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Marvelicious Speaks on Kids and Guns

I felt compelled to bring attention to our children of today. There are so many of our children who somehow get their hands on guns! They are shooting each other! Some of you may say, "Guns don't kill people ~ people kill people!" Well, you are absolutely correct. Gun control in itself cannot be the answer. However, responsible use and care of guns is important, and parents restricting or monitoring young people's access to weapons is a must. The use of guns and violence is absolutely not the answer, and gun-users have to understand the possible consequences of their behavior. When a gun is involved, there is always a chance someone will be injured or killed.

Blood Stained School Grounds

Littleton, Colorado wasn't the first
to feel the horror & disbelief...
Kids killed kids at Columbine High
while others remembered pain & grief.

Yes, parents of Jonesboro, Arkansas
and Pearl, Mississippi too...
know oh too well the horrific pain!
Oh, America, what must we do?

Yes, I'm crying tears of sorrow
and the whole world is crying too.
For when we lose our kids in schools,
we wonder how this can be true!

It's past time that we wake up!
We've been sleeping oh too long.
School grounds stained with blood...
Where did America go wrong?

How can we end this nightmare?
Will kids put the guns down?
Who is to blame for this tragedy?
For blood shed on sacred ground?

Yes, some scream to take away the guns.
But, is that the answer today?
For if kids want to kill other kids...
They'll search until they find a way.

Tonight and in the nights to come,
we should look into our past....
Columbine High wasn't the first, dear Lord,
but can we please make it our last?

The last time that a kid has to die
because another kid is in pain.
Yes, it's our responsibility as Americans
to rid the schools of each blood stain.

For, whenever kids kill other kids...
Each of us feel the sorrow!
But do we feel the pain enough to try...
to prevent this from happening tomorrow???

Author Kaye Des'Ormeaux
All Rights Reserved.

Dedicated to the memory of each child that has died or been injured at the hands of another child with special dedication to:The students & faculty [at] Columbine High, Littleton, Colorado - April 20, 1999

LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) —Two students in black trench coats swept through their suburban high school with guns and explosives in a horrifying suicide attack Tuesday, April 20, 1999, that left as many as 25 people dead. Several students said the killers were gunning for minorities and athletes. It was by far the bloodiest in a string of school shootings that have rocked U.S. communities over the past few years. At least 23 people were hospitalized, most of them with gunshot wounds. One girl suffered nine shrapnel wounds. At least 11 victims were in critical or serious condition; one was in guarded condition.

On March 24, 1998 the shooting death of four young girls and a teacher in Jonesboro, Arkansas at the hands of two students, aged 11 and 13, was a horrible event. These precious children's lives are gone. They will never get married and have children and grandchildren. The children who shot these children have ruined their own lives and the lives of their victim's families forever.

On April 26, 1998, in Greensboro, N.C. a four-year-old boy shot and killed a six-year-old playmate.The six-year-old was shot in the neck on his birthday, after the children found a loaded .38 caliber semi-automatic handgun in a purse.

On April 27, 1998 in Edinboro, Pa., a teenage boy opened fire on fellow students and teachers at a school dance in rural northwestern Pennsylvania, killing a teacher and wounding two youths.

On March 24, 1998 the shooting death of four young girls and a teacher in Jonesboro, Arkansas at the hands of two students, aged 11 and 13, was a horrible event. These precious children's lives are gone. They will never get married and have children and grandchildren. The children who shot these children have ruined their own lives and the lives of their victim's families forever.

A Prayer For The Children

We pray for the Children
Who sneak popsicles before supper,
Who erase holes in math workbooks,
Who can never find their shoes.
And we pray for those
Who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,
Who can't bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers,
Who never "counted potatoes,"
Who are born in places where we wouldn't be caught dead,
Who never go to the circus,
Who live in an X-rated world.

We pray for children
Who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
Who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money.
And we pray for those who never get dessert,
Who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,
Who watch their parents watch them die,
Who can't find any bread to steal,
Who don't have any rooms to clean up,
Whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser,
Whose monsters are real.

