Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - James S. Rustad

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 92
Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: May 20, 2023, 02:16:45 PM »
On the advice of my doctor, I had a Covid booster yesterday.
Despite being fully boosted, I caught Covid19 the first weekend in May. They gave me the antiviral combo Paxlovid. The latter has all the same side effects as Covid itself, as far as I can see. But I was out of quarantine (and smelling/tasting again) by May 14.


Yep.  Vaccines are not perfect.

Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: May 20, 2023, 12:23:58 PM »
mRNA technology is moving into flu vaccines.  The hope is that an mRNA vaccine will remain effective as it targets a protein that mutates at a lower rate than the current technologies.

Human trial of mRNA universal flu vaccine begins
It’s still very early days, but the race to develop the first safe and effective mRNA-based influenza vaccine is gathering momentum.
The latest move sees a Phase 1 trial at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, get under way, testing the safety and immune response of H1ssF-3928 mRNA-LNP, developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center (VRC).

Your Turn / Re: LCMS Dystopian Future
« on: May 20, 2023, 12:03:03 PM »
Common usage says “African American” means black.

You mean like my son?  People just assumed he was "African American", including his best friend in high school (they joked that they were twins from different mothers because they looked so much alike).  One day his friend was shocked to discover that my son was Filipino ("I thought you were African American, like me!").

Your Turn / Re: A different take on the guns and schools debate
« on: May 13, 2023, 08:28:21 PM »
More data to consider.   From hearing testimony on December 15, 2022.

It seems that good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns in a respectable percentage of active shooter incidents.

My organization, the Crime Prevention Research Center, has documented 30 cases since January 2020 where a would-be mass public shooting was likely stopped by civilians legally carrying guns. During that time, there were 17 mass public shootings where four or more people were killed. These heroic actions rarely get national news coverage.

But they are just a fraction of the incidents stopped by legally armed civilians. The FBI reports that armed citizens stopped only 11 of the 252 active shooter incidents that it identified for the period 2014-2021. The FBI defines active shooter incidents as those in which an individual actively kills or attempts to kill people in a populated, public area. But, as with mass public shootings, it does not include shootings that are deemed related to other criminal activity, such as robbery or fighting over drug turf. Active shootings may involve just one shot being fired at just one target, even if the target isn’t hit.

To compile its list, the FBI hired academics at the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center at Texas State University. Police departments don’t collect data, so the researchers had to find news stories about these incidents.

The CPRC also undertook a search for news stories. We discovered a total of 360 active shooter incidents from 2014 to 2021, and found that an armed citizen stopped 124 of these. I also found that the FBI had misidentified five cases, usually because the person who stopped the attack was incorrectly identified as a security guard. We found these cases on a tiny budget of just a few thousand dollars.

Though we found that armed citizens had stopped 11 times more cases than the FBI reports, I make no claim that we have identified all of them. It is quite possible that the news media itself never covers many such incidents.

But no one needs to take my word for it that the FBI missed many cases. All of the news stories that my team collected are listed on the CPRC website.

While the FBI claims that just 4.4% of active shootings were stopped by law-abiding citizens carrying guns, the percentage that I found was 34%. We had more lucky finding recent cases, and the proportion of cases stopped in 2021 was even higher – 49%.

In places where law-abiding citizens are allowed to carry firearms, the percentage of active shootings stopped is above 50% for the entire 2014 to 2021 period. And, again, we are more confident that we have more of the cases from recent years. The figure reaches a lofty 58% in 2021.

Your Turn / Re: A different take on the guns and schools debate
« on: May 09, 2023, 08:33:16 PM »
OK, here’s another idea. Let’s take everybody’s big military style guns away. If the killings and the mass shootings don’t go down, then we’ll give everybody their guns back.

Hmmm...  You chose the source for shooting data.  It's interesting that they disagree with you on the importance of banning "big military style guns".

The most common weapon used to commit mass shootings is a handgun. Eighty percent of all mass shooters used at least one handgun during their crime. A semiautomatic assault weapon is the next most used weapon with 28% of shooters using them. Seventy-three percent of shooters who used a semiautomatic assault weapon also used a handgun at the scene.

Your Turn / Re: A different take on the guns and schools debate
« on: May 09, 2023, 08:27:43 PM »
By the way, has anybody actually looked at the site I mentioned at the beginning of this thread of discussion?

I have.  Interesting numbers.

Different people use different sets of information, maybe different time periods . Maybe they use different definitions of the events they catalog. That accounts for the difference in numbers used in various places. It ain’t rocket surgery to figure this out.

Some sources, like the Gun Violence Archive (oft quoted by the media) use a lenient definition that includes shootings that most people would not consider a "mass shooting".  The GVA definition of a mass shooting is "an incident in which four or more people are injured or killed, other than the shooter."  Their figures include shootings that happen in homes.  So, when one family member shoots four family members, it is a mass shooting.

