Just_A_Guy

No Guns in Sacrament Meeting—We Mean It This Time!!!

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2 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

It's a tough issue. People want to protect our families, even in churches. I'd rather people like @Grunt because of his military training and @mirkwood because of his job carry guns 24/7 because they are properly trained and can react to a mass shooting event better than I can. Even with all the training in the world, I won't be at  their level and honestly, most of us won't either. 

Maybe, but most of the people you're up against aren't trained either.  

Additionally, we only seem to focus on mass shootings.  There are many other instances where a firearm is useful.  The NRA has a whole page dedicated to them each month.  

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Just now, Grunt said:

Maybe, but most of the people you're up against aren't trained either.  

Additionally, we only seem to focus on mass shootings.  There are many other instances where a firearm is useful.  The NRA has a whole page dedicated to them each month.  

I own several guns, and when I lived up north I had my CC permit. I was also in the NRA too. So I'm hardly anti-gun. But I'm realistic. In a matter of defense the congregation would rather have you and @mirkwood on their side than @MormonGator

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3 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

 In a matter of defense the congregation would rather have you and @mirkwood on their side than @MormonGator

Give yourself some credit, MG.  I might want Mirkwood by my side in a shootout—but I’d want you right up there, in front of me.  :satan:

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42 minutes ago, Grunt said:

I don't need your sadness, but thanks.  I carry a firearm almost everywhere.  I also wear a seatbelt.  I have fire extinguishers.  To date, I've never used my seatbelt or fire extinguishers, but I've used my firearm.  

I'd rather have all the tools at my disposal and not need them.

But with seatbelts, there's a chance that you are the one who is responsible for causing the collision that required those seatbelts; or the one who caused the fire, that requires the extinguisher. Your reason for choosing to carry a firearm doesn't have the same equivalency as requiring seatbelts or fire extinguishers.

M.

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8 minutes ago, Maureen said:

But with seatbelts, there's a chance that you are the one who is responsible for causing the collision that required those seatbelts; or the one who caused the fire, that requires the extinguisher. Your reason for choosing to carry a firearm doesn't have the same equivalency as requiring seatbelts or fire extinguishers.

M.

So . . . The fact that Grunt isn’t going to be the aggressor in a mass shooting event, is the reason why Grunt *shouldn’t* carry a gun?

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23 hours ago, person0 said:

My guess is that whoever passed down the decision is trying to prevent a situation where someone gets shot at church because someone else mistakenly perceived a threat.  

More likely, it is because a person is much more likely to accidentally shoot someone than a person is stopping a bad guy.

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4 hours ago, MormonGator said:

I own several guns, and when I lived up north I had my CC permit. I was also in the NRA too. So I'm hardly anti-gun. But I'm realistic. In a matter of defense the congregation would rather have you and @mirkwood on their side than @MormonGator

I would much rather have you than no one.  If you are afraid to shoot the weapon, you can hand it to me, and I will do it for you

39 minutes ago, Scott said:

More likely, it is because a person is much more likely to accidentally shoot someone than a person is stopping a bad guy.

That is an entirely inaccurate assumption.  Show me the statistics that establish that. . . oh wait, here they are . . . are some that establish the opposite:

Quote

From 2006-2016, almost 6,885 people in the U.S. died from unintentional shootings. In 2016 alone, there were 495 incidents of accidental firearm deaths. (source)

Quote

Estimates over the number of defensive gun uses vary wildly, depending on the study's definition of a defensive gun use, survey design, country, population, criteria, time-period studied, and other factors. Low-end estimates are in the range of 55,000 to 80,000 incidents per year, while high end estimates reach 4.7 million per year. (source)

Even based on the lowest estimate, more people are protected because of guns in a single year than died over the course of 10 years.  Looking at 2016 alone, at minimum, more than 100x the people were protected by firearms than killed.  I'd say that's a fairly substantial difference.

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The Divinely Inspired Constitution
By Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve

I figured these, and other Church resources apply to our discussion and consideration of the topic at hand.

Quote

"And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood."
(D&C 101:80)

"And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. . . and they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough."
(Luke 22:35-38)

In pondering on the passage from Luke 22, it is clear that the Lord establishes that He knows exactly what is needed and when.  At one point he instructed His Apostles to go forward and teach taking nothing with them and He was right that they lacked nothing.  Likewise he at another time tells them to buy weapons (during a Church function - where there are weapons present).  If this most recent policy change is based on revelation from God, then I support it 100% as I trust that the Lord knows best.  However, I do not yet have sufficient information to determine that to be the case.  Regardless, I will be obedient and follow the Lord's anointed (and encourage all to do likewise), while going through the process of seeking clarification, confirmation, and remaining hopeful that the policy will be reversed.

