The First and Second Amendments

Giving More Rights to the USA!

The First Amendment - Awarded Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, and more to the people of the U.S.

Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion

Two of the reasons we left England in the first place were to worship our own religion and to speak freely. The King would not let them do either. Today, with the Constitution, americans may speak freely on just about anything. Although Americans can now have this most wonderful right, there are some limits. There is no libel or slander, more commonly known as lying or lying by writing. You also cannot say something that causes danger.This is a very useful right as we use it everyday and the government cannot limit our speech or what we say.

People can also worship their own religion. In the words of The Constitution, "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion". This means any religion. A current example of the use of freedom of religion is when there was a debate over building a mosque near ground zero. If the Muslim community wanted to build a mosque, then they can. The Constitution supports this. This was an issue because of the 9/11 attacks. Although this is a sacred place, the Muslim's still have the right to worship near here. A current example of freedom of speech is how during the election, people may speak freely on the candidates. Freedom of Speech gives them the right to do that.

In my opinion, both of these rights are great. Freedom of speech gives Americans the right to speak freely, a right many do not have. This applies to the freedom to worship your own religion s well. Many people all around the world are nor allowed to do this. America gives people religious freedom. Both of these rights are used everyday in most all people's lives. America is the land of the free, both of these rights are necessary to keep that status.

The Right to Petition and the Freedom to Assemble

Americans have the right to petition the government.This applies to protesting more than anything. People can ask for new laws and they can also protest for something as simple as putting a stop sign on the street they live on. A historical example of the right to petition was when African Americans petitioned to have civil rights. Since they did this peacefully, they were eventually gifted with rights. A current example of the right to petition is the fact that you can contact your state representatives and tell them how you want the to vote. This is petitioning.
The people of America also have the right to peacefully assemble. The Constitution states, "Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people to peaceably assemble". Nothing can interfere with any of these rights in the Constitution. People can peacefully protest, boycott, have meetings, and even press conferences fall under this category. An issue in our history with the right to assemble is when people were protesting for African American civil rights. A police officer made a horrible decision to hit them with fire hoses. Many people were injured. A current event for freedom to assemble is a KKK gathering. They have the right to gather, as long as they are not violent. Another current example of this is people gathering to celebrate New Year's Eve in Times Square.

I definitely think the right to peaceably assemble is a great thing to have. This gives people the right to meet with each other. I have mixed emotions on the right to petition, though. I think there should be limits on this. It should worded like the freedom to assemble is in the Constitution. It could possibly say peaceably, in my opinion. Both of these amendments are very similar; they can also be done very peacefuly.

The Freedom of the Press

The government cannot interfere with the press or anyone's right to peacefully assemble. No information may be censored before it is broadcasted or published. Freedom of the Press. This gives politicians the freedom to criticize, live television to air, and sporting events to be seen around the world. The press can also host conferences and interviews. An example in our history is when freedom of the press was first wanted. In Britain, people could only hear what the government wanted them to hear. The wanted this freedom.. A current issue dealing with freedom of the press is in Britain. Parliament is threatening to fine any newspaper that go over its limits. The freedom of the press is at risk in Britain.

Freedom of the Press is awesome in my opinion. This gives people jobs, helps keep people informed, and is good to read and watch. This is also very useful as we can keep ourselves informed, criticize politicians, and talk sports freely.

The Second Amendment - Gives people the right to bear arms

What Has the Second Amendment Given You the Right to Possess?

The Second Amendment of the U.S Constitution states, "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." This amendment gives people the right to possess weapons or bear arms. The second amendment also gives the U.S.A the power to have an army.

My Opinion on the Right to Bear Arms and a Current Issue on this Amendment

There are many discussions on the right to bear arms today. Recently, there was a horrific tragedy in Connecticut. A man stormed a school with assault weapons and killed 26 people. The way he obtained his weapons was through his mom. She had illegal assault weapons that one would never need to defend his/herself. The man stole her guns and committed the crime. I think that gun control should be limited. There can be limits placed on the type of guns one may own. For example, in this crime, the guns the man had were completely unnecessary to have. The government can limit these rifles. Another way to make sure guns do not end up in the wrong hands are to further background checks when someone is purchasing a weapon. We can also make sure people do not get guns illegally. We should not let unauthorized retailers obtain these weapons. Obviously, none of these can be done so easily, but we can work to get them done.

Historical Event Involving the Second Amendment - United States v. Cruikshank (1875)

During the era of the U.S when they were trying to pass the Reconstruction Acts,

a few white men killed more than sixty black men while trying to make sure that blacks did not have the right to bear arms. This was later known as the Colfax Massacre and the men were heavy racists during this time of racism in this country.

By: Jack Rubin