The criteria used by the Violence Project are the same as those used by the Congressional Research Service:
"a multiple homicide incident in which four or more victims are murdered with firearms - not including the offender(s) - within one event, and at least some of the murders occurred in a public location or locations in close geographical proximity (e.g., a workplace, school, restaurant, or other public settings), and the murders are not attributable to any other underlying criminal activity or commonplace circumstance (armed robbery, criminal competition, insurance fraud, argument, or romantic triangle)."

The key differences are:
- four or more injured or killed vs. four or more victims murdered with firearms
- inclusion of private shootings vs exclusion of private shootings
- inclusion of shootings attributable to underlying crimes vs exclusion of shootings attributable to underlying crimes

All of these differences make GVA's numbers much higher than VP's.  Most other sources seem to use criteria similar to VP's, given that their numbers are much closer to VP's.  GVP's numbers are outliers, which makes me question why the media nearly always uses GVP's numbers.

Your Turn / Re: Homeschooling
« on: May 04, 2023, 01:38:03 PM »
If I were preaching regularly today, I would use my pastoral authority and teaching position to oppose the fanatical romance with firearms in our nation and combat the sacralization of the Second Amendment.

If you were preaching on that subject in a service I was attending, I would walk out as soon as you started with the "fanatical romance with firearms" language.  It is wrong to abuse your pastoral authority in that way.

Your Turn / Re: Homeschooling
« on: May 02, 2023, 11:42:20 AM »
P.S. to Peter:
American Enterprise Institute as a reliable scholarly source on this topic? You must be kidding.

Please provide links to sources supporting your statements on home schooling by public school teachers.  I'm interested in seeing where your data on this comes from, because what I have seen supports Peter's data.

Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: April 27, 2023, 08:40:12 PM »
So now Fauci says it wasn't his fault that people listened to his bad advice.

Anthony Fauci Says Don't Blame Him for COVID Lockdowns and School Closures
Fauci says public officials should have listened to other advisers and made better decisions. That's true! It's also incredibly frustrating.

Your Turn / Re: Mifepristone and the Courts
« on: April 22, 2023, 07:24:16 PM »
Just because a government agency said they followed the rules of procedure and based their conclusion science doesn't mean they did.

Just because some reporter claims that the agency didn't follow the rules of procedure doesn't mean that they didn't. Why should judges, with no medical training, (or reporters,) determine what are proper processes for testing the effectiveness of medical procedures?

Frankly, I will trust an agency that has everything to lose by fudging results and losing the people's trust in them, than biased folks who file lawsuits that fit their agenda.

The case is not about medical rules of procedure.  The case is about whether or not the FDA followed the legal rules for the approval of the drug.  To argue about medical evidence in this case is the reddest of herrings.

Your Turn / Re: The Age Factor
« on: April 20, 2023, 02:28:56 PM »
I am 65 and work for a large company as a security engineer (a new role for me that I began a little over a year ago).  So far my health is holding up well enough that I am able to continue working (I was recruited for the new role, I had not even been looking).  I don't know how long that will be true.  If I don't notice it first, I fully expect my company to let me know if I decline enough to not perform.  I suspect that pastors do not often get that sort of feedback, and that can be a problem for them as well as the congregation.

Your Turn / Re: Politics and Mass Shootings
« on: April 14, 2023, 08:48:13 AM »
Yes, cowardly anonymous one, again.
But let me tell you what I think is going to happen, and I do not believe folks in this forum can even begin to understand me.
   The women of this nation are on the march and we old white males better get out of the way. The Mama Bears of this country do not want their cubs shot in schools and are pissed off. It took two women in Northern Ireland to cool that ideological conflict and they got a Nobel Peace Prize for doing so. You don't want to stand in the way of Mama Bears protecting their cubs. I don't know how limitations on guns will come, but I believe - and I pray - that the women of our land will put down the idiotic rhetoric that splatters through discussions about gun violence. Go, Mama Bears! Protect your cubs! We old guys sure can't do it. We're too in love with our guns which we treat like a substitute penis and want to wave around as we pretend to "protect" our property and family.
   Nor do you want to stand in the way of African American women tired of seeing their men put down, tired of the put-downs they get because of their color or their economic condition. The Tennessee debacle was a sign of how sick this nation is with regard to racism and there will be consequences if old white Republicans do not wake up.
   Furthermore, the women of this nation - and this is already supported by responsible polls - are damned sick and tired of having male-dominated political units control their health care issues. We may have whole states where women's health issues cause massive migration or where - until the men can be thrown out of office - women have to travel to another state for health care. Abortion is not the only issue. They hear the rumblings about birth control. Watch out.
   We in the churches are hardly worth noting. The Roman Catholic church has squandered whatever moral authority it had. Evangelicals sold their souls for Trumpism and political power and way back in time Jerry Falwell learned how stupid that was. Liberals have been sidetracked in silliness about pronouns and we have "affirmative actioned" ultra-liberals into office or made celebrities of those who had some good ideas and ran to the nutty side of the street.
   The day of the conservative/moderate aging white male is over, I think. And that will not be a bad thing.

