Stupid, irresponsible gun owners

Cryozombie

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And again, by "few", you mean thousands each year. Right?

Its actually 0.0010054817949593988% of the total estimated population of the United States. So, By comparison it is a tiny tiny number... even if you only consider it as a percentage of estimated firearm owners in the US it still comes to less than 1% somewhere around .015% depending on what figure you use to do the calculation. While I don't mean to trivialize any deaths or injuries caused accidentally by the firearms, it is still a statistically insignificant number... certainly not high enough to justify punishing the other 99.85% of law-abiding/responsible gun owners.
 
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Licensing and insurance requirements for a RIGHT are inconceivable to me. Should you have to carry a million dollar liability policy in order to speak in case someone feels bullied by your words and kills themselves? Should you need a permit to be free of unlawful search? What about paying a fee to Vote?

It all amounts to the same thing, IMO. As far as I am concerned, the answer does not lie in restricting a right (at which point it is no longer a right, is it?) but rather in holding people accountable for the misuse of said right:
So then, you believe that anyone should be able to buy guns? What about ex-cons or the mentally ill?
Don't deny me the Right to Own a firearm because you are afraid a criminal might commit a crime with one, penalize the criminal for their use of the firearm in the crime.
Do you drive a car? I'm guessing that you are now required to carry a liability policy on that car, and still you've managed to figure that out. I'm sure that if you wanted to buy a gun, you'd do the same. No one would be denying you the right to own a firearm. And the sky isn't falling, either.
And Yes, Steve, I recognize that you say you are not trying to Ban guns but when you go on to say that we should have to have insurance, you are IMO putting restrictions on that Right. And, Comparing it to say, Driving, which is NOT a constitutionally protected right is really really NOT the same thing.
And there are already restrictions. There are, for the record, restrictions on all of our constitutional rights. You have the right to free speech, but libel and slander are against the law, for example.
As far as the Shooting itself is concerned, without more info it's hard to chime in. Was the gun lying in the open? Was it tucked away in a forgotten shoebox in the back of some closet the kid happened to find and no one knew it was missing? Was it taken from a bedside drawer where it is kept for home defense because the family lived in a dangerous area? How long did the kid have it, was it gone long enough for someone to even know? All of these questions would, to me, go a long way twords being able to formulate anything other than a gut opinion on the case.
The child was found guilty of three charges including 3rd degree assault, unlawful possession of a firearm and bringing a gun to school. The sentence has been deferred for 12 months.

The mother and her boyfriend have both been arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm, I'm glad to say. We'll see what happens.
 
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Its actually 0.0010054817949593988% of the total estimated population of the United States. So, By comparison it is a tiny tiny number... even if you only consider it as a percentage of estimated firearm owners in the US it still comes to less than 1% somewhere around .015% depending on what figure you use to do the calculation. While I don't mean to trivialize any deaths or injuries caused accidentally by the firearms, it is still a statistically insignificant number... certainly not high enough to justify punishing the other 99.85% of law-abiding/responsible gun owners.
That's a fair opinion. I don't agree, but there you go. Bikes were brought up earlier, and it was actually more likely to occur than a bike accident. And still most places have helmet laws and safety regulations. Statistically, 3000 injuries and deaths a year is significant enough.

And it also bears repeating that I entertain no delusions that a requirement to purchase liability insurance will ever go further than discussion on a forum. The forces at work are too powerful and a bill like this would never get passed. That doesn't, however, mean that I've heard any better ideas. And I'll ask you what I asked others. If not this, then what? How can we better hold gun owners responsible for the damage caused by their incompetence? It happens thousands of time each year, and in each case there are medical bills, sometimes funeral bills, and other costs associated with a gun injury. Some last a lifetime. Under our current system, if my kid is playing with your kid at your house and is shot by your gun, I'm probably SOL on getting any help with the costs. I could sue you, but that's iffy. You might get a fine and you're done with it and can move on. But your irresponsibility may very well have led to financial ruin for my family. How is that just? What ideas do you have? I'd love to hear them.
 

