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Wasserman writes: "Make no mistake about this: Sooner or later, these mass murders will strike you personally in your home and in your heart and in your soul."

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. (photo: Getty)
Russian president Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. (photo: Getty)

It's Time to Deal With Trumputin's Second Amendment Idiocy

By Harvey "Sluggo" Wasserman, Reader Supported News

16 February 18


y beloved childhood friend, someone I’ve known since before elementary school, has lost his grandson in the latest Florida shooting.

He was a freshman in high school, a beautiful innocent, full of joy and promise. My sister cannot stop crying. Writing this article is the only way I can deal with it. I cannot yet bring myself to call.

Make no mistake about this: Sooner or later, these mass murders will strike you personally in your home and in your heart and in your soul.

You may see them as abstract ghosts, fleeting horror shows off in the distance. But there are so goddam many of them, it is absolutely inevitable you will lose someone you love very soon. Close your eyes and ask who it will be, and what that will do to you and yours for the rest of your lives.

It will be a stone in your core that will never go away.

America’s gun holocaust has become a ghastly game of Russian Roulette and all of us are losing to the House, which is to say the gun industry.

The Manchurian Mafioso in the White House says it’s a mental health issue, and for once he’s absolutely right.

Trumputin and those like him are criminally insane when it comes to (among so many other things) guns. That the slumlord-in-chief has issued a statement blaming the victims, and without mentioning gun control, is par for his course.

The first thing to remember about gun violence is that it is A BUSINESS. There is an entire corporate infrastructure that makes BIG MONEY on these murders. Whoever makes and sells the automatic weapons and the bullets that do these slaughters makes a profit on them. Yesterday’s shooting, like tomorrow’s, puts money in their bank account. They will be enriched by the next mass slaughter and the one after that and the one after that.

They can haul out all the fake Constitutional rhetoric they want. But the National Rifle Association is out there promoting an industry that is IN BUSINESS to threaten your health, safety, legal rights, and long-term security.

By law, nothing beyond their own corporate bottom line has the least impact on them.

Every limitation on gun ownership COSTS THEM CASH. And it’s no accident Trumptin’s Russian backers chose the NRA (among so many others) to launder money into his campaign.

That they have warped the Bill of Rights comes with the territory.

Here’s what the Second Amendment actually says:

A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

No other of the first Ten Amendments has an explanatory introduction. The right to keep and bear arms is assumed as a basic right, but ONLY in light of service to the security of a free state, and under the auspices of a well-regulated militia.

In other words:



So if you are a demonstrably sane person, and can show that your gun ownership will help protect our security, and you are a member of a sanctioned, well-regulated official organization with real social accountability, then the Second Amendment does indicate you have a legal right to own a gun.

Otherwise, FORGET IT. There is NO CONSTITUTIONAL REASON to believe you have the right to keep and bear arms.

There are historic roots to this Amendment. The Founders were foisting a Constitution that imposed a strong central government on a nation that didn’t want one.

In an agrarian society, farmers who’d just fought a guerrilla war to defeat an imperial power wanted assurances their local militias would remain intact, and that their ownership of single-shot, hard-to-load muskets would be protected. These were groups of neighbors who knew and trusted each other and wanted mutual protection for their communities.

Slaveowners like James Madison, who crafted the Bill of Rights, also wanted to protect the military units they relied on to track down runaways and stop a slave rebellion.

But the idea that a general populace, full of unbalanced crazy people, would be left at random to own huge arsenals with the killing power we’ve seen in Florida, Las Vegas, Connecticut and so many other places would have absolutely horrified every one of those who wrote the Constitution and then demanded a Bill of Rights.

This is not what they meant. They’d’ve never stood for it.

The government they were establishing, for all its class, gender, racial biases, and other faults, was meant to secure “the general welfare.”

The Second Amendment is now being deliberately misinterpreted by a predatory industry, a corrupt corporate elite, and an uncaring, would-be dictator. They are protecting the bottom line of a for-profit industry with not a shred of conscience or concern for the security of a free state or the law.

So next time some gun lover throws the Second Amendment at you, throw it right back.

