Research Links & Critical Thinking Questions for April 2018

Mar 21, 2018 | Ideas For Teachers


Issue 1: Gun Control Laws Background on History of Second Amendment & Guns in America
RAND Corp.: Magnitude and Sources of Disagreement Among Gun Policy Experts
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC): America’s Gun Culture in 10 Charts on Gun Control Pro and Con 
International Civilian Gun Ownership Rates ( 
FBI’s Expanded Homicide Data Table for 2016

Issue 2: Internet Sales Tax

Nolo’s 50 State Guide on Internet Sales Tax Laws 
U.S. Census Bureau’s E-commerce Retail Sales Data 
Reuters: “Trump Administration Backs States Bid to Collect Online Sales Taxes” 
USA Today: “Supreme Court Will Decide if Online Retailers Will Collect Sales Tax” 
Investopedia: Pros and Cons of an Internet Sales Tax 
CNN: “Amazon to Start Collecting Taxes Everywhere” Article (March 2017)



Issue 1:  Gun Control Laws

  1. Are you for or against stricter gun-control laws in the U.S.? Why or why not?
  2. Which type of gun-control legislation, if any, do you think would be good for Congress to pass? Examples include banning bump stocks or high-capacity magazines, arming teachers, raising the minimum age, etc.
  3. Do you think the school shooting in Parkland, Florida could have been prevented? If so, how? If not, why?
  4. Are President Trump’s gun-control proposals likely to be effective? Why or why not?
  5. Why is the right to own a gun so important to Americans?

Issue 2: Internet Sales Tax

  1. Do you agree with South Dakota’s position that online sellers who make sales in a state should collect that state’s sales tax? Why or why not?
  2. Do you think it’s fair that someone can visit a local retailer to touch or try on merchandise and get guidance from their staff but then buy the same product at a discount online?
  3. In your opinion, what would be the best solution to putting all retailers on equal footing with regard to internet sales tax?
  4. Why do you think Amazon decided to start collecting sales tax in all states in March 2017?
  5. Compare and contrast the pro/con congressional quotes on p. 3 of the newsletter. Whose opinion do you agree with the most, and why?