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There is not a First without the Second


Bokalau12 1 / -  
Mar 31, 2024   #1
Dustin McCullough
Professor Hickman
Lesson 11
27 March, 2024

The relationship between the Second Amendment and the First Amendment in the United States Constitution is a topic of considerable debate and importance. While the Second Amendment is often associated with the right to bear arms, its impact on protecting the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment, particularly freedom of speech and expression, is less explored. This research paper aims to dive into the historical context, legal interpretations, and modern-day discussions surrounding how the Second Amendment serves to safeguard the First Amendment. By examining case law, social perspectives, and philosophical thinkers, the importance of these right allotted to us by our forefathers will be made undeniably clear as a defense for the Freedom of Speech, religion, and press, against potential threats from both local and foreign government entities.

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution is commonly known as the Freedom of speech amendment. This amendment allows united states citizens the right to say what they want to without fear of punishment within certain parameters, this amendment also protects citizens freedom to worship any religion they desire along with the freedom of assembly and petition. The Second Amendment is popular in the United States for giving United States citizens the right to own a firearm. For context the Second Amendment reads "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", while sill being contested today over the exact meaning of the verbiage, this is commonly own to be understood as the citizen have the right to own firearms to protect them self from foreign and domestic harm. The First Amendment is a corner stone for American democracy because of the freedom it allows its citizens to stand up and speech up against there own government, a freedom that was a new idea at its conception. The First Amendment safeguards its citizens freedoms by making the law that stops any government intervention that might stiffen the people's speech. With the freedom to pray and worship as you see fit this opens up the United States to a plethora of new ideas that other countries are not privy to because of the lack of free-flowing ideas that come from this practice, along with the freedom of the press to help keep the government in check by allowing the press to report on anything of importance as long as it stays truthful. These first two amendments give a lot of freedoms that are not common around the world, what does this mean? With the freedom to speak out against your government citizens needed a way to protect them self from the overreaching and sometimes tyrannical government. Without the Second Amendment can there be a First Amendment? The need to protect oneself from the people the wish to speak out against is just as important as the act of speaking out in the first place, but some would argue that this need is no longer needed, and that the need for firearms is outdated and no longer provides any protection from the government.

With the United States just earing its freedom from the from the British in 1791, there was a lot of concern on how to avoid this from ever happening again. Fresh on the minds of Founding Fathers some safeguards were put in place to help safeguard the Freshly freed citizens of the United States, with this in mind the United States Constitution was born along with the Bill of Rights. Modern day thinkers such as Ben Shapiro believe that without these rights that resistance to the government is inevitable. Ben Shapiro has stated that when the government gets too big it will ultimately put its foot down on the government people in the name of progression and this will in turn breed resistance and hatred for the government, but by having the freedoms of speech along with the freedom to bear arms this helps keep the government in check to stop this unsavory outcome. By design the Second Amendment is there to allow not only the states but smaller factions in the state to come together and protect what they hold near and dear, for example in the 1700 the American colonies tried to voice their opinions when its cam e to being taxed to the British with out anyone to speech up for them. The British grow tired of the complaints and eventually just stated taxing them more, this was widely felt as a punishment and festered large scale resentment which grow into the uprising we know today as the American Revolution. James Madison also known as the Father of the Second Amendment believed that American have the right and the advantage of being armed, a privilege not given by other governments who were afraid to trusts its citizens with arms. With this right and advantage, he believed that the population of the United States could take full freedom in expression their freedom of speech, and with this it would breed a whole new sense of wisdom never seen before in the world. The Founding Father thought that the Freedom of speech was so important to the prosperity to the United States that they had to find a way to protect it and thus the Second Amendment was born. To give instate on how important the First Amendment was to the Founding Father Benjamin Franklin once stated, "Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech". The freedom to say what needed to be said is so important that it needs to be protected by any means necessary.

With the rise in social media and cellphone reporting events that would other wise be missed by the legacy media is easier than ever. With this rise in technology there is a significantly been a rise in in firearms being used to uphold United States citizens rights. The FBI reported in 2020 that that over the calendar year of 2019 firearms were used anywhere from 200,000 to one million times to deter either a current violent crime or a potential violent crime saving millions of lives. The use of firearms to protects one's own freedom of speech is no novelty incident either. The most current event of this happening is in the Kyle Rittenhouse case. Kyle was a 17-year-old who was out providing first aid and security during the BLM riots of 2020, in Kenosha Wisconsin. The alleged rioters were out destroying building that did not have BLM posted in their windows, which meant the shops and building not posting the wanted message were under attack and Kyle took it upon himself to go out and defend peoples right not to post messages they did not believe in. The CHAZ zone in Seattle Washington is another example when firearms have been used to protect the freedom of speech and expression. During June 2020 protesters for the Black Lives Matter movement took over six square blocks in the middle of Seattle Washington as part of a protest for George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. This was done in the name of free speech and was done in the hopes of raising awareness for the unjust treatment of minorities at the hand of police officers.

