Incendiary Image of the Day: McGraw Hill Doesn’t Understand the Second Amendment

McGraw Hill's criminal law for the criminal justice professional test (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

TTAG reader MP writes:

I am a first year law student. I was studying for a criminal law midterm and came upon this question from McGraw Hills’ website [] that features quizzes on their “criminal law for the criminal justice professional.” I’m unsure if the site and book were created before the Heller case but this question stuck out like a sore thumb. As you can see I gave the correct answer. [ED: actually not. McDonald gave a thumbs-up to “reasonable regulations.” As the left-leaning Dixie Chicks sang, there’s your trouble.]


  1. avatar CA.Ben says:

    “reasonable regulations” is still worlds away from “in conjunction with a regulated militia”

    One keeps guns away from violent felons, the other disarms everybody but the government.

  2. avatar DonS says:

    Question 8 needs a choice E) None of the above.

    1. avatar DonS says:

      Well, technically, I guess (B) could be correct, if the test was written prior to Heller, and is only based on Miller.

    2. avatar Craig says:

      +1. The RKBA hasn’t been absolute since the 30s (and probably earlier in certain states), and the “well regulated militia” thing is just wrong.

    3. avatar Cliff H says:

      If you are responding to “What is the correct answer for this test,” B would probably be correct. If you are referring to the Constitution of the United States of America, and SCOTUS be damned, the correct answer is “A. The Right to keep and bear arms is absolute.”

      The majority of the Founding Fathers were lawyers. Those that weren’t were still educated and well-travelled men. If they had intended other than the Second Amendment was an absolute natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right belonging to each and every person then I’m pretty sure that’s how they would have written the amendment.

      If you are willing to allow that the government has the authority to declare that a criminal no longer has this natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right then you have handed to the government the authority to restrict this right at will by simply deciding what level of crime allows them to deny you the freedom to exercise that right. THAT is exactly what the writers of the Bill of Rights were attempting to prevent. And what if the Congress simply decides to make it illegal, a crime, to form or join in a militia? Where are your 2A rights then?

      1. avatar crndl says:

        last paragraph, well said

  3. avatar mark_anthony_78 says:

    So did you get ANY questions right?

    1. avatar Bobbu says:

      Yes. Everyone related to what my midterm was on that week. I either skipped or guessed on question unrelated to what our teacher is testing us on because I didn’t really care about some of them. Some of the questions were unrelated to what we have studied in criminal law and the quiz unrelated to the case book we are using for class. I got a 90 on the midterm.

  4. avatar Albaniaaaa says:

    They are wrong about the speech one as well. Pretty cool, keep your kids away from public education.

    1. avatar Nate says:

      +1. I just don’t understand where this society is going. I mean I guess this is for racism and bullying; however words only have power to inflict injury if you let them. Seems like we will end up as a bunch of thin-skinned pacifists under an aristocratic police state.

      1. avatar BuellRider82 says:

        …we aren’t already???

    2. avatar dsreno says:

      You have to be careful what kind of speech you use. If you utter the wrong words, your Weirding Module could misfire and hurt someone.

      1. avatar A Trusted Friend in Science says:

        Great reference. If we had those it’d make for some interesting First and Second Amendment discussions.

    3. avatar Jeff says:

      We don’t know from the OP whether it’s a public school or a private school.
      Among accredited law schools, there are about twice as many private ones as public ones, so I’d say it’s more likely, Albaniaaa, that you’d want to say “keep your kids away from private education” instead.

      On top of that, one should remember that McGraw-Hill is a publicly held company whose sole responsibility is to its shareholders. McGraw-Hill Education is a division of McGraw-Hill Financial Corporation (so you see where our nation’s priorities are there…).

      1. avatar Albaniaaaa says:

        I just don’t plan on sending my kids to school. I prefer to raise them with my wife. I agree with you though. Could be either.

        1. avatar Jeff says:

          (please note I am a different Jeff)

          What are you going to do if/when your child decides that they want a college education?

          This is a college-level questionnaire. That’s what’s the most astounding about it.

