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Old October 2, 2005, 12:19 PM   #26
armedandsafe
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Having been raised in a Quaker family (not Friends; they shunned us) I was taught the full teachings of Mr Fox.

"Thee shall not cause harm to another person; nor shall thee allow harm to come to another person."

This statement has been my guiding principle in serving in the military, acting as under-cover, setting up and operating neighborhood watch units and going armed in public. It has taken a lot of the doubt and confusion out of my life.

Pops
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Old October 2, 2005, 12:40 PM   #27
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FIRST you have to take care of yourself (and your family if they are involved). THEN you can take care of others in need - mabye.

Rushing in to save someone and then you too becoming a victim didn't do any good and did do lots of harm. This is the same sort of thing that happens with workers caught in a pipe that has poison gas. One worker goes down in the pipe and falls unconcious, then another goes down to get him and becomes unconcious, and another goes down and so on. This happens regularly in real life, even though pipeline workers are trained against it happening.

If you are in a situation where you can save someone because you have a gun and he/she doesn't, make damn sure you aren't going to just add to the victim list.

Going to the rescue is a strong instinctive response built into us for survival of the tribe; from the bad old days when each tribe was small and each individual in the tribe was dependent on the other tribe individuals for their own personal survival. It is as strong as the fight or flight response. It made sense then, it does not make sense now. Our survival is not threatened by the loss of a strangers life. Except between soldiers in a war.

What was a survival necessity has now become a romanticized heroic act. Mostly it is a harmless act, but some people will rush in to save someone, and lose their own lives.

Just don't be one of those. Otherwise save as many as you can and bask in the good feeling it brings you.
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Old October 2, 2005, 02:19 PM   #28
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Morality

is situational, as others have already stated. That said, see my sig line.

-PB
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Old October 2, 2005, 02:59 PM   #29
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Nobody Has An Obligation To help Anyone Unless Asked And Excepted!

Joab, I understand all of the strong gentlemen in your family. My father and I both served down range in a military conflict. Our obligation was to the US Army and to this nation not to some stranger in the street. Yes people in Vietnam and the people in Iraq my father and I had to deal with were strangers. Do I feel I am obligated to the people of Iraq? No, I am obligated to the Military, my nation and the military contract I signed and I promised to up hold. I carry my pistol religiously when I go out and it is for my family and my protection. Not to say under certain circumstances would I help others like if a woman was getting raped and was screaming for help or if I was in a convenient store looking to get a coffee and some scum bag came in to rob the place, because my life is in danger in that situation too, I would not hesitate one second to put two into a robbers chest in a hold up if I was there.
Now what I mean by not getting involved in certain situation’s say I just arrived to a convenient store and the robber was running out of the store with money and his weapon, No way in hell would I try to raise my weapon on him. I would get a good description of him and wait to the police arrived to assist them. Another example of not getting involved is you folks probably heard the story of a guy stabbing a lady in Walmart and a man with a CCW shooting him to save her. He never should have shot the guy. If I was in that situation I would scream for him to stop or even ran to get help. Only way I would draw at him is if her came at me with that knife. My only problem with that situation is why was he stabbing that lady in Walmart? The guy that shot this man felt he was doing the right think but lets think what if this guy was so mad because of what happened between him and this woman. Say this woman, killed his wife or even tortured and raped his daughter tell me you wouldn’t be so mad you would chase this woman down in Walmart and stab her. I am in now way condoning violence against another human being but my point is you should not get involved in any situation unless you are some how involved. I am not in any way obligated to help anyone. Especially if I don’t know the story behind what is going on or even asked to help. I would help anyone who asked me for it. Now if I was walking and I saw a person shoot another in cold blood would I get involved? Hell no, I would get a description of the shooter and help the Police. Just like Soldiers, LEO’s too have any obligation and that is to protect and serve the people in the community. Now for all of us who are not one of them, I believe they are the only people out there who are supposed to prevent crime even off duty. So let the LEO’s for fill their obligation and don’t try to be some hero. All the great hero’s I know are the dead one’s
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Old October 2, 2005, 03:15 PM   #30
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Society and times have changed. There is another thread in this fourm regarding the likes of John Wayne, Glen Ford, Jimmy Stewart, Audie Murphy etc. All past hero's to viewers and fans, they always did the right thing regardless of outcome or cost. They portrayed real men who had principles and values that were put above anything else. Hero's to our youth that were only equal to their fathers, both installed morals and pride in being a man. Todays era has different heros and different messages. Its the "me first" generation and do unto others before they do to you. Todays heros are portrayed by rappers, badboys and the Bill Clintons. The dads are also fading away, the base is crumbling and being replaced with political correctness.
Amen.
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Old October 2, 2005, 03:35 PM   #31
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Now I understand

