Textbook Gets Bill of Rights, Right

, Malcolm A. Kline, 1 Comment

When you wade through a sea of textbooks and lectures that mangle American history, finding one that doesn’t makes an impression.

Into this category falls The Bill of Rights in Translation: What It Really Means by Amie Jane Leavitt. To see how accurate it is, just look at how this entry in the Kids’ Translations series from Capstone Press handles what is arguably currently the most controversial amendment to the U. S. Constitution, particularly in an era of gun-free zones.

“To protect the country, citizens sometimes must serve as soldiers,” Leavitt explains. “Citizens also have a right to protect themselves.”

“The government can’t stop people from owning guns.” Leavitt later amplifies this point in an amusing explanation of “bear arms” in her “Translation Guide” at the end of her book.

“We’re not talking about wearing sleeveless shirts,” she writes. “We’re not even talking about having arms like a grizzly bear.

“In the Bill of Rights, to bear arms means to have weapons.” The book came out last year and is geared towards grades 8-9. Philip Bigler, the director of The James Madison Center at James Madison University, served as consultant on the book.

About the only downside to the book is that it is printed in China but then, maybe they’ll learn something too.