Ultra Vires


Law School Gunner Profile

While climate change is believed to be gradually leading to the deaths and eventual extinction of many organisms, there is one creature that seems to be alive and thriving more than ever: the law school gunner. Typical strategies, such as playing dead and sporting camouflage, are often implemented by students and yet have proven ineffective in stopping this creature from striking. As such, it is best to know your gunners to minimize being caught in friendly fire. Gender-specific pronouns are used depending on which person each profile is based on, at random.

The machine gunner – He is easily the most notorious of all gunners. With unlimited ammunition, this one will continuously make comments in class, with approximately 1 of 50 bullets actually hitting a target (i.e. adding some value to class discussion). His annoyances are compounded by his tendency to tab about 200 pages in a book, of which only 70 were actually assigned reading.  It is rumoured that Nuisance is now the first topic learned by 1Ls as a direct result of the annoyances caused by this beast.

The grenade – This gunner has an explosive impact in a contained area; i.e. a first-year small group class. While in large lectures, she is pleasant, unassuming, and displays an admirable lack of initiative. Once in a small group, the grenade is triggered, developing self-confidence and unleashing a fury of comments. It is believed that her highlighters are custom-ordered from Burma, as no known store in North America stocks 18 different shades of cyan.

The suicide bomber – This individual guns sufficiently hard that it backfires and claims him as a casualty. He is particularly adept at flaunting specialized knowledge of a specific subject area as though it is useful to the analysis (note to suicide bomber:  your knowledge of the ginger-beer fermentation process, while fascinating, isn’t actually relevant to Donoghue v Stevenson). Typical characteristics include making a class comment that repeats exactly what a professor just said, simply placing words in a different order. On other occasions, this person will pass direct quotes from the treatise as their own musings, seemingly overlooking the fact that the professor wrote the motherf***ing book.

The sniper – This gunner is not seen or heard from for days, then suddenly strikes with one sharp, concise comment that is actually useful to the topic of discussion.  Despite their potential to be well-liked, mind-blowing tendencies such as actually using the phrase “Regina versus…” when discussing criminal cases negates any goodwill the sniper may have built with the class.

The undercover gunner – This is a professor who aids and abets all of the above, particularly suicide bombers, from practicing their trade.  Politeness and factually questionable statements such as “there is no such thing as a stupid question” encourage trigger-happy gunners. Note: The Machine Gunner will likely write to uv noting my incorrect use of “aid and abet”. They now consider the time spent tabbing that section in the criminal code, anticipating a situation just like this, to be worthwhile.


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