Posts Tagged ‘Second Amendment’

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 »

Real World Graduation, Question 52: Your Rights

RealWorldGraduation_Question_52_Your_Rights   <– PDF

A certain man was a successful politician for many years. He gradually rose through the ranks from a city council member to state Representative to state Senator to federal Congressman to federal Senator.  In all those years, he was a consistent advocate for gun control, including various proposals to ban all guns and ammunition held by private persons.  He himself always lived in places with strict gun control, but he also was always in violation of the existing gun laws: he owned many guns that were banned, he failed to register guns he owned, and he bought and sold guns without the legal reporting requirements.  He was called upon to serve as an under-Secretary of a cabinet-level department by the new presidential administration.  As part of the vetting process, he was asked if he had ever violated any gun laws.  He lied about his guns, and the administration believed him, since he had a “perfect” voting record promoting and enacting gun control.  But once he was confirmed by the Senate, it came to light that he had in fact owned many guns, some of them illegally, and had committed numerous violations of the existing gun laws (some of which he had helped to pass at the state and federal level).  What will happen next?

a) He will be fired by the President.

b) He will resign in disgrace.

c) He will be investigated by the federal authorities.

d) He will be indicted by state and local authorities.

e) Either a) or b), followed by either c) or d).

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

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Posted in Bill of Rights, critical thinking, government powers, gun control, habeas corpus, progressive, Real World Graduation, Second Amendment, U. S. Constitution | No Comments »

Real World Graduation: Question 29

RealWorldGraduation_Question_29   <– PDF

Article 2, Section 1 of the U. S. Constitution requires the President to take the following oath of office:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States”.

An integral part of preserving, protecting, and defending the Constitution is preserving the rights of the people. The rights of individuals specifically called out in the Constitution and its first ten amendments are:

1) Habeas corpus (right to challenge detainment)

2) Freedom of speech

3) Freedom of the press

4) Freedom of religion

5) Freedom to keep and bear arms

6) Freedom from bearing the expense of quartering soldiers

7) Freedom from arbitrary search and seizure (searches require warrants signed by a judge, with testimony under oath by the officials seeking the warrant)

8) Federal indictment only by grand jury

9) No double jeopardy (a person can only be tried once for the same crime)

10) Immunity from self-incrimination

11) Due process of law

12) Compensation for property allocated for public use

13) Speedy and public trial

14) Cross-examination of witnesses in criminal trials

15) Counsel for defense in criminal trials

16) Trial by jury

17) Facts found by a jury not reviewable by a court

18) Prohibition of excessive bail

19) Prohibition of excessive fines

20) Prohibition of cruel and unusual punishments.

Also, rights not specifically mentioned are reserved to the people (individuals) or to the states. Based on your understanding of American history, which three would you rate as the worst Presidents with regard to preserving the rights of the people?  The letter after their name indicates their part affiliation (F refers to Federalist, R indicates Republican, N indicates None, D indicates Democrat, D-R indicates Democrat-Republican, which later became the Democratic Party in the 1820’s).

a) Alexander Hamilton (F), Aaron Burr (F), and Benjamin Franklin (F)

b) Richard M. Nixon (R), Gerald R. Ford (R), and George Washington (N)

c) George H. W. Bush (41) (R), James E. Carter (D), and Thomas Jefferson (D-R)

d) Walter Mondale (D), Barry Goldwater (R), and Alf Landon (R)

e) Three among those listed in groups b) and c)

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

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Posted in Benjamin Franklin, Bill of Rights, critical thinking, fifth amendment, First Amendment, fourth amendment, government powers, habeas corpus, Real World Graduation, Second Amendment, sixth amendment, U. S. Constitution | No Comments »

Practical Gun Control (complete)

PracticalGunControl_complete   <== PDF version

Dear readers:

This post contains the full 8-part series on gun control.  Due to its length (33 pages), it is available only as a PDF.

Thanks for reading,


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Posted in Alexander Hamilton, Bill of Rights, Federalist Papers, gun control, James Madison, Second Amendment, U. S. Constitution | No Comments »