Amendment Project

By Maddie Mulkey

Amendment 1

Freedom of Speech, Religion, Press, to Assemble, and right to Petition

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Freedom of Speech

People have the right to say what they want and to express their opinions, unless it will cause harm to other people. Laws prohibit slander and libel, Which is speech that is intended to hurt someone's reputation either through talking or writing. People cannot be punished for saying what they believe. In colonial times, the speech in England was restricted. The colonies had different views on the freedom of speech. They believed that people should be able to say what they want without being punished, so they added this freedom to the constitution. In a study of 392 campus speech codes in 2011, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education found that 65% of the colleges had policies that may have violated the Constitution's guarantee of the right to free speech. I believe that the freedom of speech is a great thing. I think that it is good to let people express themselves and say whatever they want. However, I also think that it is good to prohibit libel and slander so that people do not harm or confuse other people. The freedom of speech is an important part of the rights of U.S. citizens. Our society would be very different without the freedom of speech.
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Freedom of Religion

People have the right to practice any religion of their choice, to change religions, or to not practice a religion at all. They have the right to worship whatever gods they want and the government cannot interfere with peoples' religious beliefs. Freedom of religion was added to the constitution because the people didn't agree with punishing people just because of their religious beliefs. If people in England didn't follow a certain religion, they were punished or killed. There were many were wars involving freedom of religion, so the United States wanted to give their citizens this freedom. After 6 decades of Nativity scenes in Santa Monica's Palisades Park in California, there will be no displays of the Madonna and child this year. A federal judge in Los Angeles denied a request from a non-profit group to temporarily block Santa Monica's ban on unattended displays in the park. The city council passed the measure on the heel of a dispute over atheist displays that outnumbered traditional Christian scenes.

The freedom of religion is extremely necessary. There is no reason to punish people just because of what they believe. The government shouldn't interfere with peoples' religion.

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Freedom of Press

People can report whatever they want on the news unless it will harm or threaten the nation. The government cannot constrain what people write in newspapers, books, radio, television, and in some way movies and the internet. Freedom of the press was added to the constitution because the government wanted people to be able to express their opinions without interference from the government. Some of the information that people write would't be factual and true if the government interfered. The founders felt like the people deserved the freedom of the press. On October 26, 2012, the Chinese government began blocking access to the New York Times after the Times published an article describing the wealth accumulated by relatives of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. China blocked this newspaper from being seen by its people. I agree that people should be able to write whatever they want without government interference in the press, yet I also agree that people should not be allowed to harm or threaten the nation by giving away secrets or plans. If the government monitored what people wrote, then some facts wouldn't be true. If something bad was written about the government and they changed it, it would be lying to the citizens of the United States. You can't maintain a strong country if there are people giving away information and being forced to write false information.
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Freedom to Assemble

People can hold demonstrations or meetings. They can pass out pamphlets, hold meetings, and advertise their beliefs. However, people have to have a petition to hold these meetings. People were not allowed to meet in demonstrations, so when the founders created the constitution, they decided that this freedom was needed and was fair. They decided that people should be able to meet in assemblies with some restrictions. They probably created restrictions so that the government could maintain some control over these meetings. In September of 2012, Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va, would not allow students to protest an appearance by Representative Paul D. Ryan, the Republican vice-presidential nominee. According to the university police, students must apply 10 business days in advance to demonstrate in the college's tiny "free speech zone"- and Mr. Ryan's visit was announced on a Sunday, two days before his Tuesday visit. So, the students were not allowed to demonstrate and protest. I agree with the freedom to assemble, because I think that people should be able to hold meetings without the government's interference. I also think that it is a good idea to make people obtain a permit to hold demonstrations, except that it depends on the situation. If people are meeting and it interferes with other peoples' everyday lives, then they should need a permit. However, if the demonstration doesn't interrupt other people or places then, a permit should not be required.
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Obama outlaws Freedom of Protest

Right to Petition

People have the right to make and sign petitions even if they might offend government officials and their actions. In England, they had this right. The founders liked this freedom and thought it was a good idea to let United States citizens express their opinions no matter what. They thought that this right was necessary and fair so they, put the right to petition in the constitution. Several thousand Americans are calling on President Barack Obama to nationalize the troubled Twinkies industries to prevent the loss of the snack cakes "sweet creamy center." Thousands more have signed petitions calling on the White House to replace the courts with a single Hall of Justice, remove Jerry Jones as owner of the Dallas Cowboys, allow members of the military to put their hands in their pockets, and begin construction of a "Star Wars" style death star by 2016. The American people will petition for just about anything. I think that the right to petition is a good thing because it is similar to freedom of the press and freedom of speech. People should be able to express their feelings and not be punished for them. It is just what they believe and think is right. People should be able to sign a petition saying they agree or don't agree with a topic or an opinion.
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President Obama Responds To Gun Control Petition

Amendment 2

The Right to Security and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

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People have the right to keep and bear arms, which means that they can keep and own weapons. Also, people had the right to security, which means the have the right to feel safe. I think that the second amendment was added to the constitution because safety is necessary to maintain a suitable country. People need to be able to protect themselves. Recently, President Barack Obama has announced sweeping gun control measures, calling on Congress to act fast to reintroduce a ban on assault rifles and to introduce a ban on high capacity magazines, as well as expand mandatory background checks to all gun sales. He made this announcement in front of four children, who had written to him asking for action after the Sandy Hook massacre. I agree with the right to security and the right to bear arms, however there is a fine line. We want people to be able to defend themselves and feel safe, however, we don't want people to own weapons if they are going to use them for criminal reasons. There needs to be s more strict and structured way to make sure that weapons do not end up in the wrong hands. I believe that the government needs to enforce people to do background checks on all people who buy weapons.

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"The Sing-Along Second Amendment" by Roy Zimmerman