Judge Upholds California Gun Microstamping Law

Herschel Smith · 01 Mar 2015 · 0 Comments

CBS Sacramento: A federal court has rejected a challenge to California’s gun safety law, possibly paving the way for a requirement that new guns mark the bullets they fire so they can be traced. The ruling on Wednesday was a defeat for two gun rights groups that argued the Unsafe Handgun Act violated the constitutional right to bear arms. The law prohibits the manufacture or sale in California of any gun that doesn’t meet certain safety requirements. It was aimed at outlawing cheap…… [read more]

SWAT Commander Has Accidental Discharge At Town Hall

BY Herschel Smith
4 hours, 17 minutes ago

News from Tennessee:

An accidental police gunshot into lobby carpet at Town Hall startled officials attending a Town Council workshop Thursday night.

No one was injured after the weapon of Lt. Earl Barnes, the SWAT team commander, discharged after he tied his shoes in a chair in a lobby area. Doors were open next to the meeting room while his boss, Police Chief Kevin Arnold, was explaining upcoming training for his records office to elected officials.

“When it first happened, I thought it was one of these light bulbs (in the ceiling) that burst,” Arnold said during an interview Friday in the same meeting room.

After hearing the gunshot, the chief moved quickly from his seat in the meeting room that was closest to the door, reached for his holster and even thought it was possible an intruder had sneaked through the back door of Town Hall and shot Barnes.

“My main concern was not only him but ‘do we have a situation developing here,'” said the chief, who was relieved to see the lieutenant who usually provides security detail for Town Council meetings was unharmed. “Police officers are trained to go to the threat. It was very brief. He said, ‘I had an accidental discharge.'”

The kind of “accidental discharge” he had was preventable (well, I guess they all are).  Seriously though, they did have quite the “situation developing here.”  The chief pulled the trigger of his weapon in the wrong place at the wrong time.  But it gets even worse and weirder.

Lt. Barnes asked if he could go home after the incident, and the chief agreed.

“He was very embarrassed,” said Arnold, who estimated that Barnes has served with Smyrna Police for more than 25 years. “He’s an outstanding officer, but unfortunately, he made a mistake.”

The chief said Barnes will face discipline to be determined after Arnold discusses the gun discharge with Human Resources staff and Town Manager Harry Gill.

“It will usually be several days of suspension without pay,” Arnold said. “We are very lucky Lt. Barnes wasn’t injured. We’re very lucky that no citizens were injured, and no members of staff and no members of council were injured.”

Barnes made two mistakes, the chief said. One included Barnes failing to snap his holster to ensure the weapon would remain in place after he had used his pistol as part of a felony traffic stop to arrest a man accused of armed robbery of a gas station/convenience store at 33 N. Lowry.

“What we think happened is he didn’t snap it down enough in place,” Arnold said.

The other mistake came after Barnes sat down to tie his shoes and then reached for his gun when the pistol fell out of his holster.

Yea, I’ll bet he wanted to go home.  Listen to me very carefully so that you don’t act like the man in the article.  If your gun is falling and you have a round chambered, do not ever try to catch it.  Ever.  Ever.  I’ll leave it to the readers to explain why in the context of grip safeties, trigger brush guards, etc.

“We train our officers several times a year in using these weapons,” said Arnold, adding that his officers are expected to be armed and ready to shoot. “Unfortunately, we’re in the line of work where we have to carry weapons.”

Arnold said Barnes did what would be human nature to reach for something that was falling and forgetting the training to let the gun drop to the ground.

“Unfortunately, he made the mistake, and we are held accountable for our actions,” the chief said. “I have accidentally dropped mine at home. I cringed. It didn’t go off.”

A 25-year officer with Smyrna who has been chief for eight years, Arnold said his department has had four or five incidents involving officer guns firing by mistake. Only one of those in 1998 involved an injury to Officer Muhammad Ali (formerly known as Robert Ladell Haynes).

“He almost died,” Arnold said.