      2. avatar Bobby says:

        Just to clarify, I assume this book was for a criminal justice college class. I took the quizzes to test some of my knowledge for a criminal law midterm.

  5. avatar Powers says:

    Why do they hate this country so damn much? Why does a Country of free people who abide by the document it was founded on scare them so much? I can’t imagine myself hating any part of the Constitution because I do not agree with the liberals and anti-rights crowd. I would never want the 1st Amendment to be limited or struck down with legal rulings that limit it to a certain narrow definition, or any other Amendment. I can really see no other reason other than pure hate for this Country instilled in them by an agenda driven education system and entitlement hungry losers.

    1. avatar JTwig says:

      They don’t hate our country, they hate themselves, but can’t accept that so they project. Their white guilt has overwhelmed them.

  6. avatar David says:

    Number 7 is as bad as number 8. We all know full well there is no Supreme Court decision that says the Constitution “must” be read in any fashion let alone one invoking the word “requires” in front of “a well regulated militia”. A short walk through the historical writings of the Founding Fathers shows they viewed the right as both as an individual and corporate right.

  7. avatar Xanthro says:

    The introductory clause is important in the Second Amendment, as it means that arms up to and including those required to form a Well Regulated Militia are protected by the Amendment.

    Without it, people could legally argue that only hunting weapons, or non military arms are protected. The introduction clause shows a goal for the right, so that the people can form a Well Regulated Militia if needed.

    See the court case Nunn v. State on how this works. I’ll cite below.

    The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, and not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is, that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right,

    1. avatar Albaniaaaa says:


      People like to use age as a reason to ban firearms from people as well. They used to use race too. The 2nd amendment does not discriminate.

    2. avatar Salty Bear says:

      So when antis bring up the but-you’re-not-in-a-militia argument, we have to respond with, “I’d LOVE to be in a militia! But how do you expect me to be an active member of my local militia if you’ve outlawed my battle rifle?”

  8. avatar Chris says:

    PLEASE require me to be well regulated in the unorganized militia. You can send me my M4 and training ammunition any time now so I am up to par with the organized militia and US Armed Forces.

    1. avatar Ing says:


      The Second Amendment has to be read and interpreted in light of the militia clause. If it’s meaningless, why was it put there? Problem is, it doesn’t mean what the progressive left wants it to mean. It announces a noble purpose — a task for the government, if you will — which parallels the individual right to keep and bear arms.

      So let’s do it.

      If the government will accept that training me up together with the rest of this nation’s vast citizen militia would contribute to the cause of liberty and domestic tranquility, then I’m willing to be regulated. Otherwise…

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        The whole point of a militia, well regulated or not, is to regain your rights from a tyrannical government, not to be accepted by, trained by, or regulated by that government. The federal and state governments’ sole role in the case of a will regulated militia should be, at best, benign neglect.

        Only if a quasi or para-military force is being raised and trained for an obviously criminal enterprise should the government or law enforcement have any interest in it whatsoever.

        1. avatar Ing says:

          I’ll have to disagree with you there.

          Why is the phrase “well regulated” in there at all, if not to spell out the need for regulation? Defense against tyranny was certainly there in the context, and would be a legitimate use of the individual right and of the militia, but it isn’t spelled out. Regulation is.

          The government is directed not to infringe on the individual right, but isn’t directed to stay away from regulating the militia.

        2. avatar Xanthro says:

          Why is the phrase “well regulated” in there at all, if not to spell out the need for regulation?
          Because well regulated does not mean subject to regulation. It’s a military term, it means well armed, trained, and lead.

          Just as a well regulated watch means it’s working properly, not that it is subject to regulations, a well regulated militia is one that is working properly, and this means properly armed and trained and lead.

          Nor was there ever the intent that body of people actually be a well regulated militia all the time, see Federalist Paper #29. It was the intent that the body of the people be well armed so as to form the well regulated militia when required.

          Remember, in the military there is the concept of regular and irregular. It’s not based on regulations. Irregular is still subject to regulations. The difference is training, arms and organization.

