The First Amendment was ratified along with the American Bill of Rights in 1791. It is deprived from the English Bill of Rights, but there is a major difference. The English Bill of Rights only stretched the freedom of speech for Parliament, but the American Bill of Rights provided the right for all citizens ("First Amendment Freedom" 1). Thomas Jefferson and other Founding Fathers believed that all citizens should have no restrictions on what they wanted to say. This building belief was and still is essential for democracy to thrive ("First Amendment and" 1). What happens when this right is seemingly threatened? Debates on what the First Amendment truly means is causing many Americans to wonder if the concept of freedom of speech is in jeopardy.
Many advocates of limiting free speech give only three major reasons why it should have limitations. These reasons have little evidence to support the limiting of free speech. These reasons include but are not limited to hate speech, racial speech, and political protests. Flag burning, a political act, should be made illegal because it is an act, not necessarily speech or written protest. The act of flag burning is destructive (Egendorf 28). Hate speech should be outlawed because it is commonly connected with hate crimes (Heinz 3). One person 's beliefs should not jeopardize another person 's safety (Egendorf 25). Racial speech should also be restricted under law. It is dangerous and life threatening. Racial speech is commonly used when there are multiple people against a select few. This speech is not protecting others it is harming them (Barbour 84). These reasons are justifiable, but each one has a common flaw. They want to restrict a person 's way of life.
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...rting someone with one 's words is morally wrong. Even so it is not up to the government to limit one 's speech. It is left up to that individual person and their own morale ("Freedom" 3).
Throughout history there have been debates on what Americans should be allowed to say. It has raised many questions that are unable to be answered today. Although there are many views on the matter, free speech should not be limited. Forcing boundaries on such a liberating right, is hindering the development of a strong nation and society. Hate speech comes with a price, but every price must be paid. Thought processes can soon narrow over time if society chooses to narrow free speech. The concept of freedom of speech may be in jeopardy, but it can be saved if America chooses to open their minds and open their mouths to the possibilities of a nation where differences is strength.
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