Regarding the New, Improved Second Amendment, Indoctrination and Hanlon’s Razor

Just in time for the latest round of political exploitation of a gun-related tragedy, it has been discovered that a school history textbook used in some Texas  high schools (and probably others) mis-states the meaning of the Second Amendment, neatly editing away the part that all the controversy is about.

In fact, John J. Newman’s “United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination,” rewrites the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. On page 102 of Newman’s book (page 134 of the PDF version), the author summarizes the amendment in a way that distorts its meaning:


Could this be intentional? Well, it is certainly wrong, and one is not being conspiratorial to wonder how such a blatant error 1) got into a history text in the first place , 2) passed any review process, and 3) lasted this long.

It is well-established that the Second Amendment  guarantees the individual’s right to keep and bear arms, and not only in a militia. How far that guarantee extends is indeed a matter of intense debate, but Newman has misleadingly limited that right only to those who are members of a government militia, essentially editing the amendment right into obsolescence.  Though that is clearly where many anti-gun zealots, including Senator Diane Fienstein, CNN talk-meister Piers Morgan, and many others would like to see it go, it is not the current state of the law, and never has been.The Supreme Court opinion in  District of Columbia vs Heller (2008), which is not mentioned in the textbook, held that the Second Amendment “protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

There is no defending Newman’s textbook, except as a justifiable attempt to destroy the Second Amendment by teaching students that the right to bear arms doesn’t exist in the modern world—in other words, by using deception and indoctrination. The determined anti-gun forces have certainly not been hesitant to use disinformation to get their way: it’s going on right now. Without waiting for confirmation of the initial speculation, everyone from Feinstein to the anti-gun news media spread the narrative that the recent Washington Naval Yard shooting was yet another mass murder executed with a semi-automatic weapon, the AR-15, or that it could have been prevented by more stringent background checks. Neither was the case: the shooter’s weapon was a shotgun that he could have purchased under current or proposed laws, and no assault weapons were involved.  (Hilariously, Morgan, having ranted about the insanity of allowing the Ar-15 to be sold in the U.S. in the immediate wake of the shooting, shrugged off his mistake by tweeting, “Do you think it matters to the victims?“)

CBS, commenting on the complaints about the textbook, headlined its story “Gun Rights Advocates Want History Book Removed From Texas School.” After all, why would the mere fact that a text book is inexcusably, undeniably, incompetently and misleadingly wrong about the content and meaning of one of the provisions of the Bill of Rights matter to anyone who wasn’t a gun nut, right, CBS? I guess no good progressives would deem an embarrassing, ahistorical misstatement in a book used to educate–make that mis-educate…or should we say indoctrinate?—high school students a sufficient reason to junk the book, would they? The book may not state the way it really is, but isn’t what matters the way it should be? At very least, the headline-writer has these thoughts rattling around in his unethical skull.

CBS found a good example of this mindset in Dr. Joseph Ignagni, a Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas. He claimed that the book’s version of the Second Amendment wasn’t inaccurate until 2008, arguing that the individual’s right to bear arms has grown stronger in the last decade, as more courts side with individuals in gun law cases. “Until 2008, that was not a fact. Not in terms of the Supreme Court. Not in terms of what most people believed the Founding Fathers were intending,” said Dr. Ignagni. Baloney, to be colloquial. “Most people” means “most people he hung around with,” for the broader interpretation of the amendment to guarantee gun ownership has been furiously maintained by half the population or more and much of the scholarly community since it was ratified over 200 years ago. The textbook’s version of its meaning has never been a fact, but an ideological contention, and for a textbook to print it as fact before or after 2008 is inexcusable.

Unless you think kids should be indoctrinated to think like Piers Morgan.

The new publishers of the book have vowed to fix this and any other errors in it, which does not answer the question of how this propaganda got into the classroom in the first place. The charitable interpretation is Hanlon’s Razor:Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.” But is that naive in this case?  A Texas school district using the text explained itself by pointing out that it was only a “supplemental” text, and that the main text used in classes stated the Amendment correctly. “The teachers and staff are aware of this ‘summary statement’ and are teaching the amendments from the classroom textbook….All other materials are supplemental.Please be assured that Denton ISD history teachers are disseminating the correct information on the Second Amendment,” its statement read.