We pray for children
Who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
Who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,
Who like ghost stories,
Who shove dirty clothes under the bed,
Who never rinse out the tub,
Who get visits from the tooth fairy,
Who don't like to be kissed in front of the carpool,
Who squirm in church and scream in the phone,
Whose tears we sometimes laugh at and
Whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray for those
Whose nightmares come in the daytime,
Who will eat anything,
Who have never seen a dentist,
Who aren't spoiled by anybody,
Who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
Who live and move, but have no being.

We pray for children
Who want to be carried and for those who must,
Who we never give up on,
And for those who don't get a second chance.
For those we smother and . . .
For those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to
Offer it.

In Memory of........

Natalie Brooks, student age 12
Paige Ann Herring, student age 12
Stephanie Johnson, student age 12
Brittany R. Varner, student age 11
Shannon Wright, Teacher age 32

Some reports suggest that violence at schools is now on the rise, recent high-profile killings at schools in Pearl, Miss., and West Padukah, Ky., have highlighted the scourge of kids and guns and suggest that adolescents -- and not just in the inner city -- are seeking revenge, maybe even thrills, with firearms.

The most recent news occurred on May 19, 1998 in Tampa, Florida. The killing started with a rifle shot at 10 a.m. that left Joey Bennett, a 4-year-old Tampa boy dead. Before the long, bloody day was done, two veteran Tampa police detectives and a rookie highway patrol trooper were murdered and the suspect in all four deaths, a habitual felon with a love of automatic weapons, died by his own hand. See the St. Petersburg Times' story about this horrid story. Marvelicious is from Tampa, Florida. We were all on the edge of our seats with fear this entire day! Below you will find a wonderful memorial to the 3 officers who lost their lives, Rick Childers, Randy Bell, and James Crookes. Please see my dedication to these 3 heros.

In The Line Of Duty

SPRINGFIELD, Ore., May 21, 1998 — A 15-year-old student expelled for bringing a handgun to school returned to the high school Thursday and opened fire in a crowded cafeteria, killing a classmate and injuring 23, officials said. Police later found two adults dead in the suspect’s home. A student at the school said the gunman had vowed to “shoot everybody,” but the threats were ignored. The student killed 4 and injured 23.

I am the mother of a child who was killed senselessly ~ not by a child, but by a 20 year old girl. My son was 20 years old when he was killed as a result of an accidental shooting. My son was not a child, but he was *my* child. I am deathly afraid of guns, therefore, I will not use one. Would you like to know why? It's because I am not educated on gun use. When there is no education on gun use, don't carry one, don't use one and certainly don't try to defend yourself with one. Why? Because the person you are trying to defend yourself may be educated in gun use or simply do not care about human life. They are the ones who can take that gun away from you and use it on you! Please get educated! Please don't go out there unprotected. This is a cruel world where violence is on the upswing. Parents, please lock up your guns and keep the key handy to only yourselves. I understand it is necessary to have a gun handy if you should have a break-in or home invasion, but is it worth your child's life should he or she find that gun? No, it is not.

Vicki Robinson Stabbed to Death

Vicki Robinson was murdered in Tampa, Florida, by her daughter, a 15 year old girl, along with her boyfriend and his friend on June 17, 1998. Vicki Robinson was stabbed to death and her body found after a week long search as a missing person. Her daughter and 2 of her friends are now charged with 1st degree murder. The two men will be eligible for the death penalty. The 15 year old, however, will face a maximum penalty of life in prison because of her age. Our condolences go out to the family of Vicki Robinson.

Sometimes it is hard to distinguish between teen rebellion and the warning signs of serious problems. Take a look at the separate guidelines.

Signs of typical teen rebellion

Spiteful toward parents/siblings
Sensitive to criticism
Short outbursts of anger
Acts tough
Tests limits

Problematic teen behavior

Difficulty concentrating
Truancy/failing grades
Extremely reclusive
Destructive/antisocial behavior
Resistance to discipline
Resentful of authority
Extended periods of depression or anger
Sexual promiscuity/drug use
Repeated runaway attempts
Frequent accidents/illnesses

Kathleen Heide, a University of South Florida criminology professor and author of "Why Kids Kill Parents: Child Abuse and Adolescent Homicide", says: "So often parents won't seem help until a child is 15 or 16. By then the kid has been ruling the house for years. When a child acts out, deal with it then. If a child walks out, the parent needs to go after them. If more extreme measures are needed, take them."