My God.  It looks like this department needs to be rid of their weapons before someone gets hurt even worse.  At least the (nearly lethal) negligent discharge didn’t happen to an artist formerly known as Prince.  Then I might think they were making this whole thing up.  It almost looks like that anyway.

West Virginia Constitutional Carry

BY Herschel Smith
4 hours, 33 minutes ago

WOWKTV.com:

The WV Senate on Feb. 27 passed a bill that would allow for anyone over the age of 18 to carry a concealed weapon in West Virginia without a permit.

Sen. Mike Romano, D-Harrison, offered three amendments before the bill passed the Senate with only two votes against it.

Sen. Ron Miller, D-Greenbrier, and Sen. Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, were the only dissenting votes.

One of Romano’s amendments would have added a training course for anyone carrying a concealed weapon. Other amendments would have capped the age of concealed carry at 21 years old. Each amendment was rejected.

Romano ultimately voted for the bill.

“I was an 18-year-old kid, and I don’t think at that age they’re mature enough to understand the grave responsibility they have,” Romano said of changing the age of carrying a concealed weapon. “The Senate, unfortunately, caved in to special interests. I voted for the bill because I think it’s right, but I thought the amendments would add common sense adjustments.”

The legislation goes to the WV House of Delegates for consideration.

Well good for them.  In spite of the gun control efforts to the Southeast by communist Terry McAuliffe, it’s good to know and show that better can be done.  It’s important to note that this is the Senate.  I don’t know much about the Governor or how likely he is to sign this legislation if it passes the House.  He is a democrat.

If I have any readers from West Virginia, please comment here and/or send me a note and keep us posted on progress of this legislation.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
4 hours, 57 minutes ago

Via David Codrea, and also via reader Pat Hines, here is the Georgia Carry response to the proposed M855 ban.  It’s a good response, and readers will be familiar with the common concepts with which we deal every day, such as the difference between FMJ and MC ammunition (metal case where the tail end is not jacketed).  Also see the section on the fact that the “sporting purposes test” is unconstitutional.  Of course it is.

David Codrea:

That’s what’s going on with eight health organizations, notably the American College of Physicians, joining with the American Bar Association to demand more “gun control” in a “Call to Action” published earlier this week.

I’m glad David is covering this.  I saw the media frenzy this week and was uninterested.  I don’t think it’s any of my business trying to figure out ways to make the public safer from guns by curtailing the right to be armed.  I don’t think it’s any of their business either, but reading David’s piece reminds you that not only is it not their business, it isn’t in their area of expertise.  It would be like asking me what drugs to prescribe for congestive heart failure.  Doctors are going to have enough things to do under Obamacare (like useless paperwork).  They had better get their head in gear to deal with the coming calamity.

David Codrea:

In his speech Friday before the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre discussed a host of issues impacting gun rights, declaring they all depend on each other. Curiously absent from his speech was any acknowledgment of the danger amnesty for illegal aliens with a “pathway to citizenship” would pose to continued government recognition of the right to keep and bear arms.

And yet, immigration – both legal and illegal – is the most significant threat we face as a nation and a people.  It is a clear and present danger.  David and I have both pointed that out.  Time is running out.

Per Mike Vanderboegh, here is an interview of Anthony Bosworth on his arrest.

Police chief arrested for brandishing gun while intoxicated.  Gee, I wouldn’t do something like that.  I guess it’s a good thing I don’t have all of that training and expertise that he does, you know, since he is a LEO and everything and I am not.

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The Face Of Chicago Police

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 2 hours ago

Following up reports of secret detention sites by the Chicago Police Department, The Guardian wanted access to this site along with a local politician, and was met by this man.

Chicago_Cop

This man circled around a reporter and photographer for the Guardian twice while waiting for a local politician. Photograph: Chandler West for the Guardian

You cowardly thug!  Law enforcement officers, or better yet, constables or peace officers, should be transparent, their actions, intentions and procedures in the open light of inspection by the community that pays their salaries.  Their actions should be subject to God’s universal laws thus ensuring protections against totalitarianism and abuse.

