The Amendments

Amendment 1: Freedoms of the People

What it 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 peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

In other words it gave the American population freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and press. There is some excepts however, such as when it says there is freedom of press. When it says freedom of press it has to be not libel or slanderous and not defamation. Read more about this amendment below.

The 1st Amendment Song

Freedom of Speech

In amendment one it states that there is "freedom of speech..." , this means that people have the right to speak their mind but, it's not complete freedom. For example, you cannot say anything that can be hurtful. What is hurtful differs between people so that means this amendment can be interpreted differently by different people. One of the reasons that this amendment might have been created was because when the King ruled, if a person spoke poorly of him they would be punished. A modern example of this amendment was when a student in New York was speaking in public and giving a speech to a small group of people. As the student was talking, a large crowd gathered and blocked roads. The police officers asked the student to stop. Was this violating his freedom of speech? I think it was not violating his freedom of speech because he was causing a disruption that could get someone in a car or watching hurt. If I had the chance to change this amendment I would make it clear that it is not okay for the speech to be hurtful or cause harm in any way rather than that part being implied. Freedom of speech is used by almost everyone, we speak all day and everyday, I think that freedom of speech is the right I use the most.

Freedom of Religion

Freedom of Religion means that people have the right to believe in what ever religion they want. A reason that we have this amendment is because the king wanted all of the colonist to follow his religion. An event that happened in modern times that showed "Freedom of Religion" was when a school was asked to not have school on Yom Kippur so the students could attend services. The school declined and had classes. This was unfair and was not "Freedom of Religion." The school was not right and unreasonable. I wouldn't change this amendment in any way if I had the chance, and I believe that the amendment is applied the way it should be. Freedom of religion is expressed every day when people go to church or to hebrew school. It adds to a persons' qualities and helps them express themselves.

Freedom of Press

In Amendment 1 it states that there is freedom of press. Although, there is some exceptions, the statements must not be libel and slanderous. This means that people are aloud to say what they want in public articles such as; the newspaper, television broadcast, and even magazines as long as it has proof and does not harm someone because of false information. There is also something called prior restraint which, is not allowed. Prior restraint is when somebody, or something such as a company holds back the publishing of something before it is actually published. A case developed where in Minnesota prior restrain was allowed. The case was argued and Minnesota was forced to change the law. I believe that this was the right decision because I believe that Amendment 1 is completely right about Freedom of Press. I wouldn't change this amendment in any way if I had the chance, and I believe that the amendment is applied the way it should be. The reason that this was added to the amendment was because the king wouldn't allow news to be spread unless he said it was okay. I think it was important to add this to the amendment. The right to press is used everyday in newscast and newspapers, it is a very important asset to knowing what is going on in the world.
High school journalists on freedom of the press

Freedom to Assemble

The freedom to assemble means that any person can create a meeting about any peaceful topic. This part of the amendment was tested when in Manchester there was a new law that said that people must pay a fee to hold any kind of gathering of more than a couple of people. This law was overturned. I think this law was unfair and it didn't respect the first amendment. I think that this section of the amendment could be altered a little bit. I think that instead of people being able to have events for any reason, I think there should be a city volunteer to supervise all of the meetings. This part of the amendment was created because the king wouldn't let the colonist meet by themselves in fear that the colonist would talk about him. This amendment applies to everyday life because people have company meetings and school assemblies every day.

Right to Petition

The right to petition means that any person can present an idea and ask people to gibe their views on the subject. A modern time when this right was exercised was the "I Have a Dream Speech" by Martin Luther King Junior. This speech was petitioning that all people should be treated equally. It was a petition because he was expressing beliefs and asking people to join him. I believe that Martin Luther King Junior put this right to great use. This is a section of the amendment I would not change. I think this right has the meaning that if you believe in something you are free to express it by presenting it in more than one way, petitioning being one of them. This part of the amendment was created because the king would not allow the colonists to present their own ideas. A great example of this was when the Continental Congress sent a letter to the king about the acts and he accused them of treason. I believe that this was wrong and the right to petition was a good thing to add to the amendment. This amendment is used in everyday life because people express themselves and give their ideas everyday.

The Right to Bear Arms

The 2nd Amendment

What it 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."

What it Means

It means that our country should have a strong military, and since it is necessary to the security of the freedom of the state, people have the right to keep and have guns, and it is a rule that shouldn't be broken. This amendment was added because the king wouldn't allow the colonist to have guns, so that they couldn't fight against him. An example of how this law can be deciphered differently by different people is the shooting at Sandy Hooks. This man had a gun illegally and killed children and adults with it. This brings on the questions; Is it okay to have guns in a household because they can be stolen and used for the wrong reasons? Can anyone own a gun? How many guns can a person own? This amendment is an important part of everyday because without this amendment people would not be able to have guns with them at any time so police officers might not be able to protect us as well. Also, this amendment can be looked at negatively because then there would be less crimes. If I had a chance to alter this amendment then I would make it so that a person would only be allowed to have one gun at a time because, why would they need more than one? Also, I think that all guns in a household should be under lock and key.