Hst 488: Ethics and Law in Late U.S. History

Module 2 Exam: The Paint Putsch

You have 90 minutes to complete this test. Your responses need to be only long enough to answer the questions. Each question is worth 10 points, and your total score will count for 20% of your final grade.

1. The terrorists bought fifty gallons of Benjamin Moore Bright Yellow paint at Blue Ridge Paint & Decorating in Charlottesville, Virginia without the salesperson performing a background check. Should the store's owner have also been prosecuted? Should Benjamin Moore have been?

2. The terrorists used Google Maps to optimize their route across Virginia. Was Google culpable for their actions despite flagging their route as potentially dangerous, and then reporting it to authorities before the terrorists set out?

3. The terrorists's Ford Explorer supplied real-time route data to Ford, but Ford didn't associate it with real-time crime statistics, in this case, reports of the terrorists's assaults on Confederate monuments. As a result, authorities couldn't stop the terrorists in a timely fashion. Who was more culpable: Ford for not forseeing the need for these associations, or the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles for not requiring such associations?

4. Similarly, license plate scanners made by Vigilant Solutions, which had a state contract, recorded the terrorists's vehicle hundreds of times during their journey. Who was more culpable: Vigilant Solutions for not associating that data with real-time crime statistics, or the Virginia State Police for not requiring such associations?

5. At several monuments citizens tried to stop the terrorists either actively (by physically intervening) or passively (by alerting authorities). Some, however, stood idly by and watched the assaults unfold. Should those who acted passively have been stripped of their citizenship like those who did nothing?

6. YouTube and Facebook flagged videos of the attacks as potentially dangerous. Should those who "liked" the videos before the services took them down have been prosecuted as severely as those who posted them?

7. Authorities caught up with the terrorists in the act of assaulting two bronze cannons and a stone obelisk in Palmyra. Did the town encourage the terrorists when it changed the name of the site from Confederate Park to Civil War Park?

8. Two of the terrorists were shot and killed by authorities. The third was captured, prosecuted on scene via Skype, and punished immediately afterwards. Would justice have been better served had all three been shot by authorities initially—or captured, tried, then shot?

9.The terrorists's families, who saw the red flags, were sentenced to bankruptcy for not informing. Should their assets have gone directly toward the restoration of the assaulted monuments, or should such money have come from the state's general fund?

10. How does this entire incident demonstrate the inefficiencies of the United States’s “rule of law” as opposed to our “rule by law”?


Your computer will be monitored by its keylogger.

You will be monitored by its camera and your classmates.

And you will monitor your classmates.

As the honor code states: See something, say something.