When Fascism took over Germany they selectively and one at a time took groups out of the population. Gypsies, Jews, Poles etc. etc. The German citizen said "It's not me and not my fight".

I didn't expect that lesson to be brought home to me in the USA as a general response even on an individual basis.

Older and wiser than I wanted to be.
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Old October 2, 2005, 04:05 PM   #32
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Quote:
There is another thread in this fourm regarding the likes of John Wayne, Glen Ford, Jimmy Stewart, Audie Murphy etc. All past hero's to viewers and fans, they always did the right thing regardless of outcome or cost.
Movie heros? You present movie heros for examples? Outside of war (Audie was a real life war hero), and war situations are not the discussion in this thread, these were movie heros. Come on, real life here...

For every story of a real life hero that rescued a stranger from harm, how many are there where the real life wannabe hero screwed up things worse?

You need to be careful in real life situations that you don't screw things up and cause even more damage than would have been done otherwise. When I went through basic training they were always telling us how John Wayne would do it in the movies, then showing us how to do it in real life situations.

If you walk into a 7-11 at 2am and it is being held up, movie heros aren't what you need to be thinking of. You need to be thinking of getting out of there alive so that you can continue to take care of your own family.

Quote:
When Fascism took over Germany they selectively and one at a time took groups out of the population. Gypsies, Jews, Poles etc. etc. The German citizen said "It's not me and not my fight".
I didn't expect that lesson to be brought home to me in the USA as a general response even on an individual basis.
Holy Cow! People who don't immediately rush into to help crime victims are guilty of the same crimes as the Nazis in the Holocaust!!!!! Where in the world did that comparison come from? That is so far over the top that it is bordering on comedy!
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Old October 2, 2005, 04:23 PM   #33
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If morality is relative, the guy raping your wife isn't doing anything wrong.

Movie heros distill into a single mythical character the attributes that society deems heroic. Nobody expects anyone to behave exactly like John Wayne, any more than a Christian would really be expected to behave EXACTLY like Jesus... they are merely expected to try their best. Heros of whatever origin; movie, myth, or religion are heros for a reason. Society believes them to be an example of how to live the values the society holds as important.

Disclination to act when another is in need arises from 2 fears: the fear of death and the fear of inconvienience. Two questions that pop into the mind of any potential aid giver are: How much of my time and trouble is this going to take? Am I going to get hurt?

Those who fail to act because of the answer to the first are selfish, those who fail to act because of the second suffer from cowardice.
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Old October 2, 2005, 04:32 PM   #34
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Quote:
Disclination to act when another is in need arises from 2 fears: the fear of death and the fear of inconvienience. Two questions that pop into the mind of any potential aid giver are: How much of my time and trouble is this going to take? Am I going to get hurt?

Those who fail to act because of the answer to the first are selfish, those who fail to act because of the second suffer from cowardice.
And those who act foolishly are fools.
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Old October 2, 2005, 04:38 PM   #35
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Admittedly I didn't read any of the previous posts.

My .02.

I'll evaluate the situation. We can never know if a BG is going to USE his lethal force of if it's just a threat. And, in the instant that the BG decides to shoot, it may be too late.

I can't in good conscious let an innocent be killed. Besides, if the BG kills one person, he may decide to execute everyone to kill the witnesses.

