The Amendments of the Constitution

Amendments 1 & 2

The First Amendment

About the 1st Amendment

The first amendment is extremely important. As stated in the Constitution, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free excersise 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 Speech

The first part of the first amendment is freedom of speech. This means that while americans have US Citizenship, they can say whatever they want whenever they want. The Constitution was designed to be amended for a changing nation. Now a days with all of the technology there is, many people are killing themselves because of hurtful words. My opinion about this is that is that since the law protects against libel (written false statements made intentionally to hurt someone) and slander (false speech intentionally made to hurt someone) this is a very good idea and I have nothing against it. The Supreme Court never ruled on the constitutionality of any federal law regarding the Free Speech Clause until the 20th century. This is used today by allowing people to have their own opinions and the ability to argue and be free. Many people for example students at school know that they should not yell out the answers during a test and they don't because it is not the right thing to do even though all US citizens have freedom of speech and they can say anything they want at any time.
The First Amendment in Five Minutes

Freedom of Religion

Freedom of religion means that US citizens have the right to practice any religion they want or if they prefer, not to practice any religion. The history of this goes back to when in 1993, the Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which sought to restore the compelling interest requirement applied in Sherbert and Yoder. This is used today in many ways. Just in my home town-no smaller; my neighborhood there are people of very different religions who have different beliefs and thoughts on life. Just in my group of friends are people who are Jewish, Christian, Catholic, Hindu, adn I even have one friend who doesn't practice any religion. We are all still friends and there is no reason for us to not be able to talk just because we have different beliefs. My opinion about this is that people as free citizens should have the right to practice any religion they want or practice no religion if they prefer. Many people have different beliefs and that is exactly why nobody should be forced to believe in something they don't want to. Many people are extremely religious and others are not but that is okay because we are free americans and we have the right to do that.
Freedom Of Religion Rap

Freedom of the Press

Freedom of the press allows "paparazzi" to put extremely embarassing pictures of celebrities in magazines and for television new crews to be up in people's faces when they were just shot. I personally do not agree with this because when a tragedy happens to someone, they don't want to be asked a billion questions and become overwhelmed. The person is going to want comfort and support. My thought is that the purpose for this is for people to know what is going on in the world. I do agree that the news is good and can warn people of dangers but I also believe that the press does not have to be so up close tp a person and can take pictures and videos from a distance without interfering directly with the victim. Recently in Conneticut there was a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Even though this was breaking news and the press thought it was important to get pictures of the parents, their child has just been shot and they want nothing to do with cameras. I understand that when this was written in 1791, the press was much different. If I were president, I would definitely amend this.
High school journalists on freedom of the press

Freedom to Assemble

Freedom to assemble gives citizensthe right to pass out pamphlets, hold meetings, and peaceably advertise their belies, but courts have ruled that they can require a group to obtain a permit before holding meetings or demonstrations. The right of assembly was originally distinguished from the right to petition. In United States vs. Cruikshank the Supreme Court held that "the right of the people peaceably to assemble for the purpose of petitioning Congress for a redress of grievances, or for anything else connected with the powers or duties of the National Government, is an attribute of national citizenship, and, as such, under protection of, and guaranteed by, the United States. My opinion of this is that there is absolutely nothing wrong. All of these sections of the first amendment just give us Americans rights, rights, and more rigts. I think that this is just giving us more rights. As Americans, we don't understand how lukcy we are to be as free as we are. This is used a lot today by having meetings or demonstrations. I have gone to many meetings for artificial pancreases and continuous glucose monitor and I have gone to many demonstrations to see how these things work.
The 1st Amendment Song

Right to Petition

The right to petition basically just means-the right to petition! This gives us the right to sign and create petitions in support of an idea, to present those petitions to government officials, and to send letters to those officials are all protected. The Petition Clause states that "Congress shall make no law… abridging … the right of the people… to petition the government for a redress of grievances."The right of petition took its rise from the modest provision made for it in chapter 61 of Magna Carta which stated "that the barons shall choose any twenty-five barons of the kingdom they wish, who must with all their might observe, hold and cause to be observed, the peace and liberties which we have granted and confirmed to thern by this present charter of ours, so that if we, or our justiciar, or our bailiffs or any one of our servants offend in any way against anyone or transgress any of the articles of the peace or the security and the offence be notified to four of the aforesaid twenty-five barons, those four barons shall come to us, or to our justiciar if we are out ef the kingdom, and, laying the transgression before us, shall petition us to have that transgression corrected without delay." The right to petition was an echo of the English Bill of Rights which stated "[I]t is the right of the subjects to petition the king, and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal". My opinion about this is that the government needs to know what the people think and if enough people agree to one idea, I think congress should seriosuly tak all things into consideration. This is used today with bills. A bill is just a ptition for a law that can not be passed unless it has a certain amount of signatures. Once it has the minimum amount of signatures, the bill can be passed and that creates a new law.
Civil Rights Promotion Project - Freedom Of Petition

The Second Amendment

About the Second Amendment

This amendment ensures citizens and the nation the right to security. It 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."

The Right to Bear Arms

The second amendment states that U.S. citizens have the right to bear arms or in modern translation, the right to Americans to own guns and other weapons. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess and carry firearms. Recently, there was a school shooting in Conneticut. This has highly changed my mind about the right to bear arms. I believe now that people should only be able to buy guns if they have a license and can only use them in case of an emergency. I also suggest that shooting ranges should only be used for trainin gon how to use a gun in case of an emergency. I think that there are many other people who have changed their minds too after the Sandy Hook Elelmentary School shooting and other tragedies that have happened in our country like the acts of 9/11.
"The Sing-Along Second Amendment" by Roy Zimmerman
2nd Amendment Song