Posts Tagged ‘gun control’

Real World Graduation, Question 91: Legal Exemptions

RealWorldGraduation_Question_91_Legal_Exemptions   <– PDF

A Bill was introduced in House of Representatives during the 111th Congress (2009-2010) called H. R. 45 (6 Jan 2009), named “The Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009”. The bill, if passed into law, would require

1) Every person to obtain a federal license to buy, sell, or possess any firearm;

2) All persons who owned a firearm prior to enactment of the law to obtain a license for those firearms;

3) Each person to apply for renewal of the license every five years;

4) Payment of a fee to obtain the license;

5) All firearm sales to be permanently recorded in a federal database;

6) All persons seeking to buy or possess a firearm to submit to a background check;

7) A possessor to report theft or loss of a firearm to federal authorities within 72 hours;

8) Secure storage of all firearms such that persons under age 18 cannot access them;

9) Firearms owners to permit the federal government to search without warrants any facility where firearms are stored, manufactured, or held;

10) Persons seeking a license to pass an examination on handling, use, and storage of firearms; and

11) Imposition of various penalties for violations of any of the foregoing.

However, Section 801, called “Inapplicability to Governmental Authorities”, states:

“This Act and the amendments made by this Act shall not apply to any department or agency of the United States, of a State, or of a political subdivision of a State, or to any official conduct of any officer or employee of such a department or agency”.

One of the stated justifications for the bill is “to protect the public against unreasonable risk of injury and death associated with the unrecorded sale or transfer of qualifying firearms to criminals and youth”.

Why is it necessary to exempt every level of the government and their employees from this Act?

a) Requiring government agencies and their employees to comply with this Act would reduce their efficiency.

b) Requiring government agencies and their employees to comply with this Act would cost too much money that could be devoted to more important objectives.

c) Requiring government agencies and their employees to comply with this Act would cause unnecessary confusion over which agency is to defer to which other agency.

d) Requiring government agencies and their employees to comply with this Act would interfere with the powers of the governments under the respective Constitutions.

e) All of the above.

(The answer is on p. 2 of the PDF.)

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Posted in Bill of Rights, critical thinking, Federalist Papers, government powers, gun control, James Madison, Revolutionary War, Second Amendment, U. S. Constitution | No Comments »

Real World Graduation: Anti-Gay Activists

RealWorldGraduation_Question_74_Anti-Gay_Activists   <– PDF

A certain homosexual man is consistently being harassed and intimidated by people who are opposed to the “gay lifestyle”. He has been assaulted several times (requiring hospitalization), lives in fear for his life, and is thinking of buying a gun for self-defense.  However, it is illegal to own, possess, or carry a gun in his city.  The city is economically distressed, and he is unable to sell his house and move away.  What should he do?

a) File complaints with the police, and depend on them for protection.

b) Turn “straight”.

c) Get a gang of gays together, go out and administer a beating one of his assailants; that will send a message to his abusers and solve the problem.

d) Hire some lawyers and attempt to sue his antagonists for harassment and violations of his civil rights.

e) A combination of a) and d).

(The answer is on p. 2 of the PDF.)

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Posted in Bill of Rights, critical thinking, gun control, Real World Graduation, Second Amendment | No Comments »

RealWorldGraduation_Question_69_DefendingYourCommunity   <– PDF

A certain community has been plagued by many years of violence by criminal gangs. These gangsters have engaged in street battles in which innocent people, sometimes even small children, were killed in the cross-fire.  They have burned peoples’ houses down, ruined the schools and parks, and hold loud parties that reduce the quality of life in the neighborhood.  Children are afraid to go to school, and people in general are afraid to go outside after dark.  Over the past ten years, 92 innocent people (24 of them children under the age of 10) have been killed by the gangs, with 264 others injured seriously enough to warrant hospitalization.  The local police force has done the best they could with limited resources.  They do manage to arrest a few gangsters after especially infamous crimes, but overall the neighborhood is becoming increasingly dangerous.  Criminal activity by the gangs shows no signs of abating, despite the fact that the members of the gangs are well-known to the police and residents alike.  The residents have found that complaining to City Hall is a waste of time, as the politicians say they are doing the best they can.

