People across the web are up in arms today over a Second Amendment explanation given in a Texas high school textbook.
The book under scrutiny is called U.S. History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Exams. School officials say the book is a supplemental textbook for Advanced Placement history students.
The book contains a Bill of Rights study section in which brief explanations for the first ten amendments of the constitution are given. Many across the web are pointing out the questionable summary given for the rights granted to citizens in the Second Amendment.
The book explains the amendment as follows:
“The people have a right to keep and bear arms in a state militia.”
This extremely brief summary of the amendment seems to apply that citizens need to be in a state militia in order to maintain their right to own a firearm – a view that many disagree with.
A more commonly held view than the one proposed in the book is that a militia is necessary to protect a free state, and in order to have a militia the citizenry must be armed. Thus, citizens must maintain the right to bear arms.
Politics professor Dave Corbin of Kings College in New York spoke to The Blaze today about the perceived amendment misinterpretation in the text.
“The incorrect description of “the right to keep and bear arms in a state militia” above makes one’s right dependent upon’s one’s membership in a state militia,” he said. “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.’”
Sharon Cox, the Director of Communications and Community Relations for the Denton, Texas Independent School District, released a statement today on the supplemental textbook’s place in the school’s curriculum. Here’s an excerpt from her statement:
“The book in question, U.S. History: Preparing for Advanced Placement Exams, is a supplement instructional aid and not the official textbook for any history classes. In this supplement, it states that the following is a “summary statement.” The teachers and staff are aware of this “summary statement” and are teaching the amendments from the classroom textbook, American Pageant. The only approved textbook for these classes is American Pageant. All other materials are “supplemental.”
Please be assured that Denton ISD history teachers are disseminating the correct information on the Second Amendment.”