In today’s society, the first amendment is taken advantage of in many ways. Many people express that they can say whatever they please because they have the Freedom of Speech. They might burn the USA flag, make a racist remark, or some other kind of action, but what they do not realize is that this may hurt people. The First Amendment should be limited so that individuals can speak their mind so long as it does not hurt other people, or violates their rights.
An example of a First Amendment issue is the issue of pornography. Adult pornography should not be limited, the participants are doing this voluntarily and it is not hurting them. Kiddie porn, on the other hand, is very wrong. In a NY Times article titled A First Amendment Junkie, written by Susan Jacoby she says, “But kiddie porn is not a First Amendment issue. It is an issue of the abuse of power – the power adults have over children – and not of obscenity.” The children’s rights are being violated, and they have no control. Pornography is only part of the issue of the abuse of the First Amendment; racism also is a touchy subject (Jacoby 44).
Some individuals, especially the older citizens, were raised that being racist is acceptable but that is not the case. Just because the Freedom of Speech is in the constitution, does not mean that one has the right to say what they want whenever they want. Racism hurts those that are the targets of the harsh words or actions. This is where the right should be limited. Those things should not be said anywhere it could potentially harm a person (Lawrence 64).
In conclusion, the First Amendment has its benefits, but should not be taken advantage of for the sake of being controlling and rude, people should not have their rights violated. The citizens of the United States of America need to be aware of others before they do or say anything. They need to ask themselves, “Will I hurt someone by doing this?”, or “Will someone get angry if I say this?” If these things...
Cited: Jacoby, Susan. "A First Amendment Junkie." Current Issues and Enduring Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking and Argument, with Readings. By Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Adam. Bedau. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin 's, 2011. 43-45. Print.
Lawrence, Charles R., III. "On Racist Speech." Current Issues and Enduring Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking and Argument, with Readings. By Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Adam. Bedau. Boston: Bedford/St Martin 's, 2011. 61-65. Print.
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