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BB Guns, Safety, & You:
A Tragic Lesson

Young Man Dies Following BB Gun Tragedy

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Pictured: A BB Gun and box of BB-pellets. People have treated these as toys for years, but they can be used to kill.  

BB guns are a type of rifle that are treated as toys since they only use air to shoot small metal balls, rather than relying on the explosive force that gives bullets their fatal speeds.

An unfortunate incident involving a BB gun in Tampa, Florida led to a 17 year old dying after he was shot in the eye with one.  Although the majority of accidents involving BB guns are the result of the gun handlers failing to use eye protection, that wasn’t the case here.  The young man died as a result of his family-friend in the back seat – who was 8 years old – accidentally causing the gun to go off.

The two had been riding in the car with the 17-year-old friend-of-the-family in the front seat, and the adult driver’s children (including the 8 year old) riding in the back.  The incident began as the adult driver pulled up to an ATM and exited the car, leaving the minors unsupervised.

The youngest in the back seat, the 8-year-old was attempting to move the BB gun not knowing that it was loaded.  When the child moved the gun, it fired off a BB striking the 17-year-old front-passenger in the eye.

BB guns are widely seen as toys.  In reality, they are capable of major damage to property and (as is the case here) to lives. The companies that manufacture these devices often recommend the use of eye protection and to keep them out of the reach of young children.  Keeping a BB gun in the back seat of a car and accessible to unsupervised minors is a scenario that is not recommended.

The 8-year old who caused the gun to go off didn’t mean for it to do that.  Reports say the child explained they had been moving it out of the way so that they wouldn’t step on it and cause it to break when the incident occurred.

Regardless of the circumstance, there is a 17-year-old boy who lost his life because of an oversight of the adult in the car keeping a BB gun in their back seat.


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Questions
:

1: Why should someone be charged – or why shouldn’t they be charged – in the death of the 17 year old in this case? Who is really to blame if anyone: the 8 year old, the adult driver who had left the BB gun in the back seat to begin with, or no one? Explain your answer.

2: If the adult driver had left a real firearm in the back seat, what would change about the case – how might it be handled differently? 

3: In the state of Nevada, what are some of the minimum and maximum consequences would the adult face for leaving a minor in the back seat with a loaded firearm accessible?

4: If the boy had been an adult themselves and shot a minor, what are the maximum and minimum charges they could face, if any? 


Be sure to provide full explanations for your answers.  For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here
:
https://us.cnn.com/2020/02/11/us/teenager-bb-gun-death-trnd/index.html

 

Contributed by: Joseph Motta

ICYMI: President Lincoln’s Act
to Encourage Immigration

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President Lincoln passed The Act to Encourage Immigration, July 4, 1864—the first, last, and only major law in American history to encourage immigration. Approved on July 4, 1864, the act was ultimately repealed. The repeal of The Act to Encourage Immigration could not, however, remove the effect it had upon immigration.

According to Time.com, “The Act, in 8 sections, authorized the President, by and with the consent of the Senate, to appoint a Commissioner of Immigration for a term of 4 years at $2,500/year; and a subordinate Superintendent in New York at $2,000/year. Section 2 provided that emigrants pledge their wages for no more than 12 months to cover their transportation here, but barred “any contract contravening the Constitution of the United States, or creating in any way the relation of slavery or servitude.” (Basically, it said immigrants could have other people pay to bring them here, but those people couldn’t treat them like slaves and only take the money the new immigrants earned for one year – after that the immigrants were free to do whatever they wanted).

Section 3 exempted all immigrants arriving after the passage of the act from compulsory military service unless the immigrant voluntarily renounced under oath his allegiances to the country of his birth, and declared his intention of becoming a citizen of the United States.   That promise (called a waiver) was a big deal at the time, since the military was drafting many American men into service to fight in the civil war!

