Essay, Research Paper: First Amendment

Government

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"Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or the right of the people peaceably to
assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." What
exactly are the limits to free speech, anyway? This amendment forbids the
government from making any law that prohibits it. The debate against this will
rage on forever, even judges can't agree. One of the big things that cause
argument is people suing publishers and editors for all kinds of things. We need
to remind these folks that the First Amendment is a man-made law, not something
that is God-made and perfect in all situations, it does have it's limits. Our
founding fathers wouldn't mind if we drew the line at a book that gives
instructions on how to commit murder. There have been many songs that talk about
violence against the police. A man from Texas claimed that the lyrics from Tupac
Shakur's "2Pacalypse Now" inspired him to murder a deputy sheriff. But
Tupac's song wasn't a how-to on killing police, with explicit instructions.
There is a thick line that falls between a work of art that depicts or describes
an act of violence and a book that gives advice on murder. Anyone with even a
shred of common sense knows that you can't say or write anything about any
subject at any time you please. That's why newspapers and magazines across the
country go through a self-censorship process that's stricter than any amendment
would impose. Unlike some people, most editors and publishers know that the
First Amendment's forbidding government from making a new law impinging on
freedom of speech doesn't mean that private individuals can't sue you. One judge
might throw their cases out, another might rule for the bailiffs. Printing
something that's simply offensive may be protected under our Bill of Rights. But
that has never stopped individuals from suing them. I saw keep on, if the
congress feels that strongly about our rights, so be it. But we need more people
to stop them from getting out of hand.
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