The First and Second Amendments and Modern Issues

Essay by binyaminUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, November 2009

download word file, 4 pages 3.0

The first and second Amendments to the Constitution of the United States provide us with some of our most treasured freedoms and rights: Freedom of press, freedom of speech, the right to petition and freedom of religion are provided for in the first amendment. This gives individuals the right to speak freely, protects the printing and disseminating of public (non-government classified) information, gives individuals and groups the liberty to entreat their government for correction or change, and gives people the right to choose their religion or beliefs in teaching or method of observance without persecution. The framers built these inalienable rights into our Constitution to help keep the power of the government balanced and even limited in how much it could “intrude” into these basic activities of society.

The second amendment provides for the right to bear arms. 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” (Unknown, 2009).

So in the original framework it was understood that to have a successful union properly equipped militia military would be necessary. Although the original intent of the framers may have been one with militia in mind, the second amendment has generally been accepted to also provide for the more broad right of citizens to defend themselves.

There are numerous current issues and controversies that are related to the rights provided for in these amendments. With the first amendment and the area of freedom of press, the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the resulting “War on Terror” has brought more controversy to the issue of journalists having the right to protect their sources.

Just within the last year, journalist Toni Locy was facing potential fines for failing...