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Questions:

1) Since there are many active debates about immigration these days yet this historical fact revolves around an act thaw was ultimately repealed, do you think this bit of history should be taught in classrooms? On one hand, it is a way to tie the past to the present which could help to bring history lessons home for students like you.  On the other hand, the fact that the act was repealed takes away from its relevancy.  

2) Do an online search for ‘American Immigration During the Civil War’, and then report back: What people and cultures may have been encouraged to emigrate to the United States as a result of Lincoln’s order? 

3) Using your response to #2, answer this: How did the effect of Lincoln’s order shape the world we live in today? In other words, what about our daily American lives might be traced back to this specific order of President Lincolns?   


Be sure to provide full explanations for each of your answers. For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here:

The World War II Era
Italian-American Immigrant ‘Threat’

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An Executive Order is a type of ‘lawful order’ that a president can create without that ‘law-ish thing’ having to be a bill or get approved by congress first.  It’s not exactly a law, but people have to follow it anyway.

Perhaps you’ve heard of a very famous Executive Order: E.O. 9066.   That order – issued during World War II – led to America’s internment of its Japanese-American citizens during.  What is less well known about that order is the fact that it also forced over 10,000 Italian-Americans to relocate, and that it prevented an additional 600,000 Italian-Americans from being able to freely travel in the country!

The modern-day debates on immigration in America tend to focus on supporters asking for equal treatment of all people, while detractors (people against immigration) being concerned about immigration in general, but also expressing more focused concerns about people from Central America, South America, and the Middle East.

As the WWII order illustrates, immigration policies have affected all types of Americans throughout the country’ s history.  At the time of EO 9066, information from the US Census Bureau was used to target Italian-Americans within hours of the executive order being signed!  Events like that have even led to people being afraid of the census today (though they shouldn’t be – there are many new legal preventions in today’s world that would prevent that kind of abuse of census information).

 

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Questions:

1) What feelings do you have about how modern day America handles immigration?

2) A rare ‘There is a wrong answer to this question’ warning: Responding with ‘It doesn’t/hasn’t’ is 100% wrong.  So – How does America’s identity as ‘A Nation of Immigrants’ directly shaped / impacted your life?  Give at least three examples.

3) Read the original article that inspired this one (at the link below) and then explain: Why were Italian’s singled out during WWII along with the Japanese? What made them ‘a threat’?

BONUS :: A second rare ‘There is a wrong answer to this question’ warning: Responding with ‘It doesn’t / hasn’t’ is 100% wrong.  So – Explain how at least one American immigration law or policy directly shapes or impacts your life today. 

Here is an example (that you cannot copy or use):  The author of this article’s life is impacted by passport rules.  They want to travel to India, but first they need to renew their American Passport, which is pretty expensive!  

Be sure to provide full explanations for each of your answers. For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/italian-americans-were-considered-enemy-aliens-world-war-ii-180962021/

3 Assassinations, International Intrigue,
& Your Right to Remain Silent…

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“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you. You have the right to an attorney….”  Those words – which you may recognize from shows or movies – are the words used to inform someone who is being arrested if their Miranda Rights.   They’re not just for entertainment though – they are very real rights every American is entitled to, but they have only been read to suspects since 1966.  That process came about as a result of a Supreme Court decision, but their origins date back much earlier. In fact, the process of reading a suspect their Miranda Rights is rooted in a historical event that took place in 1919.

That year, a triple murder of foreign diplomats occurred in Washington D.C. (a diplomat is someone who acts as the representative of a foreign government). The three victims all worked for the Chinese Educational Mission before being assassinated. When there were no leads or clear motives, the police focused in on the only suspect they had.

On the day of the assassinations, a young Chinese student named Ziang Sung Wan had been seen at the house where the killings had occurred. The police went to his home in New York and after searching it without a warrant, pressured Wan (who was suffering from a flu at the time) into going back to Washington D.C.  with them.  Upon their arrival, the authorities isolated Ziang in a hotel room and held him without formally placing him under formal arrest.  After extended periods of isolation and interrogation that lasted more than 9 days, they eventually pressured him into making a confession.