Source: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service

Laws on Lock Boxes

Misuse of a firearm can kill or cause serious injury. Exercise extreme security measures - especially if a child or someone who should not have access to guns lives in your home or visits frequently.

Empty the ammunition from your firearm. Use a trigger lock, barrel lock, cylinder lock, a locking firearm case, or keep your firearm in a locked gun safe. Locking devices cost between $7 and $20; gun safes range in price from $100 to $1,000.

Store ammunition separately in a locked container away from heat or moisture. Never throw ammunition in the trash.

Carry the keys for the gun and the ammunition on your person at all times or keep the keys locked in a location known only to you.

Never store a firearm on a bedside table or under a mattress or pillow.

Do not store a firearm among valuables such as jewelry or silver where it might be stolen. Don't let your gun be used to commit a crime!

Parents' Responsibility

In a home where guns are kept, the degree of safety a child has rests squarely on the child's parents. Parents who accept the responsibility to learn, practice and teach gun safety rules will ensure their child's safety to a much greater extent than those who do not. Parental responsibility does not end, however, when the child leaves the home.

According to US federal statistics, there are guns in approximately half of all U.S. households. Even if no one in your family owns a gun, chances are that someone you know does. Your child could come in contact with a gun at a neighbors house, when playing with friends, or under other circumstances outside your home. It is critical for your child to know what to do if he or she encounters a firearm anywhere, and it is the parents' responsibility to provide that training.

Other Ways Children Can Die or Be Killed!

As parents, it is hard to read reports such as this, however, wouldn't it be better to see the type of cases which can hurt or kill our children, and know the details of how it happens, in order to educate ourselves on preventative child rearing?

The following data was determined by The Hillsborough County Child Death Review Team for May 1995 through May 1996. The team reviewed 82 child deaths. The cases consisted of 31.7% black children and 68.3% white children. 72% were males and 28% were females. The age at death ranged from birth to 18 years. Law Enforcement agencies responded in 95% of the deaths. Autopsy's were performed in 98.8% of the deaths.

Natural Death

Natural causes were listed as the cause of death for 18.3% of the children.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Approximately 13% of the children are reported to have died from sudden infant death syndrome. The most common sleeping position among these children was on the abdomen. The majority slept alone. 27% of the children were breast fed, and 36% of the infants had taken some type of medication prior to their death.

Infant/Fetal Death
Approximately 4% of the deaths are described as infant/fetal deaths. Two of the births were multiple.

Accidental Deaths
Accidental Deaths included Electrocution, Suffocation, Drowning, Gun, Strangulation, Choking, Fire, Medical, Burns, Bicycle, and Automobile/Boating Accident.

There were 4 of these accidental deaths which involved a gun. In each of these cases, the guns were obtained in the child's home. One death involved a gun that was found under the grandmother's pillow. Two children were killed while reportedly playing with guns that they thought were unloaded.

A boating fatality involved a child struck by a boat propeller. The child was sitting on the bow of the boat and fell into the water.

Children Left in Automobiles in Summer Heat/Suffocation


Week of June 1, 1998...A Pinellas County, Florida family is mourning the loss of their two-year old daughter after a tragic accident in the summer heat. She got into a hot car in front of her Dunedin home and wasn't found until it was too late. The little girl was in the car for 20 minutes before she was found. Her temperature was 108 degrees. She was rushed to the hospital, but later died. This has happened several times in the heat. When you get out of your car, make a habit of locking the doors! Never leave your child or pet in the car in the hot sun. Temperatures can rise as high as 120 degrees within minutes.


Thursday July 2, 5:26 PM EDT, 1998...LAKEWOOD, N.J. A 24-year-old mother of three has been charged with reckless manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly leaving her 4-month-old daughter alone in her parked car for three and half hours. Police say she forgot to take her daughter to the baby sitter Wednesday morning and discovered the infant in the back seat that afternoon. The mother says she thought she had taken the child to her baby sitter after dropping her husband off.

