Amendments 1 and 2

Some Pretty Sweet Amendments!

1st Amendment

The Text

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
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Meaning and Application

Freedom of Speech

This allows American citizens to speak freely without the government punishing them for it. They put this in because the king wouldn't let his citizens speak what they want if he didn't like what they had to say. America didn't want to be a monarchy like England so they decided they needed to give free speech to Americans. This can be seen in a case where a commercial couldn't be shown due to what its content was. The other side claimed that this violated the right to freedom of speech. I believe that if the commercial said anything that was dangerous or terrorist it shouldn't be shown, but anything else should have been shown.

Freedom of Press

This allows the press to print something without the government stoping them from printing before they print it. Stoping something from being printed is known as prior restraint. In the 1600's England's government re-introduced the idea that government had to allow you to print and publish something if you wanted to. In a case in 1988, a school censored its school newspaper and the students argued that this was in violation of freedom of press. I believe that this newspaper shouldn't have been censored because this newspaper has the kids' thoughts and ideas which everyone has a right to know about.
Understanding the First Amendment of the US Constitution

Freedom of Religion

This allows people to exercise their religion's customs without being punished for it. In ancient times, the jewish people weren't allowed to exercise Judaism by King Antiochus. This resulted in a war between the jews and the king's people. This is a synopsis of the story of Chanukah. In 1995 there was a case where the University of Virginia wouldn't give money to a school newspaper to print because it was a christian based newspaper. The opposing side said that this was in violation of freedom of religion. I believe that this is in violation of freedom of religion because the school gave money to all of the other newspapers so I think that the Christian newspaper should've been given money for printing.

Freedom to Assemble

This allows people to gather in large group without being prevented from doing so. In England, if the people assembled in large rallies, it would be considered an at of revolution and would be stopped. In America we want people to have the right to battle the government's laws together. In 1988 there was a case where people protested in front of an embassy and they were stopped. The protesters said that this was in violation of freedom to assemble. I think that you shouldn't be allowed to protest in front of an embassy since that is a safe haven for people from a different country and shouldn't be subject to protesters.

Right to Petition

This allows people to petition against something that the government has done and petition freely. In Colonial America the people needed the consent of the government to petition and America wanted petitioning to be something which was free. In 1983 congress tried to make it illegal to petition in front of the U.S. supreme court. Petitioners claimed that this was in violation of their right to petition. I think that people should be allowed to petition in front of the U.S. supreme court and I would figure that the supreme court would be one of the best places to petition.

2nd Amendment

Text

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Meaning and Application

The second amendment has been twisted and turned to have many menings, but my understanding of it is that it allows the army (militia) to have weapons in order to defend the U.S. In the past, people wouldn't be able to defend against a criminal since normal citizens didn't own weapons. Recently, there has been a shooting at SandyHook elementary school which has brought up the question, how far should gun rights be expanded? I think that people shouldn't have guns at all and only the army and police should have guns. I think this because someone will use a gun to do something that is horrible and unnecessary more often than a gun will save someone. I also think that if people are allowed to have guns, it should only be pistols and there should be an immense background search to deem someone worthy of a gun.

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For The Record : Guns Are Good

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Ricky Morse

Am Gov Period 3

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1/17/13