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Old 01-15-2008, 10:35 AM   #26
Taliesin
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

I notice that this thread has diverted into general 'self-defence' law. If I can drag it back - what additional restrictions would be placed on you because of presumed martil arts ability.
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:00 AM   #27
Michael Hackett
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

Don,

I owe you an apology for my "without thinking" comment. I'm sure you did think about what you wrote and I shouldn't have used that phrase. I intended to convey that you have stated your intentions in such a way that it could be legally harmful in the future. I've disagreed with you many times, but have never considered that you have blithely developed your position without thought.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:17 AM   #28
DonMagee
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

Quote:
Mattias Bengtsson wrote: View Post
What if you were walking down a deserted road, except for some man walking a bit further ahead of you at a slower pace.
As you are in a hurry to get to a friends house since its cold outside and youve forgotten your gloves so you walk quite fast, with your hands in your pockets.
Now, the problem is, you have Tourette's syndrome, so now and then you get these involountary tics and curse obscenities.
Youre a little lost and thinks that maybe you should ask that chap up ahead for directions. But as you apporach, he spins around with a gun in his hands telling you to back off you drugged out junkie and before you can explain yourself he shoots you, not once or twice but empties his clip in you..

Why? because it was appearant that you was on drugs and intending to harm him and he has a legal right to kill you if he feels threatened.

I'm not saying you shouldnt be allowed to defend yourself, just make sure there's really no other options or explanations first. Not even the police shoots first and ask questions later.

And if you think me using Tourettes as a example is grasping for straws, what if the man following you is talking on a hands-free cellphone, or maybe he is mistaking you for someone else and as he comes closer he realises that "youre not Joey"..
Well, in my example (which I believe you are using for your example. I stated "You have changed your path a few times and are sure he is following you".

Just crossing the street a few times will tell if someone is after you, or simply the guy who rides the bus barking.

In the car case, the first thought wasn't "kill him!". First was "Wow, that guy has anger management issues." Then it went to "Is he following me?", then finally "Yes, he is following me, he is becoming more dangerous, what are my options?". Finally, we reach what I felt was the best course of action "I will go to someplace I know, someplace I can defend, and if he follows, gets out of his vehicle, ignores my warnings and approaches. I will defend myself." I just will not kid myself about what 'defending myself' means. To put it politely, it means neutralizing a threat. To put it blunt, kill the attacker before he kills you.

I'm sorry, I'm not going to be easily swayed that it is not justified within the realms of my states laws. If my state said I had a duty to attempt to flee, then I would attempt to flee. In fact, thinking back on it, I'm actually saying you should attempt to flee first. That is what the evasive driving and crossing the street/changing your route several times is for. The only exception is if I am in my home and someone is kicking in the door. Then there will be no attempt to flee, just an attempt to defend what is mine to defend.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:26 AM   #29
Joseph Madden
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

I would hope that the vast majority of people would react appropriately in "most" situations. Unfortunately we know from history that this isn't always the case. We can argue forever about what is the right course of action in any case. As Don stated earlier you have a choice to make and sometimes only a matter of seconds count between you or the other person taking that final step. What the outcome of that final step is will be decided by a jury of your peers or a judge if you decide to plead. With regards to Canadian law, being someone who has had the "Use of Force" tables placed in front of me, I know how far I can go. Breaking one arm if I'm attacked with a knife would be considered reasonable in most cases. If the person chooses to switch arms and attack me again and I break his other arm then I will probably be hit with an assault charge. This is merely an example under Canadian law. Some members of Canadian society will argue that no level of force is justified and you should die like a good sheep. I'm not one of them.
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:27 AM   #30
DonMagee
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
No, I'm not, Don. I'm trying to point out that when you kill someone, it becomes a legal matter -- and that in legal matters, these "semantics" that you so disdain have real and serious consequences. You can blow off what I'm saying by calling it "just semantics" (it isn't, but let that go). On this forum, nobody's definition or interpretation "wins". In a court, things are different. There, other people's interpretation of a word like "threatened" will matter more than yours, and there most certainly is a "winning" definition.
Except what you are pointing out is already what I stated to be true. Thus you are really not pointing anything out. Just trying to make me seem as though I am not informed.

This is why it is an issue of semantics.

Apparently, I did not use the correct words to explain myself to you in a satisfactory way. Then, after I clarified this, for example, by defining what I mean by threatened. You use the previous words to attempt to cast doubt on my statements. For example you said "There, other people's interpretation of a word like "threatened" will matter more than yours, and there most certainly is a "winning" definition." See, this is a semantic argument. I have defined what I mean by threatened, but simply because I did not use the correct word, you claim my point is invalid. The argument therefor is not about my point, but on the words I decided to use. If you would like, I could re-write my posts with words more suited to your style of reading. I could say "If I felt someone was attempting to take my life" rather than "If I felt I was threatened".