During trial for the murders, Wan took back his confession, saying that he only confessed to make the detectives’ interrogation come to an end. The judge refused to acknowledge Wan’s statement despite the conditions that were used to obtain his confession.  Eventually, Wan was found guilty of first degree-murder.  At the time, the penalty for a guilty first-degree murder conviction was death-by-hanging.

Wan’s case was one of many at the time that had stirred debate among judges and lawyers in the country over which police conduct and interrogation methods were lawful, and which of those methods and behaviors were unlawful.  At the same time, Ziang’s attorneys were filing appeals and pursuing their client’s acquittal relentlessly, knowing that his life was on the line.  Eventually Ziang’s lawyers managed to get his case heard by the Supreme Court of The United States (SCOTUS).

As a result of the raging national debate in the law community over police tactics and the constitutional questions raised by Ziang’s case, one justice was tasked with drafting up a decision that would lay the groundwork for the Miranda Rights we know today.

Justice Louis D. Brandeis wrote the court’s decision, in which the court interpreted the Fifth Amendment as permitting only volunteer confessions as being admissible as evidence in federal court proceedings, and that a confession could be coerced involuntarily even if an explicit threat had not made.

If that’s too wordy, think about it like this: The police didn’t tell Ziang “If you don’t confess we’re going to break your legs”.  Because they held him for 9 days though – while he was sick, in uncomfortable conditions, and without telling him when they would stop –  they had basically forced him to confess to end the torment he was experiencing.

Unfortunately, because Wan had been tried in Washington D.C. (which is a federal jurisdiction) the new standard only applied to cases in federal courts. The ruling wouldn’t apply to states or local court proceedings for years.  The standard created by Justice Brandeis’ ruling also ended up being interpreted in a variety of ways for decades after it was first issued.  For years after the ruling, cases ended up before SCOTUS that would produce rulings which added more specificity to Justice Brandeis’ initial court opinion on Ziang’s case.

Eventually, in 1966 Chief Justice Earl Warren would mandate safeguards for suspects dealing with police in the opinion he issued for SCOTUS in the case of Miranda v. Arizona.  Those safeguards would eventually develop into the Miranda Rights most people are familiar with today. His writings leaned heavily on the court opinion issued in response to Wan’s case, making it clear the Ziang Sung Wan v. United States is the legal soil from which the Miranda Rights we know today grew from.

Thanks to the Wan and Miranda decisions, today suspects are informed that they have the right to remain silent, that anything they say may be used against them in the court of law, that they have the right to counsel, and that if they are unable to afford one, an attorney will be appointed for them.

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Questions:

1) Now that you know some of the history behind Miranda Rights, do you have any feelings about your right to remain silent? What questions do you have about your right to remain silent?

2)      TV may lead you to think that the right to remain silent is only used by criminals who are done talking to police and want to leave the interview.  That’s not the case at all though.  What are some situations that could lead someone to exercise their right to remain silent?

3)      Suppose you found yourself needing to exercising your right to remain silent.  What would that look like?  Simply saying “I wouldn’t talk” isn’t enough: Tell us Why you might have decided to exercise your right, what you would do while exercising that right, how you would be treated while exercising the right, and the possible benefits and consequences of remaining silent.

Be sure to provide full explanations for each of your answers. For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/1919-murder-case-gave-americans-right-remain-silent-180968916/


Contributed by- J. Plummer

Dairy Queen Manager Charged w/ Manslaughter in Bullied Teen’s Suicide

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In Missouri, the criminal courts are being used to send a message about bullying. An unfortunate case of bullying led to suicide, and the case surrounding that incident could change the way bullying is addressed in schools, workplaces, and criminal courts across the country.

Kenny Suttner was 17 when he died as a result of suicide in December 2016.  After an inquiry into his death, over 20 witnesses reported incidents of Kenny being bullied at school and while he worked at a local Dairy Queen.  The bullying incidents at work included Kenny being forced to lie on his stomach to clean under machines – a practice that wasn’t required of other employees at the location.

