A pop quiz on the U.S. Constitution given in an eighth-grade history class has brought forth the issue of inconsistent gun control laws. The quiz included the following scenario: “Mr. Jones’ gun was confiscated at a police traffic stop, even though he had the proper permit and license of ownership of the gun.”
The quiz followed up with two questions, one asking students whether or not the situation is Constitutional, the other asking students to discuss the Constitutional amendment involved with the scenario.
The teacher that distributed the pop quiz, at a school in Campobello, SC, determined that this situation was, indeed, Constitutional. When a student marked “no,” the teacher scribbled out the student’s answer and replaced it with “yes.”
According to The Daily Caller, the student also wrote that the scenario involved the Fourth Amendment. The teacher wrote that it was the Second Amendment, or the right to bear arms, that was actually being discussed. The teacher’s grading of the quiz angered the student in question’s parents, who publicized the graded quiz to media outlets.
Whether the student or teacher was correct is difficult to answer. The scenario in the question does, of course, involve the issue of gun ownership, or the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Amendment, however, prevents authorities from unreasonable searches and seizures of personal property without a warrant. In that regard, the student’s response was justified.
Although the student's quiz probably shouldn't have been marked incorrect, the true issue at hand is the fact that gun laws are not consistent. States interpret the Constitution's Second Amendment on a widely varying scale. In New Mexico, for instance, police officers that feel threatened can legally take weapons from gun-owners in cars.
The particular laws in South Carolina, of course, are not simple enough to be summed up in a scenario as short as the teacher wrote on his quiz. The South Carolina Code of Laws prohibits people from carrying handguns, for example, but allows them if the handgun is “in a closed compartment in a vehicle” or if it’s being transferred “between two places where handguns are legal.” There are other, more specific laws relating to various types of weapons in the state, which has considerably more lax laws regarding gun ownerships than most other U.S. states.
Update: We got this e-mail from someone who claims to be a parent of the child in question. Here it is, in full -
We regret to inform you that our portion of the information regarding the article written the other day was faulty. We were told something that was, in fact, incorrect by our daughter, and given the current atmosphere in our country with our schools and also being avid supporters of the Constitution and all it stands for, we jumped at it before thinking. We should have done our research and spoken with the teacher directly before we made any decisions to contact any news agencies, and we instead went in blindly.
We spoke with the superintendent last evening regarding this whole situation. He does agree that some of the content in the document is inappropriate for kids in an 8th grade class, however the “fact” of the teacher saying that gun confiscation is constitutional is another matter entirely. He stated that the class was never told that, and that he had the actual answer key that the teacher was going from. So, now this teacher’s reputation, your reputation, and our credibility are on the line because we jumped at a situation that is proving to be false. To take this a step further, I looked up the worksheet last night and found the answer key. The superintendent is correct that the answer key reads that the question regarding gun confiscation is unconstitutional. Unfortunately, all we have is our daughter’s statement against the adults in the school and the answer key that we found, and it is looking to us like our daughter made a false statement.
We need to correct the article that was posted online, as this teacher is not the unconstitutional “monster” that we made him out to be. We don’t know him personally, but from what we have been told, this man is an “American Patriot” (to quote the superintendent), and wholly believes in the Constitution and the natural rights of the American people. We feel horrible for having provided you with false information, and we feel horrible for making this teacher out to be something that he is not.
Again, the content of the worksheet is still an issue, but this man’s character is not. Please let us know what we can do to get this removed from that article as soon as possible. I know I have written it already, but we are extremely sorry for all of this!