Amendments 1 & 2

American Government ☠ Period 4

Amendment 1 ☠ Speech, Religion, Press, Assembly, and Petitioning

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of people to assemble..."

The exact words of the beloved 1st Amendment, but what does it mean?


The first thing the amendment talks about is "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."

Right then and there, that is a problem. Even if it's written in the Constitution to respect everyone's religions and leaving them be, do people have to follow it? Since the Constitution is what makes up this country, then why aren't people listening to it? What the first part of the amendment is saying is people should be able to do as they please when it comes to religion. A big problem these days is people not respecting the freedom of religion. Nowadays, people are blaming huge tragedies like 9/11 on the Islamic religion, which I find entirely unfair. It wasn't only their 'God' that told them to crash into the towers, it was their own sick minds. People shouldn't only blame their religion for their wrong-doings when they were the ones that actually did it.


The second part of the 1st Amendment talks about Congress not being able to prohibit freedom of speech. The big problem here is that, can people say whatever they want whenever they want? The answer is NO. There are some situations in which people shouldn't say random things, because it could end up with people getting injured. All together, the "freedom of speech" is limited, which is normal, because of its dangers. People can't yell FIRE in a movie theater because people would start trampling over each other. This is dangerous because someone could end up getting hurt. Freedom of speech takes a big part of our lives.


The third part of the 1st Amendment is freedom of the press. This means that if Lady Gaga helped design clothes for J-Lo's baby, then the press can write about it, truthful or not. I'm just kidding. No I'm not. Anyways, freedom of the press plays a big part in our lives. Tabloids, newspaper articles, magazines, news headlines, all of these everyday sources of 'the scoop' are printed straight from the press themselves. These people write down what is going on in the busy world around them when something somewhat interesting takes place. When something does happen (J-Lo's baby's Gaga fashion) BOOM. Instant story. Headlines all over the place. This can be good and bad. It can make or break a person's reputation all together. Don't get me wrong, this is a great amendment to have, but once again, people need to know how to use it in the 'write' way.


People are (and should be) allowed to meet and discuss whatever they would like. Unless they are plotting the murder of someone else or anything that will lead into serious injury, citizens are allowed to meet and discuss any issue they would like. When the colonists first wanted to break away from Great Britain, they held tons of meetings to discuss how they would overthrow the king. At the time, there was no right for this, so it was considered treason. Once they did actually break away from Great Britain, they put in the Freedom of Assembly onto the Constitution. This is like cause and effect; they learned from their king to not limit people into doing exactly what they are told. The Colonists let the people of later times do what they want and stretch out, unlike the strict and enforced laws of the British. My opinion is that they people should be able to meet as they please and when they please. People have freedom of speech, so why can't they discuss more about it?


It's a cool summer day. At the day camp you attend, only the kids ages 14+ get to have lemonade because of some 'older camper privilege.' You and your friends find this unfair to the 13- year olds like yourselves, so you decide to petition about you. You write down a short letter on how you want lemonade too and get all of the 13- year olds to sign it. Even a couple 14 and 15 year olds sign it. This is petitioning, and it's stated in the Constitution that we can do it. Nowadays we use it to get what we want from schools, camps, and at home. In the old times, people would use it to get government into doing something. If a law was being discussed and many people wanted it to be passed, they would all sign a paper about the law and show the government how many people want the law to be passed. Strength is in numbers when it comes to petitions. If only 3 people sign it, no one will listen. If 20+ people sign your petition, you are more likely to gain lots and lots of attention. People should be allowed to petition for what they think is right. Everyone has a say in our government, why not speak up?

Amendment Two ☠ Right to Bear Arms

Right to Bear Arms ☠

"The right of people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed..."

The right to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed. HA. Take that Bloomberg. Nowadays, people are having discussions about this amendment. Are their limits? Who can and cannot have a gun? Why am I asking you all of these questions? Founding fathers... where are you when we need you? The Constitution was written so people wouldn't have to worry about all of this stuff. The right to bear Arms basically means that people can carry a gun if they have a gun license. I think that people should only be allowed to carry a gun if they complete a gun license course and if they are mentally stable. Many shootings that are happening around us (for example: the Sandy Hook tragedy) are popping up all of the time. 99% of the time, the person being the gun is a mentally unstable man or women. I think this amendment should be kept as it is, but not for mentally unstable people. With the Sandy Hook shooting, the man was mentally unstable, but the gun was registered under his healthy mother's name. She shouldn't be able to have a gun around a mentally unstable man. In history, the Colonists needed to protect themselves incase the British ever decided to attack again. They wrote in the Constitution that, if necessary, people can obtain and/or shoot a gun for SELF PROTECTION. They didn't realize that somehow, a mentally unstable person would obtain one. People need to understand their limits, especially with very dangerous weapons that can be used to kill someone else.

Constitution Preamble - Schoolhouse Rock