Cryozombie

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Let me counter that with a few points:

1) as I said before the "You have to carry Liability on your car" or "wear a helmet on your bike" is not even in the same realm... the right to keep and bear arms is a RIGHT... driving a car is not.
2) We need to set a baseline for responsibility. What constitutes Irresponsible gun ownership?
3) If your fear that your child might be one of the 0.0010054817949593988% that gets shot is enough of a deterrent that we need to assure every gun is locked up and accounted for at all times, what is MY recourse against you if I cannot access my gun quickly enough to protect my family and someone is injured or killed as a result? Watch this video. This is fictional of course, but I often feel this is exactly what the "Compromises" to my RIGHT would be like if people had their way:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wypFgcqHyvc&feature=player_embedded

Also, I ask you, what control do you have in place to make sure, if my kid is playing at your house, that your kid wont stab him with a kitchen knife?

I think the answer to that is the same answer to how to prevent an accidental shooting: You teach your kid better. I think we demonize guns and gun ownership in this country, and as a result we don't teach our kids about guns, gun responsibility, and the dangers of guns... then they get curious and they play. I grew up in a house full of loaded, accessible firearms... but I also knew how dangerous they were and was taught respect for them: I NEVER handled them without an adult present, and never had an accident growing up. I think it's that simple. You dont hide it so little Timmy doesn't know about it, and you DISCIPLINE you kid, instead of thinking that Timmy is a precious little snowflake and raising your voice to him might make him feel bad, so its better to talk about his feelings when he shoots Sally next door after he finds your gun hidden in the closet.
 
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These are related stories, so in lieu of starting a new thread, I thought I'd just post them here. More stupid, irresponsible, "responsible" gun owners.

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com..._latest-shooting-critical-condition-young-boy

In the above article, a toddler was left alone in a minivan while mom goes into the convenience store and the dad pumps the gas. The child knows where the gun is, moves from the back seat up to the front and shoots himself.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017727656_childshooting12m.html

In this article, a 5 year old shoots his 7 year old sister and kills her. The gun owner is a police officer.

While the children in these articles are the children of the gun owner, the basic point is the same. That these kinds of things happen to even responsible gun owners. I'm not trying to in any way suggest that the gun owners are bad people. I'm sure that they are not, and my heart breaks for them.

My point is that where guns are involved, these kinds of things happen... even to responsible, experienced, licensed gun owners.

And once again, I will reiterate that I'm not overly attached to my proposal above. I'm VERY interested in hearing from you guys, experienced gun owners, your ideas.

Cryozombie, I'm sorry I missed your post above, but since I'm revisiting the thread, I'll answer your questions.

First, restrictions already exist on gun ownership. I'm not suggesting that anyone's right to bear arms be impinged. Rather, I'm suggesting that with responsible regulation, the right can be expanded to include weapons currently illegal. It's not about restriction. It's about accountability, in my opinion.

Second, irresponsible gun ownership is often visible only after the fact, which is why I would propose that the requirement to carry a liability policy be universal. In the articles above, the two situations occurred with weapons owned by "responsible" gun owners.

Third, I don't know about your statistic, but according to the CDC, there are about 8 or 9 kids shot each day in unintentional firearm accidents. Just under 1 per day dies. I posted those earlier, along with links to where I got them. I know that others have issues with the CDC, but I don't know where else to find mortality and accident related information, so take it for what it is. It was admittedly a surprisingly high number, IMO.

And in light of these two incidents, so close to the event I mentioned in the first post, how you'd respond to your own final paragraph. While I can agree that education is a part of it, that's not the entire story. Kids in families with parents who know (or should know) better STILL get ahold of guns and still shoot themselves, their siblings, their parents or people from outside their family. It's always accidental. It's always heartbreaking. But it's not just people failing to educate their kids.
 

