To the Editor:
This is a response to a letter to the editor by Murray Turka in your Feb. 5, 2020, issue regarding "Group consensus and the Second Amendment," in which he incorrectly implies that the Second Amendment only protects the right to keep and bear arms by the militia.
The Second Amendment plainly states that the "right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The words "the People" have a consistent meaning throughout the Constitution. The reference always means the same thing - "the People" - and not the militia, the State or anything else. (United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez 1990).
In 2008, the Supreme Court (in District of Columbia v. Heller) ruled that the Second Amendment protects an "individual right" to keep and bear arms regardless of militia affiliation. The ruling also clarified the word "arms" to mean arms that are in common use. The most common weapons in use today are semi-automatic arms.
The right to keep and bear arms has been around for 230 years and the flawed theory advanced by Murray Turka only surfaced after the assassinations of the 1960s. To imply that for the first 180 years of the Republic, or today, the People own arms illegally is total nonsense.
A. C. Horvath
Hilton Head Island
To the Editor:
The Foundation for Educational Excellence wants to thank the Bargain Box of Hilton Head for once again supporting our mission to provide innovative learning opportunities for the students of the Beaufort County School District. Their recent grant will fund 10 or more grants during our 2020 Innovative Teacher Grant cycle in schools on both sides of the river. The impact of their grant will affect hundreds of students.
Our organization was founded in 2007 to support the mission and goals of the Beaufort County Public Schools. With the Bargain Box of Hilton Head grant, we will be able to provide funding for teachers and schools that encourages and inspires student achievement through innovative instructional practices. Our entire grant program is funded by private donations and grants, such as the one from The Bargain Box of Hilton Head, as well as by the Foundation's annual fundraising event, Jewels & Jeans, held each year on the first Saturday of March. This year's Jewels & Jeans event will be held on March 7 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the Hilton Head Beach and Tennis Resort.
Since beginning the Innovative Teacher Grants program in 2009, the Foundation has awarded over $270,000 in grants, offering over 85,000 student learning opportunities.
We appreciate and thank the Bargain Box of Hilton Head for its recent grant. This wonderful organization has contributed to date $15 million to local nonprofits to improve the lives of the residents of Beaufort County. We are thankful that they are once again partnering with us to directly impact the lives of our local Beaufort County School District's students.
Deborah E. Colella EdD, Chair
Foundation for Educational Excellence