The school was found partly to blame, but it was Harley Branham who was Kenny’s manager at the Dairy Queen that ended up charged with involuntary manslaughter for her involvement in Kenny’s suicide.  She was the one who required him to clean the store differently from his coworkers.  Eventually, the charges were lowered and Ms. Branham pled guilty to third-degree assault.  As punishment, she was sentenced to two years of supervised probation and 30 days of house arrest.

Additional findings placed some of the responsibility for Kenny’s death with the school district for failing to act on Kenny being bullied at school.   The school district and Dairy Queen both reached agreements with Kenny’s family after the family sued.  The agreements are private (which is pretty standard, but could have involved agreements to change policies about bullying and expensive cash payments to Kenny’s family).

Some states – including Nevada – have laws making bullying a crime.  In this case, before they lowered the charges the prosecutors skipped those laws and went straight to charging Kenny’s manager at Dairy Queen with involuntary manslaughter – that means she didn’t mean to kill anyone, but she should have known her actions could result in someone’s injury or death.  Eventually, she faced ‘lesser’ charges of third-degree assault, meaning she attempted to harm someone (but not kill them).

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Questions:

1) Why do you think the manager should have faced or not faced involuntary manslaughter charges?

2) Why do you think the manager should have faced the charges she eventually pled guilty to of third-degree assault?

3) In Nevada, NRS 200.900 makes using a phone or computer to bully someone a crime.  A person under the age of 18 (a minor) can be prosecuted (charged and found guilty) as if they have committed a misdemeanor if they get caught.  That means they might face consequences of up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail (in this case – since they’re minors – it would be juvenile detention which is a prison-like setting for people under the age of 18).  How do you feel about this kind of behavior (which is commonly called cyber-bullying) being treated as an adult crime among people under the age of 18 in your state?


Be sure to provide full explanations for your answers. For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here:
http://abcnews.go.com/US/dairy-queen-manager-charged-manslaughter-bullied-teens-suicide/story?id=45498992
https://www.columbiatribune.com/news/20190712/woman-in-howard-county-teen-suicide-case-pleads-guilty-to-misdemeanor
https://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/local/mother-school-district-reach-settlement-in-kenneth-suttner-wrongful-death-case/article_1e9ab2ee-be15-11e9-92d4-4f553aced299.html

Grand Theft Auto IRL…
featuring an 8-Year Old?!?

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YouTube can teach people a lot of different things: cooking, gaming, music… even lock-picking!  If there’s a skill you would like to pickup, YouTube probably has a video about it!  Just because someone teaches you how to do something on YouTube, that doesn’t mean you should actually do it.

In Ohio, an 8-year-old boy (who is not identified by name due to his age) used YouTube to watch a video for people learning how to drive. After watching the video, he decided he was well prepared and decided to go out and try out his new skills. Unaware that he was doing something wrong, the rookie NASCAR driver invited his sister to tag along with him on a drive to McDonald’s.

Generally it is common knowledge that the legal age to drive is generally 16 years old throughout the United States.  Most people closer to that age know better and know not to get behind a wheel. However according to police, this little boy did not know any better, which led to his having a bit of an adventure in the driver’s seat of a car.

According to the boy’s statement, the parents had not been monitoring the situation, which iw what led to his being able to get ahold of their keys and bringing his little sister along for the joyride.

According to reports, the unnamed child-driver managed to steer the family car to a McDonald’s drive thru in search of a cheeseburger. When he arrived at the window, the employees were overcome with a combination of shock, laughter, and confusion as they saw a little boy driving a car with his little sister in the vehicle as well.

Police questioned the boy and had discovered his research into driving a car and that he did not know he was doing something wrong. Witnesses had even told the officers that the boy had driven  the 1.5 mile route perfectly and obeyed all traffic rules (well, except the fact that he was 8!).