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You cant legislate responsibility and you cant test for it. I dont know exactly what your suggesting is the solution but each individual case no matter how tragic is still far fewer then any other way kids get hurt. No one ever crys about outlawing swimming pools and far more kids are hurt and die in pool accidents from irresponsible parents. Its only the "evil" gun people want to ban.
 
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You cant legislate responsibility and you cant test for it. I dont know exactly what your suggesting is the solution but each individual case no matter how tragic is still far fewer then any other way kids get hurt. No one ever crys about outlawing swimming pools and far more kids are hurt and die in pool accidents from irresponsible parents. Its only the "evil" gun people want to ban.
Homeowners are required to carry insurance for their pools. I'm suggesting something similar for people who choose to own guns.

As I mentioned earlier, bike accidents are actually less common than gun accidents. It happens more often than you might think. About 8 times per day, statistically.

The CDC does show drowning statistics, but doesn't distinguish private pools from any other venue (such as beaches, rivers, public pools, floods or tubs).

Total nonfatal drowning/submersion: 6018
Fatal drownings: 922

So, for every pool, river, beach, flood, tub or whatever.

And just to be very clear, if you think I'm suggesting outlawing anything, you aren't reading my posts.
 

ballen0351

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And just to be very clear, if you think I'm suggesting outlawing anything, you aren't reading my posts.

No I wasnt saying that. I just dont understand what your looking for. If all you want gun owners be required to carry insurance that really does nothign to solve the problem of irresponsible gun owners. It just makes others pay for the stupid ones with higher premiums for all. Also how would you enforce it? You cant just knock on peoples doors and say let me search your house for guns and when you find one demand proof of insurance.
 

Cryozombie

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Homeowners are required to carry insurance for their pools.

Actually, as a homeowner with a pool, I can tell you this is not true. If you carry a Mortgage, you typically have to have an insurance policy. If you have a pool, the insurance company often recommends a higher liability limit and they charge you higher premiums. But (here at least) if you own your home outright and choose not to carry insurance, you don't need separate just because you have a pool.

Also take into account "easy set" and "Inflatable" pools that are only set up seasonally. I bet almost no one carries insurance on these, but some of them are as much as 4 feet deep... I wouldnt doubt that a) More Parents see these as "kiddie pools" and don't supervise their kids as well around them and b) that they DO count twords the drowning statistics for kids.
 

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Homeowners are required to carry insurance for their pools. I'm suggesting something similar for people who choose to own guns.
.

As Cryo pointed out, this isn't quite true about pools. More to the point, it's not likely that I could keep the pool in my backyard a complete secret-unlike my guns, which might be just the way I like it.

Of course, in my case, the guns themselves are part of our household inventory for insurance purposes-that is to say, so we can receive compensation for them should we have to make a claim in the case of fire, natural disaster or burglary.
 
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No I wasnt saying that. I just dont understand what your looking for. If all you want gun owners be required to carry insurance that really does nothign to solve the problem of irresponsible gun owners. It just makes others pay for the stupid ones with higher premiums for all. Also how would you enforce it? You cant just knock on peoples doors and say let me search your house for guns and when you find one demand proof of insurance.

You talked about outlawing pools. I inferred that was in response to me.

Re solving irresponsible gun owners, that's not solvable. I'm trying to hold them accountable. As I said earlier, if my kid is at you're house or in your car and is shotby your son, on top of anger, sadness, shock or whatever, I'm also looking at what could potentially be financial ruin. My son could be looking at lifelong medical bills, presuming he survived. Its not about solving; itis abou nt accountability, even when there is no criminal charge.

I'd be okay with any idea that improves accountability. You have a better idea? I'm all ears (eyes).


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Good points regarding pools. Terrible analogy, ballen. :)

Cryo, what about the rest? As I said before, I'm open and want to hear from you guys. This is, I hope, discussion. I'm receptive to well reasoned points. But if you insist there's no problem, we will just have to agree to disagree. This is occurring far too often, and the penalties and accountability just are not commensurate to the situation, IMO.