Capt. Jim Stephanick tells United Press International that emergency room staffers notified the police at 2 p.m. after the rushed the baby to Kimball Hospital. The baby was pronounced dead at Kimball Medical Center in Lakewood sometime after 2 p.m., he said. Autopsy results were consistent with exposure to high temperatures in an automobile, but the cause of death was pending toxicological tests. He says mother's daily routine consisted of driving her husband to school at 10 a.m. and then shuttling the infant to the sitter's house, but yesterday, her daughter was sleeping, so the mother returned home. The Ocean County, N.J., Medical Examiner's Office conducted an autopsy last night, but has not released the results. The mother is free on $35,000 cash bail.

Motor Vehicle Deaths
According to the Child Death Review, 3 children died in bicycle accidents and 3 children were described as pedestrians in a Motor Vehicle Accident. The children sustained head and skull fractures as frequent causes of death in motor vehicle crashes. Failure to wear a seatbelt is listed as a contributing factor in five of the narratives. Driving at a high rate of speed is described as a contributing factor in two of the cases. Blood alcohol levels exceeding .08 are described in three of the deaths. Five of the reported cases describes the seat location of the deceased were the right front seat indicated in three of the fatal car crashes, the right front, and left rear seat were indicated in other narratives.

Children and Car Seats, Seatbelts and Airbags

Never put an infant in the front passenger seat of a vehicle with a passenger side airbag. This could cause serious injury or death. Properly restrain children in the back seat whenever possible. (In general, children under 12 years should ride in the back seat.) If parents or caregivers MUST put a child in the front seat (e.g. they have more than three children and there is no back seat), they should:

1.Put the largest child in the front passenger seat, NEVER AN INFANT.
2.Ensure that the child is properly restrained.
3.Move the vehicle seat as far back from the dashboard as possible.

Children and Helmets


Never ride a bicycle without a helmet. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that bicyclists wear a helmet that complied with Standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Sneer Memorial Foundation (SNELL).

Bicycle helmets can reduce head injuries by 85 percent. Select a helmet that fits snugly and sits flat atop the head.

For children, use the extra padding that comes with the helmet to ensure a proper fit. This padding can be removed as the child's head grows.

Child Passenger Safety

Swimming Pool Deaths/Drownings of Children

Three of the drownings occurred in residential swimming pools, including one in a "kiddie" pool." None of the pools were recorded as fenced. One drowning occurred in a bucket. The average age of the caretakers was 35.3, and no caretaker had participated in a water safety class. The child who drowned in the bucket was under the supervision of his mother. The mother reported that she had been on the phone, and that the child had been unattended for about 10 minutes. The caretaker of the child who drowned in the "kiddie" pool" was caring for five other children at the time of the drowning.

1. Infants can drown in one inch of water. Never leave a small child in the bathtub. The bathtub ranks second to swimming pools as an in-home site of drowning in children.

2. Swimming classes are extremely important for young children; however, never assume your child is "drown proof." Close supervision for all children enjoying a pool is mandatory for their safety.

3. Teenage drowning often occur in lakes and reservoirs without adequate supervision. Often times these tragedies involve alcohol or drug abuse.

4. Keep pools fenced with locked gates to prevent children from playing in the unsupervised area. (Also keep a top on the hot tub when it's not in use.)

5. Take water safety classes offered by the Red Cross and most importantly, get CPR certified.

6. If you have a pool and a child, you should successfully complete a child CPR course.


The National Safe Kids Campaign Drowning Fact Sheet

Children and Bicycles

Approximately 250 children under the age of 15 are killed and another 400,000 are injured in cycling-related accidents every year. Fifty-six percent of all biking fatalities happen between May and September. These statistics are scary, but there are precautions every parent can take to prevent bicycle accidents:

Purchase an approved bicycle helmet for each child and make sure they wear it every time they ride.

Make sure the helmet fits properly on the child's head.

Do not allow children under age 10 to ride their bikes on the road. Restrict their cycling to sidewalks, paths and driveways.

Teach children ages 10 and older the following safe bicycle road behaviors:

Stop before riding out into traffic from a driveway, sidewalk, alley or parking lot.

Look left, right and left again for oncoming traffic.

Enter the roadway when there is no traffic.

Ride on the right with traffic.

Obey traffic signs and signal lights.