Wearing tactical gear and face masks while protecting a secret site hidden away from the men and women you serve runs directly contrary to the oath you swore and your sacred duty before God and man.  Take off that mask, you pussy, and announce your name and identity like I do as I write this very rebuke of you and your superiors.

Jerry Miculek On M855 Ammunition

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 2 hours ago

Jerry has give us a very informative video on M855 ammunition and it’s variants.

Chicago Police Detain Americans At Black Site

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 1 hour ago

The Guardian:

The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.

Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

  • Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
  • Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
  • Shackling for prolonged periods.
  • Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
  • Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.

At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead.

Brian Jacob Church, a protester known as one of the “Nato Three”, was held and questioned at Homan Square in 2012 following a police raid. Officers restrained Church for the better part of a day, denying him access to an attorney, before sending him to a nearby police station to be booked and charged.

“Homan Square is definitely an unusual place,” Church told the Guardian on Friday. “It brings to mind the interrogation facilities they use in the Middle East. The CIA calls them black sites. It’s a domestic black site. When you go in, no one knows what’s happened to you.”

[ … ]

“It’s sort of an open secret among attorneys that regularly make police station visits, this place – if you can’t find a client in the system, odds are they’re there,” said Chicago lawyer Julia Bartmes.

Chicago civil-rights attorney Flint Taylor said Homan Square represented a routinization of a notorious practice in local police work that violates the fifth and sixth amendments of the constitution.

“This Homan Square revelation seems to me to be an institutionalization of the practice that dates back more than 40 years,” Taylor said, “of violating a suspect or witness’ rights to a lawyer and not to be physically or otherwise coerced into giving a statement.”

[ … ]

When a Guardian reporter arrived at the warehouse on Friday, a man at the gatehouse outside refused any entrance and would not answer questions. “This is a secure facility. You’re not even supposed to be standing here,” said the man, who refused to give his name.

One of the hallmark signs of evil, totalitarian societies is secrecy.  Note that the Chicago police didn’t deny the place existed.  On the contrary, they insisted that the place be kept secret from the balance of society so that they could continue with their illegal activities.  Light scatters the darkness, and they desire the darkness rather than the light.  They aren’t scared of being found out, they don’t fear the courts, prosecutors, the justice department, lawyers or anyone else.  They have become a law unto themselves.  They do what is right in their own eyes and dare anyone to try to stop them.

And note that it is a so-called “open secret” among attorneys that this place exists, this place where basic God-given rights are violated.  This isn’t a trivial thing, so don’t look past this to the horror of such a place on American soil just yet.  These attorneys are officers of the court.  They are bound to obey the law and ensure that others do as well, and are obligated to report illegalities.  They know the place and practices exist, and yet they do nothing about it.

The existence of this facility is an affront to God’s law, and thus constitutes cosmic treason against the most high.  Of the protection of God’s law for the individual and the family, R. J. Rushdoony says in his commentary on Deuteronomy 24:10-11:

This law sets down a premise which has had a major impact on Christendom. When, in colonial America, Judge James Otis decreed that “a man’s home is his castle,” he had reference to this law. Intrusion into a man’s house is a violation of his freedom. God’s law protects a man from the malice and interference of powerful men. To protect men’s houses and properties is to uphold God’s order, because God has established the legitimate boundaries of the family’s jurisdiction and freedom.

And this malice and interference of powerful men, this protection of men’s property that doesn’t occur any more in our society, has been illustrated for us in the recent case on which I commented concerning the immorality of asset forfeiture laws.  Even today we learned of more asset forfeiture of guns as a norm in society.

As for the role of presumably free men in all of this, our responsibilities are growing and loom very large.

Madison and Jefferson gave a critical template of how states and local governments should respond when outside threats are used as the pretext by the federal government to curtail the liberty of law-abiding citizens. Both men took up their pens to oppose the Alien and Sedition Acts which violated the First Amendment’s right to free speech and the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause. In response to these unconstitutional edicts, Jefferson and Madison separately drafted resolutions for the individual states to take up in their legislatures to oppose the abusive acts. Jefferson’s work became the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, and Madison’s the Virginia Resolutions of 1798.

