The Second Amendment is being distorted – significantly — in some United States high school history textbooks.
A twisted definition of the right-to-bear-arms was first found in a Denton, Texas, school district textbook, but it now appears that the erroneous description has been widely adopted in multiple educational texts being used to teach public school children about their rights.
The United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination book defines the Second Amendment this way, “The people have the right to keep and bear arms in a state militia.” If it had quoted the Constitution directly, the text should have read, “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.”
The textbook is also being used in Washington, South Carolina and Georgia public high schools, and likely in other states, as well.
Millions of teenagers studying for AP tests, who soon will be old enough to vote, are being taught that as individuals, Americans do not have the right to own a gun to protect themselves – not unless they join a militia group. The mischaracterization of the Second Amendment in the textbook has understandably spurred quite a controversy.
King’s College Professor of Politics David Corbin had this to say about the right to bear arms phrasing in the Texas textbook:
“The incorrect description of the right to keep and bear arms in a state militia makes one’s right dependent upon one’s membership in a state militia,” King’s College Professor of Politics David Corbin said of the textbook’s language. “The Founders believed, to quote William Blackstone, that the right to keep and bear arms was an individual right ‘auxiliary to the natural right of resistance and self-preservation.’”
When the Denton Independent School District was contacted by The Blaze about the Second Amendment definition, the public school’s Director of Communications and Community Relations Sharon Cox claimed that the textbook in question was merely a supplemental educational aid. Cox also stated that the official (and only school board approved) book in the history class was entitled, American Pageant.
“Please be assured that Denton ISD history teachers are disseminating the correct information on the Second Amendment,” Sharon Cox said.
If the Denton school official is correct, the students preparing for college exams are being presented with conflicting information.
The authors of United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination are Dr. John Schmalbach and Dr. John Newman. The authors referred to those who fought in the Revolutionary War as “American mobs” and “revolutionary mobs.” The textbook posed the question, “The Revolution – radical or conservative?”
An excerpt from the Revolutionary War section of the textbook compares that war to the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution. It reads:
“In comparing the three revolutions, a few historians have concentrated on the actions of revolutionary mobs, such as the American Sons of Liberty. Again there are two divergent interpretations: (1) the mobs in all three countries engaged in the same radical activities, and (2) the American mobs had a much easier time of it than the French and Russian mobs, who encountered ruthless repression by military authorities.”
The textbook also compares the Revolutionary War soldiers to the bands of guerrillas that fought during the Vietnam War and in Cuba during the 1950s and 1960s.
This textbook offers yet another reason for Americans to consider homeschooling their children.
In the minds of the history textbook authors, the British approved the Tea Party Act of 1773 merely to “help the British East India Company out of its financial problems.”
The textbook is also being used in Washington, South Carolina, and Georgia public high schools.
Meanwhile, concerned Americans have flooded Amazon.com with negative reviews about the book, driving its rating down to two out of five stars. Out of more than 500 reviews, about 400 are one star.