Even though he lacked criminal intent and regardless of the fact that he drove the car well, the child still took his parents car without their knowledge.  As a result, he had placed his little sister and himself in grave danger.

Authorities have begun looking into violations relating to parenting and child protection laws. After all, how could two parents not notice their son take their keys, grab his sister, and then proceed to get in the car and drive away?  Although early reports did not point to child neglect, authorities planned to continue investigating to ensure they children are being raised in a safe

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Questions:

1: Whose fault is it? The boy who took the car? Or the parents who weren’t paying enough attention for him to be able to take it?

2: Had he been an adult without a license, should he have been arrested? Why or why not?

3: Should the boy have gone to juvenile hall and faced real consequences for choosing to break a rule? Why or why not?

4: If you broke a law that you didn’t know existed, should you still be charged normally or given a warning? Why or why not? 


Be sure to provide full explanations for each of your answers. For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here::

https://www.wfmj.com/story/35131203/east-palestine-police-8-year-old-drives-4-year-old-sister-to-get-cheeseburger

Contributed by: Joseph Motta

Driverless Cars, Accidents, & You:
Who Gets Sued?!

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(Pictured: You see kids, when two self-driving vehicles fall in love they make robot-babies…. and those robot-babies grow up to become our FUTURE ROBOT OVERLORDS. But hey, Tesla cars are cool!)

When someone breaks a law, they generally get in trouble – that’s just the way the world work. Systems of law have been managing the conduct of nations and their citizens as long as civilizations have been in place.  With the technology renaissance of the 21st century, a new form of life has been participating in society, and just like humans some of them have begun to break laws.  We are talking about – of course – robots.

In 2015, a self-driving car created by Google was operating in the area around the company’s headquarters.  The driverless vehicle had been on a road near ‘the company campus’ when it ended up getting pulled over – for going 10 miles an hour below the speed limit!  Basically, it had been violating traffic laws by holding up traffic without a good reason.

News outlets report that the officer after discovering that there was no one driving the car, contacted the operators responsible for programming the vehicle. The article also reports that several cars in the Google self-driving fleet have been in accidents, although none of them have been reported to be the self-driving car’s fault.  The incident comes on the heels of many people questioning the safety of self-driving vehicles.

For many years now, electric car manufacturer Tesla has touted its self-driving initiative and how much safer it is than actually driving.  Tesla’s critics are still skeptical of the company’s self-driving vehicles’ capacity to be safe at all, pointing to a National Transportation Safety Bureau (NTSB) investigation of a 2018 fatal accident that involved a self-driving Tesla.  In that incident, the car’s driver life being lost (instead of steering the car, the ‘driver’ had handed control over to the vehicle’s self-driving computer when the accident took place). The NTSB  report found that the Tesla vehicle had actually acted in a way meant to try the driver, however the vehicle still ended up crashing.   Many skeptics of self-driving vehicles point to that crash in particular as a reason that driverless cars and trucks should not be allowed on the roadways.

Instances like the fatal Tesla crash and the slow self-driving  Google car provide examples of a significant issue that goes beyond just general safety – one that will become more relevant as technology continues to evolve:

So, when a robot or AI commits a crime that puts humans or other lives in danger, who is responsible in a legal sense?

Technology has and will continue to develop at a rate that the law can’t keep up with. If there are robots used to make work easier in a factory for example, who is responsible if a ‘thinking’ machine harms a human worker in a workplace accident –  the programmer, the actual ‘code’ of the machine, the company, or someone (or something) else entirely?  As companies, manufacturers, and even governments are beginning to make the push for automated processes like self-driving vehicles that include the use of Robots, AI, and other ‘driverless’ technologies, we will all begin to be faced with these questions.

Questions:

1: Who should be held civilly and/or criminally accountable when a robot is involved in  crime?  Explain your choice(s)

2: What laws should be put in place to ensure that the right entities (people / companies / robots) are held accountable for Artificial Intelligence related problems, and how will they help prevent or address those problems?

