As the grassroots revolt against Common Core grows stronger, attention to lessons contained in textbooks approved for use within the Common Core curricula is increasing, as well.
One of the chief criticisms of the standards mandated as part of the Common Core education program is that it is one-size-fits-all, federally funded, and permissive of fundamental errors that affect the quality of education of students.
Such errors include those found in history textbooks approved by the Common Core State Standards Initiative — the official name of the scholastic standards copyrighted by the Washington, D.C.-based National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).
In a textbook approved by Common Core for use by students studying for the Advanced Placement (AP) history exam, the Second Amendment is defined this way: "The Second Amendment: The people have the right to keep and bear arms in a state militia."
Another book that received the Common Core stamp of approval informs students that the Second Amendment “grant[s] citizens the right to bear arms as members of a militia of citizen-soldiers.”
Then, there is a worksheet reportedly approved by Common Core for use by history teachers in preparing lessons on the Bill of Rights that “informs” students, “The Government of the United States is currently revisiting The Bill of Rights. They have determined that it is outdated and may not remain in its current form any longer.”
Actually, the statement is not a statement of fact, but an introduction to a proposed lesson asking the students to “prioritize, revise, prune two and add two amendments to The Bill of Rights.”
Finally, there is the description of the Second Amendment published in a book approved by Common Core for use in elementary schools.
Regarding the Second Amendment, the authors of the book state:
This amendment states that people have the right to certain weapons, providing that they register them and they have not been in prison. The founding fathers included this amendment to prevent the United States from acting like the British who had tried to take weapons away from the colonists.
During an interview on Fox News, the superintendent of an Illinois middle school that is using this book, Bob Hill, defended its warped retelling of history: “What happens with the right to bear arms in the context of 2014, is the right to bear arms in reality, not as written in the Constitution, but in reality is it in any way abridged and the answer is ‘yes, in some places by the need to register guns or gun owners’ and so on.”
In other words, it's not the position of Common Core that its approved texts must teach the Constitution as it is written; rather, the authors can foist as facts any falsehood, no matter how removed from “reality.”
Regardless of such admissions, constitutionallyaware parents will instantly recognize several serious misstatements of fact in that little blurb intended to “educate” their children.
First, there is nothing in the Second Amendment that excludes ownership of certain weapons from within its protection. In fact, the text of the Second Amendment is very clear regarding the government’s ability to qualify this most basic liberty: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Next, the subtle message in the definition provided by this book indoctrinates unsuspecting children with the belief that the government has the right to give and take away the right to own firearms depending on whether the person has complied with federal guidelines. This is treachery!
Although Americans have allowed this right to be redefined by Congress, the courts, and the president, the plain language of the Second Amendment explicitly forbids any infringement on this right that protects all others.
Finally, the reason for inclusion of the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights had little to do the British and more to do with future attempts by an out-of-control, all-powerful central authority disarming the American people as a step toward tyranny. Take, for example, theses statements by our forefathers regarding the purpose of the passage of this amendment:
In commenting on the Constitution in 1833, Joseph Story wrote:
The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.
In his own commentary on the works of the influential jurist Blackstone, Founding-era legal scholar St. George Tucker wrote:
This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty.... The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.
Writing in The Federalist, Alexander Hamilton explained:
If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state.
There is perhaps no usurpation of the national rulers more egregious and more dangerous than the establishment of the Common Core Standards. As the examples above demonstrate (in addition to the hundreds more that could have been included), young children, unaware they are being fed a steady diet of falsehoods, grow up to be adults who accept the government’s gradual grab of all power, including the power to define civil liberties and give them and take them away as these despots see fit.
In an article examining the “real agenda” of the coalition forcing the adoption of the Common Core Standards, The New American’s Alex Newman observed:
Totalitarian leaders from Hitler to Stalin and everywhere in between have always sought to centralize and control education. The reason is simple: Whoever molds the minds of the youth can eventually dominate the population, even if it takes a generation or two. That is why tyrants in recent centuries have demanded compulsory, government-led education. Hitler made clear that he wanted to use “education” as a tool to mold German children in accordance with the National Socialist regime’s despotic and murderous ideology. So did Stalin, and numerous other infamous tyrants and mass-murderers. As Karl Marx noted in his Communist Manifesto, government-controlled schooling is essential to achieving the goals of socialism.
In his masterpiece On Liberty, renowned British philosopher and parliamentarian John Stuart Mill succinctly explained the inherent problems with government schools. “A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another; and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government ... it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by natural tendency to one over the body,” he wrote.
Although the uprising against adoption of the Common Core standards has caused many wary state lawmakers to propose bills repealing its acceptance, at least 46 states remain committed to implementing the curricula.
Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and travels nationwide speaking on nullification, the Second Amendment, the surveillance state, and other constitutional issues. Follow him on Twitter @TNAJoeWolverton and he can be reached at