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Ron Paul Fan Site Goes After High School in Denton Over Textbook’s Second Amendment Definition

Texas has plenty of well-known textbook-related controversies. But this week the Daily Paul, an officially unaffiliated site popular among fans of Ron Paul, has a post encouraging readers to call Guyer High School, in Denton, and ask administrators-slash-complain about the AP History textbook. On page 102, the book apparently defines the ungrammatical second amendment this way:

“The people have the right to bear arms in a state militia.”

No matter how you feel about gun rights — and however you think I feel, you’re probably wrong — the real problem is the language in the amendment itself. As an English major and a writer, I find the language confusing. (Hence the perpetual debate over interpretations.) But don’t take it from me. Kurt Eichenwald goes deep linguistically here.

  • Tom Derman

    Daily Paul is filled with folks who would participate in book burnings.

  • Benz Juan

    The Daily Paul is filled with folks who would gladly participate in a book burning. In just a few hours after this story appeared there it was linked on Stormfront. Here is a screenshot I took last night

  • Mike

    The language of the 2nd amd is irrelevant to what Denton did here, they also changed the !st amd, inserting (separation of church and state), which doesn’t appear in the 1st amd, and they changed the 3rd and 4th, the rest aren’t visible in the picture but they’re probably changed as well. They’re simply making things up, presenting the amd’s as they wish they were and presenting them as fact.

    I’m sure their defense will be that they were just trying to explain the amd’s to the students but that’s not true, that they didn’t even bother presenting the original text of any of the amd’s shows that they’re clearly trying to imprint their particular viewpoint on to the students and that should concern everyone regardless of how you feel abut guns.

  • BradfordPearson

    This is one of those AP study texts, right? The ones that whittle down history to its base, study-easing parts? The ones printed just so kids can get 3s and not disappoint their parents?

  • losingmyreligion

    You obviously have not seen Shakespeare ‘translated’ for today’s high school students.

  • AmicusBrief

    I take it the authors of this “advanced placement” text book are unfamiliar with the Supreme Court’s Heller and McDonald decisions which rather definitively resolve the question of whether the Second Amendment creates a “collective” (e.g. militia only) or individual right to bear arms. Too bad the authors of a text book for Denton’s best and brightest history students can’t be troubled to keep up with major developments in constitutional law that are universally reported in the mainline media.

  • tested

    Regardless of what you think of this issue, I think we can agree textbooks should never present the constitution this way. It should be printed as it was written. Anything else is not accurate.

    If they can do that, why not paraphrase Neil Armstrong with: “that was easy and this is a big deal” or “cool dude!”

  • Dan Druck

    Guilt by unsolicited association? Were you dropped on your head as a child?

  • amanda


    Parents are ok with 3’s?

    Yesterday was Constitution Day, and in my daughter’s classes (not in Texas), the teachers HAD to discuss the Constitution… So, yesterday it was free speech. One kid took that to heart and asked, “Does that mean I can say (f-word) today?) Yutes.

    Bradford’s right…AP curriculum is very, very diluted. It’s just a higher level of teaching to the test.

  • Jim Henderson

    Of all criticisms of the Second Amendment, the one most obnoxious to my senses is that it is ungrammatical.

    The introduction of doubt as to the meaning of a phrase is a lawyer’s trick and a judge’s power. There is no question arising from the contemporary materials that the Second Amendment was intended to protect the right of individuals to keep and bear arms. That questions later arose merely reflects the labors of lawyers and judges in service of the cause of disarming the people.

  • Jim Henderson

    Weird. I examined your screenshot and missed any reference to burning the book.

    The text incorrectly summarizes the import of the Second Amendment. What would you have people do in response to that error?

    Put another way, what would you want done with a grade school math book that defined addition as the reduction in value of one stated number by the value of another stated number? If it offered the example 4 + 4 = 0 in proof of that erroneous definition would you be perturbed? Would you object? Would you want a change of texts?

  • Anonymous

    If the founders didn’t think militias had anything to do with the law, why mention them at all? Sadly, gun fanatics are so paranoid and worried to give a single inch, they lose credibility on things like this. The amendment obviously has confusing language. The other amendments are more clear and as a result there is much less debate.