To which I retort, “Huh?” The supplement is wrong; never mind that it may not be the main text, why is it in use at all? Why should we trust teachers—who, as far as we know, are ready to suspend students who mention guns, wear guns on their T-shirts, bite their pizzas into gun-ish shapes, or point their fingers in the shape of a pistol—to disseminate “the correct information on the Second Amendment,’ when the entire education profession shows signs of anti-gun derangement all over the nation? How about this: let’s have only accurate descriptions of the Bill of Rights in textbooks that are allowed into schools, and have the teachers teach from those. Is that unreasonable? ( Apparently another history text, used as a main text in some South Carolina high schools, includes a similar misrepresentation of the Second Amendment. I’m sure its a coincidence, aren’t you?)

I’m willing to attribute this episode to stupidity by the textbook publishers and slovenly review by school boards, but there is plenty of reason to be dubious. The anti-gun forces, since Sandy Hook and before, have shown themselves to be ruthless and shameless about twisting facts and events to accomplish their ends: getting an anti-gun version of the Second Amendment taught in the schools doesn’t seem out of character.


Sources: PJ Tatler, The Blaze, National Review, CBS, CNN, Time, The Blaze,

50 thoughts on “Regarding the New, Improved Second Amendment, Indoctrination and Hanlon’s Razor

  1. The error is subtler than you made out; it is materially incomplete, rather than inaccurate as such, since it is absolutely correct that, as the cited text states, under the U.S. constitution “[t]he people have the right to keep and bear arms in a state militia”. Actual and direct error would only arise if readers misunderstood that to mean, or were deliberately taught that it meant, only under those circumstances – a distinction of much the same sort that gun control people don’t accept in claims that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. That would still be a conceptual error even if non-militia gun keepers and bearers did not exist, say if the law were changed to require all gun keepers and bearers to be conscripted and constructively read into a state militia – a law which would not, on its face, be a violation of that part of the U.S. constitution.

    • Sophistry. The text of the Amendment does not, in fact, say that there is a right to bear arms in a militia (it says that since it is necessary to have a militia, there is a general right to bear arms), and there is nothing “subtle” about deception by omission. The clear intent of the “summary,” and what is conveyed by the plain meaning of the words, is that there is no Constitutional right to own a firearm except as part of a militia, and that is FALSE, not “incomplete.”

      • What sophistry? I clearly acknowledged that that was an error, I was simply pointing out that the nature of the error was not that it stated something that was wrong from being inaccurate but that it stated something that was wrong from being incomplete – materially so. I clearly recall that on audits that transactions had to be confirmed as being complete, accurate and authorised, and that these were three different things that all had to be checked out. I was not at all representing that there was something ‘“subtle” about deception by omission’, not nowise, not nohow. I was telling you, what you missed the first time around and apparently the second time too, that “[t]he error is subtlER [emphasis added] than you made out”. It’s not very subtle at all, but it is a little more so than you made out. I was trying, with little success so far, to highlight the nature of the error, which you had not brought out. Didn’t you see where I stated that it was an error, and if you did, what are you so angry about? After all, you yourself seem to realise that it was deception by omission, so what is your problem with having that brought out?

        • Because there is no problem to bring out, and what you asserted is indeed sophistry. I could have added pedantic nit-picking, I suppose: my bad… “It’s not very subtle at all, but it is a little more so than you made out.” Really? The complaint is that I misrepresented an admittedly unsubtle error as not quite subtle enough?

          I’m not angry at all. But I take your initial comment to be indistinguishable from the fallacy that a deceitful statement isn’t a lie, because it’s literally true. That distortion is the favorite rationalization of habitual and cynical liars, so yes, as an ethicist, I come down hard on it whenever it crawls out from under the sofa.

