April 09, 2013

If true, I'd complain too

An 8th grader at Northeast Middle School in Bristol, CT, apparently was given a worksheet about the Second Amendment to the US Constitution which stated:

  • “The courts have consistently determined that the Second Amendment does not ensure each individual the right to bear arms,”
  • “The courts have never found a law regulating the private ownership of weapons unconstitutional,"
  • "the Second Amendment is not incorporated against the states,"
  • “This means that the rights of this amendment are not extended to the individual citizens of the states,”
  • “So a person has no right to complain about a Second Amendment violation by state laws,"
  • "the Second Amendment 'only provides the right of a state to keep an armed National Guard.'”

Um, where to start?? Instructional Fair, the publisher of the worksheet, hasn't heard of a "little" thing called District of Columbia v. Heller? And McDonald v. Chicago? Really?? Let's see what occurred in these US Supreme Court cases ...

District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual's right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home and within federal enclaves.

A-HA! Only federal enclaves, eh? Not so fast, Jasper:

McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010), is a landmark[1] decision of the Supreme Court of the United States that determined whether the Second Amendment applies to the individual states. The Court held that the right of an individual to "keep and bear arms" protected by the Second Amendment is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and applies to the states. The decision cleared up the uncertainty left in the wake of District of Columbia v. Heller as to the scope of gun rights in regard to the states.

Now, given that I'm familiar with the field (teaching), it may be that the publication date of the worksheet is out of date. As you can see, Heller and McDonald are fairly recent cases. Dated materials are used in schools all the time. However, in a field like social studies where history and civics are covered, the instructor has to be on his/her toes to make sure materials are current. And this is a perfect example.

On the other hand, it may be that these materials are current and the author(s) have no idea what they hell they're talking about. I certainly hope it's the former.

Posted by Hube at April 9, 2013 12:24 PM | TrackBack

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