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Limits To The First Amendment Essay

1522 words - 6 pages

Limits to the First Amendment

The United States of America seems to be protected by a very important historical document called the Constitution. Despite the fact that it was written and signed many years ago, the American people and their leaders still have faith in the Constitution. One of the major statements of the Constitution is the First Amendment, freedom of speech. Although it is difficult to decide what is offensive and what is not, it is clear to see that songs of rape, violence, bigotry, and songs containing four letter words are completely unnecessary for susceptible minds to acknowledge. It is reasonable to say that more people listen to music everyday and for that reason, music tends to be more influential. The American people should consider the idea of censorship of music lyrics that influence violence. We as Americans, have the voice to make artists think about the harm that their lyrics can cause their listeners and possibly change their damaging style. I think it would benefit the American people to research the effects of music lyrics on people, debate the findings of the research, and discuss the consequences and possible solutions for the problem. Those who see no problem with the explicit and vulgar lyrics of today's music use The United States Constitution to back up their rights. This very Constitution was adopted by a convention of the States on September 17, 1787 (12) and has been a ruling thumb in the actions of the United States Government. The current date is April 21, 1999—that's 212 years later! This is where the very popular freedom of speech amendment comes into play. This Amendment states: "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," (www.house.gov/Constitution/Amend.html ). These words by which we live by were actually made official on December 12, 1791. My point is that these governing words have governed our lives for over two centuries, which is a long time. The times aren't the same as they were when the Constitution and its amendments were established, so we need to reconsider some of the ideas that are not valid in today's society. Our greatest freedom that our founding fathers left us, freedom of speech, needs to be reconsidered. Many times the Constitutional right of freedom of speech is taken too lightly in that people believe that they can say whatever they want to say when they want to say it. This is a false belief. One would think it very wrong to scream fire in the middle of a crowded building. The same goes for the lyrics of many songs these days. "Music lyrics have profound public consequences and, in many ways, the music industry is more influential then anything…" (Brownback 454) therefore, there needs to be censorship of harmful lyrics so that...

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