In the end, it makes no difference. Even in court my choice of words can be explained. If I say "I felt threatened", the judge is going to say "Now jury, the definition of threatened is X and thus you can not use any other definition." Rather, my lawyer will probably ask exactly what I mean by that. (Or have already helped me clarify my testimony in a way that the jury could more readily understand.)

So again, I submit that your replies to my posts have added nothing to support them, nor have they add a counter argument to them. You have simply restated things I have already said while trying to make it seem like I did not state them.

And yes, I do like to argue for the sake of argument. I find it fun. And yes I have thought that maybe I need some kind of therapy for it.

Last edited by DonMagee : 01-15-2008 at 11:31 AM.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:35 AM   #31
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

Quote:
And yes, I do like to argue for the sake of argument. I find it fun. And yes I have thought that maybe I need some kind of therapy for it.
Dude, I'm sooo glad you're back!

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:42 AM   #32
Michael Hackett
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

David,

The short answer is that one's presumed martial arts ability means nothing unless the force used is taken too far for the circumstances. That holds true for anyone, regardless of formal training. That said, a skilled martial artist will probably be subjected to closer scrutiny.

A recent case here in San Diego area is dragging through the courts now. A professional MMA fighter got into some sort of a tussle outside a bar and "choked out" his adversary. He has been charged with a felony assault. I know only of the news accounts so I don't know who the aggressor was, the other circumstances, or even whether he used a rear naked choke or he strangled the guy. It seems to me that using a rear naked choke is more humane than punching someone senseless, but as I said, I don't know any of the details that led to the charging.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:46 AM   #33
lbb
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
Except what you are pointing out is already what I stated to be true. Thus you are really not pointing anything out. Just trying to make me seem as though I am not informed.
I give up. You know it all. You know what I'm thinking and what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. This is pointless, and I'm done here.
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:52 AM   #34
jonreading
 
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

In Georgia, I believe we have the right to defend ourselves if we perceive ourselves [or family] to be in danger of bodily harm. For example, this means that I could defend myself if I felt my life, or the life of a loved one was in danger. Clearly, this is a state of mind rule. Property theft is not a valid cause for violence, but theft with intent to cause harm would be.

For example, home invasion is big in Atlanta right now. Perp breaks into a house, holds family hostage, robs the family of property and cash, and usually commits a violent crime (rape, assault, murder). Many of these victims comply during the theft because the believe the perp will simply leave after robbing them. Unfortunately this is untrue and several people have already been hurt badly under this mentality.

As I train, I try to understand how I can more clearly communicate to potential perpetrators that I am not a victim. I find we spend time finding reasons to justify why something not bad is going to happen to us. If we spend the same time observing our surroundings and keeping up our guard against bad things, we may find they happen less.

While many readers did not respond to Don's post, I think there are some good points to understand:
1. Identify and understand the threat. A van was acting inappropriately by following Don.
2. Prepare for action. Don choose a path to draw out the intentions of the driver, and prepared himself to act.
3. Commit to action. Don was committed to protecting himself.
You can doubt his reasons and criticize his decision, but he was more prepared for the situation than most of us would be.

As a personal note, I see more comments attacking the situations than the laws. Observation is critical to many of these posts. For example, someone following me with their hands in their pockets may not be a big deal if the weather is cold. But what if the temperature is warm or hot? Someone may be driving the same direction as me and fighting with something on the phone. But what if they are screaming at me? The whatif game is tough, and I do not see us benefiting on this thread by taking the time to whatif eachother to death.

Great posts... enjoying the read.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:01 PM   #35
Joseph Madden
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

Excellent point Jon. We've also had several violent home invasions north of the border and people have been assaulted and/or have died.
Deciding to protect ones self is never an easy choice. But it should be considered the right one.
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:51 PM   #36
gregg block
 
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

First survive the attack. A dead man in court has no defense either!
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:19 PM   #37
Joseph Madden
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

This is slightly off topic, but pertains to certain portion of the Canadian public being sheep-like. Today in the heart of the city of Toronto, a young woman was attacked and robbed by two pieces of S&*% on a streetcar. They wanted her money and then started punching her in the face. When other passengers tried to intervene, the creeps told them to back off because they had a gun. They got away.
This is the level that Toronto has come to. People bred to be frightened. Its obvious that these two turds didn't have a firearm because they assaulted this young woman with their fists. The truly sad part is if someone had the balls to permanently damage these two pieces of garbage they would have been in trouble with our justice system. Come visit Toronto. Especially if your a criminal. The pickins are easy.
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Old 01-16-2008, 05:45 AM   #38
kironin
 
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
In my state, you can kill a man if you feel he is threatening you, your property, or others. So you can kill a man for taking your wallet.
Indiana sounds similar to Texas which broadened the law 2007 though maybe Indiana goes farther if you can actually interpret it that "you can kill a man for taking your wallet.". About the original post, give the often publicly stated goals of Aikido, I am not too worried in Texas that if I had to use Aikido-like techniques to defend myself that it would be ever seen as excessive force.

