Freedom of Speech
Freedom of speech allows people the right to express themselves, and even speak out against their goverment. The reason we have freedom of speech is because a long time ago, in a galaxy far away, the king would behead you if you talked out against him or his government.
A modern day example is the Vietnam War. Many Americans were opposed to the Vietnam War and expressed their displeasure with the war. They were allowed to object to the War, if they did so peacefully. In other countries, if you object to the government's policies, you can go to jail.
Freedom of the Press
Freedom of the press is the rght of the press to post, publish, or announce anything they want, as long it doesn't put the nation at risk. The reason the exception about national security was added is because the British goverment could censor what the press said in England.
A modern day example would be that during the Vietnam War, the United States government didn't allow the press in the battlefield.
Freedom to Assemble
Freedom to assemble is when people can assemble in large groups without the government stopping it. A reason why we have this is because in England, the King wouldn't allow large groups to be together. The founding fathers wanted to have this right in America.
A modern day example is, during the Gulf War, in Iraq, protesters gathered in large groups to try to stop troop deployment to Iraq.
Right to Petition
The right to petition is when people can protest the goverment and vote against something. The reason we have this right is because the King of England used to not let the people protest.
A modern day example would be the Gulf War because then President George Bush was about to send 20,000 troops to fight and probably die in an unwinnable and unpopular war. Protesters stood up and started the movement to pull out of Iraq.
Freedom of Religion
Freedom of religion means that people can worship whatever they want and can't be stopped. The reason we have this freedom is because the King of England only allowed certain religions to exist. People who tried to practice a different religion were persecuted for their beliefs.
A modern day example, of how people in this country have freedom of religion, is Scientology. Scientology is considered a relatively new religion. Not everyone understands the basis of the religion, but it is allowed to exist, and people who practice it don't have to do so secretively.
The Right to Bear Arms
“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.”
The right to bear arms means that citizens can own a gun and use them. One of the clashes about this amendment is in that time period only muskets and flintlocks exsisted. Now, we have guns that can shoot 600 rounds per minute. So the question is, "should we allow normal citizens to have powerful guns?"
The right to bear arms has historical significance. In England, it was seen by some as a “natural right” and it was a right under the British Bill of Rights, which influenced our forefathers as well. In addition, at the time of the Second Amendment in United States history, guns were believed to be necessary for many reasons, including protecting yourself, hunting, squashing slave revolts or the possibility of invasion, and law enforcement.
A current use is there are organizations in this country like the National Rifle Association (NRA) that lobby for no or limited gun control laws, and there are those that believe that people in this country should not be allowed to own guns, at all, or with limited exceptions.
Below is an article about the NRA's battle against the Obama Administration's efforts regarding gun control.
I believe that people should be allowed to own guns with certain restrictions. For example, I think people should have to take a written test to prove that they know how to use a gun and to operate it safely. Also, people should not be able to own a gun if they have committed certain crimes. In addition, certain guns should only be owned by people in the military.