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Cryozombie

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Cryo, what about the rest? As I said before, I'm open and want to hear from you guys. This is, I hope, discussion. I'm receptive to well reasoned points. But if you insist there's no problem, we will just have to agree to disagree. This is occurring far too often, and the penalties and accountability just are not commensurate to the situation, IMO.

Well... the numbers I used were the same as yours... I plugged the CDC numbers into a percentage calculator along with the population of the US... and then for the other I took what is an Estimate of gun ownership in the U.S. from federal statistics. So as far as the numbers go we should be more or less on the same page, except you are showing it as total number and I am showing it as percent of population.

If I can use another analogy for a minute, there are an average of 1.8 million ER visits as the result of injuries sustained during an assault every year. This number only accounts for the people who seek treatment... and does not include people who are killed or not severely wounded during the assault. This is significantly higher and, IMO, more of a danger than the .15% of all Firearm owners that have accidents involving children: but it is a fact consistently forwarded by the Anti Gun crowd as so unlilkley to ever actually happen to you, that there is no reasonable purpose for having a firearm. So I have to wonder, if we believe that (and I don't, and I know you aren't saying that you do either, I'm just saying if we do) then the considerably lower number for accidental shootings really should ALSO be considered so remote as to not warrant any further restrictions also, wouldn't that stand to reason?

Now, of course I don't have any ready solutions to the .15% that it may happen to... but I do think holding 99.85% of gun owners responsible for that .15% is... asinine? at best... It's as crazy as Illinois banning Draino sales because it was used in a whole 2 assaults, carried out by 1 disturbed individual. As it stands, we have laws on the books to address these issues, and the courts can currently decide on the cases that do occur... I'm not sure we need more, and certainly not something that Penalizes almost 100% of legitimate, responsible firearm owners for the actions of only a couple of owners who either are irresponsible, or have some statistically bad luck.
 

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Oh, and on a side note, it's easy for someone to say "Well look, here's three, all in a row, what do you make of that"

And my best response would be, while three deaths is pretty sad, the other 222,999,997 firearms in the US apparently didn't kill any kids during those couple of days.
 
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Well... the numbers I used were the same as yours... I plugged the CDC numbers into a percentage calculator along with the population of the US... and then for the other I took what is an Estimate of gun ownership in the U.S. from federal statistics. So as far as the numbers go we should be more or less on the same page, except you are showing it as total number and I am showing it as percent of population.

If I can use another analogy for a minute, there are an average of 1.8 million ER visits as the result of injuries sustained during an assault every year. This number only accounts for the people who seek treatment... and does not include people who are killed or not severely wounded during the assault. This is significantly higher and, IMO, more of a danger than the .15% of all Firearm owners that have accidents involving children: but it is a fact consistently forwarded by the Anti Gun crowd as so unlilkley to ever actually happen to you, that there is no reasonable purpose for having a firearm. So I have to wonder, if we believe that (and I don't, and I know you aren't saying that you do either, I'm just saying if we do) then the considerably lower number for accidental shootings really should ALSO be considered so remote as to not warrant any further restrictions also, wouldn't that stand to reason?

Now, of course I don't have any ready solutions to the .15% that it may happen to... but I do think holding 99.85% of gun owners responsible for that .15% is... asinine? at best... It's as crazy as Illinois banning Draino sales because it was used in a whole 2 assaults, carried out by 1 disturbed individual. As it stands, we have laws on the books to address these issues, and the courts can currently decide on the cases that do occur... I'm not sure we need more, and certainly not something that Penalizes almost 100% of legitimate, responsible firearm owners for the actions of only a couple of owners who either are irresponsible, or have some statistically bad luck.
I'm not sure where you're headed. Assault is illegal, isn't it? I genuinely don't get the correlation to what we're talkinga bout.

Regarding the three deaths, we're talking about three in this area. But statistically, once again, we're talking about 8 per day... not quite one death per day. It's a matter of perspective, and as I said before, I understand that some might not think there's a problem. If that's the case, we'll just have to disagree. I think it's a real issue.
 