If I can safely come to the rescue of someone, on my best guess, I'll do it as best as possible.

And, think about it, you or your loved ones may someday be the "innocent at risk." You would want someone to come to your rescue.
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Old October 2, 2005, 04:43 PM   #36
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The original poster is paraphrasing from Pastor Martin Niemoeller. His bio is pasted below, courtesy of jewishvirtuallibrary.com. The quote is pasted first. It is neither over the top, nor is it comedy:

“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Martin Niemoeller was a Protestant pastor born January 14, 1892, in Lippstadt, Westphalia. He was a submarine commander in World War I. He was anti-communist and initially supported the Nazis until the church was made subordinate to state authority.

In 1934, he started the Pastors’ Emergency League to defend the church. Hitler became angered by Niemoeller’s rebellious sermons and popularity and had him arrested on July 1, 1937. He was tried the following year and sentenced to seven months in prison and fined.

After his release, Hitler ordered him arrested again. he spent the next seven years in concentration camps in “protective custody.“ He was liberated in 1945 and was elected President of the Protestant church in Hesse and Nassau in 1947. He held the title until 1964. He was also a President of the World Council of Churches in the 1960’s.

Niemoeller was a pacifist who spoke out against nuclear weapons. He is best known for his powerful statement about the failure of Germans to speak out against the Nazis:

“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”

He died in Wiesbaden on March 6, 1984.


Quote:

Quote:
When Fascism took over Germany they selectively and one at a time took groups out of the population. Gypsies, Jews, Poles etc. etc. The German citizen said "It's not me and not my fight".
I didn't expect that lesson to be brought home to me in the USA as a general response even on an individual basis.

Holy Cow! People who don't immediately rush into to help crime victims are guilty of the same crimes as the Nazis in the Holocaust!!!!! Where in the world did that comparison come from? That is so far over the top that it is bordering on comedy!
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Old October 2, 2005, 04:45 PM   #37
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Quote:
Disclination to act when another is in need arises from 2 fears: the fear of death and the fear of inconvienience. Two questions that pop into the mind of any potential aid giver are: How much of my time and trouble is this going to take? Am I going to get hurt?
Not always. My personal favorite for just walking away is, drum roll please.

"They pretty much deserved it."

Most serious violence that I see is between equally reprehensible people and I usually walk away whistling a tune and hoping it turns out fatal. For both of them.

That said, I almost always at least verbally intervene in lopsided actions like mothers shaking their kids and boyfriends slapping their girlfriends around. So far I can't remember a time when I thought I needed to actively interven tosave someone's life that was worthwhile.

What's the penalty for sliding knives across the floor of a nighclub when bangers start punching each other out?
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Old October 2, 2005, 04:45 PM   #38
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For every story of a real life hero that rescued a stranger from harm, how many are there where the real life wannabe hero screwed up things worse?
I don't know - you tell me?

Quote:
You need to be careful in real life situations that you don't screw things up and cause even more damage than would have been done otherwise. When I went through basic training they were always telling us how John Wayne would do it in the movies, then showing us how to do it in real life situations.
Where I went through BT, they told us that as [semi-]trained armed individuals and soldiers it was our duty to 'resolve violent incidents through the use of your marksmanship and other skills.'
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Old October 2, 2005, 04:56 PM   #39
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“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”
This thread did not start out to be, nor did it appear intended to be, about the Nazis taking the Jews to the death camps. It was, I believe, intended to be about an individual finding himself (herself?) in a situation where an unarmed person might be rescued because the individual had taken the time and effort to arm himself/herself legally - and did he/she then owe some allegiance to every perosn out there that had not taken the time and effort to do the same. How you have managed to drag the Nazis and the Holocaust into this is beyond my comprehension.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
For every story of a real life hero that rescued a stranger from harm, how many are there where the real life wannabe hero screwed up things worse?


I don't know - you tell me?
I wish I could find statistics on this, but I doubt it there are any kept. From personal observation of over 52 years now, I have watched people screw things up far more often than making things better ~ even in non-lethal situations. My take on it is that most people will make things worse, which means that most of the time the best thing to do is probably nothing - every situation of course has it's own parameters, and in this thread no specific scenario was offered.