In the Kentucky Resolutions, Jefferson stated “that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”

Madison was equally direct. In the Virginia Resolutions, he declared that “the powers of the federal government” are “limited by the plain sense and intention” of the Constitution “and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.”

In maintaining that the states were “duty bound, to interpose,” Madison was standing on a long legal tradition dating back to the Magna Charta when England’s nobles demanded that King John honor the rights of Englishmen or be deposed.

In this case, the offending authorities are the local ones, but anyone who believes that the federal government would step in to ensure rights against illegal search and seizure is foolish.

Every law enforcement officer who knows about this illegal and immoral site and doesn’t shed light on its existence and practices may as well be a perpetrator of said practices.  There are no guiltless parties, from the LEOs to the attorneys who keep this “open secret” to judges and city managers who allow it to happen.  They will all be held accountable.

The U.S. has become a banana republic.  It isn’t on the horizon somewhere, we don’t have actions we need to take to ensure that it doesn’t happen.  It has already happened.  It is past tense.  Since this is cosmic crime against God’s law, it would be cosmic justice if this facility burned to the ground, every one of the LEOs who participated in these activities held to account, and every attorney and judge who knew of this facility disbarred and sent to prison.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 2 hours ago

David Codrea:

Washington State liberty activist Anthony Bosworth was arrested Wednesday outside a federal building for openly carrying a firearm, an announcement on Bosworth’s Facebook page reports. Within hours, he had been released with no criminal charges, his wife informed supporters.

Liberty advocate Kit Lange has fleshed out further details of the arrest on the website for The Patrick Henry Society. The “co-organizer of Arms Expo 2015 was arrested this morning outside the federal courthouse in Spokane as he attended a states’ rights rally with his family,” Lange reports.

Bosworth was arrested in front of his wife and children by agents for the Department of Homeland Security, who “claimed that Bosworth was in violation of federal law by open carrying a firearm on federal property.”

Read the rest of the report at Examiner.  I won’t be the first one, but I’ll certainly join the chorus and call bull shit on this one.  There is no such law that prohibits firearms on “federal property,” as if all property is subject to a single law.  For example, firearms are certainly allowed in national parks and have been since 2010.  A military base is technically considered a federal reservation, and firearms are allowed there (even personal ones with approval).  The arresting officer just made that one up.

Read Mike Vanderboegh’s take on this.  ” I was particularly interested that the FBI was particularly interested in talking to Anthony about me. Nice to know I’m living in their heads rent-free as well. (Maybe they can get with Gottlieb and split the cost.) The FBI, it seems, is particularly interested in the national armed civil disobedience movement. It really must flummox them. We don’t fit any pattern they’ve seen recently …”

David Codrea:

Setting the state up for massive gun owner civil disobedience along the lines of what has occurred in California and is currently happening in New York and Connecticut, Democrat State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins filed the Firearms Registration Act with the Secretary of State on Friday. The act was then presented for first reading and referred to the Democrat-dominated Assignments Committee.

Collins’ measure “[p]rovides that every person in the State must register each firearm he or she owns or possesses in accordance with the Act,” the official synopsis declares.

It’s easy for people to file legislation that someone else has to enforce.  So send in the enforcers, Ms. Collins.  See what happens then.  Perhaps you can go on one of the raids yourself, no?

Kurt Hofmann:

But Dr. Alan Delamater says even exposing young teens to this environment is dangerous.

“It’s another family gaming activity, right? Wrong. I don’t think it’s just another activity. I think this is something that can seriously affect child development and not in a good way,” Dr. Delamater said.

Delamater does not clarify whether or not “exposing” these young men and women–some of whom will in a few short years be serving in the military–to all firearms represents a problem for “child development” (whatever that unspecified “problem” is), or if the danger is restricted to fully-automatic firearms.

What does the man want, for boys to play with dolls and learn how to self actualize each other?  Every man needs to know things like engine building, guns, and farm animals.  If you don’t, buy a gun and learn to use it, tear an engine down, and volunteer your time at a ranch training horses.  And stay away from Dr. Delamater while he wets his pants.