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@Ballen, just wanted to add one more thing. It's about accountability, as I said, but I also think licensing would help with irresponsible owners. Just as we have to take both a practical and written test in order to get a license, renew the license periodically and re-take the tests, and also get endorsements in order to operate different types of vehicles, such as motorcycles, a similar system for guns would help ensure that people who own them are at least fundamentally trained in safe operation.

I know that's not a popular idea with gun enthusiasts. I also know that registration of guns isn't a popular idea, but we do it with cars across our country and almost everyone still drives one. No one is barred from owning whatever kind of car they want and can afford. They are, however, required to register each car and carry a liability policy, as well as a State issued license to legally operate the car.

@cryozombie, another follow up here. When we talk about drownings, we're averaging right about 3 kids drowning each day in any body of water anywhere, including pools, beaches, rivers, lakes, bathtubs and whatever else. We're talking about 2 kids every 3 days being shot on accident and dying. If it's a matter of scope, what's your bar? Clearly, this exceeds my threshold, but where's yours? How often would this have to occur before you'd agree that there's an issue?

This isn't intended to be a trap. I know that we all have thresholds. I'm just asking whether you've ever given thought to where yours is on this issue, and if so, what it is. My threshold with gas prices was right around $3... when it bumped over, I got increasingly angry and started looking at alternatives to fuel. A lot of people I know are getting that angry as gas prices bump up to $4/gallon. For some, it might be $5/gallon. Point is, we all have a limit of what we find acceptable on any given topic, whether it's taxes, gas prices or social issues like gun regulation and control. On this topic, what's your threshold?
 

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I'm not sure where you're headed. Assault is illegal, isn't it? I genuinely don't get the correlation to what we're talkinga bout. .

The anti gun crowd often uses the excuse that statistically you are so unlikely to ever be attacked that you do not actually need a weapon. over 1.8 million attacks a year = Statistically unlikely.

If that same metric were applied to your concern

Since only .15% of firearms will ever injure a child, its statistically unlikely that we need to regulate them in some way.

Regarding the three deaths, we're talking about three in this area. But statistically, once again, we're talking about 8 per day... not quite one death per day. It's a matter of perspective, and as I said before, I understand that some might not think there's a problem. If that's the case, we'll just have to disagree. I think it's a real issue.

Ok, 8 per day comes to 2920:

ok, so we are taking about just under 3000 a year. According to the CDC:

In 2003, nearly 285,600 children ages 14 and under were treated in the US for bicycle-related injuries.

Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages one to 14. The majority of drownings and near-drownings occur in residential swimming pools.

Heck the Consumer product safety commission says that there are 2600-2800 serious or fatal injuries from CHEERLEADING every year... which makes cheerleading AT LEAST as dangerous as a gun.

While I do understand your concern, and yes, I concede that nearly 3000 kids injured or killed is a lot, considering that Bicyles, Swimming Pools and Playground Equipment pose a much much much larger risk, I wonder why your concern lies in what is, again a statistically improbable situation when compared to the population and number of firearms available, and not in actually protecting kids from something that is actually likely to do them harm, no, things we actively encourage our kids to do.
 
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The anti gun crowd often uses the excuse that statistically you are so unlikely to ever be attacked that you do not actually need a weapon. over 1.8 million attacks a year = Statistically unlikely.

If that same metric were applied to your concern

Since only .15% of firearms will ever injure a child, its statistically unlikely that we need to regulate them in some way.



Ok, 8 per day comes to 2920:

ok, so we are taking about just under 3000 a year. According to the CDC:

In 2003, nearly 285,600 children ages 14 and under were treated in the US for bicycle-related injuries.

Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages one to 14. The majority of drownings and near-drownings occur in residential swimming pools.

Heck the Consumer product safety commission says that there are 2600-2800 serious or fatal injuries from CHEERLEADING every year... which makes cheerleading AT LEAST as dangerous as a gun.

