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Just_A_Guy last won the day on October 22 2021

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About Just_A_Guy

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  1. Everybody’s doing it, Backroads . . .
  2. After Sandy Hook, Larry Correia (a fiction author who happens to be LDS, though in his writing he tends to swear like a sailor) wrote a detailed blog about school shootings. Correia is himself a former federally-licensed firearm dealer and used to moonlight as a professional “bad guy” for cops doing active shooter drills; his bread and butter was the psychology of mass killers. His post is probably too foul-mouthed for me to link to here, but I’d highly recommend it. One of the points he makes (if memory serves) is that you don’t have to actually be that good of a marksman to stop a school shooter. School shooters sort of go into a fantasy/dream world as they are acting out their crime, and just the sound of gunfire from someone else and the knowledge that bullets are now flying in their direction, tends to pull them out of their trance. Correia points to shooting after shooting where, at the sound of hostile gunfire, the perpetrator immediately turned the gun on himself. As an armed teacher, you don’t necessarily have to hit the school shooter—you just have to make him have a “oh, crap, I’m not in total control of the situation anymore” moment (oh—and not kill any innocent bystanders in the process, naturally). That’s why law enforcement doctrine for dealing with active shooters has evolved over the last two decades from “wait until overwhelming force arrives, and then go in there together in a coordinated counteroffensive” to “as soon as you park your vehicle, get in there and shoot back—don’t wait for backup”. As for the fear of students wrestling guns away from teachers: the student has to know the teacher is armed in the first place. My understanding is that even just saying “I have a gun, so, nanny nanny boo boo” in a high-conflict situation can subject you to “brandishing” charges (unless there’s a legitimate need for self-defense). So I doubt students are likely to even know their teachers are carrying. My kids’ school told me that *some* teachers there carry (because I specifically asked), but they pointedly refused to tell me which teachers carry (I also asked that, because I’m nosy; but I think they were right not to tell me).
  3. No, no, you’ve got it all wrong. If we fire the teacher-groomers first, then we don’t have to give them guns. On a more serious note: even if arming teachers “works”, you won’t really see the effect. Because the effect isn’t that school shootings don’t happen; the effect is that shooting body counts stay in the single digits. The sticky point with gun control debates generally is that the problems with the status quo are self-evident, whereas the benefits of the status quo can be ascertained only through counterfactuals and hypotheticals. I’d like to see earlier interventions with mental health care; but the mental health community has spilled too much ink over the last decade trying to pathologize conservatism. And that’s not a local phenomenon. As I understand it, the incarcerated Uighurs aren’t in prison; they are undergoing psychological treatment. Ditto for many of Putin’s most vocal critics.
  4. These seem like false equivalencies. Teachers are trusted generally to teach children on topics about which teachers and parents agree. It’s when they go beyond the scope of that trust and that agreement that parents get tetchy. For all the other personal, political, and ideological disagreements that may exist, I think that parents and teachers can at least agree that they don’t want children to be gunned down in a school. The question is whether a teacher can be competent to protect kids with guns (and, in the interim, to handle their own firearms in a safe and responsible way). I don’t think teachers should be compelled to be armed. But I think those who are willing and able to do so safely, should be permitted to. That’s the way it is in Utah; there are several teachers at my kids’ elementary school who carry. They have CCWs, and I’m fine with it. Texas, too, apparently has a “school marshall” program under which teachers can get authorized to carry; it seems unclear at present whether this particular school availed itself of that program.
  5. I think most anger has some measure of pain underlying it. Or fear, at least; and fear and pain are pretty closely tied together.
  6. They can’t afford any delay. Give it a couple of days, and enough details are likely to leak out that it will become apparent that a) the specific security safeguards being discussed either already exist or else wouldn’t have prevented this particular tragedy; b) the shooter had a long-standing pattern of dangerous behavior but slipped through the system because progressive “juvenile justice reform” and progressive bureaucrats colluded to make sure that this troubled youth wouldn’t be punished in a way that would leave him with a criminal record; and/or c) the shooter’s personal dysfunction is a direct product of social trends that progressives have been blatantly cheering on for the last fifty years. When you’re planning a social revolution, you gotta keep people hurting and angry. Folks who are happy and grateful for the things they enjoy, or are even just quietly resigned to the things they think can’t be changed, tend to make for poor cannon fodder.
  7. Just_A_Guy