Quote:
For the first time, the self-defense legislation extends the "castle doctrine" beyond homes to include occupied vehicles and the workplace. It also creates a new presumption about when a person can use deadly force and repeals the legal concept that a person must retreat.

On Tuesday, co-sponsors of the new self-defense law lined up two and three deep at a Capitol news conference after the House gave final approval of Senate Bill 378.

"With the enactment of this bill, law-abiding Texas citizens can defend themselves against criminal attack in their home, car or business without having to worry they will be prosecuted," said Rep. Joe Driver, R-Garland, the lead House sponsor.

Austin Reps. Dawnna Dukes and Donna Howard, both Democrats, voted against the bill. They opposed it because prosecutors opposed it and because of what Dukes said would be a heightened use of force.

The initial author, Sen. Jeff Wentworth, whose San Antonio district includes parts of South Austin, said in a phone interview that he introduced the legislation after reading news reports about a similar law passed in Florida in 2005.

Wentworth said he wrongly believed Texans already had the same rights as Floridians.

In 1973, during a rewrite of the penal code, the Legislature imposed a duty for a person facing criminal attack to retreat if a reasonable person would do so under those circumstances. In 1995, the Legislature added an exception to the need to retreat if the attack occurred in a person's home.

Wentworth said he found that approach wrong-headed.

"I do not believe that the law should require me to wait and decide if someone who is breaking into my home or office or attempting to hijack my car intends to harm me or a member of my family," he said last fall. "The law should allow me to use immediate force to protect myself, my family and my property without fear of being charged with a crime or being sued."

Many prosecutors, however, opposed the legislation.

Rob Kepple, executive director of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, said some prosecutors worried about creating a new presumption of self-defense that criminals might now try to adopt.

Under the measure, deadly force is presumed to be reasonable if a person unlawfully enters or attempts to enter an occupied home, vehicle or a place of business or employment.

Kepple said a criminal could claim he shot someone because he was being threatened.

"You could be giving a new legal defense to criminals," he said.

Furthermore, Kepple said, some prosecutors felt the bill was a solution looking for a problem.

"The concern was whether it has been demonstrated that a person has been wrongly prosecuted" for defending themselves, Kepple said.

Driver said the legislation includes safeguards to limit the new defense to law-abiding citizens. For example, a person using deadly force cannot have provoked the other person, must have a right to be there and cannot be committing a crime.

Austin defense lawyer Joe Turner said a person responding to an attack is not thinking about the subtle changes in the self-defense law. But he said the legislation will add new protections against prosecution or being sued.

"We spend a great deal of our lives in our cars and our offices," Turner said. "There's something un-Texan, un-American, about having to run from your office."

On another front, Senate Bill 534 prohibits public or private employers from discharging or disciplining employees who keep a concealed weapon locked in their vehicle parked in the employer's parking lot. The employee must have a license to carry the weapon and provide a copy to the employer.

The author, Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, said some employees have to commute long distances to work and feel safer with a weapon in their vehicle. He said he had reports of some employers disciplining employees who had licences to carry concealed weapons.

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Old 01-25-2008, 09:21 AM   #39
Joseph Madden
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

From Canadian Law & Self-Defence by Ted Truscott, there is a fine line between self-defence and criminal assault, especially by martial artists. In Canada, being a martial artist brings you into a higher standard for use of force then the general populace. Although the same rules may apply, you must be able to justify the techniques used. Under the definition provided by Dreager and Smith, being a martial artist who practices a do rather than a jutsu, you may find it harder to justify your actions, since a jutsu is defined as; training for the development of the right frame of mind and technical skills by which to defend oneself, combative, practical and vigorous....producing the optimum development of fighting skills.
Whereas a do is defined as; training from a concern with a spiritual discipline through which the individual elevates himself mentally and physically in search of self-perfection. Note the last word "self-perfection". Under the law as it stands currently in Canada, someone who is pursuing self perfection may be considered by the courts as someone who should know better or have a heightened sense of what is the right thing to do, whereas someone who practices a jutsu is only seeking ways to be a better warrior although a do could almost certainly fall under that definition as well. Very fine line.
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:54 AM   #40
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

Made even finer by the fact that Draeger's bifurcation is highly artificial. At the time, that bifurcation was widely accepted in the west. Not so much any more, despite his being way ahead of his time and quite a pioneer.

