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March 26, 2014

Illinois Middle School Unapologetic about Teaching "Shall Be Infringed" Version of 2nd Amendment

By Kurt Hofmann
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Grant Middle School, in Springfield, Illinois, has been under the gimlet eye of gun rights advocates of late, with the revelation that students there are being taught a rather startling version of the Second Amendment. The father of one of the students reported on the Illinois Gun Rights Facebook page that the workbook issued to students describes the Constitutional guarantee of the fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms this way:

This amendment states that people have the right to certain weapons, providing that they register them and have not been in prison. The founding fathers included the amendment to prevent the United States from acting like the British who had tried to take weapons away from the colonists.

Only "certain weapons"? Which "certain weapons"? The workbook does not say, and the Constitution certainly does not, either. Is that question to be left to the government to answer? If so, what is to stop Congress from limiting us to atlatls? Those are, after all, "certain weapons."

And what is this about the Second Amendment stating that the right is limited to those who have not been in prison? That's certainly unfamiliar, and clearly at odds with the position eloquently stated by David Codrea, that "anyone who can't be trusted with a gun can't be trusted without a custodian."

Saving the "best" for last, we see that in this version of the Second Amendment, the ownership of the "certain weapons" allowed to our docile, obedient, never-imprisoned citizens is conditional on them being registered. Now wait a second. Our nation's Founders "included the amendment to prevent the United States from acting like the British who had tried to take weapons away from the colonist," but were also content with private ownership of arms to be contingent on the government being provided with a "go here for the gun confiscations" list?

This is not the first time schools have been caught trying to indoctrinate students into a nanny-statist view of the Second Amendment. Last fall, a high school, in Texas of all places, was found to have been using an Advance Placement Test study guide that described the Second Amendment this way:

"The people have the right to keep and bear arms in a state of militia."

The publishers of that book appear to have ties with the "Common Core" program.

This is what our children, the next generation of American citizens, are being taught?

Going back to the Illinois middle school, not to worry, says Superintendent Bob Hill, because the intention is merely that the students learn about the Second Amendment "in the context of 2014." Ah--the "living, breathing Constitution" concept. A concept that by stripping the document of any fixed meaning, permits it to be "reinterpreted" in any way one wishes, leaving it with no power at all.

According to the State Journal-Register, the workbook was written by a now-retired teacher at the school. That teacher's retired status, however, has very little bearing on the situation, because the book is clearly still being used, and furthermore, Hill has no intention of stopping its use in the future:

Hill further explained that the unit in that class on the Constitution has wrapped up, and he would not ask the teacher to exclude it from future presentations.

Hill acknowledges that district policy asks teachers "to leave political persuasion out of equation of presenting information," and somehow claims that teaching some twisted version of the Second Amendment that requires gun registration is compatible with that policy. He then piously claims to be protecting teachers' "academic freedom," because they "went to college, got a degree and a license to teach."

Oh, good. So they're qualified to teach lies to the future of this nation.


A former paratrooper, Kurt Hofmann was paralyzed in a car accident in 2002. The helplessness inherent to confinement to a wheelchair prompted him to explore armed self-defense, only to discover that Illinois denies that right, inspiring him to become active in gun rights advocacy. He also writes the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column.

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