Edited by person0

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6 hours ago, Lost Boy said:

It makes me sad that there are so many members that think they need to have a gun to feel safe.

I hear that a lot.  I always try to point out that this isn't about feelings.  It's about being prepared.

5 hours ago, Lost Boy said:

By that logic, shouldn't you carry a fire extinguisher as well to sacrament meeting? 

Churches (pretty much all buildings, really), are all ready stocked with readily available fire extinguishers. 

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8 hours ago, person0 said:

I would much rather have you than no one.  If you are afraid to shoot the weapon, you can hand it to me, and I will do it for you

That is an entirely inaccurate assumption.  Show me the statistics that establish that. . . oh wait, here they are . . . are some that establish the opposite:

Even based on the lowest estimate, more people are protected because of guns in a single year than died over the course of 10 years.  Looking at 2016 alone, at minimum, more than 100x the people were protected by firearms than killed.  I'd say that's a fairly substantial difference.

Point of order, the endpoints you present here are not comparable.  You can't make a fair comparison to accidental gun deaths and defensive gun uses. Those are not similar populations of events, and you would either need to expand the accidents to include all instances of accidental gun use, or restrict the defensive population to defensive gun deaths. 

Also, I think you'd find that the statistics bear out that restricting access to firearms in locations like church buildings actually does reduce the risk of injury.  Or at the very least, it reduces the expected value of settlements to the organization operating the facility. Say what you will about these kinds of policies, but the insurance industry is very good at probability and expected value. And it seems like they've determined that risk of firearm related injury is lower under the firearms prohibition.

Edited by MarginOfError

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2 hours ago, MarginOfError said:

I think you'd find that the statistics bear out that restricting access to firearms in locations like church buildings. . . reduces the expected value of settlements to the organization operating the facility. . . the insurance industry is very good at probability and expected value. And it seems like they've determined that risk of [compensable] firearm related injury is lower under the firearms prohibition.
(emphasis mine - [compensable] added by me)

I agree with the above quoted part of what you said (with my one adjustment).  However, to address your other point, I have yet to find any statistics that include accidental yet non-fatal gun uses/discharges.  The next closest thing is:

Quote

73,505 Americans were treated in hospital emergency departments for non-fatal gunshot wounds in 2010. (source)

However, that number includes intentional firearms use by an attacker, as well as intentional firearms use by a defender, so it is clearly unusable.  Then you have these:

Quote

Nearly 1300 children die and 5790 are treated for gunshot wounds each year.  (source)

Accidental gun deaths occur mainly in those under 25 years old. In 2014, 2,549 children (age 0-19) died by gunshot and an additional 13,576 were injured. (source)

However, those figures also include intentional firearms use by an attacker, as well as intentional firearms use by a defender, and the first accounts only for children under the age of 18 so it is also unusable.

Regardless, any defensive use of a firearm could have resulted in death had the firearm not been available for defensive use, so the comparison still stands.  However, to consider it further:

Quote

In 2017, the most recent year for which complete data is available, 39,773 people died from gun-related injuries in the U.S., according to the CDC.  (source)
Suicides accounted for six-in-ten U.S. gun deaths in 2017

If we strip out the minimum 97% that are intentional uses of a firearms, that leaves us with ~1194 firearms deaths caused by 'other'.  That is still 50x less than the LOWEST estimate of defensive firearms use.  The point? Death by guns that is not intentional is much lower than intentional use by guns to prevent death.  That said, even comparing all firearms related deaths, the defensive use of firearms still overshadow firearms deaths by about 1.5 to 1 (at the minimum).

Edited by person0

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35 minutes ago, person0 said:

I agree with the above quoted part of what you said (with my one adjustment). 

So now it would be nice if you could explain why the expected settlements would be less under the firearms prohibition than without it. If, as you claim, we really are safer with firearms present, why does the organization expect to pay more when the firearms are permitted?

Quote

However, to address your other point, I have yet to find any statistics that include accidental yet non-fatal gun uses/discharges.  The next closest thing is:

However, that number includes intentional firearms use by an attacker, as well as intentional firearms use by a defender, so it is clearly unusable.  Then you have these:

However, those figures also include intentional firearms use by an attacker, as well as intentional firearms use by a defender, and the first accounts only for children under the age of 18 so it is also unusable.

Regardless, any defensive use of a firearm could have resulted in death had the firearm not been available for defensive use, so the comparison still stands.  However, to consider it further:

No, the comparison doesn't still stand.  Any defensive use of a firearm could have resulted in death had the firearm not been available; likewise, any defensive use of a firearm could have result in not death had the firearm not been available.  And you haven't provided any estimate to how many of those prevented death.

