”
Team effort all the way and humble to the end. That’s Garry Breitkreuz, the best friend Canadian gun owners have ever had. You will be sorely missed in Parliament, but your work and your legacy will live in the hearts of trustworthy Canadians. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement!
“Allan Rock said he came to Ottawa with the belief that only the police and military should have firearms. I believe that firearms ownership is a right, but a right that comes with responsibilities.” – The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety
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PRIME MINISTER HARPER ANNOUNCES MEASURES TO SUPPORT CONSERVATION AND CANADA’S OUTDOOR COMMUNITY (Conservative Party of Canada News Release | September 4, 2015)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced a suite of measures, building on his government’s National Conservation Plan, to conserve Canada’s natural environment, support economic development, and stand-up for law-abiding firearm owners.
“The National Conservation Plan has expanded National Park lands by tens of thousands of square kilometers and secured ecologically sensitive private lands,” stated the Prime Minister. “By partnering with angling, hunting, and conservation groups, we can ensure that our conservation efforts are good for the environment and good for local economies.”
To further the objectives of the National Conservation Plan, Prime Minister Harper announced that a re-elected Conservative Government will:
Provide additional funding to Destination Canada dedicated to promoting angling, hunting, and snowmobiling tourism in Canada.
Create a Wildlife Conservation and Enhancement Program that improves habitat for species harvested by hunters and trappers.
Enact new migratory bird regulations to establish a family hunting permit.
Ensure a sufficient number of firearms safety instructors across the country.
Reject the re-imposition of the long-gun registry and instead preserve a common sense approach to gun control (as enacted in Bill C-42) which protects public safety without imposing unnecessary burdens on firearms owners.
“These initiatives will help to protect Canada’s natural environment and support economic development and new jobs across the country” said Prime Minister Harper.
The Prime Minister rejected the proposal advanced by Thomas Mulcair to reinstate the failed Liberal long-gun registry. “Any attempt to bring back the long-gun registry, as Mr. Mulcair advocates, would cost billions of dollars and be no more effective than the previous Liberal plan,” said Prime Minister Harper. “Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair would almost certainly return Canada to the confrontational policies of the past, which were not only costly and ineffective but were disrespectful of rural Canadians.”
Prime Minister Harper reiterated that his approach would respect and work in close partnership with Canada’s outdoor community and conservation organizations, who were seeking to protect and conserve Canada’s natural environment for future generations to enjoy.
POLS BECOME PALS AND AUTOMATIC ATTS BEGIN TODAY! (Staff | Calibre Magazine | September 2, 2015)
As of today, two of C-42’s most-anticipated components come into effect: The transition of POLs (Possession Only Licenses) to PALs (Possession and Acquisition Licenses) and the inclusion of the “Automatic Authorization to Transport” on RPAL licenses. While outlined in the text of C-42, both of these matters have been the subject of much debate, as the exact manner in which they will be released has been anything but clear… but as of today, the RCMP Canadian Firearms Program has finally issued a document outlining the process by which these changes will (and did) occur.
In the matter of the POL to PAL transition, it’s as simple as expected; if you possess a valid POL you now possess a valid PAL. There is no need to replace your card. You POL number is quite simply no registered as a PAL number in the firearms centre’s database so you may immediately proceed to your local gun shop and buy a new gun right now if you so desire. Obviously, when you renew your license, the newly-issued card will be labelled as a PAL but again that is not necessary until your card expires. If your POL has expired already, you must take the CFSC or CRFSC to obtain a PAL.
The matter of Automatic ATTs is a bit more nebulous. Basically, if you currently have an ATT to transport a firearm to a range or gun club, the following conditions have been automatically applied to your license:
These licence conditions authorize the transport of restricted and/or prohibited firearms registered to the licence holder within their province of residence by the most direct route possible for the specific indicated purposes.
Transportation of restricted firearms and/or prohibited handguns (12(6.1) of the Firearms Act) possessed for the purpose of target practice to and from all shooting clubs and ranges approved under section 29 of theFirearms Act.
Transportation of restricted firearms and/or prohibited firearms to and from any place a peace officer, firearms officer of Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) is located for verification, registration or disposal in accordance with the Firearms Act or Part III of the Criminal Code.
Transportation of restricted firearms and/or prohibited firearms to and from a business that holds a licence authorizing it to repair or appraise prohibited or restricted firearms.
Transportation of restricted firearms and/or prohibited firearms to and from a gun show.
Transportation of restricted firearms and/or prohibited firearms to a port of exit, in order to take them outside Canada and from a port of entry.