Kurt Hofmann:

They’re refusing shipment until they know more about how it will be regulated–a pretty strong indicator that they know it’s not regulated now.  As Wilson says, there is absolutely no reason for FedEx to be concerned about legal issues, because there are no legal issues with shipping CNC milling machines. Wilson also points out that FedEx ships actual guns and ammunition, both of which are heavily regulated under federal and many states’ laws, and that hasn’t stopped them.

Read the rest of Kurt’s analysis.  I think Kurt is right.  There has been some dirty dealing going on behind closed doors on this one.

Christian militia takes on ISIS.  I want to be careful and very Christian as I respond to this and provide an assessment  – as a Christian.  Okay, here it goes.  May the Christian militia make the streets run red with the blood of the savages and send them to meet their maker who will send them to hell.  Godspeed to the militia.

The ATF reaffirms the Sig pistol brace is legal after all.  Whatever.  This is all being done by a bunch of worthless lawyers who have never used the thing and wouldn’t know it from a 2X4 if it bit them in the ass.  Ignore them and do what you want to with the brace.  The ATF has turned so paranoid and controlling they have become an undignified, unprofessional, boorish bore, like that uncle who cleans septic tanks for a living, the one with bad breath and creepy looks whom everyone avoids.

Asset Forfeiture Laws Are Evil

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 1 hour ago

Detroit Free Press:

Thomas Williams was alone that November morning in 2013 when police raided his rural St. Joseph County home, wearing black masks, camouflage and holding guns at their sides. They broke down his front door with a battering ram.

“We think you’re dealing marijuana,” they told Williams, a 72-year-old, retired carpenter and cancer patient who is disabled and carries a medical marijuana card.

When he protested, they handcuffed him and left him on the living room floor as they ransacked his home, emptying drawers, rummaging through closets and surveying his grow room, where he was nourishing his 12 personal marijuana plants as allowed by law. Some had recently begun to die, so he had cloned them and had new seedlings, although they were not yet planted. That, police insisted, put him over the limit.

They did not charge Williams with a crime, though.

Instead, they took his Dodge Journey, $11,000 in cash from his home, his television, his cell phone, his shotgun and are attempting to take his Colon Township home. And they plan to keep the proceeds, auctioning off the property and putting the cash in police coffers.

More than a year later, he is still fighting to get his belongings back and to hang on to his house.

“I want to ask them, ‘Why? Why me?’ I gave them no reason to do this to me,” said Williams, who says he also suffers from glaucoma, a damaged disc in his back, and COPD, a lung disorder. “I’m out here minding my own business, and just wanted to be left alone.”

The seizure was allowed under Michigan’s Civil Asset Forfeiture laws, which allow police to take property from citizens if they suspect a crime was committed, even when there is not enough evidence to charge them. Homeowners like Williams have to prove they did not purchase their property with proceeds from criminal activity and then sue to get the property back.

Why you?  You happened to be available when the police needed to raise some revenue.  It’s that simple.  I’m so sorry for this poor man (and let me say here that I couldn’t care less that he had some hemp growing in his house, any more than I care if a man makes some untaxed corn liquor in his back yard), but these laws made by the legislature are evil.

I don’t care what this man did.  There isn’t any reason at all that the state should legally be able to confiscate possessions.  In the worst case (let’s say that a man goes to prison for murder), his possessions could be treated as if he passed away and his will invoked (his children would then inherit his possessions, or whomever was named in his will).  The advantage of this is that if he doesn’t have a will, he can be queried by the court to ascertain who he wants to inherit his belongings.

Readers may have better ideas.  Anything is better than the state taking possession of property, and I see no basis in English common law or the Holy Scriptures for such laws.