While I do understand your concern, and yes, I concede that nearly 3000 kids injured or killed is a lot, considering that Bicyles, Swimming Pools and Playground Equipment pose a much much much larger risk, I wonder why your concern lies in what is, again a statistically improbable situation when compared to the population and number of firearms available, and not in actually protecting kids from something that is actually likely to do them harm, no, things we actively encourage our kids to do.
Once again, pools aren't completely out of proportion to unintentional gun accidents. My kids are around pools often. In Texas, where I grew up, I was around them almost daily. I seldom saw a gun in Texas, and my kids didn't see one up close until they joined JROTC in high school. In other words, they are exposed to water all the time. They saw a gun zero times, that I'm aware of, in their first 14 years of life. That they are statistically only three times more likely to drown than to be shot on accident by a friend is, to me, alarming, particularly considering the relative exposure to each.

Bikes are the same. Almost every kid has a bike. Weather permitting, they ride them all the time. We're talking almost every kid in the USA. I'd be shocked if the percentage of kids under 18 who own or have owned a bike is less than 95%. Considering the pervasive exposure to bikes, and the idiocy of most kids, it's not surprising that they get banged up. But what's the mortality rate? According to the CDC, there were 120 deaths. About the same number of deaths caused by unintentional firearm related accidents.

But, all of that aside, you bring up two good points. First, I'm not trying to wrap kids in bubbleplastic. Living is inherently risky. Second, there are efforts made all the time to keep kids as safe as possible, even when they choose to participate in risky activity. Cheerleading (or football or any other contact sport where injury is likely) involves a parent's release and involvement making it completely apples and oranges. While I can choose whether or not to allow my child to compete on the cheerleading squad or the marskman team in JROTC, unless you choose to tell me, I would have no idea that your son is playing with your gun until one of them is in the ER. That's very different.

I hope I'm being clear. It's early and I'm in need of a cup of coffee.
 

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@Ballen, just wanted to add one more thing. It's about accountability, as I said, but I also think licensing would help with irresponsible owners. Just as we have to take both a practical and written test in order to get a license, renew the license periodically and re-take the tests, and also get endorsements in order to operate different types of vehicles, such as motorcycles, a similar system for guns would help ensure that people who own them are at least fundamentally trained in safe operation.
Im not sure a License is the way to go because it can then be used as a method of control. You want this type of gun you pay this much you want that type of guy you have to pay more ect. places that are anti-gun could make the fees so high normal people couldnt afford it. Im not apposed to say a manditory gun safety class. In Maryland you need to take a class before you can buy a gun. I would be ok with that as long as the class was free or a very small fee. However as seen by the police officer in your above post even training on gun safety wont prevent some accidents.

I know that's not a popular idea with gun enthusiasts. I also know that registration of guns isn't a popular idea, but we do it with cars across our country and almost everyone still drives one. No one is barred from owning whatever kind of car they want and can afford. They are, however, required to register each car and carry a liability policy, as well as a State issued license to legally operate the car.
Im against registration of guns simply because It a revenue soucre nothing more or less. Im not sure the orig intent of vehicle registrations other then perhaps an anti-theft and identification method but now all it is used for is to make money for the state. Registering a gun wouldnt do anything but make money for the Govt since the registration is not marked on the gun and most people dont open carry guns anyway so having a registered gun wont change anything. Guns for the most part are "registered" withthe Govt when you buy it anyway. I can run a serial number trace on most modern guns and track the current owner, previous owners, and where it was bought so adding a new "registration" would simply be a tax on gun ownership and would do nothing to fix the propblem you address. Education is really the only way to prevent this from happeneing and has nothing to do with the guns itself. ALL gun accidents are preventable guns dont just jump up and shoot people. And sadly all the education in the world wont stop it. Look at all the "education" on the harm of tobacco use and it still a billion dollar industry.
 
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You bring up an interesting point about the "Threshold." Is there a limit or Threshold on a constitutional right?
 
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