A group of residents decides to act in their own interests. They hold a secret meeting and develop a plan to arm themselves, patrol the neighborhood, and attack and kill as many known gang members as they can find.  A local informant finds out about the plan, and reports the residents to the police.  What will happen next?

a) The chief of police arranges a meeting with the residents, and offers to share all the information about the gangs possessed by the police, so that the gangs can be eliminated more efficiently.

b) The chief of police orders his men to assist the residents in any way they can.

c) The mayor intervenes and convinces the residents to abort the plan and also orders the police not to aid the residents. He arranges for representatives of the residents and the various gangs to sit down and discuss the issues in the neighborhood, with the idea that a negotiated settlement can be worked out.

d) The mayor tries to convince the state to fund a jobs-training program for the gang members. At the same time, he convinces the residents to hold off on their plan until the jobs program takes effect.

e) Some combination of the above.

(The answer is on p. 2 of the PDF.)

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Posted in critical thinking, gun control, Real World Graduation | No Comments »

Real World Graduation, Question 60: Causes of Death

RealWorldGraduation_Question_60_CausesOfDeath   <– PDF

The U. S. Government published a report [1] summarizing the causes of death among Americans in 2004. A total of 2,397,615 deaths occurred in that year, broken down by cause as follows.  The text in parentheses appears in the original; that in square brackets is editorial explanation.

  1. Diseases of the heart: 652,486
  2. Malignant neoplasm [cancers]: 553,486
  3. Cerebrovascular diseases [stroke]: 150,074
  4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 121,987
  5. Accidents (unintentional injuries): 112,012
  6. Diabetes mellitus: 73,138
  7. Alzheimer’s disease: 65,965
  8. Influenza and pneumonia: 59,664
  9. Nephritis, nephritic syndrome, and nephrosis [kidney diseases]: 42,480
  10. Septicemia [blood poisoning]: 33,373
  11. Intentional self-harm (suicide): 32,439
  12. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis: 27,013
  13. Essential hypertension [high blood pressure] and hypertensive renal [kidney] disease: 23,076
  14. Parkinson’s disease: 17,989
  15. Assault (homicide): 17,357
  16. All other causes: 414,674

[1]   A. M. Minino, M. P. Heron, S. L. Murphy, K. D. Kochanek, National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 55, No. 19 (21 Aug 07), Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics (U. S. Department of Health & Human Services)

Consuming too much salt (also known as dietary sodium) is known to cause an increase in blood pressure (hypertension). Increased blood pressure is known to be a contributing cause of strokes, kidney disease, and some heart attacks.  There is a sub-category of “Accidents” that deals with poisoning, but none of those deaths are listed as sodium or salt poisoning.  None of the 414,674 residual deaths from accidents are related to stroke, heart disease, or kidney disease.  Also, none of the 414,674 residual deaths are called out as being due specifically to salt intake.  Based on these facts and statistics, how many of these deaths can be attributed directly or indirectly to the intake of salt?

a. The sum of those due to stroke (150,074) and nephritis/nephritic syndrome/nephrosis (42,480), which totals to 192,554

b. The sum of those due to stroke (150,074) and essential hypertension/renal disease (23,076), which total to 173,150

c. The sum of those due to stroke (150,074), nephritis/nephritic syndrome/nephrosis (42,480), and essential hypertension/renal disease (23,076), which totals to 215,630.

d. The sum of those due to stroke (150,074), nephritis/nephritic syndrome/nephrosis (42,480), and essential hypertension/renal disease (23,076), plus some unknown portion of those due to heart disease (652,486), in which the total is somewhere between 215,630 and 868,116.

e.  All 2,397,615 (except the 414,674 residual deaths) were caused by salt because a) all of them are dead, and b) all of them had to have eaten some salt at some point in their life.

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Posted in critical thinking, gun control, Real World Graduation | No Comments »