Common Core’s latest target will delight its liberal defenders

Common Core’s latest target will delight its liberal defenders

Whenever the liberal establishment launches a new crusade to brainwash our children under the guise of Common Core education, defenders of the theory will remind critics that the full name is the Common Core Curriculum Standards. The initiative, they will assert, provides a neutral template to be fleshed out with lesson plans that teach math or writing or some other essential skill. If the lesson plan happens to teach that the Holocaust is a myth or that white people are inherently evil or that global warming is indisputable and 100% man-made, it’s not the fault of the federal government — it’s just a coincidence.

The latest coincidence is a lesson about guns courtesy of public television station KQED that just happens to hew to the leftist argument that gun ownership (like white people) is inherently evil. You’d never guess that from the title, which is “The Battle Over Gun Control.” Even the first two sentences of the introductory paragraph are relatively neutral:

Gun control is among the most divisive issues in American politics today. For many, it boils down to a basic debate over priorities: the constitutional right to bear arms and protect oneself vs. an effort to reduce violence.

Then comes this:

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The U.S. has the highest gun ownership rate in the world and the highest gun violence rate of any wealthy nation. It also has some of the loosest gun control laws. The issue took center stage in December, when a lone gunman entered an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., killing 20 children and six adults in one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history. Yet, months down the line, the issue remains highly controversial: an attempt to enact moderate new gun control measures this spring was voted down in the Senate, due in part to the powerful political influence of gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association.

Did you see what they did there? After presenting the debate topic in a fair and unbiased manner — the Second Amendment vs. gun violence — the writers jump right in with two pieces of misinformation: (1) The U.S. has the highest gun violence rate of any wealthy nation and (2) it has some of loosest gun control laws. The second claim is less demonstrably false because it is tempered by the qualifier “some.”

It gets worse when they turn to the “facts” for discussion, which include the following:

  • The National Rifle Association was created after the Civil War, in part, to improve American marksmanship skills. It was not until the 1970s that it began to actively oppose most gun control attempts as attacks on civil liberties. Currently, the NRA has more than 4 million members.
  • One of the biggest loopholes in federal gun control laws is background check provision: only licensed gun dealers are currently required to conduct instant background checks. However, the checks aren’t required at gun shows and other private sales, where about 40 percent of guns are purchased.

There is also a graphic about gun ownership with the neutral title “Armed to the Teeth” that shows how many more guns there are in America than elsewhere, even though a line graph within the infographic reveals that the tide of public opinion is shifting in favor of gun rights. (Someone needs to be fired for allowing that into the mix.)

Nowhere amid the writing prompts, the Multimedia Teaching Resources, the “guiding questions” (you can guess where they guide the students), or more will you find the slightest mention of illegally obtained firearms and the role they play in gun homicides.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.