General discussion


Why America is going to the dogs...

By Jessie ·
Study shows American teenagers indifferent to freedoms.

"The original amendment to the Constitution is the cornerstone of the way of life in the United States, promising citizens the freedoms of religion, speech, press and assembly.

Yet, when told of the exact text of the First Amendment, more than one in three high school students said it goes ?too far? in the rights it guarantees. Only half of the students said newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories."

"When asked whether people should be allowed to express unpopular views, 97 percent of teachers and 99 percent of school principals said yes. Only 83 percent of students did."

I find this concept TERRIFYING!!! When I'm in my 50s and 60s the current teen population will be running our government. One day, I'm going to walk outside to talk to my neighbor, make an off the cuff comment the likes of "Someone needs to do something about the streets being full of potholes," and be thrown in jail for defaming the city government, without a trial, and without my one phone call. My family will not know where I've gone. A missing persons report will be filed. My body will never be found.

When that day comes, I hope Canada, the UK. and my free-er global neighbors, perhaps Iraq will by then be free... will come to the aid of this country which I can only hope, will be torn apart by civil war, fighting to protect freedoms we once held so dear.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

Terrifying, YES!!

by Dwiebles In reply to Why America is going to t ...

But, there is still somethings that need be considered, in high school, do you remember what expressing unpopular views meant? Being outed socially, picked on, maybe beat up at the monkey bars. So, is there any question as to why a greater number of students vs. adults who hold this view? It is unfortunate, most definetly, but I would like to see a poll of people aged 20-25 as well, to see the change assosiated with moving out of high school and into the "real world" (excluding College). I sincerly hope that this doesn't lead to a civil war in the US, the arsenal available there, nevermind in the whole country, but just in texas, is enough to make me cringe.
I am staying at home in Canada. I am sure there would be only slight deviation in our high school populations if asked the same questions, but I am not afraid of Paul Martin (he's our leader, kinda...)


Collapse -

Yes, but...

by Jessie In reply to Terrifying, YES!!

"The study suggests that students embrace First Amendment freedoms if they are taught about them and given a chance to practice them, but schools don?t make the matter a priority."

The study suggests, though the article doesn't substantiate the suggestion, that it's a problem of education, not of mere high school peer pressure. I tend to wonder myself though, if the students who CARE about the first amendment protections, feel that way because they were educated via their after school activities, or if they care about journalism (almost always an after school activity) and therefore are more informed about the first amendment.

Collapse -


by Dwiebles In reply to Yes, but...

Yes, it is entirely possible that lack of education into the importance and application of the amendment is causing a relativey "uninformed" response from students. Having been educated in Canada, and the fact that the U.S. Constitution and it's amendments (I apologize if I am mis-naming or incorrect in anything) don't apply to me in any direct and daily way, I am a little misinformed myself. I am however only a few years senior to high school students, and am basing much on my own changes in the past few years in my personal opinions, world views and political leanings. There is no way I am 100% right in any of my assertions (or even 5%), just wanted to give my viewpoint.



Collapse -

No doubt

by Jessie In reply to Education

I have no doubt that quite a number of the students are influenced by their peers. I know that I've made MANY MANY personal and character changes in the years since high school... I like myself far better as I am now, than as I used to be.

I would HOPE though that even high school students would be able to differentiate between what you can and cannot say in highschool, and what you can and cannot say in a free society. The fact that half of them think the government should be able to censor newspaper articles is just... harrowing!

Collapse -

Schools don't need to worry

by awfernald In reply to Yes, but...

We have Law & Order and NYPD Blues and CSI on TV to teach kids how to value their rights (I think). And best of all, M-TV is such a great day care assistant.

Collapse -

What about the second amendment as written?

by admin In reply to Yes, but...

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"

If asked: "Should the Federal Government not infringe on the right of people to freely keep and bear arms for the security of their state?"

How many kids would think it's a bad idea for their neighbors to posses certain arms?

Is this because the schools are not making a priority of teaching their students about arms and giving them a chance to practice with them?

Just curious about how this holds up for TR members over time broadly across amendments- even the original ones known as the Bill of Rights.

Collapse -

Thomas Jefferson himself answered that question

by maxwell edison In reply to What about the second ame ...

On the meaning of the second amendment. Do you care to share what it was?

Collapse -


by Jessie In reply to Thomas Jefferson himself ...

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
--Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria in On Crimes and Punishment (1764).

"The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that... it is their right and duty to be at all times armed."
--Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824.

Of course, times change, and our forefathers KNEW this, and provided for it in setting up our system of government... Those of you who think the Constitution of the United States of America is an inviolate and perfect document that need never be changed, should ask yourselves why there are so many amendments to it.

Collapse -

Change includes the Free Speech Amendment.

by admin In reply to Perhaps...

My point exactly. The interpretation in today's world by the Judiciary should reflect 2005, not 1965. If it gets to be a wide enough gap, then the second amendment will need to be modified accordingly.

Again, to quote The Who, the kids are alright.

P.S. Max, she beat me to it! Well done Jessie :)

Collapse -

I disagree

by maxwell edison In reply to Change includes the Free ...

The basis of the constitution is just as valid today as it was then.

Related Discussions

Related Forums