And when you read the horrible news about the inevitable next mass slaughter, remember that sooner or later it will be you or someone you love and it will forever ruin your life.

This does not happen in other industrial nations.

It’s long past time to remove the gun industry’s unlawful control over our government.

We have overcome before, and we will again, even on this. Our lives depend on it.

Harvey Wasserman’s America at the Brink of Rebirth: The Life & Death Spiral of US History will be published in the fall at your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+64 # 1solartopia 2018-02-16 16:06
thank you, RSN, for publishing this.

we MUST get a handle on this.

let's hope it moves us to get these bastards out of office.
+11 # Robbee 2018-02-16 20:01
Quoting 1solartopia 018-02-16 16:06:
let's hope it moves us to get these bastards out of office.

- when many here supported dickhead, they did not just throw 17 floridians under the bus!

if there’s no difference between parties? how come dems never come up with crap like this? how come dems fight for chip, medicaid, medicare, social security, black lives, me too, equal pay, choice, immigrants, marijuana, lgbtq, free college, single payer, family leave, a living minimum wage, EPA. CDC, science, Puerto Rico, free press, free market, free speech, bank regs, clean air & water, no arctic drilling, hike taxes on the rich (3x under barak), justices on scotus who would reverse “citizens united” for bmillionaires, gun control, a prez who is not a dickhead, renewable fuel, so forth?

or is that too much to ask here on rsn? whatsa matta? are some differences over matters too small to care?

- we had our last clear shot at escaping dickhead in nov. 2016 - AND WHIFFED!

“never hillary!” = “dickhead forever!”

don’t it always seem to go?
that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone? - j. mitchell

“we have seen the enemy! and they are us! - pogo

"Next time, we must resolve to MAKE OUR VOTE COUNT!" - (caps in original) - bernie
-72 # Depressionborn 2018-02-16 17:12
The 2d protect us from tyrannical gov. Wanabe tyrants hate the 2d. It is all in the Federalist Papers if anyone here can read. (and think a bit)
+9 # Johnny 2018-02-16 20:09
Quoting Depressionborn:
The 2d protect us from tyrannical gov. Wanabe tyrants hate the 2d. It is all in the Federalist Papers if anyone here can read. (and think a bit)

It was intended to protect us from tyrannical government. The Civil War put an end to the well regulated militias.
+6 # ericlipps 2018-02-16 20:45
Yeah. The right to own guns protects us from a government with better guns, not to mention helicopter gunships, tanks and other such trivialities.
+19 # MidwestDick 2018-02-16 20:47
NRA: Negligent Republican Assassins.
+14 # economagic 2018-02-16 21:31
No it doesn't--that is the myth told by the fearful. No they don't--they love it, because as currently interpreted it creates chaos, the currency of wannabe tyrants. Even the Federalists told some stories to get what they wanted. Do you take EVERYTHING your grammar school teachers told you as Gospel?
+11 # lfeuille 2018-02-17 00:51
If tyrants hated it Trump wouldn't love it so much.
+14 # boredlion 2018-02-17 02:39
Quoting Depressionborn:
The 2d protect us from tyrannical gov. Wanabe tyrants hate the 2d. It is all in the Federalist Papers if anyone here can read. (and think a bit)

Such an idea! And when was the last time you protected yourself from tyrannical government at gun-point, sport?

My advice to all you Federalist paper-boys - - follow the money, follow the porn . . and I hope you'll be happy when you find yourselves in the laps of the Russians, or the Chinese,
and that you'll not be too forlorn.

(just for you, Depressionborn)
+21 # elkingo 2018-02-17 03:52
Hey DB
If you're worried about wannabe tyrants, who do you think is in the White House now? And attacks on the 1st Amendment? He's already told the EPA and CDC what language to use.
+8 # kgrad 2018-02-17 07:35
Quoting Depressionborn:
The 2d protect us from tyrannical gov. Wanabe tyrants hate the 2d. It is all in the Federalist Papers if anyone here can read. (and think a bit)