    Random thought: witness protection

    My understanding is that the witness protection program isn’t nearly as glamorous or cloak-and-dagger as it’s often made out to be—basically you get new passport; driver’s license, and social security number, transport to some other part of the country, and you’re strongly advised to cut all past social contacts; and from there you’re pretty much on your own to try to build a new life around that new identity. There is no ongoing security or threat tracking, no ongoing pension or stipend, and you don’t have a “handler”. So in practical terms, it’s not really a “program” you can “leave” (or be kicked out of), because there is no continuous membership benefit being offered—just the ID docs, which you use or quit using at your own discretion. I imagine that a program participant would be free to tell the membership clerk “here’s my old membership number, and please change the name associated with my membership record”.
  8. Just_A_Guy

    Emergency Sacrament Meeting talk

    I love that poem. I believe Nibley’s inspiration was St. Anthony of Padua, no?
  9. Just_A_Guy

    Like In The Days of Noah

    OK, groomer. (I mean, like, “personal grooming”. Like, combing your hair and brushing your teeth and stuff. You do brush your teeth, don’t you? ) In all seriousness: I’m not sufficiently familiar with the whole of Christendom to say to what degree @JohnsonJones’s students’ complaints are well-founded or not within other Christian denominations. But it does seem like there are undercurrents of poor historical/scriptural understanding and a general lack of familiarity with human nature generally and self-knowledge in particular, that may be underlying several of them; and of course our own church is by no means immune from those phenomena.
  10. Just_A_Guy

    Irreversible Damage

    In rereading this thread to remind myself where @MrShorty got the “required reading” verbiage, I just now realized I misspelled “reading”. Quelle horreur!!! And yeah, the Psychology Today article raises some interesting points. Shrier herself would definitely agree that there are some people who are “legitimately trans”; and I think the extract that the article cites in context is less about whether a natal female can undergo gender dysphoria than about whether the solutions offered by the therapeutic community are truly a “quick fix” that will allow her to cavalierly disregard the overwhelmingly feminine parts of her nature indefinitely and with impunity. Shrier also does address the reaction and attempted rebuttals of the Littman study. And although she doesn’t get into detailed discussion of the hypothalamus, it appears from my own research (eg, here) that the studies suggesting “gender identity” resides there date from 1985, 2011, 2013, and 2017 and emphasize transgenderism that initially appeared in early childhood; whereas Shrier alleges that the first scientific treatment of gender dysphoria occurring in girls aged 11-21 wasn’t even published until 2012. Generally speaking, it seems the girls Shrier is talking about simply could not have been part of the subject population for the studies on which the conventional wisdom is based. At this point, from what I understand, we don’t even know if the causes of gender dysphoria are the same in natal males versus natal females—lack of testosterone exposure in utero may explain the former, but probably not the latter, which now dwarfs the former category by sheer number of people diagnosed. Again, Shrier’s thrust is that a lot of girls who are do not have classically-defined “gender dysphoria”, are basically being socialized into an ephemeral belief that they do have it and then making irreversible physiological changes to themselves that they are likely to later regret. (As a bonus, here’s an article just published today that cites to some new studies and points out some things we can extrapolate from them, and some things we cannot.)
  11. Just_A_Guy

    The Voice of the People

    As a theological principle you’re no doubt correct—representative democracy is a means, not an end unto itself. But as a civic/human behavioral principle: in a democracy, once one side adopts a “but it’s OK when WE do it” attitude, the whole ball of wax inevitably starts to unravel. So I think as a practical matter it’s generally the best policy to keep playing by the rules as long as possible, even if in our heart of hearts we feel like the rules shouldn’t quite apply to us. If we are going to engage in a course of action that we know will pull our democracy apart, then we’d better be sure we know what comes immediately afterwards—and the truth is, we just don’t.
  12. Just_A_Guy

    It appears Roe Vs. Wade is about to be overturned.