          You wrote: “Actual and direct error would only arise if readers misunderstood that to mean, or were deliberately taught that it meant, only under those circumstances – a distinction of much the same sort that gun control people don’t accept in claims that guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” First, what is printed in a text book has to stand on its own, which is what makes the school’s statement ridiculous. “Don’t worry, we’ll explain it.” A student unacquainted with US history and the 2nd Amendment would take the plain text of the entry to mean that the Second Amendment’s purpose was to guarantee members of the volunteer military the right to have guns, and nobody else. Since there are no more militias in that sense, such a phrasing states that the amendment is a dead letter. It is NOT a dead letter, and even anti-gun advocates admit its not a dead letter. So in what sense is the phrasing of a summary like that not 100% misleading and incorrect? And what’s subtle about it?

          It is nothing like “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” which hides nothing, and only makes the point that guns are tools that don’t kill anyone without human intervention—nobody conscious thinks that statement means that guns literally do not kill people. The text book’s statement, again, gives no information that allows an uninformed reader—a student, in other words–to know that the Second applies beyond 18th Century militias. For “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” to have the same effect, the audience would have to be unaware that guns were weapons, or could be used as weapons.

        • It is TOTAL sophistry. Unless you would be OK with the summary for the First Amendment section on speech saying: “The first amendment guarantees free speech rights to Government officials and those under their orders [full stop]

    • Do you really think someone thought it necessary to insert an amendment that states that the military has a right to weapons? Does anyone really think it was considered that important to place it up there with freedom of speech and freedom from unreasonable search, that we would not allow the military to have weapons? That is essentially the argument. That is what was taught when I was in schools. When I questioned it, I was mocked. It is one of the things that opened my eyes to the indoctrination in the schools and reinforced my generally poor impression of schoolteachers.

      • No, I do not think that, and nowhere did I suggest it.

        What I did was, I pointed out the kind of error that was being made, that JM did not bring out. See my reply to his follow up comment if you want more clarification.

        • ” A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

          is different than
          “[t]he people have the right to keep and bear arms in a state militia”

          The latter means that the military has a right to have weapons. The former means that the people themselves have a right to own arms. It is not a subtle difference. Just because 2 sentences have similar words does not make them mean the same thing. As JM said, this is sophistry.

          To say that the latter wording is correct, (as you said) is to suggest that indeed, the states felt it necessary to put in the Bill of Rights a guarantee that the military would be allowed to have weapons.

          • “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

            We know the final clause “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” is, on its face, fairly plain spoken. That these words are hotly debated is baffling, they seem clear and obvious to me. Certainly, an amount of ambiguity exists about “What did the Founders mean by ‘Arms'”? Other arguments can be made about the meaning of “people”…did the founders mean to speak to a collection of individuals with individual rights or to directly to collection itself. But those ambiguities aside, the clause is concise and clear — the people have a right to bear arms; by extension of the philosophy enshrouded in the Declaration of Independence, it would be a natural right.

            A review of contemporary documents would show that the term “keep and bear arms” does apply to individuals separately, that bear arms means to carry and use (for a variety of purposes). If this meaning does apply to individuals, then we have the meaning of the term “people”. As for the Founder’s meaning of “Arms”, that debate can rage on. A reading of the Federalist papers and scant few other documents and understanding them would indicate that the Founders intent in the balance of force is that the common man certainly at a minimum has the right to bear an equal firearm to the standard infantryman. It would seem the heavier weapons were relegated to the control of the separate states and to the national army (although the vagueness of Arms at the time does allow a wider definition – but even I don’t think their vision meant for the private citizen to own a tank or a nuke).

            The prior phrase “….A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..” is where I think the Founders are truly eloquent and packed a ton of meaning into 13 words.

            Some would tell us, well, the strong full time army is enough to secure our country from invaders, therefore a ‘militia’ is no longer necessary, therefore the people no longer need the right to bear arms. But the Founders didn’t say “a military necessary to repel invaders”, they said “security of a *free* State”. They knew all too well that an unchecked central army can easily secure a State… but they wanted a *free* State. They knew from firsthand experience that centralized force is the primary tool of tyranny, and that only a heavily armed populace was a check against that.

            Alexander Hamilton states in Federalist #29: “but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens.”