Transportation of newly acquired restricted firearms and/or prohibited firearms from the place of acquisition to the licence holder’s dwelling house or other place authorized by the CFO.
If you do not currently hold an ATT for the purposes of taking a firearm to the range, the above conditions have not been automatically applied to your license, but will be applied when you:
acquire your first restricted firearm;
acquire additional restricted or prohibited firearms;
request a new ATT during valid period of licence;
request a replacement ATT during valid period of licence; or,
renew your firearms licence with restricted and/or prohibited privileges.
When any one of those above events occurs, the automatic ATT conditions will be applied to your license, and a new license card will be printed to reflect that special conditions are attached to the license. The card carrier (paper that accompanies the license) issued with the new license will have the usual standard conditions listed, while the new six automatic ATT conditions will be listed under “Special Conditions” on the carrier. Whether or not this carrier must be carried with the license remains unclear as two separate calls to the Canadian Firearms Centre for clarification obtained two different responses; one which claimed the Special Conditions must be carried and one which claimed the carrier should be carried but was not legally necessary as the conditions are applied to the license regardless of if you physically possess the paper saying so and that confirmation of the conditions is available to any law enforcement officer electronically.
It should be noted as well that if the reason given for acquiring a new firearm is for the purposes of collecting firearms, only five automatic ATT conditions will be attached to your license, with the exclusion of the first condition. In other words if you have no ATT, and buy a new restricted or prohibited firearm for the purposes of collecting firearms, you will not get an automatic ATT allowing you take restricted/prohibited firearms to the range.
Holders of existing ATTs will not automatically receive a new card reflecting the new conditions that have been attached to their license (just as existing POL holders will not receive a card reflecting their new status as PAL holders), but the Canadian Firearms Centre’s database will reflect the changes in conditions for all RPAL holders that meet the criteria; namely those with pre-existing ATTs, and those that complete any of the above steps. Also, while the new conditions will have been applied to any existing ATT holders, the existing ATT remains valid. In a call to the Canadian Firearms Centre, we were told that for this reason it would be prudent to retain any existing ATTs with the restricted firearms they pertain to as they remain valid documents, but the Firearms Centre was also unanimous in saying that travelling to the range with restricted firearms but without our existing ATT (or any new license carrier declaring the new Special Conditions) this morning would be legal due to the new conditions placed upon our licenses.
For the full document from the RCMP go here: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/notice-avis-2015-09-eng.htm
TOLD YOU SO ~ AMERICANS BOUGHT 170 MILLION GUNS, VIOLENT CRIME FALLS 51% (By AWR Hawkins | Ammoland Shooting Sports News | September 1, 2015)
Washington DC – (Ammoland.com) On August 28 215, the NRA presented ATF and FBI data showing Americans have purchased “170 million new guns” since 1991, and violent crime has fallen “51 percent.”
The NRA tweeted, “Since ’91, Americans have acquired over 170 million new firearms and violent crimes have declined by 51%.”
Since ’91, Americans have acquired over 170 million new firearms and violent crimes have declined by 51%.
This information squares with the findings of a Congressional Research Service (CRS) study covering the slightly shorter period of time from 1994 to 2009. For those years, CRS found that Americans purchased approximately 118 million firearms, and the 1993 “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide” rate of 6.6 per 100,000 fell to 3.6 per 100,000 by the year 2000. It eventually fell all the way to 3.2 per 100,000 in 2011.
That is more than a 50 percent reduction in “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide.”
Then, in 2009—the year the CRS study ended—Obama took office and gun sales began their climb to record levels, which made covering the gap between the 118 million guns that had been purchased by 2009 and the “170 million new guns” that Americans would own by 2015 an easy gap to bridge.
Breitbart News previously reported that there were 21,093,273 background checks for firearms in 2013 alone. And each of those checks were on buyers who could have legally purchased multiple firearms.
The overarching message is simple—more guns, less crime. Americans have purchased “170 million new guns” since 1991, and violent crime has decreased as gun ownership has increased.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins.
See the story: http://www.ammoland.com/2015/09/told-you-so-americans-bought-170-million-guns-violent-crime-falls-51/?utm_source=Ammoland+Subscribers&utm_campaign=be2001813f-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6f6fac3eaa-be2001813f-20600317#axzz3kdIhtVAQ
WALMART DECIDES TO DROP SALE OF AR-15 ASSAULT RIFLES (By the Editorial Board | New York Times | August 30, 2015)
A generation ago, the American gun industry came up with a devilish new campaign to bolster declining sales — militarizing the civilian firearms market with lightly adapted versions of potent battlefield weapons like the M-16 rifle. Renamed the AR-15, this semiautomatic assault rifle has come to haunt society in the hands of criminals and the deranged, who regularly kill innocent people in high-powered mass shootings.