3: What are some things that a robot could do to break a law? 

4: Should a person who built a robot that commits a crime, be charged to the same level as contributing to the crime or aiding in it? Explain why you think they should or should not.

Be sure to explain the thinking behind your answers, and for more details, you can read the articles this piece was sourced from here: 

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/nov/13/google-self-driving-car-pulled-over-driving-too-slowly

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bradtempleton/2020/02/13/ntsb-releases-report-on-2018-fatal-silicon-valley-tesla-autopilot-crash/#395bd32842a8

Contributed By: Joseph Motta

Teachers Fight For Their Rights
Meanwhile: Senators on the Run…
because they didn’t want to go to work?!


Protesters including teachers and police officers swell the halls of
the Wisconsin State Capitol building in a 2011 multi-day protest.

One of the largest protest movements of the 2000’s occurred  in February 2011 in the state of Wisconsin, and that movement led to some pretty interesting stories including the one you’re going to learn about in this piece: When the state’s democratic senators went on the run from the law… and their own state’s police!  That story actually begins in 1959 (don’t worry it’s not too deep a history lesson)…

Basically, in 1959 Wisconsin was the first state in the US to allow public employees (people that are paid for their jobs with money from the state government) to ‘collectively bargain’ – that means they could team up and talk about how much they’d get paid as a group, rather than asking for raises or healthcare from their managers as individuals representing themselves.  Ok, now let’s fast-forward to 2008 (yes, it’s still a few years before 2011 , but once again it’s not all that much historical backstory that you’ll need)….

In America during the fall of 2008 , two notable things happened: America elected Barack Obama…and it did it just as the economy was beginning to collapse – an event that would lead to a roughly decade-long period that would come to be known as The Great Recession.  That time period was extremely economically challenging for nearly everyone, including government agencies: they had made financial commitments to their employees, but by 2010 they would be running out of money to maintain those commitments because of how the investments they had made were failing.

Ok, so that brings us to Wisconsin in February of 2011.  At the time, the state was dealing with some massive budget issues: Without any changes being made, the state government would have more than $1.2 Billion-with-a-B in expenses over several years that it would not have money to pay for.  In fact, projections from the office of newly-elected-at-the-time Governor Scott Walker suggested the state would run out of money and be in debt by $137 Million-with-an-M by June of that year!

With just over a month in office, the governor (a republican – which is important to the event) – proposed taking away the government employees’ rights to collectively bargain and insisted that those employees would have to begin receiving less compensation (payment in the form of cash or benefits like health care or retirement savings) immediately.   He also said that if his proposal wasn’t approved, thousands of state workers would be fired because there wasn’t enough money to pay them  (not because they weren’t good at their jobs).  Protests and demonstrations began at the Wisconsin Capitol Building on February 14, 2011 – just as Governor Walker submitted his budget proposal for a vote… By February 20th, 2011 the protests had blown up into a full-blown 24-hours-7-days-a-week occupation!  That though.. that is a story for another time.

What concerns this conversation are the events that took place shortly after the occupation began, around February 15:  The Wisconsin State Senate had 19 Republicans that supported the Governor’s  budget proposal, and 14 Democrats that were completely against it.  The Democrats knew they would lose a vote, so they had a better idea: Wisconsin state law did not allow for votes to be held unless 20 state senators were present.  Rather than participate in a vote on an issue that deeply concerned them which they knew they would lose, the state senators fled to Illinois!  They remained on the run for weeks until March 12, when they finally returned after their absence caused the Republican majority to carve-out the cancellation of collective bargaining rights from the budget proposal.  Though the senators couldn’t have been charged with a crime, the state police would have had the right to arrest and detain the senators until the vote had initially taken place.

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Questions:

1) Why do you agree or disagree with the cause?

2) Why do you agree or disagree with the action?