    1. I don't think your reference to Jim Crow is really apposite here. The 14th Amendment did not seek to define traditional American notions of well-ordered liberty or to invent any new fundamental American rights. Rather, it took the bundle of existing rights enjoyed by American citizens (many/most of which traced their origin back through the centuries to the Magna Carta, if not earlier; and many of which in practice had been extended only to white Americans) and clarified that those rights must be extended to all Americans. Jim Crow, then, was a reaction by state governments who were deliberately trying to undermine the intent of the 14th Amendment and restore the old "traditional rights for me, but not for thee" regimen. The Dobbs draft doesn't seek to restore that kind of discriminatory regimen. Rather, it simply says "Abortion was never included in the bundle of rights that went with the founders' notion of well-ordered liberty; and it certainly wasn't seen as such at the time the 14th Amendment was passed; so you can't honestly say that it was contemplated by the 14th Amendment. Like any new right, you can certainly add it into the Constitution by amendment or write it into federal statute; but until you do, it's just not in the Constitution and we're done playing the Roe court's shell game of pretending otherwise." [My paraphrasing, obviously!] 2. I don't think it's fair to say that Alito's draft decision ignores stare decisis. Indeed, that's the focus of the entire second half of the opinion (pp 35-65): It sets up a set of criteria for determining when a ruling is so bad that it ought to be overturned in spite of stare decisis. (Factors to be decided including the nature of the original error, the quality of the reasoning justifying the error, whether the erroneous decision is still workable in practice, how the bad precedent has affected other fields of law, and "reliance interests". And--going off memory here--" I think the court did at some point acknowledge some of the parties' arguments about possible real-world consequences of changing abortion policy; but ultimately decided that that sort of policy analysis is more appropriately left to legislatures rather than courts.) Really, the more I think about it--it's a long opinion, to be sure; but structurally it's startlingly simple. It breaks down into the simple propositions that A) The constitution doesn't grant a right to undergo an elective abortion, and our previous holding to the contrary was a mistake, and B) Here are the conditions under which stare decisis doesn't prevent us from fixing a past mistake. 3. Well, you've piqued my interest; and if you wont' go into them in this thread I certainly hope you'll go into them somewhere!
  13. Just_A_Guy

    It appears Roe Vs. Wade is about to be overturned.

    Heck, most of us didn't even use the I-word when an entire group of leftist occupied a city downtown and directly declared that neither federal nor state law applied within the jurisdiction they occupied. And that's, like, the textbook definition of an insurrection.
  14. Just_A_Guy

    Irreversible Damage

    I agree with much of what you say, but let me push back a smidge on this part: Why? Have we not just seen the entire church suspend its meetings for something like a year due to a highly infectious physical disease whose childhood mortality rate was nevertheless lower than .01%? And even now, on the back side of the pandemic underlying that decision, do we not sympathize with and even applaud the hyper-careful folk who proclaim that their peculiar circumstances mean that they still must stay away? A big part of the gay rights argument used to be “it’s not the flu; you can’t catch it from others” But with what Shrier calls “rapid-onset gender dysphoria”—apparently, you can catch it. Or at least, teenagers (especially girls) can. Over 65% of teens who announced rapid-onset transgenderism had increased their social media use and online time in the immediate run-up to coming out. Almost 70% belonged to a peer group in which at least one friend had already come out. In 60% of cases coming out resulted in a popularity boost for the child. Nearly 70% of children who experience childhood gender dysphoria, and do not receive affirmation therapy or socially transition, eventually grow out of it. If what Shrier says is true, and many kids that actually don’t have clinical gender dysphoria are nevertheless being pressured to declare themselves “transgender” and engage in life-changing hormone treatments and surgeries, and if (as some participants here have suggested) it turns out that a significant part of this pressure has been happening at church— —What then?
  15. Just_A_Guy

    It appears Roe Vs. Wade is about to be overturned.

    Yeah, a big part of Dobbs goes towards arguing that Roe’s summation of the history of attitudes on the fetus were inaccurate. It’s definitely worth reading. I would agree with you that I don’t think, as a moral/theological matter, that life begins at conception. But as a matter of policy, I don’t know where else we can draw it without creating grave logical consequences for other groups of vulnerable people (later-term pregnancies, newborns, people with varying degrees of cognitive dysfunction, people in vegetative states who may not recover (and those who may yet recover), etc). There’s been a lot of talk about “viability”, but the fact is that all life is non-viable when taken outside of its natural environment (“Your Honor, I didn’t kill my wife; I just submerged her in water/ deprived her of oxygen/ put her in a place that happened to be very cold/ put her in a place that happened to be very hot/ put her in a place that lacked access to food or water/ opened her body and let her bleed out/ introduced her to a substance that happened to stop her heart. If she’s been truly viable, her body would have continued to function and she would still be with us today. So I haven’t really done anything wrong here.”) If pregnancy were something that “just happens” to people on a statistically large scale, I’d probably be more worried that a regimen that bans elective abortion as early as conception was overbroad. But pregnancy doesn’t “just happen”; and in the small minority of cases where pregnancy results from involuntary action I believe that the better approach is to let abortion be legally justified on involuntary servitude/self-defense grounds if indeed the victim feels unable to carry the child to term.