Wanabe tyrants hate the 2d, you state. Trump is a 'wannabe tyrant, therefore he hates the 2nd? Hmmm... PS Why post if you are questioning the reading ability of anyone here?
+9 # krazykwiltkatt 2018-02-17 21:39
First of all, what we see now is not by any sense of the word a' well regulated militia' as specified in the 2nd Amendment. Secondly, if you think your AR15 will protect you against the government's Hellfire missiles and drones, you've been watching too many movies, playing too many video games or taking too many drugs.
+51 # Wise woman 2018-02-16 18:25
Spot on. I've been saying this for years but especially after Sandy Hook. What about it don't people understand? It truly isn't complicated. Guns were not meant to be in the hands of those whose desire is to kill as many innocent people as possible. The founders would have made that very clear if that's what the had in mind when they wrote the second amendment. "Stock up with as many guns as you can and then go where there are many people gathered and begin shooting" would be our second amendment if that's what the founders meant. Are there so many stupid, gullible people in this country that clearly don't get it? It would seem so. Either that or they're willingly promoting murder.
-20 # wantrealdemocracy 2018-02-17 15:18
Dear "Wise Woman", have you done any search for the reality of that Sandy Hook school shooting? The school was closed, and had been for years. There were no children killed. The whole point of that 'false flag' event was to take away our right to own a gun.

This current event may be just the same. They say there was that one disturbed boy---but there are students who say there were more and one gunman.
+1 # worriedforusa 2018-02-20 01:06
Sorry #Wantrealdemocr acy ... you can't peddle your lies here. I was there that day. The school was there and it was open. Most horrifying thing I've ever seen. And news media was there too. I've heard of "deniers" like you; frankly, never having encountered one before, I figured such deniers weren't real -- like "big foot." I am truly sorry I was wrong.
-44 # Depressionborn 2018-02-16 18:29
The Founders assumed we might have trouble with gov. The canary was expected to be attacks on the 1st. It is all in the Federalist papers.

Power corrupts
+17 # ericlipps 2018-02-16 20:55
Quoting Depressionborn:
The Founders assumed we might have trouble with gov. The canary was expected to be attacks on the 1st. It is all in the Federalist papers.

Power corrupts

The "1st"? Don't you mean the "2nd"?

And I've actually read the Federalist Papers. Have you? They're not as gun-supporting as you seem to suppose.

But I tell you what. Let's let everyone own all the muzzle-loading smoothbore shotguns and pistols they want, and the black powder and handmade bullets to go with them--the weapons which would have been available Americans when the Second Amendment was written.
-11 # Depressionborn 2018-02-17 21:02
No, the First, the big one that stops tyrants. The 2d mostly protects the 1st. Notice it is under attack: Free speech is becoming a crime; Christianity is subservient to Islam/atheism. It is all in historical examples of failed nations and in the Bible too.
I seem to remember Federalist #46 or 47, ninth paragraph, it belied your 2d argument. (The founders never would have allowed a standing army.) Also they were determined to stay out of other peoples wars. Remember, only Congress can declare war? ha ha

But you may be right ericlipps. We cannot go back, yet forward leads only to destruction.
Good luck,
+1 # economagic 2018-02-16 21:38
See above.
+23 # Michaeljohn 2018-02-16 22:29
Take your head out of the sand and use your brains for a moment. What would you expect the US military to do in the event of a real tyrant taking power; and it's very clear Trump would like to be one.
If the military becomes corrupt enough to back him and Eric Prince throws in his mercenaries, I don't give a damn how many AR15's you so called 'patriots' have; you'll be squashed like bugs and burned to a crisp in a rain of hellfire missiles from those drones you seem to have no problem unleashing on other populations.
-2 # kgrad 2018-02-17 07:38
Quoting Depressionborn:
The Founders assumed we might have trouble with gov. The canary was expected to be attacks on the 1st. It is all in the Federalist papers.

Power corrupts

btw The Founders [all rich males] were the "gov". Were they aware they might cause trouble?
-4 # Depressionborn 2018-02-18 19:37
Quoting kgrad:
Quoting Depressionborn:
The Founders assumed we might have trouble with gov. The canary was expected to be attacks on the 1st. It is all in the Federalist papers.

