â€œCongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there of, or abridging the freedom of speech, or press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievance.â€ Even the people who barely passed history class have probably heard this statement and believe they understand this part of the constitution and what it is trying to protect. The first amendment can be broken down it to three categories: the freedom of religion, the freedom of assembly, and the freedom of speech. My focus will be the evolution of the freedom of speech, and how it affects you as Americans. I will discuss the meaning of this part of the first amendment and what speech is not protected by the first amendment. Although this censorship may seem trivial to some, I believe that almost any infraction of First Amendment rights is a serious offense. .
As I previously stated, many people who can not even name three of the first ten amendments are pretty confident that they understand what freedom of speech means. I would bet money to say that less than 10% of Americans really understand the parameters of freedom of speech that are laid out by the First Amendment. There are three main areas of confusion that surround these parameters. The first major mistake people make in interpreting freedom of speech is that they assume that no one has the ability to silence anotherâ€™s opinions. This is entirely untrue. As the first word in the First Amendment would lead us to believe, only the government is restricted by it. Anyone who is not hired by or a part of the government can restrict speech. So, in theory, Mrs. Hollies could stand up right here, right now and say, â€œ No one here is allowed to use the word â€˜doorâ€™ in their speech, and anyone who does so will have 100 points deducted from their speech grade.