3) Why do you agree or disagree with the punishment / consequences?

4) What cause – if any – would make you want to knowingly break the law, and why?

5) What are some better courses of action you can think of besides breaking the law in support of a cause you care about, or if you feel there aren’t any, what obstacles would prevent your from engaging in lawful resistance?


Be sure to provide full explanations for each of your answers. For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-wisconsin-democrats/wisconsin-police-sent-to-search-for-democratic-senators-idUSTRE71N30W20110224

Contributed By:  -M. Kamer

Beer + Bulletproof Vests =
The New ‘Drinking & Driving’ ?!?

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Being a responsible gun owner involves a lot of care and the ability to make good decisions.  Clearly, shooting your friend while they are wearing a bullet proof vest would not be an example of either of those behaviors.  Despite that, two fifty-year old men in Arkansas found themselves facing criminal charges of unlawful discharge of a firearm in that exact situation.  Here’s what happened:

Around April 2018, Charles Eugene Ferris, 50, and Christopher Hicks, 36 had a terrible idea (they were drunk, so they thought it was a GREAT idea….as you can tell from the headline, they were wrong).   While intoxicated both men began to take turns with a .22 caliber rifle. Ferris was shot once in the chest and was left with a large red mark. Ferris then proceeded to unload a clip into Hicks’ back in retaliation.

The men arrived at the hospital after Ferris complained of chest pain. After learning that it was a result of a gunshot wound, the police were called to take a statement.

Reports explained that while this story is already bizarre, it gets much weirder. The two men came up with an elaborate story to try and cover up their drunken adventures, telling the police they were bodyguards that had been hired to protect a client.  While it is unclear which of the two men said it, according to the police report one of them claimed to have followed ‘the client’ into a forest, and that the client was then shot at.  According to their story, the shooting was what led to Ferris having six bruises in the back from gunshots.

Police actually believed the story at first, but then Ferris’ wife showed up to the hospital and told the authorities what actually happened.

After learning the truth about the requested shooting, the man admitted he had made the story up to protect his friend who had originally shot him.

Stories like this always have the potential to turn out much worse than they already do. There are a number of different factors that could have ended up taking one of the men’s lives or even worse, the lives of others around them that had nothing to do with the act of shooting your friend for fun.

All it takes for a situation like this to turn from minor injuries to a deadly consequence is a poor aim, a faulty bullet-proof vest, or a bystander walking by at the wrong time. These are a few of the reason’s laws are made to protect lives. Both of the men are responsible for their actions, as well of what their actions could have turned into had something gone terribly wrong.

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Questions:

1: Is an activity like this protected by the Second Amendment? Why or Why not?

2: Could the men be exercising their lawful gun rights but ALSO charged w/ some kind of   charges about endangering the public? How, or why not?

3: If this happened in Nevada, how many years in jail, how much money fined, and what other consequences would these men face after an action like this?

4. Imagine one of the men had died as a result of this incident, then list 3 criminal charges they would face if the incident happened in Nevada. Then, list the maximum amount of penalties that defendant would be faced with if they were to face those charges. Finally, imagine instead of the bullet hitting one of the men as willing participants, imagine if the bullet hit a random passer-by.  Explain if the charges faced by the shooter would be the same or different, and why that would be the case.

Be sure to provide full explanations for your answers.  For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here:

https://www.5newsonline.com/article/news/local/outreach/back-to-school/police-rogers-men-shoot-each-other-while-wearing-bulletproof-vest/527-e6176adb-820c-41d4-9783-5c160cacbc53

 


Contributed By:  – J. Motta

Freedom for Furry Critters Comes At the
Cost of Convictions for Animal Activists

Mink are tiny little rodent creatures that people murder so they can make clothing out of them.