Power corrupts

btw The Founders [all rich males] were the "gov". Were they aware they might cause trouble?

yes, they were. There were also anti-federalist papers.
-1 # Montanan 2018-02-16 18:39
+12 # Montanan 2018-02-17 02:44
Jeez, people. My “Amen” is for the author of this essay, NOT the person whose post happened to precede mine! Replies to comments are INDENTED.
-19 # aDog8myH8 2018-02-16 18:39
Until we have the NRA, gun manufacturers and their whores-in-offic e on the run, how about putting those millions of guns in circulation to good use by organizing citizen militias to guard our schools. Could be a great volunteer opportunity for our “grey panthers”.....s ounds hotter than grandparents.
-11 # kgrad 2018-02-17 07:41
Quoting aDog8myH8:
Until we have the NRA, gun manufacturers and their whores-in-office on the run, how about putting those millions of guns in circulation to good use by organizing citizen militias to guard our schools. Could be a great volunteer opportunity for our “grey panthers”.....sounds hotter than grandparents.

This is a novel idea!
+7 # krazykwiltkatt 2018-02-17 21:43
This is not a 'volunteer' position for retired people. Obviously you don't understand the complexities of an 'active shooter' situation or the extensive training needed to be effective in one.
+47 # moreover 2018-02-16 19:10
Guns aren't just for killing random people, also for wanton slaughter of animals. Trump's' sons are known for jet setting the world to kill for trophy, the rarer the better. I can relate to regular hunting, have friends who get permits every year, and have dined on their bounty. But trophy hunting rare species, or Sarah Palin's blood thirsty helicopter massacres speak of sick minds.
+2 # Johnny 2018-02-16 20:11
Oops. I meant to click "thumbs up."
-21 # Depressionborn 2018-02-17 08:38
An 18 year old in FL who is clearly disturbed and has been a threat for years, whose name is given to the FBI -- with him we do nothing.

But the millions of gun owners, whose firearms have never disturbed anyone -- their guns are evil and should be turned in so they can be made into scrap metal, which will then prevent school shootings and make the world a safer place.

I think I've got it.
+4 # Caliban 2018-02-18 17:48
Why do "we" do nothing to keep guns from known threats?

Simple -- [1] because the NRA and its supporters believe that the constitution protects the 2nd amendment rights of ALL our citizens to bear arms -- including nut-cases and criminals

And [2] because our legislators lack the political courage to take them on.
+48 # diamondmarge7 2018-02-16 19:22
It is past time for pitchforks & tar& feathers of members & Board of NRA and congressio9nal enablers --there is no sane reason for AK 45 or whatever they r called--no sane reason for GUNS period. If I could I would ban them all--but then I am for singlepayerMedi care for All, free public colleges,a minimum LIVING wage, and for full funding of Planned Parenthood,incl uding the right to safe abortions.
-21 # skylinefirepest 2018-02-16 21:29
So marge, when are you going to put your money where your mouth is? When are you going to DEMAND that your schools are hardened, metal detectors installed, and teachers armed? Do you really think that between 350 and 600 million firearms are going to simply be gone? And let's say they were...then only the thugs and the government will have them and seriously, aren't they one and the same? Would you be so deranged that you would think that's a good idea? As one of my friends said side has over a trillion rounds of ammo and the other side can't figure out what bathroom to use!
+16 # diamondmarge7 2018-02-16 19:25
Goddess bless Harvey Sluggo--HE IS A NATIONAL TREASURE.
I am so glad that my dear friend Gene has HIS 4 kids in private school; I fear for my friends Kathy&Brock who have 2 in public school. As a retired HS& college English teacher, I am so glad I am no longer in schools that are now always in danger of another mass murder.
+43 # tedrey 2018-02-16 19:37
The 2nd Amendment means one's right to bear firearms anywhere can't be infringed?

If there were a bill pending in Congress providing that the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution applied to the Capitol building, not a Senator or Representative would agree to it.

And you can bet your bottom dollar that their kids go to private schools where the 2nd Amendment is totally ignored.

