In a recent survey a shockingly high percentage (45%) of high school teenagers felt that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution "goes too far in the rights it guarantees." USA Today illuminated the following breakdowns:
- 30% (down from 32%) say the press has too much freedom.
- 69% (down from 70%) say musicians should be allowed to sing songs with lyrics that may be offensive to others.
- 54% (up from 51%) say newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval.
- 64% (up from 58%) say high school student newspapers should be allowed to report controversial subjects without the approval of authorities.
This poll comes two years after the last poll of the U.S. done by Future of the First Amendment, in a climate where arguments for limiting free speech seem to pop up every other day in the government from all three branches.
Sound off Punknews readers, what do you feel about the First Amendment? Should a band like Anti-Flag be allowed to play their songs? Should Punknews.org or Absolutepunk.net be allowed to report what we want or should we seek government approval for our stories? Since High School newspapers are funded by public funds, should they be allowed to criticize their funders? And perhaps more importantly, where do you stand in defending unpopular speech or ideas that you don't agree with? Should groups like the KKK or the Minutemen be allowed to march through the streets and distribute their literature?
We're all ears.
Oh, and for those who are unfamiliar, the text of the amendment is thus:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.