Quote:
Where I went through BT, they told us that as [semi-]trained armed individuals and soldiers it was our duty to 'resolve violent incidents through the use of your marksmanship and other skills.'
I went through Basic Training and Infantry Advanced Individual Training and never once heard that phrase. Basic Training was designed to teach basic skills and survival techniques IN A COMBAT SITUATION, as in how to shoot straight and keep your head and butt down too. AIT was training in advanced weaponry and markmanship and tactics IN A COMBAT SITUATION, never heard those words, or words to that effect in either training course. It was follow orders, shoot straigtht and always watch your own sector of fire.
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Old October 2, 2005, 05:25 PM   #40
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Quote from Pointer: "In Utah CWP holders are LEGALLY obliged to help..."


Do you have a cite for that ?
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Old October 2, 2005, 05:39 PM   #41
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Now I Understand More

My only point was surprise. IMO only, if a person is disinclined to go to the serious aid of another in trouble I would expect them to find a way to rationalize why they shouldn't help any but their family.

It's just a good lesson to me how I'm outside the mainstream. Maybe my bad as I can't help how I am either.
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Old October 2, 2005, 05:45 PM   #42
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Movie heros? You present movie heros for examples? Outside of war (Audie was a real life war hero), and war situations are not the discussion in this thread, these were movie heros. Come on, real life here...

Holy Cow! People who don't immediately rush into to help crime victims are guilty of the same crimes as the Nazis in the Holocaust!!!!! Where in the world did that comparison come from? That is so far over the top that it is bordering on comedy!
Now here's a response that demands a AMEN! Let's be real, folks, and not fall back on Hollywood fantasy or invoking Godwin's Law to make a reasonable point ridiculous.
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Old October 2, 2005, 06:24 PM   #43
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The Original Question

The question was, do you have a moral obligation to help someone in need. Many of the examples stated show us the results of not getting involved. What you do is between you and your Maker; and is influenced by whatever guiding principles you cling to each day. I think it is extremely inappropriate for those who would not act to find fault with those that say they would. Such terms as keyboard commandos and tactical teddys are demeaning.

Yes, it is easy to sit in the comfort of our homes (offices) and tell what we would do, it is just as easy to find fault with what was said! I have been on this earth a pretty long time (68 years) and have seen and done a lot. Most of my career has been in the protection field and I have seen far more incidents that got worse from someones failure to act than the other way around. Telling yourself that you would just make it worse seems kinda lame to me.

If you came across an accident with people injured and bleeding, would you tell yourself, "I am not a doctor, I'll call 911 and wait" or would you do your best to apply basic first aid? Not been trained in basic first aid? Most of it is common sense!!! People can die rather quickly; the window of opportunity to prevent them from dying is rather narrow.

Just as you will react the way you train you will probably also react the way you have thought it through. The what if game, if you will.

While it is disappointing to read some of the comments, they do not nor will they in any way change my thought process. I may be a fool but I will not be a "bystander" if I can help.

John
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Old October 2, 2005, 06:40 PM   #44
butch50
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The original question was
Quote:
Personally, I always struggle with this. Is it really my obligation to take action? Certainly I might agree with this if my actions did not put me at risk. However, I am not sure that is true when I might become injuried, disabled, or killed. In fact, even if I personally feel compelled to act, I feel as though I have to weigh the potential disasterous consequences and its impact on my family.

Personally, I am a proponent of carrying for the defense of yourself and your family. Any other use should be carefully weighed. In my mind, if it does not involve me or my family, I need compelling reasons to act. The default is not to take actions unless I must.

