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Bryan Preston

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September 17, 2013 - 8:46 am

Author John J. Newman has some explaining to do. His textbook, United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination, literally rewrites the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

On page 102 of Newman’s book (page 134 of the PDF version), the author cuts the Second Amendment in half and leaves out several key words.

newman-book-1

The truncated Second Amendment is also in the print version.

newman-book-2

The actual Second Amendment reads:

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Newman leaves the second half of the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right of the people to keep and bear arms without infringement by the federal government, completely out.

Newman may defend his editing of the Second Amendment via the sentence that precedes his rendering of the Bill of Rights: “Here is a summary of the rights guaranteed in each amendment.” “Summary,” in that sentence, would be his key word.

But the Second Amendment clearly guarantees the individual’s right to keep and bear arms. Newman has relegated that right only to those who are members of a government militia. That is not how the courts see the Second Amendment. In District of Columbia vs Heller (2008) the United States Supreme Court held that “the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

Newman’s textbook, therefore, is wrong. His book makes no mention of the Heller decision, and mutilates the Second Amendment in such a way as to remove the core of its meaning, which is that firearm ownership is a civil right on a par with the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press and the right to peacefully assemble to protest government action or policy. Those are guaranteed in the First Amendment; firearm ownership is guaranteed by itself in the Second.

Newman and his publisher, AMSCO School Publications, need to provide some answers. As the book stands, it teaches a wildly incorrect reading of one of the most important civil rights that the Constitution guarantees.

I have reached out to AMSCO School Publications for comment, and will publish their reaction if and when they provide one.

h/t Instapundit

Update: AMSCO’s new owner reacts:

Perfection Learning recently acquired AMSCO School Publications including the AP U.S. History book. This title is currently being revised and it is our intention to include the original language of the Bill of Rights in the new edition. This title is just one of hundreds of texts acquired through purchase of the company and Perfection Learning will continue reviewing all these new materials to identify any needed corrections and updates.

Karen Andersen
Customer Service

 

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
I'm a law school professor who has taught a Con Law seminar on the Second Amendment for over 20 years, was cited by Justice Scalia in the Heller opinion, and can read English.

John Newman is not ignorant. He's perpetrating a fraud.

Like Soviet propagandists, he knows that a lie, repeated often enough, will become imbedded in the open minds of children. And, once, imbedded, no amount of truth can remove it. As this instance demonstrates, public education has become nothing but indoctrination in left-wing views.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
WTF?? I'm not even going to object to bias of the butchery. Rather, why in the hell does ANYONE think it's appropriate to "summarize" something as short as the Bill of Rights?

Any teaching of the Bill of Rights should start WITH THE BILL OF RIGHTS!! Not with the Living Bible / Reader's Digest / Cliff Note's version. The summary does violence to the First Amendment as well, and I don't doubt it abuses the others also.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The anti-2nd Amendment community has for a long time deliberately misread the amendment, to the point of ignoring the logic structure of the sentence.

The structure is this:

This is a benefit derived from X; the rights to X shall not be infringed.

To read it in any different context requires deliberate, intentional ignorance.

For example; suppose we said:

"Healthy bones being good for children, the right of children to drink milk shall not be infringed".

The "progressive" read of that sentence, taken as they read the 2nd amendment, would be: "Only children with healthy bones are allowed to drink milk".

Excuse me, but you have to be a real **** to interpret that sentence that way.

Quality orchestras being of value to the culture of the state, the right of the people to own musical instruments shall not be infringed.

Clearly I've just said that only orchestra members can own instruments?

They are not making a mistake with their faulty interpretation- it's very chillingly deliberate deception.



1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (65)
All Comments   (65)
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This is what happens when we have Republican leaders who are willing to go along to get along. Stand up to the teachers union, dump federal education control on all levels, and take back our schools while there is still time. Things like this text book are not accidents.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've pointed out to a number of gun control types, that the American Revolution started over that very issue. The shooting started when the British troops marched out of Boston to seize the arms of the colonial militia. Interestingly enough Britain continued along those lines, and we didn't.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Also, the US BoRs was based upon the English one, created after the English Revolution, and the English BoRs also had a right to bear arms right.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Why are any of the institutions we're discussing here not just using the U S Constitution as a primary text for this class ?
Perchance, is it because a bunch of 'dead white guys' were involved in it's creation, debate and approval ?
NNnnaaahhh, that would be too nutty to even imagine, wouldn't it...?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Even with his revisions, there's still a lot for the pro-rights side. After all, 10 USC Ch. 13 Sect. 311 Para. (a) "The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard." That's who the Militia is. Not just the National Guard and the Reserves. (Note: Section 313 of title 32 talks about eligibility for joining the NG which can take people up to age 64.)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Did anyone notice the misinterpretation of the 1st Amendment? More PC history.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
According to my son who took AP US History last year, the bill of rights was not a significant part of the class lesson. However, this year he is taking AP US Government, and his textbook has the entire Constitution, Bill of Rights and a thorough explanation of the gun rights issue, including court challenges.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What claptrap. The language of the Constitution is not written in the bureaucratese that the Obamacare law was written in. It was written in plain understandable English. It is brief enough that it does not need to be summarized by subversives such as Mr. Newman.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Bill of Rights (and the Constitution in general) is not a "list of people's rights" as stated in the text above the reworked amendments. It is a list of prohibitions of government actions. The distinction is critical, which is why progressives have to obscure it with crap like this textbook. The government cannot infringe the people's right to free speech, to bear arms, to peaceably assemble, and so on. The Bill of Rights was never intended as a limited list of actions allowed to individuals, but to the state.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The text of the Bill of Rights is not that long. Why not, then, include the complete accurate text? Obviously the answer is "yes" unless, of course, you wish to intentionally perpetuate a fraud.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Why not, then, include the complete accurate text?"

Look what happened when the unlettered TP cretins had the original text read to them by sympathetic protoNazis (Republicans)! They got ideas! They started getting involved. The organized and rallied! They threatened the STATUS QUO! My God! Like the IRS woman said, "they're dangerous." {Sarcasm}
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
He also added the word "state" to "militia" when there was no mention of a state anything in the Second Amendment. It simply says militia, which, at the time, was pretty much any group of like minded men who formed by agreement to protect their rights, whether with firearms or rakes, and who needed no permission to do so from any level of government. In fact, the idea that the militia would be controlled by the state is in direct conflict with the idea of a free people needing to keep and bear arms.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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