It's not their lives at stake, it's yours and your kids'. They're just the ones who get paid off for endangering your lives.
+17 # Carol R 2018-02-16 19:55
My Senator Todd Young (R-IN) received $2,896,732 from the NRA. No wonder he is not a bit in favor of having any gun laws. Our Great Leader had $21 million donated to his campaign. The US owns more guns than any other society in the world and has the most killings, except for those countries engaged in war. It is total lunacy to need so many guns.
We will continue to pay until something useful is done to have meaningful gun control.

Read this article. It tells of the top 10 people in each branch of Congress who are being paid money by the NRA.

From The New York Times:

The Congress Members Receiving the Most N.R.A. Funding

Thoughts and prayers and the N.R.A.: Here are the top career recipients of N.R.A. campaign money.
+5 # economagic 2018-02-17 16:07
Geez "only" $2.9 million? What a piker! My Senators (Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, both R-NC and nos. 2 and 4 on the list respectively), garnered more than $11 million between them! Not that they would not have voted against any sane restrictions on who can kill whom with what at what age in the absences of the bribes anyway.
+16 # waldemar 2018-02-16 21:10
The first part of this is spot-on: this epidemic will touch each of us, & it is totally driven by a greedy quest for more & more profits.

But rather than debate the original meaning of the 2A, or how it applies today, I think it's time to admit that both our society & the weapons available today are so different that when the 2A was adopted that it's time to start over with a new provision re: guns.

And it's also time to address by other legislation the stranglehold that the NRA has on our country. Whether it's in the context of overturning Citizens United, or a different legislative approach to lobbying/specia l interest organizations in general, we need to get a handle on how organizations such as the NRA operate & how much influence they have.
-25 # skylinefirepest 2018-02-16 21:24
What a bunch of firearm illiterate downright stupid comments on here. The NRA teaches more gun safety than any group of anti-gun entities. If you people think they are so damn great then why don't you start demanding that they teach safety? Can't stand the heat? Law abiding citizens are not the problem here, folks. Now if you anti-gun crazies think you can "gun control" 350-600 million guns from law abiding citizens then how come you haven't gotten the guns from the thugs in Chicago, Detroit, Miami, St. Louis, etc. Hmmm? Start talking some sense here...the firearms illiterates on here are beyond belief.
+11 # pmargaret7 2018-02-17 13:16
Your comment reveals one of the NRA's favorite tactics, which is to lump all "gun control" together as total gun control. How can you keep falling for this? Most of us do not want to take your beloved rifles/shot guns/even regular hand guns away! GET IT!!! We want to control, honestly, the "weapons of mass destruction" that people can easily buy and use to "destruct" human lives en masse - ie. "automatic rifles" aka killing machines! There is absolutely no need for these. Try and tell me why we need these. If the situation has become so bad that regular citizens need automatic rifles, then the grimness of life is pretty much not worth it. Don't lump all guns together, please. You can still fondle your regular favorites, let's just put the automatics out of commission!
+9 # Carol R 2018-02-18 11:28
Skylinefirepest : Are you aware that the school in Florida that teenager Cruz had attended did receive $10,000 from the NRA to teach how to use a rifle? This class 'in gun safety' didn't do much good did it? He learned that lesson way too well.
+7 # PCPrincess 2018-02-18 11:51
We have over 300 million 'citizens' here in the U.S. That is 300 million human beings. Human beings are absolutely the most fallible species on the planet. I'd estimate that only 10-15% of these human beings have both intelligence AND empathy. Nah, I don't have a problem with the NRA so much as I have a problem with human beings and an item whose sole purpose when it comes off the assembly line is to take human lives.