Look back and yield to traffic coming from behind before turning left at intersections.

Make sure the child's bicycle works properly. Check brakes, reflectors, gear shifts and tires.

Familiarize yourself with the child's bicycling environment. Encourage the child to bike in safe environments, such as those with bicycle paths or bike lanes.

Suicide was not listed in the initial accidental death category. One narrative indicates that the decendent died from a gunshot would to the head and left a note.

A Mother's Story

My only child, Kimberly, committed suicide with a "gun" a few years ago. My life has taken many twists and turns like the rest of you, but few parents experience the impact and devastation of tragically losing a child. I grieve not only the loss of Kimberly, but I grieve the loss of my motherhood. After being a mom, half my life, I found myself weightlessly and aimlessly floating in a void...a void of purpose.

Kimberly nor I knew the first thing about "guns". My husband was a State Trooper and I wonder how different our lives might be, this day, had he taught Kimberly about firearm safety. I have spoken with parents and children who have educated themselves about "gun" safety. Kids who have been taken hunting or to a range to target practice on paper, pumpkins or apples develop a sense of responsibility. They have a "realistic" knowledge of a firearm's purpose and capabilities.

I did not get involved in the anti/pro-gun crusade after losing Kimberly. I was much too drained and needed every ounce of energy available just to get up in the mornings and face another day (sometimes I still do). However, one day, I did wake up. That was when I, a divorcee, moved from my cozy suburban home into the historic district of a popular tourist area. I had no idea that the daytime charm of this area would turn into a frightening world at dusk. I was a single woman, had been followed by men on foot, followed by men in vehicles, men approached me while I was in my car at a light, houses were getting broken into, car alarms were a common sound, people were getting held up on the street by hoodlums using pepper spray, a man was baseball batted to death at a nearby park, gangs passed through the area, and a few other murders took place just within blocks of me.

After dark, parking was scarce which required me to walk blocks from my car to the front door of my home. I had to give up evening church activities, couldn't attend evening college and couldn't even work late in order to make extra money. I became a household prisoner and had to have steel bars welded to my windows protecting me from daytime and nightime break ins. What kind of world was I living in? I thought these things only happened on television or to other people, but to me? I recall, when living in my safe suburban neighborhood, how I would watch the news with detachment. I was so ignorant...so ignorant as to what people were capable of doing to each other in that "other world". What they did was frighteningly sad and my ignorance of it all was even more frightening.

I realized that I had to take responsibility for protecting myself. I had no husband, no family and couldn't leap tall buildings in a single bound. I called Maryland State Police Headquarters to inquire about a carry permit. I was told I could carry only if I were transporting jewelry or making business deposits on a regular basis. I couldn't believe what I was hearing and realized that I had no way of protecting myself except by outrunning the bad guys. What was a single woman to do? How do I literally STOP bad men BEFORE they make physical contact with me? Animals have talons, teeth and poisons to protect themselves with. As humans, you and I don't have these features. However, we do have intelligence to create protective devices of which we defensively apply with our hands. With obvious disbelief and with a need to clarify what I had heard from the Trooper, I asked "do you mean I can get a carry permit, if I make a $50 deposit for a business, but I can't carry to preserve my own life?" The Trooper said that that was correct and that "the law's the law and the law can't be changed". Numbly, I hung up the phone and sat in total stupor. Looking back, I realize this was another turning point in my life. I may not be a mom anymore, but I do believe that my life has purpose and value, that there is a reason why I am still on this earth and I have every right to protect it.

Shortly, thereafter, I met an attorney whom I shared some facts of my life with. We talked about the anti/pro-gun issues and my curiosity to learn more became more aroused. I had a thirst to find out what on earth this "gun" controversy was all about. I believed it was very important for me to pursue this issue utilizing and balancing both emotion and intellect. It would have been so easy for me to rush into a mindset of hating the item, that my daughter used, to sweep away her life. But I am a fair and reasonable person and needed to hold back a bit, I needed to delve more, I just couldn't rush nor commit.