Walmart, the nation’s leading gun dealer, denies that society’s growing revulsion at this carnage has anything to do with its decision last week to stop selling the AR-15 and a full range of similar assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. Weakening sales was the reason, Walmart insists, despite reports that adapted war rifles and pistols continue as the industry’s big sellers.
Whatever the reason, Americans sick of the shooting epidemic must be grateful but no less wary, for these transplanted war weapons remain widely available across the country. It is foolish, of course, to hope that political leaders who resist gun safety in doing the gun industry’s bidding might yet be influenced by Walmart’s exercising some of the “wisdom of the marketplace” that lawmakers usually extol.
What is certain is that the industry and the closely allied National Rifle Association will rally round the marketing culture of assault weapons. A classic study of the militarization of the civilian gun market was published four years ago by the Violence Policy Center, a gun-safety research and advocacy group. It documented the industry’s campaign to rebrand remodeled war weapons, which are designed for firepower volume, as “modern sporting rifles.” Note the emphasis on “sporting” — an Orwellian gloss on what the center accurately described as “marketing enhanced lethality, or killing power, to stimulate sales.”
No one knows how many people have been killed by assault weapons on the civilian battlefront. Congress has limited the collection of lethal gun data to shield the industry. There are estimates of up to 10 million assault rifles in the country, many obtainable at weekend “sportsman” shows that Congress has refused to include for background checks under gun registration laws.
The continuing threats to the American public from the militarization of the gun market include numerous variations of the AR-15, like the Bushmaster rifles used in the sniper shootings around Washington, D.C., in 2002 (10 dead, three wounded) and the 2012 schoolhouse massacre in Connecticut (20 children killed along with six adults). The “sporting” arsenal adapted for civilians also includes high-power handguns used in mass shootings and sniper rifles that can pierce armor. They all remain for sale.
CANADA IN THE ROUGH – WORLD FAMOUS FLYWAY
Host Kevin Beasley is joined with good friend, James Vanos, as they head to Ontario’s most renowned waterfowl region: Lake St. Clair. This week, they will be hunting with Walpole Island Rod and Gun Club, and they will be hunting the marshes and shorelines of Lake St. Clair.
See the teaser: http://www.canadaintherough.com/world-famous-flyway/
Canada in the Rough can be found on OLN, WILD TV, and CHEX. For a full schedule, visit:http://www.canadaintherough.com/schedules/
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EFFECTIVE GUN CONTROL WOULD BE EASY (By Chris Ladd | Houston Chronicle | August 27, 2015)
As we process yet another pointless horror delivered by our idiotic gun culture, let’s take a moment to remember that effective gun regulation would be very simple. We have found straightforward ways to manage all kinds of lethal products and substances, from plutonium to whiskey. And we already have a very successful, comprehensive regulatory scheme to manage the most deadly tool in mass ownership in our culture – the automobile.
Even as our population rises and our roads grow more crowded, automotive deaths have been in a long, steady decline. There have been no mass confiscations, no scarcity, no nationalization. Every car owner and every vehicle is registered. Owners are economically liable for damage inflicted with their cars.
Insurance requirements have forced tougher schemes to keep dangerous drivers off the roads. Those insurance companies have also used political pressure to impose safety restrictions on manufacturers. It works for cars and with a few minor adjustments it would work for guns.
A national insurance requirement for gun ownership is outlined in The Politics of Crazy, but it is also described in this previous blog post, excerpted here from the original, Gun Control in the Ownership Society:
“First, regarding choice, loosen most of the explicit Federal curbs related to functionality, shape, and other characteristics of guns. They sound good, but they do not accomplish their goals and they needlessly entangle responsible gun owners.
“In the interests of accountability and transparency, establish a formal, national gun registry with owner’s names and weapons’ serial numbers. That registry should have roughly the same privacy protections we give to medical records and would be accessible by law enforcement and insurers. Building and maintaining the registry would be expensive. It would be funded by a sales tax on ammunition. Owning an unregistered weapon would be a federal crime, punishable by imprisonment. Owners would also be accountable for those weapons, possessing a duty to notify authorities within a fixed time, perhaps seven days, of any theft or loss.
“Gun owners would be responsible financially for their choices. No weapon could be registered or remain registered without proof of liability insurance provided annually. Lapsed insurance would be a crime which could be remedied by surrendering the uninsured weapons, paying a bond (self-insurance) or facing penalties for unlicensed possession.