Other counties that claim to have freedom of speech but do not have a means to protect that freedom are now noticing an uprise in unrest due to the rise of hate speech and post COVID 19 lockdowns. One such government that is having this issue is Canada. Canada has claimed to have a freedom of speech under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but in the past few years had started regulating freedom of speech under the name of hate speech and protecting people from being hurt. Canada does not have a wide-open policy for its citizens to own firearms but does allow certain citizens to have them as long as they have the need licensing and registration approved by their federal government. With Freedom of speech being attacked in Canada the citizens have no way to fight back against this government tyranny, the people that do try to speak up and against the Federal government are either, fined, jailed, or political punished. This issue only occurs because the government knows that the masses have no way of fighting back against this abuse of power and have only two options, fall in line or face the full wraith of the Federal Canadian government. The United Kingdom is facing a similar issue with the right to speech but no way to ensure that that right is protected. The UK in recent years has had a problem with overwhelming refugee problem. The citizens have tried speaking up against this problem and the result from them voicing their grievance is the UK citizens being jailed for hate speech. Since the UK has a ban on handguns some citizens have converted to carrying knifes in protest and the response from the UK parliament was to start banning knife in the name of public safety.

The use of disarming a population to force them into submission is a long-standing tradition when it comes to communism and socialism. In 1917 and the years leading up to the Russian Revolution, the Tsarist regime increased strict gun control measures, disarming a huge segment of the population. This weakened the political opponents to the Bolsheviks during the revolution, allowing them to take power and build the Soviet Union. In 1933 through 1945 one Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany, his regime started strict gun laws, disarming political opponents and marginalized groups such as the Jews and other minorities. This facilitated the consolidation of Nazi power and contributed to the suppression of dissent, ultimately causing Holocaust and World War II. In China, the communist party disarmed the population as part of its plan to consolidate power during the Cultural Revolution. This lack of civilian firearms enabled the government to suppress dissent and maintain control over the population, leading to widespread political persecution and violence. Disarming a notion to control the nation's speech and freedom of thought is a long stand tradition, the only way to combat this tyranny is to never allow the government to tell its citizens what they are allowed to own and not own. Adoloph Hitler once said, "to conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens". This is a stark glimpse into what happens when the right to bear arms is infringed on. Most Second Amendment activists argue that an armed populace serves as a check against government tyranny. They believe that an armed citizenry acts aa a deterrent against government overreach and abuse of power. Without the ability to bear arms, citizens throughout history have been shown what a government will do to hold on to power and rule. The oppressiveness of government in history is a look into what could happen in the future if the Second Amendment was ever abolished.

The Second Amendment not only protects the people's freedom of speech, religion, and the press but the Second Amendment also acts as a safeguard and deterrent for violent crime. With the loss of self-defense on a day-to-day bases many would argue law abiding citizens would be the most effected by this, because with out a manor in which to defend themselves the average citizen would be left to the mercy of criminals and the whims of greedy elites. Proponents of the Second Amendment argue that criminals would still obtain firearms illegally, regardless of any laws or restrictions placed on the ownership of firearms. Therefore, disarming law-abiding citizens would effectively disarm potential victims while leaving criminals armed, empowering criminals to increase violent crime. It's important to note that the relationship between gun control laws, Second Amendment, and violent crime is a subject of ongoing debate and research. While some studies claim to show that with my gun control the lower violent crime will become, but if one was to look at the most gun-controlled area in America, one would see that more gun laws just leads to more lawlessness.

Technological advancements and evolving social norms have the potential to influence the interpretation and application of the constitutional amendments, including the First and Second. With the rise of social media platforms, the way information can be delivered across the world has changed. This change has evolved the landscape of freedom of speech in a way that has raised some questions about how the First Amendment applies to online communications. Debates have already started about hate speech, and how to moderate certain conversations. Evolving social norms and values can shape different interpretations of constitutional rights over time. With added technology the issue arises, is the need for the second amendment still needed if we could get our voices out online. Yes, the need for the Second Amendment is still needed even with the boom of the internet and an ever-growing technology field. Some countries such as Canadian have already started using the internet against its citizens to stifle their speech. For example, in 2019 if someone in Canada was to state that COVID-19 wasn't real then the government would not only fine then but would also block their use of internet banking along with making them go thru a trial to get there freedoms back.

Furthermore, the interpretation of the Second amendment has evolved over time, with many debates over its intended scope and implication. The United States Supreme Court has issued landmark rulings that have clarified but complicated the understanding of the amendment. For instance, in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Court held that the Second Amendment protects and individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with the service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within a home. This ruling emphasizes the person's right to bear arms no matter your connection or lack there of to a militia.

In conclusion, the argument that the Second Amendment is necessary to protect the First Amendment and other rights is grounded in a historical perspective on the role of armed citizens in deterring a government from tyranny. However, it is still called in to debate about the effectiveness and the relevance in today's world. While its clear that the framers of the Constitution envisioned a republic in which freedom were protected against oppression, the best means of securing those freedom in today's world is to hold on to the freedoms and rights we have now and not give them up. The debate over the relationship between the two amendments will undoubtedly continue in the years to come, as new challenges and opportunities arise in the digital age. It is up to policymakers, advocates, and citizens to engage in thoughtful and informed discussions about how to balance the competing interests at stake and uphold the principles enshrined in the Constitution.

Work Cited
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,797 4780  
Apr 3, 2024   #2
The main problem that I see with this paper is that a Works Cited page was created at the end of the research, yet these are not accurately cited within the text of the research. Where a work cited page exists, the correct form of citations and crediting of text sources must be present. Without these references, the information will be considered plagiarism once it is passed through a plagiarism detector. The best defense in that case, would be to accurately have an in-text citation. So you need to work on properly formatting your cited information within the research paper. While the presentation is compelling, the proper formatting of the presentation matters as well.

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