I remember my trip to my first "gun" range. I felt nervous, self-conscious and a bit intimidated. Heck, I felt so intimidated that I just wanted to become invisible, but I knew I had to follow through if I wanted to be fair and honest about my personal mission for truth. BANG! BANG! Panic swept over me as I physically ran away from the range. Having no idea where I was running to or even why, all I could think about was my baby. All I could think about was that sound...BANG! That sound, my God...that sound was the very last sound my baby heard when she shot herself! She didn't hear sweet and peaceful music nor soothing words of someone telling her they loved her. She heard a horrid BANG! Sweat was beading up all over me and I was panting. I realized I was in public and caught myself before I drew too much attention to myself. I walked around a bit feeling like I was there yet not there. I wanted to run, but then again, I've always tried to face my challenges. I knew I had to stay and try to come to grips with everything that's happened. Somehow, I had to stay. I kept thinking to myself "be brave, you can do it, hang in there, you can do it".

I've been shooting for about 18 months and enjoy it tremendously. Many women are not physically active, however, more of us are learning about our remarkable eye-hand coordination skills and enjoying the ranges. Instructorstell me that women learn very quickly and are quite proficient at shooting. We can opt to go to a range and practice target shooting alone, go with a group, compete or never compete. Shooting for sport, also keeps us familiar with the use of a "gun" in case we need to use it for self-defense. Briefly, I wondered what Kimberly would say to me about taking up shooting, and the first thought that came to mind was hearing her encouraging young and bubbly voice yelling "YEAH, GOOOOOO MOM!"

You, nor I, can ever be replaced. We are the most important people in the world to someone not to mention to ourselves. We owe it to ourselves and to our loved ones, to make sure we protect ourselves from thugs, so we can come home at night. I ache at the thought of officers knocking on the front door of someone's home with their hats in their hands, heavy hearts and news that someone killed their loved one. I remember that dreadful night when theofficers came to tell me Kimberly committed suicide. I'll never forget the sound that erupted from my body. It was then I knew what the Bible mean't when referring to "wailing". What a horribly agonizing sound. I want to protect other people from feeling the same pain I felt that night and from feeling the pain that I feel this very moment. Granted, I can't stop suicides no more than I can stop the publication of "Final Exit" by Derek Humphry, the book that kids buy to learn about different ways of committing suicide. I haven't heard of anyone trying to stop its publication...First Amendment rights and all. It's ironic how our Second Amendment protects our First Amendment, isn't is? Even a book such as that?

I think about the precious lives that are swept away by suicide. I recognize many suicides are completed by so many ways i.e. hangings by various means, car/motorcycle crashes, carbon monoxide, suffocation, illegal drug overdoses, prescribed med overdoses, razors, guns, drowning, jumping off high areas, etc. I think about various devices that people use to commit this heinous act and how "guns" and "meds" are two means, when used responsibly, save more lives...such precious lives...elderly, children, women and men than killing.

One of my greatest satisfactions and comfort is obtained from a website where I've posted some of my prose on suicide. I have received a number of emails from young people and adults who have told me that my writings havedeterred them from following through with their suicide. I find great comfort in being able to help them, to be there for them, our common "pain" makes us strangers not. How I wish someone could have reached out and helped my Kimberly.

I have finally found an inner peace and conviction in the encouragement of women, elderly and physically challenged to become more sensitive to their self worth, and to take necessary measures of protecting themselves from the everyday thugs who look for easy victims. I recognize the need of protecting our simple Bill of Rights from being twisted and tampered with. I support the voices of wisdom that whisper from the graves of our long ago pioneers...ordinary people who journeyed to this virgin land...a land being the cornerstone upon which they lay fulfillment of their dreams for personal freedoms into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. We are, indeed, a verylucky people.

I pray that when I become elderly and more dependant upon my firearm for personal protection, that my meager efforts of protecting our human rights, which are protected by our Bill of Rights, will have made a difference.


In The Line Of Duty
The KNJ Foundation
Moms Against Weapons
Violence Prevention Research Program

Award won March 28, 1999!
Thank you, Mommies On The Web

Please link the graphic below back to this site! Lets help educate!

M.A.W.S. Banner

Source: The Hillsborough County, Florida Child Death Review Team, Data Sheet Analysis for May 1995 through May 1996. This team reviewed 82 child death during this period.


Changes last made on: Tue Jul 22, 2003

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