            Some would tell us, well, the Militia existed because the nation couldn’t fund a large full time military. The Founders didn’t say “…Militia, being necessary to alleviate the financial burden of a large Army, and at which point it becomes financially viable, we will say ‘the Army, being necessary for the security of a free State”

            In the same Federalist Paper, Hamilton does assert that the militia does alleviate the financial and social burden of a large standing army, while immediately following with assertions that even should a large standing army exist, the militia would continue as a check against it.

            Some would tell us, the Militia was meant to be just a supplement. And, yes, all though that is one role of the Militia, that is not what the clause “being necessary” implies. They knew that a free State CANNOT exist WITHOUT a Militia at all! The phrase doesn’t say “A well regulated Militia, sometimes helps for the security of a free State…”. The Founders distinctly say the Militia is NECESSARY to the security of a free State. Because free States are not just attacked from without, but also from within.

            What do we glean simply from “…Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State….”

            A) the Founders, based on their experience, knew that security means secure from the outside AND the inside
            B) the Founders specified precisely what is being secured…a *free* State
            C) the Founders specified a non-military entity known as the “Militia”
            D) the Founders didn’t just say the Militia was useful, but NECESSARY
            E) the Founders considered that no *free* State can exist without the Militia.

            Why all the emphasis on the militia and the citizen soldier versus a standing professional army? What is this “Militia”, what did the Founders mean by “A well regulated Militia…”?

            The founders were certainly speaking about an organization of the separate people as a collected entity. But they understood that entity to be composed of everyone (yes, I know women and slaves etc didn’t count, but the spirit of the militia was that it was every individual). This, the collected, yet dispersed, force of *every* individual citizen, was the final force that was meant to be a check against the centralizing forces. A constant reminder to those wishing to impose non-republican and non-democratic will on the people, the militia and the right to bear arms (as individuals part of the whole) was viewed as indispensable to Liberty as the 1st Amendment, and all the others.

            Since the earliest definitions of the militia clearly point to the notion that it is the entire body of the people derived from an INNATE duty of all individual citizens to safeguard the liberty of nation, I certainly do not think the National Guard or the Reserves or any of the armed federal agencies are the Militia. The various Acts and Laws forming those entities merely established professional standing armies, while co-opting the term “militia”. The militia – in terms of the necessary civic spirit of a vigorously liberty oriented people in opposition to the slightest pretext of centralizing and freedom-usurping forces – still and must exist.

    • It is the same thing. Science instruction is so bad that I actually don’t think that would be on my list, however. Unfortunately, some people will say “Well this group misrepresented x, therefore that justifies ME misrepresenting y.” That is how we get to our current educational system.
      (and I don’t think they stated that the earth was flat, but if they did, it would be a good analogy)

    • Can’t we have issues with both? I mean, as much as people want it to be Right Wing/Left Wing, you either hate guns or are a young-earth creationist… some of us just want texbooks to be CORRECT.

    • You have this bad habit of assuming that since a post flagging Problem A does not discuss unrelated Problem Q, I don’t acknowledge problem Q’s existence, and approve of it. I’m not sure why you insist on doing this; maybe its treatable—I’d get it checked out if I were you. It could be a symptom of a serious underlying neurological malady.

    • How does your example compare to the Flat Earth Democrats who did impose a fluoride ban on the water supply in my area?

      Flat Earth Democrats who are anti science on GMOs, vaccines and facts surrounding gun murder (studies show 90% of people on the left think gun murder is way up when in fact it has plummeted 40%)

      It is clear as many or more Democrats hold absurd “flat earth” views on important issues as Republicans do.

  2. The textbooks should have the correct text — end of argument. But, a decent teacher should ask the students to apply it in a variety of examples — without there being a necessarily right or wrong answer as our Constitution constantly is being interpreted. I remember that I had to memorize all the Amendments in the 7th grade BUT I don’t recall having to explain them until college.

    • so you are ok with a summary saying speech or written criticism of war or the draft is not always protected? that has been “interpreted” several ways several times.