I also often wonder what my obligation is to take action to help/defend those who have not taken actions to be prepared. If they are unwilling to carry a way to defend themselves, why should I feel obligated to defend them? I know it sounds cold but it makes sense to me.
And this is very hard to discuss when it is a generalized question without specific situations. However, if you as a non LEO citizen with a ccw, think you might can rescue someone because you have a gun, then you should at least consider the following:

1. Can I rescue this person at no risk to myself? If the answer is yes then get after it. But if the answer is no then:
2. What happens to my family if I get killed attempting to rescue a total stranger? Who takes responsibility for my family after I get killed? Who will my children call Daddy? Can my wife support our kids at the same level without me? How would she vote on this situation if she could?
3. Why hasn't this person taken the responsibility of protecting himself? Why is he a victim when he could be armed and taking care of himself? Why doesn't he take responsibility for himself in situations like this? What is it that makes him weak, and therefore "requires" my help?
4. Why should I risk my life and my family's welfare and security for a stranger that I know nothing about? Is this a good person or a bad person? Am I going to risk my life for someone who turns out to be a wife beater and dog kicker? He might even be anti gun, anti hunter! What if he is a democrat?
5. If I barge in will I cause more damage than if I dont barge in? Will I cause the BG to start shooting where otherwise he might not shoot?

Basic questions to consider. Again, it is hard to definitively answer this question without an extremely specific scenario.
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Old October 2, 2005, 06:42 PM   #45
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moral obligation

it is very hard to say exactly what you would do until you are in that situation. At the end of the day, I hope I would make the choice that would enable me to sleep with a clear conscience and meet my maker knowing I did the right thing.
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Old October 2, 2005, 06:47 PM   #46
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My father and I both served down range in a military conflict. Our obligation was to the US Army and to this nation not to some stranger in the street. Yes people in Vietnam and the people in Iraq my father and I had to deal with were strangers. Do I feel I am obligated to the people of Iraq? No,
The principle stated in my first post is the principle that guided my father to reenlist and grandfather to enlist in the first place, when neither would have been asked to join in.
It's partly the reason I was sentenced(more or less) to the army in '79.

It's also the reason I have been arrested once an inconvienced several times ( for those that want to believe that we are all just keyboard commandos)
I have backed my talk up more times than is prudent and have no plans to stop any time soon.
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Old October 2, 2005, 09:23 PM   #47
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While we all may make statements while comfortably seated at our keyboards, what we actually do when the chips are down ,shows both ourselves and others, what we are made of.
Most of us just plain don't know what action we would take when crunch time makes itself known. Often, there is not a lot of time to think, or to weigh different options. What we do often surprises everyone.
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Old October 2, 2005, 10:33 PM   #48
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Quote:
Movie heros? You present movie heros for examples? Outside of war (Audie was a real life war hero), and war situations are not the discussion in this thread, these were movie heros. Come on, real life here...
I see it the point I was trying to make was a little too deep for you.

The only people using the label of being a hero are the people who are less likely to offer help. It helps to justify being selfish or a coward. Its not about being a hero, its about helping your fellow man in time of need. I could care less of what people would think either way, It's myself I would have to live with and answer to.

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Old October 3, 2005, 01:46 AM   #49
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+1 to Butch50

I don't think I can say it better than Butch50. But let me add something.

My problem with most of the posts is Bill Clintonish: How do you define "innocents?" The problem with the original question is that it assumes you know, and I don't think you will very often. If it is a woman, why is she defenseless? Being a woman is no excuse in the modern world for being a victim. I'm sorry, but most Democrats probably deserve it, if that's why they go unarmed. If you want a movie line, try Clint Eastwood from Unforgiven: "He should have armed himself."

If an adult is beating a small child bloody, I would step in, no questions asked, and have done so. Probably would do the same if it was a dog or a horse. Beyond that, in most situations, I probably won't know who is innocent.

And +1 for the Republic of Texas.
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Old October 3, 2005, 02:02 AM   #50
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I went through Basic Training and Infantry Advanced Individual Training and never once heard that phrase.
In the Israel Defense Force, where I was [admittedly a non-combat soldiers], people carry their duty weapon on leave. They are instructed that if a violent encounter breaks out, they are to intervene and to apply the first-aid and marksmanship skills they are taught [meager indeed in my case] to protect human life.
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