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, Question 90: Traffic Tickets

RealWorldGraduation_Question_90_Traffic_Tickets    <– PDF

A certain district lies along 25 miles of Highway U. S. 193, where the speed limit is 55 MPH throughout.  The police force in this district only issues speeding tickets based on radar readings, and the department regularly calibrates its equipment to make sure the readings are accurate.  It is also department policy to issue tickets only if the driver is more than 7 MPH over the speed limit (i.e., is considered speeding only if going more than 62 MPH).  Over the long run, the probability of getting a speeding ticket in this locality is 0.2 (meaning that over a long period of observations, 20% of people who are going faster than 62 MPH get tickets).

Consider the following situation. It is a Tuesday morning, after the rush hour.  The weather is clear and traffic is light in this locality on Hwy U. S. 193.  The police officers on duty at this time checking for speeders are 30% black male, 40% white male, 20% black female, and 10% white female, which is approximately the racial makeup of the force at most times.  A black woman in a foreign sports car was going 73 MPH in the 55 MPH zone.  What is the likelihood that she will get a speeding ticket?

a) 50%, because half the officers on duty are white

b) 100%, because she is driving a foreign car

c) Greater than 50%, because more than half the officers on duty are men

d) Either zero or 100%, depending on the race of the officer who sees her first

e) This question is illogical because everyone knows that black women never exceed the speed limit

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

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

Real World Graduation, Question 89: Cabinet Confirmation

RealWorldGraduation_Question_89_Cabinet_Confirmation   <– PDF

The governor of a certain state desired to appoint a certain man to a position in his Cabinet. It is very important that this person be confirmed by the state senate, because giving this particular person the appointment will serve to unite their political party.  The prospective appointee has worked as a lobbyist and used his connections within the state government to influence policy.  He also operates a political action committee (PAC), taking in donations from contributors and distributing them to other activist groups so they will have funds to pursue their agendas.  He is rumored to have many connections to foreign interests, to some domestic corporations and activist groups that routinely seek special favors from the state government.  Some in the media and many citizens have claimed that the candidate cannot be impartial in carrying out his duties if appointed.  In order to avoid the negative publicity, the governor and candidate hold a joint news conference wherein the candidate promises full disclosure of his financial and political ties.  What is likely to happen next?

a) The candidate will set up a public-access website and list all the contacts, working relationships, and financial transactions of his PAC over the past twenty years.

b) The candidate will provide a list of all the contacts, working relationships, and financial transactions of his PAC over the past twenty years to the media that has been most vocal in demanding it, which they may review and publish as desired.

c) The candidate will hold a series of “town meetings” with all the relevant data on contacts, working relationships, and financial transactions of his PAC for the past twenty years, and answer any questions the public may have.

d) The candidate will send full documentation to all interested parties, which will contain all the relevant data on contacts, working relationships, and financial transactions of the PAC over the past twenty years.

e) The candidate will do at least two of the options cited in a) through d) in the interest of honest government.

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

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

Real World Graduation, Question 88: Social Security

RealWorldGraduation_Question_88_Social_Security  <– PDF

Both the question and answer are contained in the PDF file, since the question requires a graphic that does not translate well into this format.

Thanks for reading,

EDD

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