Legal Opinion IndexHome

Atty. Ralph D. Sherman

130 West Main Street • New Britain, Connecticut 06052

tel. (860) 229-0213 • fax (860) 229-0235 • e-mail


Legal Opinion

March 1999

Your child's education


Do you have a child in high school or college? Are you disappointed by the way the Second Amendment is treated - or ignored - by some teachers and textbooks?

That's how I feel. That's why I'm trying to do something about it.

This month I am scheduled to speak to four high-school history and government classes on the history of the Second Amendment. I've developed a 45-minute presentation that I can adapt easily for students in high school or at the college level. If the class has already studied the Second Amendment, using school materials, I can make the presentation fit the course. If my presentation will be the students' first exposure to the Second Amendment, I can handle that, too.

I have also prepared a 45-minute presentation on current topics, like computerized guns ("smart guns") and the lawsuits against gun manufacturers.

This came about because an enterprising and open-minded teacher read some of my opinion articles in the Hartford Courant. As she put it, she likes to get outsiders to come to her classes to talk about their areas of expertise. One day recently she took the trouble to look me up, phone me, and ask me to speak to her students.

So why am I telling the readers of Hook & Bullet?

Because I want to let you know that I'm available to do the same thing at your child's school, if I can work it into my calendar.

Of course I do the presentation free of charge. I also provide any printed materials to be given to the students.

The presentation on the history of the Second Amendment is politically neutral. In one class period, I cover what the founding fathers wrote about the right to bear arms and why they thought it was important. I also discuss some of the relevant Supreme Court cases and how the right to bear arms was legally denied to blacks for more than half of U.S. history. The class period wraps up with a discussion of the current muddle of court decisions and why the anti-gun crowd doesn't want the Supreme Court to clarify its interpretation of the Second Amendment.

The presentation on current events is, obviously political. But my job is not to present my own opinion to the class. Instead, I bring to the students as much factual information as possible about the use of firearms for self defense, gun safety, computerized guns, and other topics. My goal is to see the students use this information to make up their own minds about "gun control" proposals.

If you know a teacher who would like to host either presentation, please have him or her contact me.


Copyright 1999 by Ralph D. Sherman

Legal Opinion IndexHome