Amendments

The First and Second Amendment

Amendment 1- Rights of the People

In the Constitution

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.

Freedom of Religion

As said in Amendment 1, people have freedom of religion. This means that people may worship or pray as they want to. People can even have no religion at all. Freedom of religion is sometimes referred to as separation of church and state. It is sometimes referred to this because religion should not have to do with what state you are in. People have the right to have any religion they want to.

History

I think freedom of religion should be in Amendment 1. It should be in the Constitution because if freedom of religion was not there, every one would follow the same beliefs. Although, people cannot be forced to believe certain things. For example, if the government tells you to believe one way, you cannot be forced to believe it. Therefore, if someone did not agree with the way the government wanted religion to be, people would rebel. People rebelling would cause a bad country. This is why freedom of religion is needed. The founders did not want the same thing that happened before America gained independence.

Modern Example

In St. Louis, "a fourth-grader was put in detention three times for whispering a prayer before eating his meal," one said. Another cited a Pennsylvania case in which a "student's lunch box was confiscated because it included a note that said: 'Jesus loves you.' I think that the child should not have gotten detention. People have freedom of religion and can pray as the please. It would be different if he yelled the prayer, but instead he whispered it quietly. Also, people should have the right to write what they want, including their beliefs. If someone does not want to look at the note, they do not need to.

Freedom of Speech

Also, people have freedom of speech. This means that people have the option to say what they want to, without the government preventing you from saying things. People have the right to talk bad about people, or even the government. Although, freedom of speech is limited. Libel, false statements in written documents, and slander, false speech, is prohibited. People also can not use speech if someone is put in danger. If someone is put in danger because of the use of speech, the person who spoke is responsible.

History

Freedom of speech is a very important part of Amendment 1. I think freedom of speech is in the Constitution because of what happened before America gained independence. Before the colonies, all of the people followed the king. The king ruled the country. People got so tired of not being able to express their opinions and say what they wanted to, that they rebelled. If the king just let the people say what they wanted to, everything would have been fine, and peaceful. We do not want people to rebel because of this again.

Modern Example

Members in a church were holding signs and protesting. They wrote about their beliefs. The government banned the people from doing this. The government thought it was hate speech and made the people stop. I think the government should not have banned the people. People have freedom of speech and they can protest if they want to.

Freedom of the Press

Freedom of the Press is another right that we, as people, have. People have the right to write or speak what they please to groups of people. In America, we do not have prior restraint. This means that government cannot review the information before it is published or shown to other people.

History

Freedom of the Press is in Amendment 1 for many good reasons. I think the writers of the Constitution added freedom of the press because of what happened with the King of England. When the colonies were rebelling against the King, the colonies were publishing information about the King. This was good for the colonies because it told the people what was going on with the King. Therefore, they needed freedom of the Press.

Modern Example

Attorneys for Michael R. Pacewitz tried to stop the news information from being published. Michael R. Pacewitz was accused of murdering someone. He did not want the jailhouse interviews to be broadcasted. The judge said no and that people had freedom of the press. I agree with the judge. People do have freedom of press and can publish what they want to publish. If the information was dangerous, then i would disagree. Then, I would think it should not be published. Although, it is just a interview, so it should be published.

Right to Assemble

People have the right to assemble in groups. This means that people can gather and hold meetings. They can pass out pamphlets and ask others to join their group. They have meetings, where the people discuss their beliefs. Although, they can require a permit to have the meetings. For example, if a police officer sees a group of people without a permit, the officer is allowed to shut down the meeting.

History

The right to assemble is in the Constitution. I think that the right to assemble is in the Constitution because of many reasons. But most importantly, when the colonies were in the middle of gaining independence. They only way that they gained independence was because of assembling in groups and having meetings. For example, the Boston Tea Party was because of people assembling. Therefore, if people ever feel like the government has too much power, they have the right to assemble.

Modern Example

People were gathered outside of a hotel talking about the gay employment bill. A police officer said that they could not assemble and made everyone leave. The people argued that it was freedom to assemble. They officer did not care and still made everyone leave. I think that the people should have been allowed to stay. They have freedom to assemble and they were just peacefully assembling outside a hotel. Although, if they were blocking the sidewalk and people could not pass by, the police officer should have made them leave. I think this because if they were blocking the walkway, people could have gotten hurt.

Right to Petition

Lastly, people have the right to petition. People can sign petitions, present petitions to government officials, and send petitions to government officials. In these petitions, people can talk badly or criticize the government in any way they want.

History

People have the right to petition, as stated in Amendment 1. I think that the right to petition is in the Constitution because of the petition sent to the King of Britain. The colonists sent a petition to the King telling him that they did not like how he was taxing all of the goods. The King did not listen and still continued taxing everything. Therefore, the writers of the Constitution thought that the right to petition was needed. If someone wanted something, instead of just rebelling right away, it is better to petition.

Modern Example

Texas sent a petition to the White House, saying that they wanted to secede from the United States. This means that Texas wanted to not be a part of the United States anymore. 60,000 people signed the petition. Many people wanted to secede the government, but there is one problem. Many people also did not want to secede the government. The government responded to the petition by saying that they should split up into who agreed with the petition and who did not agree. I think that Texas should not be able to just leave the United States. I think that the only way that Texas would be able to leave is if Texas gave the United States something in return. Otherwise, Texas should remain a part of the United States.

Amendment 2- Right to Keep/Bear Arms

In the Constitution

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 Keep/Bear Arms

This amendment states that people have the right to keep and bear arms. This makes sure that every citizen has the right to security. Every person has the right to own guns or firearms. Although, Congress can stop the interstate sale of guns. The Constitution is not specific when talking about the right to bear arms. It does not say how many weapons, the type of weapons, or who can have the weapons.

History

The second amendment is in the second amendment of the Constitution. I think that the second amendment is needed because of what Britain did. The King and government of Britain took away all weapons, so that the people did not rebel against the government. This only made the people mad, wanting to rebel. This was one of the reasons for a huge rebellion. The writers of the Constitution did not want this to happen again. Therefore, they made sure that people had the right to keep and bear arms.

Modern Example

Two bank robbers took a sawed-off shotgun across state lines, and violated the National Firearms Act of 1934. At court, the judge said that the second amendment is not relevant in their case because they used a sawed-off shot gun. A sawed-off shotgun is not a standard weapon that is used in the United States Militias. In order for the second amendment to be relevant, a standard weapon used in the Militias would have to be used. I agree with he judge and how she said that the second amendment is not relevant in this case. If the gun was not used in the militias, i do not think it should be used to bear arms.

By: Dani Gross