By Andie Weinberg


The first amendment says, "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 peacebly to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievences."

What is the first amendment?

The first amendment gives some freedom. It gives freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of press, and freedom to assemble to petition. The first amendment protects the press from prior restraint. Prior restraint is a rule that the government cannot censor information before broadcast or published to the people. Everyone cannot say anything, there are some limits. The limits are libel and slander, that means that the people can't say, do, or write anything to hurt anyone.


Freedom of speech: Freedom of Speech is a little part of the amendment but means a lot. It means that people can say anything they want, but there are still two exceptions. The two exceptions are libel and slander, which mean you can not say or write anything that hurts someone.

Historical: Freedom of speech was created and the amendment was written a long time ago but has grown from them. No people can say more things as well as not say somethings because people have found out about libel and slander. Now, those are some exceptions that can not be used.

Current Use: In 1998 there was nothing people say about the holocaust because it was a bad time. At a middle school the kids decided to start a silent protest by putting paperclips on their collar. The Paperclips became a worldwide silent protest to stand up for their rights.

Opinion: I think that is a good rule because we are free and should not have too many limitations on what we can say.


Freedom of Religion: Freedom of religion means that people can worship any god or however many gods they would like to worship. people get to choose what type of customs from that religion they would like to do.

History: A very long time ago, people had to all worship the same god as their ruler chose and had to do whatever customs the leader wanted them to do.

Current Use: A couple years ago, a football team from a christian school used their freedom of religion and put quotes from the bible on their banners.

Opinion: I like how people have the freedom of religion because they should get to decide who to worship and how to worship that person or people. People should not be forced to celebrate and be loyal if they are not actually.


Freedom of Press: Freedom of press is the freedom to put things on public media such as the internet, television, and the radio. It says that the government cannot censor what goes out to the public through the media, but the exception, libel and slander, still apply.

Historical: Before, when their was a leader, people were not able to do this or they were beheaded. Due to that, they had to put freedom of press as an amendment, so the people know that they can put anything to the public without it being censored, even though there are still some rules about it.

Current Use: Some examples of freedom of the press are books, newspapers, magazines, and television shows. Before that stuff is aired or published it is not censored by the government.

Opinion: I think that is a good idea not to have those things censored because that would take to much time to censor every type of media that goes out. Also, people have freedom of speech, so I do not think that it is fair to be able to say anything but not be able to share it with the world or put it out publicly without someone checking it and making sure it is okay.


Freedom to Assemble: Freedom to assemble says that people can gather and get together. They have the freedom to assemble to petition or protest or even just get together like a meeting.

History: For a long time people were not able to get together whenever they wanted. They must have had to plan it and it must have been for a special reason. Now people are able to gather for anything, but the exceptions, libel and slander, still apply.

Current Use: Today people everywhere gather for meetings and assemblies. For example: at school we have assemblies when we all go sit in the auditorium and talk about the theme we demonstrated last month, and discuss a new theme to demonstrate and display the following month. Without freedom to assemble we would not be able to do that.

Opinion: I think that freedom to assemble is a good part of the amendment because people need to have meetings and get together to discuss things for their business and for other people. Some of the meetings are very important. For example: what would everyone do if Apple did not get together and come up with wonderful ideas for the new apple products coming out.


Right to Petition: The right to petition goes together with freedom of assembly. The right to petition says that people can get together and sign a document that stands up for what they believe is right.

History: The right to petition was an add on to the freedom of assembly. In the beginning, people only had the right to assemble. The right to petition could not have started without the freedom of assembly.

Current Use: An example of current use for petitioning has to do with the right to bear arms. Since there were 3 school shootings recently, people have started to petition about who can have guns and for what reasons.

Opinion: I am glad we have the right to petition because if the majority wants something different then what is happening, they should have a way to change it.



The second amendment says," 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."


Right to Bear Arms: The right to bear arms gives people the right to own certain guns. There are not many limitations on it but there are some. For example, it does not state how many guns people can have, but it does say that people cannot have nuclear weapons and defense tools of that sort.

History: The right to bear arms was stated in the constitution as an amendment because before, people were not able to have guns. The second amendment was ratified a very long time ago and has been growing with limits about having more and less guns. The second amendment has been growing in more freedom and less freedom since 1791 when it was ratified.

Current Use: The right to bear arms has been taken advantage of pretty recently and a few times. For example, a man took his parents gun, went into a school, and shot 27 total people. 20 Student and 7 adults were shot and died, as well as his mom, and he shot himself in the end as well.

Opinion: I think that there should be some limitations on the gun control because in the past couple of weeks there has been a few school shootings. I think that it is very wrong what has been going on, and it really needs to stop.