  3. “The textbook’s version of its meaning has never been a fact, but an ideological contention, and for a textbook to print it as fact before or after 2008 is inexcusable.”
    All discussion of meaning – certainly as it applies to the everyday applications of abstract principles – are ideological contentions, and never facts. This textbook’s interpretation is certainly a widely-held one, not just by friends of Dr. Ignagni, and like all interpretations of the 2nd Amendment, a controversial one. The book should just have the text of the amendment with discussion of its controversies.
    The real surprise is that this slipped through the usual Texan textbook filters.

    • Not a surprise at all. Texas education is firmly in the hands of leftist sympathizers. One more reason why our state is slipping towards blue.

      “Give me their children and I’ll plant a seed that can never be uprooted”, or the quote goes something like that.

          • Additionally, it would appear that the hubbub was created by someone expressly wishing that the textbooks taught science for science is supposed to be: self-critical and in a constant search for more accurate descriptions of the natural universe. Seems the critic was concerned that the textbooks were putting too much faith in an possibly flawed theory and simply wanted the students to understand that the knowledge they were being taught should be under constant scrutiny and non taken as blindly faithful doctrine.

            • Perhaps, but whatever the situation, “firmly in the hands of leftist sympathizers” is not an accurate summary. It’s surprising that a controversial interpretation of the 2nd Amendment made it in.

              • You read the apologies of those rationalizing the ‘error’ away as “it’s a supplemental text” and “the teachers will explain it”. I imagine the same rationalizations were used during the original vetting of the text, IF the error was even noticed. I can easily see someone viewing the world through left-leaning glasses not even seeing the error to begin with because they A) don’t care about the facts on this subject, B) don’t know the facts on this subject, C) don’t believe in the importance of this subject, D) don’t like this subject to begin with

                • You may imagine what you wish, but the Texas textbook arguments are well-documented and do not reflect a cabal of leftist sympathizers. Just as there are left-wing creationists there are right-wing gun control supporters, and the interpretation offered of the 2nd amendment is not a radical viewpoint or even a partisan one – the meaning and relevance of the first clause of the amendment have been debated by everyone from grammarians to separatists. Still, it shouldn’t be the only interpretation offered.

                  • Nor did I assert that if you’ll re-read all my supporting commentary.

                    Again “left-wing creationists” is not analogous to “right-wing gun control supporters”. Creationism/evolution is not a left-right thing, gun control is. It would be notable to point out a right-wing gun control advocate, because more gun control is a left-wing political stance. It isn’t notable to point out “left-wing creationist”, because creationism is not a political stance. No matter how it’s argued, it isn’t. That a large number of people who believe in strict creationism happen to have political views on the right, does not make creationism a right-wing thing and evolution a left-wing thing.

                    • The reason it’s confusing is that the Left uses creationism as a club to hit conservatives with, proving that conservatism is the equivalent of ignorance. Thus skepticism about global warming projections and the worth of the prescription for it is compared to creationism, a comparison that is itself idiotic. Denying demonstrable and tangible evidence about what has happened is not the same thing as questioning bias-prone declarations of certainty about what is going to happen.

                    • Yes, that is true, the Left easily manipulates the narrative through false generalization. Being a creationist doesn’t make one a conservative on the issue (because it isn’t political). Just as being a conservative doesn’t make one a creationist. The leftists rely on the dishonest practice that if 20% of those who believe X are part of Group A, but 80% of those who believe X are part of Group B, let’s just go ahead and accuse ALL of Group B of espousing belief X since it seems most of the adherents of of X flock to Group B. (Never mind if believers in X only compose 10% of Group B, therefore not representing a majority opinion).

                    • My only argument with your assertions is your claim that “Texas education is firmly in the hands of leftist sympathizers.” Longstanding evolution arguments, among many other heavily politicized educational arguments, indicate that control over education is in fact constantly in dispute. Utter leftist control of textbooks would surely result in more strident takes on the right to bear arms than a sloppy phrase in supplementary materials.

                      I would say that gun control – like the teaching of evolution, and debates over climate change – is an issue that has become partisan but isn’t inherently, and need not be. Favoring one interpretation of the 2nd Amendment is basically a semantic issue. You can think that the Founding Fathers had no intention of arming non-military citizens without conforming to other current hallmarks of leftism, just as you can believe that the Earth is 3,000 years old without, say, advocating for conservative fiscal policy.