My wife is a Mama Bear who owns firearms.
My sister is a Mama Bear who owns firearms.
My sister-in-law is a Mama Bear who owns firearms.
My niece is a Mama Bear who owns firearms.
Mama Bears have varying opinions on firearms, just like you and I.  I don't believe that your side has the overwhelming support among Mama Bears that you think exists.

Your Turn / Re: Politics and Mass Shootings
« on: April 13, 2023, 08:15:25 PM »
Required background checks and waiting period for all gun sales.

Do you know what is required to purchase a handgun from a licensed firearms dealer (whether at their store or at a gun show)?  Please describe this process.

Please describe the penalties for someone (licensed or not) who sells a firearm to someone who cannot legally possess one.

A licensing program like for driving cars, where gun purchasers have to show that they have the knowledge and skills to properly use a firearm. (I know that many gun owners have gone through hunter's safety training before purchasing, but I don't believe it's a requirement.)

Ooh!  Ooh!  I always love it when this one comes up.  Do you know that I can buy a car without having a driver's license?  Do you know that I can legally drive a car without having a driver's license?  Are you sure this is the model you want to use for gun licensing?

Perhaps even a step-type program, e.g., regular driver's/gun license for ordinary guns for hunting and sport, something like motorcycle endorsement, or CDL for those who want a more powerful weapon. Our military have to pass a gun course before they are authorized to carry a firearm. (All Marines, regardless of position, e.g., an office secretary, are required to pass gun training. I don't think that's true in the other branches.)

Again, I can own and drive any car I want without having a driver's license.  Are you sure that's the model you want to use for guns?

Perhaps, like I know the LEOs in our town are required to do, periodically they are tested on their gun skills.

You may be interested in this Police1 article about typical gun training for police officers.  It's not anywhere near as good as you might expect.

Perhaps, there can be stiff fines (and gun confiscation?) for being in possession of a (loaded) firearm while impaired, i.e., like a DUI. (I've talked with hunters who are quite afraid of a drunk in the woods with a loaded gun.)

You mean like this Michigan law?

I've heard of putting a code on the bullets so that those that had murdered someone could be traced.

It's called "microstamping".  It just doesn't work.

Or are you referring to the identification taggants added to explosives?  Unfortunately, these have problems as well, including altering the properties of the explosive.  As a gun owner, I'm glad they figured that out before requiring taggants to be added to gun powder.

Your Turn / Re: Politics and Mass Shootings
« on: April 13, 2023, 02:47:58 PM »
Seems to me that one thing that makes the current gun control wrangle so intractable is a misunderstanding of just what the goal is. The stated goal is that we, and especially our children, be safe from gun violence. What comes out in the rhetoric more often is the goal that we feel safer. Especially after a school shooting, children are paraded before cameras complaining that they want to feel safe. Is this wise? Further traumatizing already traumatized children by subjecting them to that media circus and using them as props for a political agenda. Do we really think that children know best about what will make them safe? At a time when they should be helped, their grief and fear is being exploited by those claiming to care for them.

A further indication that the discussion is not as much about promoting safety as it is about making people feel better is that actual facts and statistics matter little. Claims are made that have minimal basis in fact but 1) make people feel even more unsafe than they perhaps realistically need to be, and 2) then offer a panacea to make them feel better.

We need to be concerned about the level of violence in America. But guns are not like enriched uranium that when you reach a certain density, they will spontaneously undergo a violent reaction. It is not the number of guns in a community that is the problem, such that if you take the guns away from responsible people who could be expected to obey laws restricting gun ownership and give up their guns, one lowers the community gun density below the threshold at which gun no longer promote violence. The problem is the number of criminals with guns, and unstable people who turn violent and express their violence with guns. Those are problems that just taking guns away from ordinary people will not solve. But under the theory that SOMETHING Must Be Done, Taking guns away from people is SOMETHING, therefore, we must take guns away from people.

Which leads directly back to my question posed on the thread a little while back that was closed down (correctly, I believe, because the conversation was once again leading toward shouting instead of discussion), which hopefully I can pose again here and may lead to better discussion: why do we feel the need to "do something," especially something very disruptive that will quite likely have far-reaching ramifications? Would not an honest appraisal of our fallen human nature lead to the conclusion that we should not trust our own intellect to be able to see, let alone fix, all possible problems, and to propose smaller changes that might in time lead toward a stated end, while hopefully minimizing unforeseen collateral problems?

There is the need to "do something" whenever there are death-causing events. We've been "doing something" to combat cancer for decades. We've discovered more and more ways to keep cancer from killing people. People "did something" when AIDS was killing everyone infected with it. We found ways to stop the virus from killing people. Over my nearly 60 years of driving, I've seen many improvements in automobile safety to try and reduce the number of fatalities from auto accidents. Seat belts, shoulder belts, padded dashes, airbags in front, and now on the sides, adaptive cruise control, beeping when drowsy drivers get out of their lanes, automatic breaking when there is something in front or in back, etc.

It is in our best interest to "do something" to try and reduce unnatural deaths.

Indeed it is.  However, it does no good to "do something" that will not make a difference while punishing innocent people for something that does not hurt anyone.

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 92