Also, the wikipedia article you cite references a number of articles (that I'm not willing to take the time to review right now), but I doubt those studies have a clear and consistent definition of defensive gun use.  How many of those uses involve discharge? How many were just brandishing the weapon? How many are civilian? 

The statistics you cite are not well enough defined to justify the claims you are using them to support.

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49 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

So now it would be nice if you could explain why the expected settlements would be less under the firearms prohibition than without it. If, as you claim, we really are safer with firearms present, why does the organization expect to pay more when the firearms are permitted?

Because someone would have a much simpler legal case against the Church if they were injured by accident because of another member's failure to secure or properly use their weapon than if they were injured by an unpredictable external attacker.  I thought that would be obvious given the previous discussion in this thread.

1 hour ago, MarginOfError said:

No, the comparison doesn't still stand.  Any defensive use of a firearm could have resulted in death had the firearm not been available; likewise, any defensive use of a firearm could have result in not death had the firearm not been available.  And you haven't provided any estimate to how many of those prevented death.

Given that the lowest estimate is 55,000 and the highest estimate is 4.7 million / year, I think it is safe to say there are likely to at least be more than 1194 cases.  I am fully willing to admit that it is in fact impossible to know exactly how many lives have been protected from death because of the defensive use of a gun.  That said, our individual right to self defense should not be up for grabs, regardless.

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This review of the study that produced the higher estimates does a pretty good job of describing methodological flaws in those estimates. It shows that the impact of 1% of respondents being misclassified would overestimate actual DGU by about 4 times. Misclassification of just 1.3% would bring the estimates down to the level reported at the low estimates. 

It also describes the pitfalls of rare events (or low probability events. In statistics, this means events with probability less than 5%, as the numerical properties of probability distributions tend to unravel at that point) Of particular interest

Quote

Consider the responses to a national random-digit-dial telephone
survey of over 1500 adults conducted in May 1994 by ABC News and
the Washington Post.3 4 One question asked: "Have you yourself ever
seen anything that you believe was a spacecraft from another planet?" 

Ten percent of respondents answered in the affirmative. These 150
individuals were then asked, "Have you personally ever been in con-
tact with aliens from another planet or not?" and 6% answered 'Yes."
By extrapolating to the national population, we might conclude
that almost 20 million Americans have seen spacecraft from another
planet, and over a million have been in personal contact with aliens
from other planets. That more than a million Americans had contact
with aliens would be incredible news-but not the kind actively publi-
cized by reputable scientists. Yet the ABC News/WASHINGTON POST
data on aliens are as good as or better than that from any of the thir-
teen surveys cited by K-G as supporting their conclusions about self-
defense gun use.

Section IX of this article is a pretty interesting read, too.

Next, I'll look into the study that produced the 55,000 to 80,000 incidents estimate to see what it tells us, as it seems to be the more realistic estimate.

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9 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

This review of the study that produced the higher estimates does a pretty good job of describing methodological flaws in those estimates. It shows that the impact of 1% of respondents being misclassified would overestimate actual DGU by about 4 times. Misclassification of just 1.3% would bring the estimates down to the level reported at the low estimates. 

It also describes the pitfalls of rare events (or low probability events. In statistics, this means events with probability less than 5%, as the numerical properties of probability distributions tend to unravel at that point) Of particular interest

Section IX of this article is a pretty interesting read, too.

Next, I'll look into the study that produced the 55,000 to 80,000 incidents estimate to see what it tells us, as it seems to be the more realistic estimate.

This is interesting stuff, but it still seems to boil down to progressives basically saying “people actually using guns to defend themselves seems unlikely to me; so I’m going to assume out of the gate that a substantial portion of the people who say they’ve done it are just plain lying”.  

Whatever happened to #believevictims? ;) 

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8 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

This is interesting stuff, but it still seems to boil down to progressives basically saying “people actually using guns to defend themselves seems unlikely to me; so I’m going to assume out of the gate that a substantial portion of the people who say they’ve done it are just plain lying”.  

Whatever happened to #believevictims? ;) 

It's really dumb.  There are verifiable times that a single firearm has stopped a single assault.  What more information is needed?  The odds are irrelevant.  It's an individual's willingness to accept, or not accept, those odds that matter.

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On 8/29/2019 at 4:43 AM, MormonGator said:

I'll shave and cut my hair if they let me carry a grenade launcher. 