“Owners would bear civil liability for crimes or injuries resulting from the use of weapons registered to them. Gun ownership would cease to be a casual choice like buying a fishing pole, but it would still be available to those who handle the right responsibly. A significant percentage of the annual royalties from Cat Scratch Fever would be diverted toward insuring Ted Nugent’s arsenal, but as long as he could afford the duties of responsible ownership, The Nuge could keep whatever guns he wants.
“The registration and insurance requirements would make it very difficult for irresponsible or unstable owners to maintain a large hoard of weapons. A gun owner who was falling apart mentally or failing to take reasonable safety precautions would probably start getting attention from the authorities long before they, or someone with access to their weapons, shot up a movie theater.
“State and local governments might enact additional requirements, within the bounds of a general right to gun ownership, or they might not. It would probably be much harder to carry a weapon in Manhattan than in Wyoming. That is entirely appropriate. That’s Federalism.
“The choice to own almost any type of gun would remain, but it would be bounded by responsibilities. That is what liberty looks like to a traditional conservative.”
And for those who insist against all reason, logic, law and history that they possess some God-derived right to create a nation swimming in loose guns, there is this argument:
“As for my untrammeled right to own any weapon I want with no accountability or regulation, that does not exist and has never existed. As for my right to hold weapons as a method of “defending” myself from my elected government, that does not exist and has never existed. It is not in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights and never has been found under any Constitutional interpretation we have ever used. Pack the Supreme Court with nine Scalia’sand you still won’t have those rights.
“Such claims run counter to the any conservative notion of liberty. Where we are free, we are accountable. Freedom, as we like to say, is not free.
“In more practical terms, if you actually believe that you’re going to defend yourself from Obama with your cache of AR-15’s and a cellar full of canned goods, there’s little to discuss here. No weapon ever developed can shoot down the black helicopters that hover silently over your dreams. Private arsenals do not guarantee our freedom. The wise use of our political power and the protection of our basic institutions preserves liberty for ourselves and our children.”
We own this country. The tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths we experience every year as a consequence of stupid policies on firearms are on our collective heads. Apathy is not an option. Simple, solutions that protect basic rights while properly imposing responsibility are available to us. We have a duty to make our country as great as it can be.
GUN CONTROL A KEY HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN COMPONENT (By AWR Hawkins | Breitbart News | August 29, 2015)
Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is vigorously campaigning on a platform of more gun control for law-abiding citizens.
She wants an “assault weapons” ban, a “high capacity” magazine ban, and myriad new regulations on gun purchases and purchasers, as well as new record-keeping requirements on gun owners. In short, she wants national laws to mirror the kind of laws we see in Chicago, California, and New York.
The Associated Press previously reported that “universal background checks” are the cornerstone of her gun control push. This one proposal will make private gun sales illegal, which means a neighbor could not sell a gun to his neighbor or a friend to a friend or a co-worker to a co-worker the way Americans have done since 1791, unless they do so with government oversight.
It also means every gun purchaser would be required to pass the same background check Vester Lee Flanagan (Virginia), Aaron Alexis (DC Navy Yard), James Holmes (Aurora movie theater), and Jared Loughner (Gabby Giffords’ attempted assassin) passed to acquire their firearms. And Clinton would use the information gathered from the background checks to achieve one of her other gun control goals: a “national registry” of gun owners.
According to The Daily Beast, Clinton wants to couple the gun registry with a licensing requirement for gun owners. In 2008, Clinton told the late Tim Russert, “Everyone who wishes to purchase a gun should have a license, and that every handgun sale or transfer should be registered in a national registry.”
It is interesting to note that California has “universal background checks,” a gun registry, and a “high capacity” magazine ban, none of which prevented Elliot Rodger from passing a background check for his handguns and registering them with the state, then using only ten-round magazines to go on a shooting spree in Santa Barbara in May 2014.
It is also interesting to note that in addition to the demonstrable evidence that the federal “assault weapons” ban did not reduce crime, The New York Times has reported that the entire notion of a group of guns called “assault weapons” is Democrat-sponsored fiction. According to the NYT, the Democrats created the term in the 1990s–while Bill Clinton was president–to ban a “politically defined category of guns.”
Pertinent to attempts to ban “assault weapons” is the fact that criminals rarely even use such guns for crime. For example, in 2011, the number of rifle-related deaths was so minuscule that they represented only “.012 percent of the overall deaths in America.”
Nonetheless, Hillary Clinton wants to ban them, she wants to compile a list of law-abiding gun owners, she wants to require law-abiding gun owners to get a license to own a gun, she wants to ban “high capacity” magazines for law-abiding gun owners, and she wants to outlaw private gun sales between law-abiding citizens.
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