Best,
Ron

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Old 01-25-2008, 11:45 AM   #41
Joseph Madden
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

True Ron. The definitions set by Draeger are from 1969. A lot has changed since then. I agree about him being a pioneer.

Nuff said.

Joe
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Old 01-25-2008, 02:36 PM   #42
Pierre Kewcharoen
 
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

From what I hear, NJ has no self defense law. So if somebody starts a fight with you and your hurt them protecting yourself, then both of you are going to jail. I have to check if this is true. If that's the case, then we are screwed in Jersey.
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:15 PM   #43
Joseph Madden
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

Pierre,
Did u know that the non-lethal Tazer is also illegal in Jersey. Kinda hard to defend oneself huh?(there illegal here too)
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:13 PM   #44
Michael Hackett
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

A new case just reported out from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which covers many of the western states of the US. Price v. Sery is the case and actually deals with a police-involved shooting and really applies only to government agents, BUT it does have some interesting language in it relating to the issue of state of mind of the actor versus the "objectively reasonable" view. As I interpret what the justices said, whatever is in your mind is relatively unimportant if the circumstances facing you are such that there was (or was not) an objectively reasonable threat to you. That is, even if you thought you were in grave danger, was your perception of that threat an objectively reasonable one?

I suggest that we will eventually see similar language in the near future dealing with a civilian self-defense type of case. If you choose to read the case, be sure and read the dissent as well - very informative.

As a layman, the issue is still clear as mud.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:12 PM   #45
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
In my state, you can kill a man if you feel he is threatening you, your property, or others. So you can kill a man for taking your wallet.
I think your state has it right.

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Old 01-25-2008, 09:54 PM   #46
Pierre Kewcharoen
 
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

Quote:
Joseph Madden wrote: View Post
Pierre,
Did u know that the non-lethal Tazer is also illegal in Jersey. Kinda hard to defend oneself huh?(there illegal here too)
Everything is illegal in Jersey!
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Old 01-25-2008, 10:20 PM   #47
Niadh
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

Jon,
I belive you in Georgia have a castle law. I was just down there visiting a friend and attending a tactical pistol course. I am not up on Georgia laws, but he is pretty well versed having done research to protect himself from litigation in the event he and his family are one of those whose house is broken into. Next time I get down there, I'll try to find your dojo. I passed one on monday just before my flight back, but it had been a full weekend.

Don,
Observe, Asses, Plan, Implement.
Yep, seems that you were using our most important weapon. yes folks belive it or not it is not a "smart gun" but our head.
People,
We, individuals, are the ONLY ones responsible for our safety. NEWS FLASH. If you are not aware, (yes Don i know you wrote this, I am expounding on it) THE POLICE ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION AND ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PROTECT ANY IDIVIDUAL. THEIR JOB IS TO UPHOLD THE LAWS, ENFORCE THE LAWS, AND PROTECT SOCIETY "AS A WHOLE". AS HAS BEEN UPHELD IN MANY COURT CASES, UNLESS PROMISE OF PROTECTION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THE PERSON OR PERSONS IN QUESTION.

So, even if the decision had been to drive to a police station - THEY WERE UNDER NO LEGAL OBLIGATION TO PROTECT DON AND HIS WIFE.
Each person must make their own choice at the time. Laws being what they are the chips will fall where they will. Make the best choice you can based on what you know to be true at the time. As you said Don, don't second guess. I have to agree with Jon here, I may or may not make the same choice as you, but you were thinking it threw. Kudos to you for that.

Asz for the "shoot him for trying to steal my wallet" I took this as an oversimplification and "quirky" way of saying, "hey, we have a castle law here and you all thugs better realize it," so for those who think jumping on this for his attitude, maybe you ought to be a bit less literal.

I gotta get out of this archaic, Canadian like (sorry, your words Joseph ) herd mentality of the north east. Out to a shall issue state with castle laws where i can defend myself and my family and not have to assume that by trying to do so i will automatically be judged as wrong by those who feel that, since the world should be filled with love and peace it must be.
I'm through with my diatribe. If I have offended, well these are MY beliefs, so you don't have to like them.

Last edited by Niadh : 01-25-2008 at 10:25 PM.

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Old 01-27-2008, 01:27 PM   #48
akiy
 
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Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

Hi folks,

Can we please try to make the discussion explicitly relevant to aikido?

Thanks,

-- Jun

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