              • Frankly, it could easily be a lazy researcher who doesn’t understand the admittedly confusing phrasing of the actual amendment, combined with a passive editor and lazy reviewers. I’ve seen worse slip by.

            • Exactly. The anti fluoride movement has gone fro being a right wing thing in the 1950s to a left wing thing.

              And GMO, anti vaccine and wildly false views on gun murder (leftist view it as up and it is factually massively down even as gun ownership skyrocketed) are more often held on the left than the right.

  4. Are people just now noticing this? I used this text to review for the AP US History exam when I took it over 13 years ago and I thought it was suspicious then too.

  5. I’m under the impression that, at least since 1958, the law has defined the ‘militia’ as all able-bodied men of the state between the ages of 17 and 45. ( So simply using the legal definition, even if the left is correct about it only applying to members of the militia – that’s still a ton of people, espcially if we adopt the current philosphy (correct, in my mind) that women have all the rights of men, even those only specifically written to pertain to men.

    And I’d argue that it would be illogical to require a person to turn in their weapons at the age of 45 (apparently 65 if they have military experience) but simply that they are no longer expected to serve in the militia, not that thier rights are magically revoked at a given age.

    • Well, the term militia as used in the Bill of Rights refers to circumstances no longer in effect–there was no standing army. So either one believes that the Amendment is completely meaningless, as specifically applied only to potential 18th century militia members (of whom there are NONE today) or one believes that the amendment is like the others, and defines an inherent right as a citizen of a free republic. Before the two arguments were contested before SCOTUS ( and they were intentionally NOT, because everyone was afraid of the answer), they were constantly debated. No history book could legitimately argue that either was “fact.” After the SCOTUS opinion in 2008, asserting the first as accurate is just false.

      • Oh, absolutely. I don’t contest that it’s not a personal right. The constitution was drafted with no standing army in mind, however, I’m unaware of any changes in the creation if the standing army that changed the definition of militia. So, even IF one believes -and there is no real justification for it, but that doesn’t stop people, now does it? – IF one believes it only applies to the militia, current law still defines ‘the militia’ as nearly everyone. Just pointing out how that argument is ultimately self defeating.

  6. “A well regulated Election, being necessary to the continuity of a free State, the right of the people to review and cast ballots shall not be infringed.”

    Yeah, I’m for much stronger voter control laws.

  7. Not to drop in on the conspiracy stuff, however I have noticed similar details in historical texts in Canadian schools issued by the Ontario Board of Education while in my group-home / institution tour.

    It was as follows from the same publications :
    In northern ontario, students were taught that the natives were here first and that white people took the land from them, and that white man invented scalping.

    In southern ontario, students were taught that the natives moved here from northern parts, and that white people took the land from them and that the natives were the ones who invented scalping.

    There are many other discrepancies found, but this one I feel is the most significant as it is not a simple typo or addition of a couple of words (which that in itself could have major impact as you have shown on the legislation depicted).

    What I find most interesting is that these books were issued by the same publisher, for the same curriculum, but in a different region of the province. Where the dominant inhabitants are native, the propaganda in public school was more friendly, and vice-versa. Which in itself is inciting racial tension towards the natives even at a subconscious level. While most people may forget where they learned something, they typically are unwilling to accept or question that knowledge.

    Whatever the final outcome of this, does become apparent when you start to really look at society and how people treat each other. Our education system has a VERY large role in disseminating propaganda which unfortunately, people do not question. For example if a teacher tells you that 1 + 1 = 2 …. very few ever question the validity of that statement, and/or verify it for themselves through tests — the same tests that we do as infants on our environment such as repeatedly trying to put a square into a circle hole until we figure out for ourselves why that doesn’t fit.

    School used to be about passing down stories from elders through generations to retain experience, but not without the coming generations testing that knowledge and adapting it to form new knowledge and experiences. What western education has become is another media outlet for disseminating propaganda onto the masses to shape society into a coercive state. I am not saying that education or knowledge is bad, however it is definitely something that is being abused. With easier curriculum, and lower passing grades, our education system has become more of a joke than anything.