In October 1997, a roughly-estimated 3,000 mink (tiny rodent creatures with fur that is used for high-end fashion) escaped from a mink ranch.  They survived their fate as future fur coats thanks to a 20-foot hole cut in one of the mink-proofed fences around the ranch.  The mink didn’t run through that hole though – their liberator, a man named  Peter Daniel Young – used it to get to the gates that held the mink in pens.  He then opened the gates, freeing the mink to run amok… and to freedom.

Part-owner in the ranch Kelly Turbak explained “We don’t know how many will die, maybe as many as 1,000…  Generally they’ll stay pretty close around. They’re domesticated and can’t fend for themselves.”.  Less than 24 hours later, more than 1,000 of the furry escapees had been recaptured and once again destined to die on the path to becoming fur coats rather than starving to death outside of the ranch.

A few weeks later, Peter and his co-conspirator Justin Samuel had their car impounded while driving between other farms they were hoping to ‘raid’ (break into and free the animals from).  They had been pulled over after their car was called in by other suspicious mink farmers in the area, who had been on high alert.

Eventually in September of 1998, charges would be filed against both Peter Daniel Young and Justin Samuel… but just like the mink they freed, the two of them went on the run….for years!  In fact, Peter Young wouldn’t be captured until 2005.  After being captured, he was sentenced to serve two years in federal prison, more than $254,000 in fines, and 360 hours of community service benefiting  – as the judge said at the time of sentencing- “humans and no other species.”

The trouble wasn’t over for Young even by late 2007 when he was released.  Since the act of releasing all the mink racked up a number of state crimes, Young was also faced with a number of state charges before his own ordeal was over including third degree burglary, intentional damage to property and animal enterprise trespass!


————————–
Questions:

1. Why do you agree or disagree with the cause?

2. Why do you agree or disagree with the action?

3. Why do you agree or disagree with the punishment / consequences?

4. What cause – if any – would make you want to knowingly break the law, and why?

5. What are some better courses of action you can think of besides breaking the law in support of a cause you care about, or if you feel there aren’t any, what obstacles would prevent your from engaging in lawful resistance?


Be sure to provide full explanations for each of your answers. For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here:

https://siouxcityjournal.com/news/state-and-regional/state-charges-filed-for-raid-on-mink-farm/article_77722678-bdaa-5f19-9cdd-1027ed21bd58.html

https://www.nytimes.com/1997/10/19/us/national-news-briefs-mink-escape-from-pen-after-fence-is-cut.html

https://globegazette.com/news/local/iowa-s-history-with-animal-rights-activists-goes-back-many/article_eab92b0a-144b-11e3-afff-0019bb2963f4.html


Contributed By:  -M. Kamer




My favorite part of the fieldtrip to the courthouse is when I got to play the part of Ron. I got to go on the witness chair and speaking. I helped Potter to be not guilty. Thank you for the great opportunity.


- Johnathan M  [Harmon Elementary - Grade 4]
Project Real
2020-12-16T21:47:04+00:00
My favorite part of the fieldtrip to the courthouse is when I got to play the part of Ron. I got to go on the witness chair and speaking. I helped Potter to be not guilty. Thank you for the great opportunity. - Johnathan M  [Harmon Elementary - Grade 4]

Thank you for letting us experience court for the first time.  It was the best experience ever, thank you for everything. You really made me think about being a judge. Thank you


-Mina L [ Twitchell Elementary - Grade 5]

Project Real
2020-12-16T22:04:09+00:00
Thank you for letting us experience court for the first time.  It was the best experience ever, thank you for everything. You really made me think about being a judge. Thank you -Mina L [ Twitchell Elementary - Grade 5]

Thank you for letting us watch the civil case!  It was cool because it was a real case and not one played out. I had a lot of fun watching the other kids act out a session.  Thank you for your time.

- Kaylie [Hewetson Elementary - Grade 5]

Project Real
2020-12-11T20:39:35+00:00
Thank you for letting us watch the civil case!  It was cool because it was a real case and not one played out. I had a lot of fun watching the other kids act out a session.  Thank you for your time. - Kaylie [Hewetson Elementary - Grade 5]
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