        3. avatar Ing says:

          Xanthro, your definition is almost exactly what I meant when I said “regulated.” Which *does* mean subject to regulation, as in being organized, trained, and directed for proper function.

          The meaning of the word has been perverted by politics, where regulations are merely restrictions with punishments attached. Restrictions are a poor substitute for proper regulation, not a synonym for it. I think we all agree that the antis are barking up the wrong tree on that one.

          My point is that as believers in the Second Amendment, we tend to forget that the opening clause has a purpose beyond being willfully misinterpreted by the anti-gun faction — some agency, presumably the government, is directed to regulate the militia for proper function (i.e., the security of a free state).

          If the Second Amendment were to be fully realized in American society, all able-bodied citizens of age would basically be members of the National Guard and would be issued real military weapons to train with at regular intervals (probably wouldn’t get to keep them at home and take them to the range for fun, but we can dream, I guess).

        4. avatar Xanthro says:

          Xanthro, your definition is almost exactly what I meant when I said “regulated.” Which *does* mean subject to regulation, as in being organized, trained, and directed for proper function.
          Well regulated doesn’t mean subject to regulation. Just because the stem of the word comes from the same source does not mean they are the same words.

          The former is to be in good working order, the latter means subject to rules.
          My point is that as believers in the Second Amendment, we tend to forget that the opening clause has a purpose beyond being willfully misinterpreted by the anti-gun faction — some agency, presumably the government, is directed to regulate the militia for proper function (i.e., the security of a free state).
          No, no entity or body is in charge of the militia, by definition, the militia is the body of citizenry. The militia is in charge of itself. It can’t be subject to the government, because it’s design as a protection form the government. See Federalist Papers #29.

          If the Second Amendment were to be fully realized in American society, all able-bodied citizens of age would basically be members of the National Guard and would be issued real military weapons to train with at regular intervals (probably wouldn’t get to keep them at home and take them to the range for fun, but we can dream, I guess).
          The National Guard is part of the Army, it is subject to Federal Control. Remember, without the consent of Congress, States cannot keep troops. Even State National guards are part of the Army, they are not the militia.

          You and I are the militia, the Second Amendment is there so that if the need arose that we and others can then form a Well Regulated Militia and protect the country, from enemies foreign or domestic. You are supposed to supply your own arms, which isn’t possible if you can’t own them. That’s what the Second Amendment protects, your personal arms so that you can form an effective military fighting force.

        5. avatar Ing says:

          Regulated vs. regulation: no machine or entity can be in working order without being subject to some set of rules. Rules do restrict actions, there’s no way around it, but restrictions aren’t the point; proper function is the point.

          SOMEBODY has to regulate it. Historically, towns, counties, and states kept rolls of militia-aged men and were supposed to provide a venue for training, and the militia mostly organized itself. Or didn’t. In practice, nobody wanted to donate enough time to make a real militia function, and few rank-and-file citizens could afford the time to train, let alone muster out for a campaign. So it all died out pretty quickly.

          I brought up the National Guard because it seems to me that it fills the same kind of role that the militia was initially intended for — to train periodically and assemble when necessary in case of emergency. Although the comparison breaks down after that, as you pointed out. Professional army and all that. As for the weapons, I just meant that in the modern context, a full-auto capable rifle would probably be centrally issued rather than bring-your-own.

          I may not have made my point very well, but I still stand by it. The Constitution, *as written*, allows plenty of latitude for the government to organize and regulate militias. If the feds wanted to train the whole eligible population and have everyone take turns serving in a more or less permanent “national guard,” they could. If they wanted to do an Obamacare style thing where everyone was required to buy a military-capable weapon and tax credits were set up for it based on income, they could. The government is allowed to provide for the defense of the state by regulating the militia. (Going back to the definition, making rules to ensure proper function.) It has chosen to ignore the militia and go for a standing army, but that’s another story.