More From Eugene Volokh On Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 2 hours ago

Recall that I had some questions for Eugene Volokh here?  Eugene responded thusly via email:

Eugene: To answer your questions, of course if a state decided to order police officers to carry concealed, police officers would have to carry concealed – just as it can tell them what kinds of guns to carry, what kinds of uniforms to wear (or not wear, if they’re undercover), or whatever else.  When the state hires someone to provide armed protection for the public, it can tell prescribe in great detail just how this duty is to be carried out (and how it is not to be carried out).

HPS: Thanks for the response, but I confess that I find it most unsatisfying because you have grounded your answer in contractual obligations rather than whether something rises to the level of being an infringement of basic rights.

Eugene: Well, you asked a question:  “Suppose rather than the rights of an ‘ordinary’ citizen being addressed here it was the rights of law enforcement officers who may need to defend their lives….  Would any court in the land have dared to force LEOs to carry concealed?”  The answers is every court in the land would uphold such a requirement.  (Indeed, I’m pretty sure that many nonuniformed police officers are expected to carry concealed, and are sometimes required to carry concealed.)  Now you say you’re unsatisfied because my answer is based on contractual obligations.  (To be precise, it’s based in the government’s power to fire employees, with or without a contract, who don’t follow its rules on such matters.)  But your own question was premised on “contractual” matters:  The only reason that law enforcement officers are law enforcement officers is that the government has hired them to do the job.  You can’t ask a question about what law enforcement officers – who are called that only because they are a particular kind of employee – can be forced to do (on pain of losing their jobs), and then sensibly object to the answer that law enforcement officers have to follow the rules set forth by their employers.

Perhaps because of an unintentional misdirect on my part, I think Eugene is missing the broader point I tried to make.  If it isn’t an infringement on rights to force individuals to carry concealed rather than openly, is he in fact not acknowledging the very real delay in presenting the weapon for use with an effective sight picture (carrying concealed means that the weapon can get hung on shirts, pants, and other clothing, and certainly means a delay in presenting the weapon due to the need to remove the offending clothing in order to get to the weapon).

And if this is all true, wouldn’t LEOs point it out if we required them to carry concealed?  And if this isn’t an infringement of rights, then at what point does it become so?  Can the law require us to have one hand tied behind our back?  If seems a silly question, and how about one to which the courts would no doubt be more amenable?  Would it infringe on our rights if the law required us to have our weapons unloaded, regardless of method of carry?  Or would it infringe on our rights if the law required us to have two or more garments covering a weapon in order to ensure that we had no inadvertent flashing of the weapon if we bend over or in a stiff wind?

Eugene has more on open carry.

… it seems to me that, under the First Amendment, the state can’t ban someone from wearing a T-shirt or a large pin saying “I’m legally carrying a concealed handgun” at the same time that he is legally carrying a concealed handgun. The T-shirt or pin wouldn’t be a punishable threat of illegal conduct, because it is specifically referring to legal conduct, and it offers no reason to think that the wearer is going to use the gun illegally. And while wearing such an item might draw police attention, so would legal open carry.

Let’s take this sort of “announced carry” — concealed carry coupled with a statement that one is carrying — a step further. Say that some gun rights enthusiasts start wearing transparent plastic gun-shaped things strapped to their hips, in transparent holsters — something that is obviously not a real gun, but is symbolic of a real gun. (It should certainly not look like these T-shirts with realistic-looking holsters and guns printed on them.)

When asked, the wearers explain that these are symbolic of the fact that they are indeed lawfully carrying a concealed gun. The news gets out, and wearing such a transparent item on one’s hip will become understood as equivalent to a T-shirt saying “I’m legally carrying a concealed handgun.” (Compare how wearing particular ribbons or other symbols becomes understood at times as a particular kind of statement.) I likewise think this can’t be banned; the only reason to ban the holster would be the message that it sends, which would likewise violate the First Amendment.

On balance, the effect wouldn’t be terribly different from open carry …

Well, I think it would, and Eugene doesn’t account for the fact that some of us who open carry are not doing so in order to make a point (although I don’t disparage point-making as a legitimate end).  I consider concealed carry to be intrusive, uncomfortable and inefficient regarding “presentation” of the weapon.

What do readers think?

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