Typical @MormonGator, always wanting the most for the least! Is that all you're offering, just a shave and a hair cut? Sorry gator, the price for bringing a grenade launcher to church is much higher than that. If you are prepared to

a) bathe (at least a week prior to coming to church)

b) wear shoes and socks (that is a PAIR of shoes and a PAIR of socks) AND keep them on for both meetings

c) offer up a watch

d) promise to refrain from threating or abusing the Bishop

e) stop terrorising the Primary kids

f) set aside the booze for a week, and;

g) empty the harem

 

then we can start negotiating.

And if you want to bring grenades for said launcher, that will cost you at least a suit. 

Edited by askandanswer

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I'll revise my previous statements. It seems probable to me that DGU exceeds 100,000 incidents per year. But given tabulations of reported crimes, it almost certainly does not come anywhere near a million.

RAND put together a really good review: https://www.rand.org/research/gun-policy/analysis/essays/defensive-gun-use.html

Perhaps the most interesting finding is that DGU is associated with less loss of property, but the DGU benefit is not larger than the benefit of simply running or hiding.

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39 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

This is interesting stuff, but it still seems to boil down to progressives basically saying “people actually using guns to defend themselves seems unlikely to me; so I’m going to assume out of the gate that a substantial portion of the people who say they’ve done it are just plain lying”.  

Whatever happened to #believevictims? ;) 

As I got into those lower estimates, I came across some flaws that would suggest underestimates. Which is why I conclude above that the incidence is more than 100,000, but probably far less than a million.

The most damning argument against the high estimates is that, if assumed to be true, it would seem defensive gun users kill more people in self defense than are currently reported to be killed by firearms from all causes. And since more than half of firearms deaths are suicides.....I hope the conclusion is obvious.

29 minutes ago, Grunt said:

It's really dumb.  There are verifiable times that a single firearm has stopped a single assault.  What more information is needed?  The odds are irrelevant.  It's an individual's willingness to accept, or not accept, those odds that matter.

This is where things get really interesting. Because carrying a weapon might make you safer in very rare circumstances, but it isn't clear that widespread carrying makes society safer. Which means this whole issue has just boiled down to a vaccination debate.

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6 hours ago, person0 said:

Because someone would have a much simpler legal case against the Church if they were injured by accident because of another member's failure to secure or properly use their weapon than if they were injured by an unpredictable external attacker.  I thought that would be obvious given the previous discussion in this thread..

Not at all obvious to me.

Previous discussions revolved around how the church would defend itself against claims that it was responsible having implemented this policy. We've not discussed how it would defend itself if it permitted weapons.

Also, it isn't a matter of which case is easier to win. It's a matter of how much is expected to be paid. Why would the church think it will incur less expense under this policy than it would under a more permissive policy?

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28 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

Which means this whole issue has just boiled down to a vaccination debate.

Only if you ignore the existence of the Second Amendment.

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11 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

Also, it isn't a matter of which case is easier to win. It's a matter of how much is expected to be paid. Why would the church think it will incur less expense under this policy than it would under a more permissive policy?

I am not an insurance underwriter, however, given our modern culture, perhaps a law suit itself is much more likely to happen in the event of an accident rather than a massacre, because of the way people react to each type of event.  Also, even if the odds were exactly the same, the negative PR of a mass shooting, give our modern culture, is likely to be lower than that of an accidental shooting.  All factors considered, the opportunity cost is likely to be greater.  That said, I have no idea if any of these things play a role in the decision making process, but until I receive a confirmation that this policy change was the result of revelation from the Lord, I am keeping all ideas on the table.  Regardless, I will be obedient to the policy, while I will continue to seek additional information.

33 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

Perhaps the most interesting finding is that DGU is associated with less loss of property, but the DGU benefit is not larger than the benefit of simply running or hiding.

Except that if the perpetrator is dead, or imprisoned, the impact on their next victim is now guaranteed to be 0.

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2 minutes ago, Vort said:

Only if you ignore the existence of the Second Amendment.

I'll clarify here that outright disarmament is not something I support, even if the parameters of the two debates are similar. It would be academically dishonest not to recognize a difference between a sociological mechanism (gun ownership) and a biological mechanism (disease)

I just thought it was an interesting comparison.

But the more research I do, the more convinced I become that widespread carrying is not the gateway to a crime free utopia.

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1 minute ago, MarginOfError said:

I just thought it was an interesting comparison.

I agree. My remark was 25% in jest.

1 minute ago, MarginOfError said:

But the more research I do, the more convinced I become that widespread carrying is not the gateway to a crime free utopia.

I agree with this. I do not know what the proper balance is. One thing I have learned about myself is that I tend to be reactionary, which I don't pretend is a virtue. But when the political left calls gun owners and enthusiasts murderers and seeks to circumvent the Second Amendment, my knee-jerk reaction is to pull back. I haven't yet seen convincing evidence that my reflexive response is wrong, and I have seen much to justify it.

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