      2. avatar LongPurple says:

        The “Militia clause” states a very good reason WHY the Constitutional Federal Government would not want to infringe on the people’s individual “right to keep and bear arms”. The Militia — drawn from the armed populace — was the primary defense force of the new nation, and the government of that republic. The Militia might very well be the only thing that stood between the officials of that Constitutional Government and a prison cell — or the gallows.

  9. avatar Toasty says:

    McDonald said “reasonable regulations”, not Heller, but said those reasonable regulations must comport with the enumerated list they made in Heller; i.e. Prohibitions on felons and the mentally ill and my personal favorite, the “common use” doctrine. How unfortunate to us that no gun is “common” to an anti gun judge. MD or NY’s AWB is going to SCOTUS though to clear that up though. I can’t see a carry case going there first. Has anyone read Emily Millers new book on gun control? A friend of mine read it and said she interviewed Scalia on the 2A and he allegedly said he wanted to “resolve the semiautomatic issue” next. But kept everything hush hush otherwise and wouldnt say why any other 2A cases were taken up. Can anyone confirm this?

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Senior moment. Text amended.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      “Prohibitions on felons and the mentally ill and my personal favorite, the “common use” doctrine.”

      And this is where the problem of SCOTUS becomes evident. These judges spent a lot of time and effort on this and other cases. They and their clerks read the twenty seven words of the Second Amendment until they were memorized, along with the punctuation error. They studied historical writings both of our Founding Fathers and of England.

      And after all that they still did not believe that the words, “…shall not be infringed.” do not allow the government to decide that certain people and certain types of arms may be infringed. The mind boggles.

      Infringed is NOT an ambiguous term. It is definite and ABSOLUTE. While it may make some people uncomfortable to admit that even criminals and persons of questionable mental stability still retain their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to bear arms in their own defense, to quote many other comments on this site and elsewhere; “Your discomfort DOES NOT trump my natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right!” And no, I am not a criminal, though some people have wondered from time to time if I am crazy. 😉 I certainly do not want to give the power to the government to decide according to their own standards when they think I am too crazy to exercise my 2A rights.

      1. avatar Will says:

        Well, there is part of your problem. Progressive Liberal socialists HATE absolutes (other than absolute power granted to themselves.)

  10. avatar Aaron says:

    Damn youll make a fine ambulance chaser.

  11. avatar JoshtheViking says:

    Doesn’t surprise me. McGraw Hill doesn’t understand fluid mechanics or chemical engineering thermodynamics either. I know from experience that they publish some crappy textbooks.

  12. avatar dwb says:

    once you get into the real world, these kind of questions / exam cease to become useful.never read a contract or legal brief that was multiple choice.

  13. avatar Ralph says:

    No wonder the current crop of school children are so fvcking stupid. And I thought it was all genetics.

  14. The test is correct tho:

    “Finally, the adjective “well-regulated” implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training.”

    Heller v D.C.

    So Congress can pass laws that require discipline and training…

  15. avatar Fred says:

    You are seeing the difference between academia and the real world. Whatever is in your book is the absolute truth, whatever they say is the truth is the truth to them. Reality has nothing to do with it, they write their own reality, which we see every day from the anti-gun side.

  16. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    Well both so called checked answers were completely unconstitutional, and complete BS.

  17. avatar BStacks says:

    You are not very good at multiple choice tests if you missed 7&9. 8 needs an E, I would have left it blank on principle.

  18. avatar Blue says:

    Teachers and Administrators need their credentials pulled for using any such text book and the publisher needs the crap sued out of them for subversion.

  19. avatar Alex Ignatiev says:

    This test has a number of problems. First, there is no correct answer to question 2 (should state that the Bill of Rights is fully effective against the Federal government and partially incorporated against the States); second, question 6 has an obvious typographical error (statues instead of statutes) which is quite common; third, the answer to question 6 is wrong (statutes which are vague or ambiguous fall into the separate constitutional remedy of unconstitutionality by reason of vagueness); and fourth, question 8 has no correct answer.

    Frankly, this set of questions is embarrassing. If I gave these questions to my students on the final we just had, they would be embarrassed.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email