Letter: Teach the Second Amendment

I remember in grade school my fifth-grade teacher apparently teaching us as kids how this country was founded, and the principles upon which it was founded on. They taught us that the pilgrims settled in the new world to escape religious persecution. They taught us that all people are created equal. They taught us about the 1st Amendment (freedom of speech). But why did they not teach us about the Second Amendment? I remember quite the contrary, I recall them teaching us “that guns are bad, gun owners are bad, and there’s an epidemic of shootings in our country that can only be solved by taking everyone’s guns away.” Nothing could be farther from the truth.

They taught us that we needed to be fearful of our school being attacked by active shooters, they make us perform shooting drills, where we would have to hide under our desk. They made children fearful of firearms, They tried to make us conform to their agenda of being good little citizens, they have been trying to chip away at our fundamental rights. They failed to teach us that we were more likely to die of natural causes, or from a car wreck, or from an opioid overdose. They tried to instill in children the fear of guns, instead of a respect for them.

Our teachers did not engage our curiosity, or teach us critical thinking skills, or most importantly of all to question and challenge authority.


“I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery” — Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, Jan. 30, 1787.

Zain Eisenberg

There are 15 comments

  1. Davis

    We were taught about the 2nd Amendment where I went to school — but understanding it does not mean that it is an absolute right; in fact, when you are “taught” about it you realize it was written at a very, very, very different time in American history and that it actually has massive limitations to its breadth and scope as a “right”. You also learn that it comes with more responsibility than just about any other Amendments. You also learn that the arguments the NRA tosses around like candy are just that, candy meant to frighten people.

    So I do agree — teach the 2nd Amendment — because it will empower those who are the majority to enforce new laws, new ownership limits, and new responsibilities in order to enjoy that “right”.

    1. Brian

      Agreed. Teach that the second amendment was borne out of several state’s mistrust of a standing federal army and were advocating for a “well regulated militia”.

  2. Suzette Green

    Firearms for shooting people, such as AK 47, AR-15, should not be in the hands of the general public.
    They are not designed for game hunting.
    Firearms should be kept locked away, not accessible to children or unstable persons.
    Education about the Second amendment written in context of the late 18th Century is an entirely different perspective from the 21st Cy. A few weeks ago, people purchased fishing licenses in order to march at the green market downtown, because Florida is an “open carry” state. They were most definitely not fishing, and several were confrontational to the public. How would you like for your children to see that when the family is in town for fun and shopping for vegetables?
    Florida – home of the “never wed and nearly dead” – or multiple wed, and running for their lives.

  3. Bruce E. Woych

    Overview: America’s Gun and Violence Crisis; And: How the 2nd Amendment Got Hijacked by the NRA and Antonin Scalia
    Don Hazen, Steven Rosenfeld, AlterNet
    he Challenges Ahead: Protecting Our Society From Gun Violence
    An Editorial by Don Hazen
    also posted here>
    Baltimore Nonviolence Center
    Tuesday, January 15, 2013
    Overview: America’s Gun and Violence Crisis; And: How the 2nd Amendment Got Hijacked by the NRA and Antonin Scalia.
    Is it education, history or facts that you truly want? I am not sure you want any of these. The basic historic facts are well known by scholars of the Second amendment, and they are not what is popularly created by market salesmen and special interest hacks. The article cited above is outlined by the editors that published it:
    [Quoted Excerpt)
    “Like most realities in America where consumers and citizens are routinely victimized, the adage “follow the money” always rings true. The NRA for all intents and purposes is the advocacy arm for the booming gun and ammunition industry, where in turn, some of the top gunmaker companies are owned by Wall Street hedge funds.
    Gun violence is a huge problem for our society and a top editorial priority for AlterNet. Over the weekend we published Steven Rosenfeld’s illuminating article, “The Surprising Unknown History of the NRA [5].” Below is, “How the Second Amendment Was Hijacked by Antonin Scalia and the NRA.” Rosenfeld is a veteran investigative reporter, deeply immersed in the history and controversies regarding American gun culture, gun violence and gun control laws.”
    What you John Q. Public don’t know is that the 2nd amendment was changed by Antonin Scalia to fit the market incentives of the NRA Lobby.
    I encourage all to read the full article but, if allowed, here are two brief segments that begin to tell the truth.

    “The founding fathers had numerous gun control laws that responded to the public safety needs of that era,” Winkler writes. “While our own public safety needs are different and require different responses, the basic idea that gun possession must be balanced with gun safety laws was one the founders endorsed.”

    There is a larger point beyond Scalia’s vanities and hypocrises that has relevance for the nation’s emerging gun control debates. Starting in the mid-1970s ,…\\ the NRA has dominated this debate not just by touting a
    constitutional fraud—as Chief Justice Burger put it—and spending vast sums in political campaigns, but by
    deliberately avoiding the true history of gun rights and gun control laws in America.
    What’s most striking and relevant about that history, which follows America’s founding, was how states
    embraced the very gun controls that today’s NRA religiously opposes and has unwound in recent decades
    As Bogey said in his witness chair: You want the truth, “You can’t handle the truth!” From (A Few Good Men)

  4. wowjustwow

    They should also teach about how Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, etc, disarmed their countrymen before slaughtering millions of them. And spare me the fact checking nonsense. Talk to people who actually lived and fled these countries and their draconian regimes.

    1. maojustmao

      It’s not so much about how totalitarians take guns from people, it’s about how they ensure that the only people who have guns are the ones who support them and are ideologically committed to use those weapons on the people who are seen as the “enemy”. Kind of like how the NRA and Trump go together like, oh, I dunno, the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot? We’d better give more guns to immigrants and minorities, so they don’t end up in camps.

  5. maojustmao

    The original Red Dawn (1984) should be required viewing at least once a year in every grade of public education. It handles school shootings and the importance of finding solid cover, the threat of communist aggression, and the do’s and do-not’s of guerilla insurgency against a massive invading army. I think that would pretty much cover everyone’s concerns here.

    Children of color will be given an alternative assembly entitled: “How not to get shot in the back by the police.”

  6. The Volstead Act

    Up until the St. Valentines Day Massacre, anybody in the U.S. could own a Thompson sub-machine gun without registering it. Then the gangsters of the 1930’s field tested the Thompson for the U.S. Army up until World War II began.

    As for the conflation between the individual’s right to own a gun and state militias, that began with the Battle of New Orleans in 1814, under Col. Andrew Jackson, not the Revolutionary War, and has continued to this day.

    Machines making machines has its attractions.

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