Human beings can't figure out the proper amount of food to eat, can't read a prescription bottle when it says, "take one every four hours", can't handle the emotion of a loved one having an affair, can't seem to remember that drinking and driving is a bad thing, lie, cheat, steal, and are generally very selfish, self-serving and unconcerned with the welfare of others. But, hey, no problem, I don't mind sharing the streets with the same human beings knowing they are all 'carrying'. There is no 'good guy' with a gun, nor are there 'bad guys' with guns; nope, just very fallible human beings and quite frankly, I don't think our species is capable of being armed sensibly.
+6 # economagic 2018-02-16 21:33
Thanks, Sluggo. Astute and informed as usual.
+16 # pmargaret7 2018-02-16 21:56
I've thought a lot about the gun/NRA issue (I hate them) and concluded that ALL of the anti-gun organizations of every kind get together as one solid bloc to work at stopping automatic weaponry for citizens (ie. non-military). The will of the people is absolutely out there but it needs to be razor-focused right now on one goal that all sane Americans see as necessary and do-able. We have to stop saying (and hearing) "Nothing will ever change (sigh)" as that is exactly what the NRA and their minions want us to think! It is not hopeless if everybody sucks in their egos (if that is a problem) and totally works together for one thing - no more automatic weapons in America, period! A group like this should not be money-oriented but results-oriente d! It can and must be done and if I was younger and had more energy I would do it. For now, several of the high school students from Parkland should be used in such an organization as they have guts and experience and speak with candor (very eloquently, I might add) about our gun problems. They are not yet jaded and could run the show! POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
+19 # 2018-02-16 22:00
I think we need legislation to treat guns like cars.
Guns should be licensed, registered, and insured.
Owners/users should pass tests to show they know how to use and store guns safely.
-5 # Depressionborn 2018-02-18 03:28 2018-02-16 22:00

yes, we should make schools a gun free place?
-5 # Depressionborn 2018-02-18 21:46
I think we need legislation to treat guns like cars.
Guns should be licensed, registered, and insured.
Owners/users should pass tests to show they know how to use and store guns safely.

a lot of us are vets
+23 # janie1893 2018-02-17 01:18
Charge the NRA for promoting and supporting terrorism, close it down and change the damned 2nd amendment!
+11 # elkingo 2018-02-17 03:41
Of course these goddamn guns should be restricted. But the bottom line: is what causes these insane assholes to use them in this fashion? There is something rotten and it isn't in Denmark. There is something insane and murderous at the core of American culture. Capitalism.
+4 # pmargaret7 2018-02-17 12:58
Overwhelmingly, capitalism/gree d are the deep-seated problem adding to the meaninglessness of American life today. Our manipulation by the "monied" in all areas is hidden yet hyper and starting to control our minds thru very clever media, etc., etc., etc. Practically the only "real" emotions left are hate and racism, and the ability to obtain automatic weaponry to fulfill those emotions is sooooo easy! But to fight the problem of empty lives is massive while to fight the scourge of totally unnecessary automatic weapons is do-able. Follow the tactics of the NRA and use them against the NRA. Most Americans do not want automatic killing machines in the hands of fellow citizens. Focus on what can be done and do it, for God's sake, do it!
-16 # Depressionborn 2018-02-17 04:08
+21 # tedrey 2018-02-16 19:37
The 2nd Amendment means one's right to bear firearms anywhere can't be infringed?

yes. Tyrants disarm the populace. See Stalin, Hitler, Romans Mao... Dictators need a standing army first. Otherwise they get hung.
+12 # Ralph 2018-02-17 16:45
Thanks for the great analysis Sluggo. I'm with you all the way. Forcing these people to belong to some sort militia is exactly what the founders had in mind. Just think about it. These gun toting people would be forced to go to monthly meetings and actually rub elbows with other humans. They can go shoot their guns and then get beer and wine and actually socialize. As it stands today, I'm wholly convinced that gun toters are mentally ill outside of those few that actually hunt. Those people are few and far between.

Outside of proper implementation of the 2nd amendment, I would like to see some licensing of these people. I need a license to drive my car. How is toting a gun any different? Gun toting education classes where these mentally ill people can go socialize with other people. Then we can see which of our neighbors owns ten guns. Enough is enough. This is out of control and everyone outside of mentally ill people know it.
0 # 1solartopia 2018-02-20 01:31
thanks, ralph. we now indeed learn that this lunatic was actually trained by the NRA, which is nothing more than a front group for the arms industry.

every mass shooting is a profit center for them because people panic & want more guns to "protect" themselves, and also panic to buy more because they're afraid that at last they be banned.

we need to start with a total ban on assault weapons being manufactured or brought into the country, and a bounty program to buy & destroy the ones still out there.

from there we can move ahead....

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