The First Amendment and What It Means for You

In today’s episode, Chuck explains some lesser-known details and implications of the First Amendment.

The First Amendment and What It Means for You Video Transcript

Hello everyone.  I’m going to… I’m going to talk a little bit about the Bill of Rights.  Those are the twenty-four amendments to the United States Constitution.  Everybody knows what the second amendment and that’s sort of all that’s ever spoke of.  That and the first amendment; but there is more to the first amendment than just freedom of speech.

It begins with the freedom of religion.  The whole idea behind the amendments to the constitution where we broke from England, we were really breaking from the Church of England.  And the colonists wanted to start a new place where they would not be told how to worship, who they worshiped and they weren’t under the rule of the Church.  So, freedom of religion, no matter what religion that is.

The second part of that is freedom of speech.  And it’s not totally where you can say anything you want.  It can’t be defamatory in nature because you can be sued.  And you can’t incite a riot or walk into a theater and yell “fire”.  I mean there are some limitations.  Also, another part of the first amendment, is the Right to Assemble peacefully.  Peacefully.  Peacefully.  Not loot, not start riots, not say things that could potentially provoke another side; but to do it peacefully.

And, you know, its always been said that sugar tends to attract more flies; but the first amendment protects you in whatever you’re protesting or you’re speaking of in a peaceful manner.  Again, that is not inciting any kind of a riot or advocating the looting of a building or anything else.

That was the biggest part of the first amendment.  That and the freedom of press.  And I know a lot of people do believe that the press has gotten a little bit out of hand; but this isn’t anything new.  Anyone that’s ever-studied journalism could go back to the twenties and thirties when the Godfather or Godfather of yellow journalism, William Randolph Hearst, who owned, at the time, the San Francisco Chronicle, would have big, huge headlines that would sell newspapers.  And they were sort of horrific headlines, doomsday headlines, things that would sell newspapers on the corner with some kid hawking the papers for a quarter, or a dime, whatever they cost back then.

But he realized that that kind of sensationalism would sell newspapers.  Now, that kind of sensationalism drives internet traffic, the media from both sides.  So, any of you that thinks that this is brand new and the media is out of control, it really isn’t.  It’s been around for a long time.  Probably a hundred years.

So, this is basic Civics.  And I’m going to be talking about the second amendment the next time I speak and go through all twenty-four amendments so it will refresh your memory as to… that there is more to the constitution then just the second amendment, the Right to Bear Arms.

Thank you.