    In countries such as China, there are no holidays per se. When you are in school, you are IN SCHOOL. And better be prepared for study week. — and … it’s mostly paid for by the government… aka…. very cheap. Over here, we are barely in school, and can obtain passing grades just for being alive so long. Most of the year when enrolled full time, school is out with weekends, holidays, PD days, study breaks, sick days, and so on.

    I would like to see passing grades go up with stronger curriculum, people that are prepared to ask the big question about everything — “why?” … and perhaps even — more time in school or studying, and way less holidays / breaks.

    It is a shame to see the outright defacement of raw knowledge being handed off as “supplement” fact — for any reason, but alas, I do believe there is a bigger picture at play which is conspiratorial in nature. — check the books again in two years after they have updated to see what other sleight of hand was purveyed, I’m sure you will find something, but as you pointed out — this is very difficult to prove any intention behind it unless you hit the books and look at them all since first publication so you can see there has been a fairly consistent outlay in “typos” like this.

  8. Almost every time I’ve heard this (the 2nd Amendment) brought up someone will say it means the militia only are allowed guns but before we had a standing army weren’t the people the militia? At any rate,it didn’t mean military only and I would put nothing past those who are absolutely rabid about their agenda but I’m not going to guess what this misrepresentation was about.

  9. Not to derail, but the problems with the summary of the 2nd Amendment are not surprising when you look at the summary of the 1st Amendment. “Congress may not favor one religion over another (separation of church and state).” The parenthetical comment has essentially become a buzz phrase thatis a substitute for thought. But, the sentence itself appears to be a”summary” of the Establishment Clause. The Establishment Clause was NOT about favoring one religion over another; it was aboutnot having a state religion.

    The summaries are sloppy, incomplete, and slanted.


    • Yup. And that’s a good point to make about the first. Most Americans think “Separation of Church and State” is in the Constitution.
      Of course, I agree that when the state involves or embraces one particular religion while not doing so with another, that is a violation of the Establishment Clause as essentially a state endorsement of a religion.

  10. I was born in the Soviet Union. Our constitution guaranteed freedom of speech, press, assembly along with lots of other core freedoms.

    The rub was a simple conditional clause on these rights that weighed them against the benefit of the county. The total suppression of real speech press and assembly was therefore legal, and that perversion of granting rights and then denying them was upheld in completely sober and straight faced courts.

    Collectivizing rights utterly negates them and it is hard to find enlightenment political thinkers who did not know and discuss that. It is ABSURD to think, and disingenuous to suggest, that the founders so of the USA were granting collective (meaningless) right.

  11. Why was the first clause inserted?

    Why did not the 2nd amendment merely state:

    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    Background reading :
    English Bill of Rights 1689

    Relevant sections:

    Whereas the late King James the Second, by the assistance of divers evil counsellors, judges and ministers employed by him, did endeavour to subvert and extirpate the Protestant religion and the laws and liberties of this kingdom;

    By causing several good subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when papists were both armed and employed contrary to law;

    And thereupon the said Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons, pursuant to their respective letters and elections, being now assembled in a full and free representative of this nation, taking into their most serious consideration the best means for attaining the ends aforesaid, do in the first place (as their ancestors in like case have usually done) for the vindicating and asserting their ancient rights and liberties declare

    That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law;

    That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted;

    While not exactly a complete cut’n’paste job in every respect, there is more than just a passing similarity, no?

    Both differences and similarities bear close examination.

    • The first clause asserts the principle that the individual, not the state, is ultimately in charge of his or her own protection and safety. It explains why the right is important, and why it is so important that it was the second one listed. Militias are obsolete, but the guiding principle is not. The Second says that the government cannot disarm citizens, not that there is some God-given right to own guns. At the time it was written, it’s a reasonable way to make the point.

      • Madison meant exactly what he said when he framed the wording of the Bill of Rights. Now… by what given right does this “educator” seek to reword the amendments and pass it off to students as factual? I admit that it’s no worse than many politicians have done, but that does not make it right. It is a blatant attempt to indoctrine young people with overtly false concepts. Any school system that accepts such a textbook is therefore an abettor.

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